Consistent putting is one of the most essential skills you can learn in the game of golf.
You can struggle off the tee, hit a weak second shot and still save par if you can putt well! If you are struggling with the putter and missing putts that you know you should be making, then it’s probably time that you try a different putting grip. Finding a putting grip that works consistently is key to lowering the number of putts in your round. But which grip should I use? Are some grips better than others? Does buying a different putter grip help?
There is no ONE answer to these questions as much of putting is based on feel. However, by experimenting with the following putting grips listed below, you can to determine which grip you prefer the best based on your practice results! Before diving into this article, I highly recommend reading my article here on my 9 tips to putt like a pro! This will teach you all of the fundamentals of the actual putting stroke “before” we make any modification to our putting grip.
Traditional Overlap Grip
This grip is the most common and taught grip style. It is similar to a standard golf swing grip so many golfers prefer to use this grip when on the putting surface.
To use this grip:
- Grip the putter as you would typically taking a full swing
- Take the index finger of your top hand and OVERLAP your bottom hand
- Your index finger will be resting on the knuckles of your lower hand
Reverse Grip (Crosshand)
This grip is becoming more popular today as it limits wrist movements in your dominant hand. Jordan Spieth uses this grip, and he is considered one of the best putters in the game!
To use this grip: (opposite of traditional grip)
- Put your dominant hand on TOP of the putter grip
- Place your other hand on the top thumb, so it is in the palm
- Place the top index finger over the lower hand knuckles
Used on tour by some pros, such as Sergio Garcia, the claw helps stabilize your top hand preventing any wrist movements in your stroke.
To use this grip:
- Place your nondominant hand on the top of the grip
- Grip your other hand so that the putter grip is in between your thumb and index finger
- Your lower fingers should be pointing down the shaft of the club while the thumb is wrapped underneath the grip for stability
The finger point grip is similar to the traditional grip. It is used to create the feeling that the wrists are “locked” in place and to influence the upper body to make the motion for the putting stroke.
To use this grip:
- Set up with the traditional grip (see above)
- Extend the index finger of your lower hand, so it is pointing towards the shaft of the club
Using the examples above as guidelines, experiment to find a putting grip that feels most comfortable for you and shows positive results on the course.
- If you are struggling with longer, lag putts, I would recommend the finger point grip as it locks in your wrists and promotes the use of the upper body which adds consistency.
- If you struggle with making short putts, I would recommend trying the cross-hand grip or the claw. These grips also limit the use of wrist movement and allow you to feel more control of your putt.
- If these other putting grips aren’t helping, go back to a traditional grip and practice your putting stroke using your arms and shoulders to make the movement.
Drills to Use When Practicing
We have a few different putting style options we can practice with now on the practice green. The next step is to complete a series putting tests for each of the “four” grip styles mentioned above. For each test, you will record how many putts you made and the overall “feel” of your putting stroke. (good, bad, awkward, etc.) Completing these tests will provide clarity to possible changes you can make to improve your putting!
- 4 Ball Circle: Go to a putting hole and place four golf balls around the hole about 3 feet from the ball to the hole. Take putts going around the hole until all four golf balls have been hit. Record your results and repeat the drill with all of the putting grip styles mentioned.
- 3 Tee Drill: Take three golf tees from your bag and place them in a straight line going away from the hole. One tee will be set approximately 5 feet from the hole. One 10 feet from the hole. And the last tee will be 15 feet from the hole. You will then hit three golf balls from each of the three tees using the different golf grip styles. Don’t forget to record your results!
- Square Drill: Take four golf tees and build a square around the golf cup. The imaginary lines of the square should be around 3 feet from the hole. Next, starting at the hole, walk ten steps in any direction where you will be approximately 25-30 feet from the hole. Now take three shots with each putting grip style trying to get the ball in the putting square that you made. Record your results!
After completing these three tests, look over your results for each putting grip. What stood out? Did one grip feel better or worse? Which grip style did you make the most putts with? Use the data you just recorded to answer these questions and find out which putting grip works best for you!
WHICH PUTTER GRIPS TO BUY
Putter grips can help with the feel of a putt and also help eliminate minor movements made by the wrists during a putt. Grips such as Winn and SuperStroke have a nice, cushy feeling and come in various colors and sizes.
Larger width grips will help with “the yips” and limit jerky motions in a putting stroke. Small width grips will give you more feel and club face control during the putting stroke.
Take a look at my favorite grip I recommend for my beginning students below. A small change of your putter grip may be all you need to add more confidence and consistency with putting!
If you purchase a golf grip either online or at a pro shop, you can elect for a golf professional to put it on for you, or you can put it on yourself. Watch this quick video below on a tutorial on changing your putter grip:
Do You Have the Right Putter?
Putters come in a variety of different styles that can make a substantial impact on your game. Even if you have a sound putting stroke and you feel very confident with your putting grip, you can still experience inconsistencies if you are using the “right” putter.
So what do I mean by the right putter? Putters come in many different lengths and lie angles that help golfers align and achieve accurate putting strokes. For example, if your putting tendencies are to leave the putter open 2 degrees at impact, it may be beneficial to use a putter that is 2 degrees more upright at address. Sound confusing? Don’t worry! You don’t need to know all of this information yourself. That’s why I recommend that golfers “should” get fitted for a putter. Having a professional club fitter look at your putting stroke will take away the guesswork of finding that “perfect putter” and the metrics will speak for themselves as to what putting specs you need to make your game better! It’s so cool!
If you were wondering: Should, I get fitted for all my clubs? The answer is yes! Check out my article here for an example of how a driver fitting works.
Deciding which putting grip all comes down to which option gives you the most consistency out on the course. Professional golfers change their putting grip all the time when looking to improve their distance control and confidence! To find the putting grip style that works for you, remember to complete the putting tests with each grip to give you immediate feedback on which grip you should use out on the course. Also, experiment with different grip sizes and putting models to find something that “feels” and works the best for you and your putting stroke. Lastly, to take the guesswork out of finding the correct putter for your game, find a local golf professional that can assist you in finding the perfect option!
Putting can be frustrating, but it is imperative that you put in the effort to find which putting grip to use so you can start making more putts and lower scores!