You practice your alignment. Obsess over your golf ball position. Check your posture in the mirror. But if you overlook your putting grip, none of those things matter very much.
The grip is, quite simply, the most important putting fundamental. There are several different ways to hold the golf club; like most things in golf, there’s no single grip style that’s right for everybody.
Some golfers find success with multiple grip types, switching from one to another (and sometimes another) to break out of a slump or give their putting a little boost.
Differences aside, every putting grip style has a basic goal: to promote a stroke controlled by the arms and shoulders by keeping the hands and wrists as quiet as possible. That’s the key to creating a repeatable motion and consistent results.
Which putting grip style is right for you? The only way to know for sure is to experiment with different types. We can’t do that for you, of course, but we can explain the various ways to grip the putter to help guide you through the process.
Let’s take a look at the four most popular putting grip styles and which SuperStroke products work best with each.
(Note: All descriptions are for right-handed putters. Lefties can simply reverse the order of the hands to copy the style described.)
1. Conventional putting grip with reverse overlap
The most common golf putting grip among amateurs and pros, the conventional style simply has the right hand below the left.
While a few golfers grip the putter the same as their regular clubs, with the right pinky finger interlocking or overlapping the index and middle fingers of the left hand, most employ a “reverse overlap.” That is, the left index finger is placed across the adjacent fingers on the right hand.
Benefits: Think of this as the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” putting grip. It’s the one golfers typically start with and, assuming it works fairly well, stick with.
Since it mirrors the grip for regular cubs, the conventional grip feels the most natural and comfortable. Golfers with arc-style strokes like how the conventional grip lets them “release” the putter through impact, with the blade squaring up before closing after contact.
Who should try it: Beginners usually learn this grip first. If you’re currently struggling with a different grip, like the left-hand-low, a switch to the conventional style could free up your hands and arms to get you stroking the golf ball more solidly.
2. Left-hand-low putting grip (aka lead-hand-low, cross-handed)
This style simply reverses the conventional putting grip, with the left hand below the right on the club’s handle. Among today’s pros, SuperStroke ambassador Jordan Spieth is probably the best known cross-hander.
Benefits: Golfers looking to deactivate their hands often turn to the left-hand-low grip. Placing the left hand below the right effectively kills any chance of the left wrist breaking down, or of the right hand taking over. It may feel awkward at first, but left-hand-low requires a shorter adjustment period than more radical styles.
This style is particularly effective at combating the dreaded “yips.”
Who should try it: If you’ve only used the conventional style and find yourself struggling, try the left-hand-low grip before anything else. That’s especially true if you have a hard time with distance control or can’t seem to make a short putt.
Works best with: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso Putter Grip
3. The claw putting grip
This grip style raised a lot of eyebrows when Chris DiMarco first used it on the PGA Tour in the late 1990s. Pretty soon, though, a bevy of pros employed the claw grip – and it remains popular today.
While there are several variations of the claw, the basics are: left hand in conventional top position, with the right hand holding the handle between the thumb and forefinger as the palm faces your waist.
Benefits: The claw all but handcuffs the right hand and wrist. Indeed, the right hand is essentially along for the ride as the left hand, arms and shoulders guide the putter down the path.
Who should try it: Anyone who’s not afraid of what their golf buddies might think. (In fairness, the claw is so commonplace now, your pals will barely notice.) This is another good yip cure, although it can take trial and error to find just the right place for your bottom hand.
Works best with: SuperStroke Traxion Claw Putter Grip
4. Wrist lock putting grip
Another putting grip style with a few variations, the wrist lock has gained popularity over the years. Bernhard Langer was among the first to use it, and the wrist lock grip certainly extended his career.
The most common method is to place the left hand near the bottom of the putter grip, with the left forearm pressed against the club’s handle by the right hand.
Benefits: Even more than the claw, the wrist lock style eliminates the right hand’s influence. The left hand, too, is practically deactivated. In short: The wrist lock grip forces you to use the arms and shoulders and make a steady, pendulum-type stroke.
Who should try it: Golfers whose hands tend to tense up might find relief in the wrist lock putting style. And if you’ve tried everything to get those meddlesome wrists out of your stroke, but still find them causing problems, this one may just do the trick.
Works best with: SuperStroke WristLock Putter Grip