‘How to grip a putter’ might not be up there with ‘how long is a piece of string?’ in terms of the number of possible answers, but over the past 30 years or so, more options have arrived on the scene, with success stories on tour and at club level for many different types of putting grip.
There really is no one correct way to grip a putter, and it’s certainly worth experimenting if your stroke has become less reliable and steady than it once was on the putting green.
Many of the new options are primarily designed to stop the right hand (or lower hand) getting too active to the detriment of consistency and accuracy.
We start here with the classic right-below-left putting grip for a right-handed golfer (also called the reverse overlap) before moving on to five of the most popular modern alternatives.
How to grip a putter: Reverse overlap
The conventional reverse overlap grip was really the only recognised putting grip for a long time, with anything else perhaps seen as an admission of a problem!
In this grip, the right hand sits below the left with the ‘reverse overlap’ name stemming from the forefinger of the left hand sitting on top of the fingers on the right hand. Both thumbs extend down the flat part of the grip.
Its beauty is that it provides good feel and allows the right hand to release the putterhead. This can also be its downside, though. In some golfers, the right hand gets too active, with the two hands working against each other and consistency suffering. If that’s you, you may wish to experiment with an alternative.
Left Below Right
Left below right is often the first port of call for right-handed golfers who feel their lower hand is dominating too much.
This stable alternative helps to neutralise the right hand and gives you the feeling of a really solid left wrist. This makes it harder for the right hand to get so involved and potentially manipulating the clubface unhelpfully! It also levels the shoulders out and keeps the angle of attack a little shallower, preventing you from coming in too steeply.
The Pencil Grip
The pencil grip sees the lower hand working in a completely different fashion, mirroring the way you would hold a pencil.
It gives you the feeling of a much lighter grip in your right hand, with the palm working more towards the target. Again, the idea is to stop the right hand dominating. It keeps the small-twitch muscles out of your stroke and utilises the big core muscles to control things.
It also keeps your right side more connected to your torso with the right elbow tucked in against your side – something that can promote a more consistent stroke.
The Saw Grip
The saw grip, as you might imagine, is so-called because the right hand mirrors how you might grip and use a saw. The right-hand fingers sit on top of the grip pointing towards the target, with the grip sitting in the V between your right thumb and forefinger.
Unlike the pencil grip, it pulls the right elbow away from your body, so may not suit those who like to feel more connected to their torso. But it may prove a good option for those who like to feel more over the ball at address and who prefer a much straighter pendulum with less of an arc.
The armlock grip is an option for those using longer-than-standard putters. It has been popularised by Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau and others.
With the putter locked against your forearm, it almost feels like you’re bowing the left wrist out. There’s absolutely no chance of it breaking down through the ball. Both Kuchar and DeChambeau then employ a fairly conventional right-below-left right-hand grip.
This style of grip typically delofts the putter, so you may need to move the ball further forward in your stance or have the loft on your putter adjusted a little. This one may suit those who feel mechanics rather than feel will help them hole more putts.
Oversize Putter Grips
Finally, oversize putter grips of varying sizes are now very common. While some may still work with one of the putting grips above, the fattest grips are better-suited to what is known as a two-thumb grip. Indeed, one of the company’s making such grips is TwoThumb.
These grips are so wide that both hands can sit together at the same level, with the thumbs sitting side by side down the front of the grip and the forefingers pointing down either side of the grip.
This is another grip that gets the shoulders level and allows a pure pendulum motion back and through. It can work well on faster greens but may prove a little trickier to master from long range on slower greens.
If a conventional putting grip is no longer working for you, why not experiment with one of these other options to potentially get your putting back on track?
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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