When it comes to putters, there’s more debate than any other club. Some players like to use blade style putters while others love using the more forgiving mallet designs. Moreover, there are players who couldn’t care less about the design of the putter head.
However, the debate regarding the putter heads is quite old. What’s new you ask? Well, it’s the putter grips. If you follow the PGA tours, you may have noticed many players using putters where the grip looks fatter than usual. That’s the mysterious ‘Fat Putter Grip’ the world of golf is so hung up on.
What is a fat putter grip anyway? What are the benefits? Are the benefits worth it? Should you use one for your game?
In this guide, we plan to seek answers to all of these questions. Before we jump into it, we want to remind you that more than 40% of your score comes from the shots on green. So, you need to read this guide very carefully before you make up a decision.
What are Fat Putter Grips?
The name is pretty self-explanatory. These are putter grips that are fatter than usual. You get a firm feeling when you grip the club with these. The circumference of the grip increases quite dramatically and it gives a cushy feeling to your hand. It’s said to offer a pendulum-like motion to your putting which is deemed the most ideal form of the shot.
Almost every golf stores now have fat putter grips. If you go to a high-end shop, you may find sample putters installed with fat grips. It’s highly recommended that you try them out before you purchase a bunch of them for all of your putters.
To aid in the decision making, we’re going to look at the advantages of using one.
Advantages of Using a Fat Putter Grip
So, let’s answer the debated question. Why should you use a fat putter grip instead of your regular grips?
It reduces Twist
Whenever you move an object by its farthest edge, there will be torque. It’s one of the fundamental laws of physics. Putter heads are attached to the shaft on one edge. It might not be always true for mallet style putters because some of them have the shaft attached right in the middle.
Whatever the case is, when you hit the ball with it, no matter how slow it is, there will be some twisting. The better you can manage the twist, the more accurate your shots will be.
The twist on putter shafts is one of the things a fat putter grip targets. As the circumference of the grip has increased, you get more area on your hand to wrap around it. Think of it as holding a pencil vs holding a sharpie. If you try to rotate the pending in your putting grip, it’ll twist quite easily. But the sharpie won’t move as effortlessly.
A fat putter grip essentially helps you control the twist on the grip. As a result, you’ll be able to control your club face angle better and hit straighter putts than before.
It Keeps Your Arms Relaxed
Although it’s highly debated, we feel fat putters will be more comfortable. The same theory regarding the pencil and the sharpie applies in this case as well. When you grip the putter with more area on your hand, it’s harder to go into a death grip. If you’re playing golf for a while, you might know that a death grip is one of the most dreaded grips.
A fat putter gives you a firmer feeling while keeping your grip pressure soft. It might sound counterintuitive when you read about it. But trust us when we say this, you’ll feel the difference once you grip a fat putter.
It’s Helps Get Mimic a Pendulum
Among golf players, the pendulum-like swing is considered ideal for putting. If you’ve seen a pendulum on a watch, you must’ve noticed how rhythmically it oscillates from one end to the other. It’s a smooth motion with no jerks or hiccups in between.
That’s what you need when you’re putting. If not, you won’t be able to gauge the speed of the ball or the club head speed accurately. As a result, you’ll either fall short on the green or go past the hole too much.
A fat putter grip is said to have properties to help you get the pendulum swing. It’s associated with grip pressure. As you’re holding the grip quite lightly, it’s less likely that you’ll tense up and change the momentum of the putter head.
How to Choose the Right Fat Putter Grip?
If you’ve decided to get a fat putter grip for your putter, there’s a little more research you need to do. However, we have done the majority of the work for you in this section of our guide.
For longer clubs, the weight of the grips wouldn’t matter much. Because when you’re swinging with everything you’ve got, a few grams of weight won’t hurt your momentum. However, that’s not the case when it comes to putter grips.
It’s primarily because you are dealing with tiny adjustments. Swing the putter a hair more and you’ll end up 10-15 yards away from the hole. That’s why the weight of the fat putter grip you’re willing to get matters.
The best way to go about is to weigh your previous putter and compare it to your fat grip options. Ideally, you should pick the closest one. However, it won’t be possible all the time because there are some other things you also need to consider.
The bottom line is, your goal should be to keep the weight difference to the minimum.
Golf club grips sometimes tape off as it reaches down. Some grips have consistent taping throughout the length of the grip while others have minimal taper near the bottom.
Whatever you’re comfortable with, you should go with the same design for the fat putter as well. Once you get accustomed to one style, changing it down the line is not a good idea.
However, if you struggle with inconsistent putts with your tapered grip, you should give flat grips a try with your fat grip. The reason behind the inconsistency might have been your wrist action. A slightly tapered grip will help you keep the wrist action in check.
Putter grips come in a variety of shapes. Don’t confuse the shape with the taper. By shape, we mean the pistol grips, the round grips, or the fatso grips. Whatever you’re usually comfortable with, go for the same one when you get the fat grip.
The same rule applies to the texture of the grip. If you’re used to one texture and you feel comfortable with it, the fat putter grip should have the same or at least identical texture. It’s for the very same reason you don’t want to change the taper of your putter.
Many players confuse the size of a putter grip with the shape. They are very different measures. The size of a grip refers to the diameter of the grip. According to USGA, the ideal size for a putter grip is 1.75 inches or 44.45 millimeters. It’s not ideal to experiment with the size because it can have a massive impact on your playing style.
Disadvantages of Using a Fat Putter Grip
So, are the fat putter grips the best innovation in recent years? Not by a long shot. Just like it has its benefits, it has its drawbacks as well.
It May Not Suit You
The advantages of a fat putter grip are not universal. It varies drastically from player to player. You will find PGA tour pros who’ll swear that a fat putter grip improved their scores while a different group would stay away from these grips as much as possible.
So, it’s very much possible that you don’t like how a fat putter grip feels in your hands. And there’s nothing wrong with it. What would be wrong is if you try to force it on yourself.
It Limits the Movements of Small Muscles
If you have excellent control over your putter with the regular grips, installing a fat putter would interfere with the fine movements of your hands. It’s one of the worst things you can do to yourself and your playing style.
Remember, fat putter grips are designed for forgiveness. If you don’t need it and you’re already a low handicapper, there’s no point in getting a fat putter grip for yourself.
Incorrect Weight Change
If you don’t regulate the weight of your new putter grip, your score will take a hit. And there’s no way around it. Fat futter grips will almost always be heavier than regular grips. So, if you change it to a fat one, make sure you practice enough to get yourself accustomed to the higher weight.
So, should you get a fat putter grip? Well, the answer is maybe. This is one of those components that come down to individual players. Our recommendation is to visit your nearest driving range and try out different fat putter grips to see if you actually need them.