Putting is one of those shots that no matter how much we talk about it, something new will pop up. On our website, you’ll find plenty of putting guides and drills. If you’re just starting out, we recommend checking those out first.
If you’re an intermediate golf player and want to take your putting to the next level, we’ve got a few different styles of grip for you. We will start with the general grip and work our way up to the reverse overlap grip, the claw grip, the wrist lock grip, and a few different combinations.
At the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what each grip means and when you should use them.
The Traditional Putting Grip (Reverse Overlap)
The grip comes naturally to the majority of the players. And this is the grip instructors teach the novices. It’s almost identical to the grip you would use for longer clubs such as the driver or the fairway wood. This is also referred to as the reverse overlap grip because you overlap your hands to mitigate the wrist hinge.
Believe it or not, even Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy use the same grip.
As you stand in position for the putt, you are welcome to grip the putter as your other clubs. In this grip, you place your right hand below the left hand. The pinky of your right hand will interlock and/or overlap the index or middle finger of the left hand. This is, of course, if you’re a right-handed player. If you’re a left-handed player, the principle will just be the opposite.
When you introduce the legendary reverse overlap into the mix, you place the index finger of your left hand is placed across your right pinky, ring, and middle finger.
Benefits of the Reverse Overlap
Sure, the grip looks fancy. But what’s the benefit?
Well, the biggest benefit of this putting grip is that it’s almost foolproof. This is the grip most players start their putting journey with. If they manage to master it, there’s no need for them to change it.
Another reason it’s more popular among players is that the transition from regular grips is easier. You just simply change how your left hand is placed on the shaft.
Should You Try it?
There is a good chance that this is the default grip you’re used to. But if you’re not and you’re currently having issues with your putting grips, this is the first grip you should try. It’s easy to learn and it’s easy to master.
The Claw Putting Grip
If there is one putting grip that has made a lot of noise, it would be the claw grip. The world saw the first-hand demonstration of this grip when Chris DiMarco used it in his 1990s PGA tour. As of now, this is one of the most popular putting grips among veterans and for good reasons.
In a claw grip, well, you grip the club as if you have claws. You place the left hand in its regular position while the right hand goes under to grip the shaft with the thumb and the index finger. Spoiler alert, it’s going to look weird!
Benefits of Using the Claw Grip
The biggest reason players use the claw grip is to get more control over their shot. The claw grip works best when it’s a short putt. The left hand works as the general body of power for the stroke while you fine-tune the speed and the club face angle with your right hand.
Another big reason behind using this grip is that it locks your right wrist in position. Removing one wrist angle can improve the accuracy of the putts.
Should You Use the Claw Grip?
If you’re at a point in your golf career where you enjoy trying out new things and adding new skills to your arsenal, you should definitely go for the claw grip. There was a time when the claw grip would have raised a few eyebrows. But those days are long gone.
Another thing to note is that you should use the claw grip for short paths. If you try it from over 10 feet or more, you simply won’t generate enough power to roll the ball all the way.
The Wrist Lock
This is one of the favorites among experts. The wrist lock has a few different variations, but the basic concept is the same.
In a wrist lock putting grip, you place your left hand near the bottom of the handle and use your right hand to press the top portion of the grip with your left forearm. It’s basically a one-handed putt while you’re using your right hand to control the motion.
In our opinion, it’s one of the most fun putting shots you can play. Because there’s no stress on either of your hands. The wrist angle cannot mess up the shot direction. Your hands and the club become one!
Ultimately, you use your shoulder and upper body to guide the putter in the right direction. If someone sees you from a distance, they should mistake you for a pendulum. When they do, you’ll know you’ve succeeded.
Benefits of Using the Wrist Lock
Jokes apart, the wrist lock is one of the best putting grips there is in our opinion. It has the most stability and the most amount of control over factors such as the swing speed and attack angle. As it eliminates any input from both left and right arms, you can expect a steady and potentially linear putting shot.
Should You Use the Wrist Lock?
If you think your wrists are the culprit behind your missed putts, you should definitely give this one a try. It’s also great for players whose arms tend to tense up during putting.
The left-Hand Low Grip
This putting grip is also known as the lead hand low or even the cross-handed grip. In this grip, you put your left hand below your right hand which is essentially the opposite of what you’re supposed to do with a conventional grip. Also, this would be the normal grip for left-handed players.
Benefits of the Left-Hand Low Grip for Right-Handed Players
This is the grip you need if you want to deactivate your hands. As you’re going out of your comfort zone and holding the grip the other way around, you’re eliminating possibilities such as the left wrist breaking down or the right hand taking over.
Also, keep in mind that this grip will feel extremely awkward at first. Because you’ll be going against your natural instincts to hold the grip with your left hand on top. So, if you’re willing to use this grip, make sure you practice beforehand at the driving range.
Should You Use this Grip?
So, the ultimate question is, should you use it even if it feels awkward? As long as your conventional putting grip is helping you, we would say you shouldn’t. But if you’re struggling with the conventional or reverse overlap grip, you can give this one a try. Sometimes, the solution to a problem is something you least expect.
Wrist Lock with Claw Grip
Right now, we’ve entered the world of hybrid putting grips. Basically, you mix and match any two of the four grips we’ve discussed. The first one we’re going to look at is the wrist lock with the claw grip.
In this grip, you’ll hold the club near the bottom of the grip with your left hand and press the remaining top portion with the forearm. However, instead of using your right hand to press the club, you’ll go into the claw grip.
Benefits of this Grip
The biggest benefit is obviously that you get the best of both worlds. You’re effectively neutralizing both hands and any inconsistencies that might arise from them. The strokes you play with this grip will be very lead-side oriented.
Should You Use It?
If you’ve mastered the basic putting grips and are willing to try new skills to improve your putting, you may give this one a try. The hybrid putting grips are usually used by advanced players.
The Broomstick Grip
This is another hybrid putting grip. You use the right hand as the claw but hold the club near the top of the grip with your left hand as if you’re holding a broomstick. Also, the distance between your hands will be larger than any other grip on our list.
One thing to note is that the broomstick grip requires long putters. These are putters but with a longer shaft to accommodate the distance between your hands. There is a misconception that broomstick grip has been banned on the green. It’s not entirely true. In reality, anchoring on the green has been banned.
The supposed benefit of this grip is that you get more stability with your shot. The longer shaft on the putters helps you dial in the distance and the direction more precisely.
Should You Try this grip?
You should only try this grip seriously if none of the other grips are working for you. You’re welcome to try it at any time. But we don’t recommend using this grip for playing regularly as it can interfere with your muscle memory for the rest of the putters.