With gripping a putter, there is a wide variety of ways to do it. The grip is the only point of contact between the body and the club. There is no putting grip that is considered the best. It all depends on the golfer. It is therefore upon each golfer to examine themselves and determine which putting grip is the best for them. It has to be one that the golfer feels comfortable with and works effectively for the best results.
Each type of putting grip, however, has its pros and cons. If the cons of the selected putting grip of a golfer are overwhelming, they should switch to another. The following are the tips on how to grip a putter using the various styles mentioned below.
Types of Putting Grips
Reverse Overlap Putting Grip
If you approach a golf instructor to teach you how to grip a putter, this is the style they are likely to show you. The name of this putting grip came by the fact that the left index finger lies on top of the right pinkie finger instead of the right pinkie finger resting on top of the left index finger as it is with a normal overlap grip (for right-handed golfers).
How the left index finger lies on the right hand differs. A golfer can extend it pointing towards the ground or lie parallel to the right pinkie finger. While using the reverse Overlap putting grip, the left thumb needs to lie flat on top of the putter grip. The putter grip is not round since the left thumb gives that extra stability to keep the putter face square at impact.
The right hand (for right-handed players) is the hand that dominates the putting stroke and serves as a piston. The left hand establishes the course of the face.
- The reverse overlap grip assists a golfer to maintain a constant feel from full shots through putts, just like a standard overlap grip.
- It presents the golfer with the best feedback during the stroke.
- Golfers who cannot control their grip pressure find it difficult to work with the grip.
- It does not inhibit the right hand (for right-handed golfers) if it becomes overactive during the stroke.
Overlapping Putting Grip (Vardon Overlap Grip)
This putting grip gained its ‘Vardon Overlap’ name from the illustrious professional English golfer, Harry Vardon. It became popular in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The grip is among the ones that pro golfers mostly use. With the grip, the right hand (for right-handed golfers) in the middle of the left index and middle fingers of the left hand while overlapping the fingers. The thumb of the left hand should fit in the lifeline of the right hand.
- The Vardon overlap grip works well for golfers with large or strong hands since they usually overlap. It gives the hands an ideal connection without restricting motion, making the golfer to release the putter with a thorough impact.
- Golfers with small or weak hands may find it difficult to work with the putter.
Interlocking Putting Grip
This is yet another one of the most used grips by golfers. It is preferable for golfers with small hands, weak forearms and wrists, and beginner golf players. With the Interlock grip, the little finger on the right hand (for right-handed players) and the index finger on the left-hand twist. The thumb on the left hand should fit in the lifeline of the right hand.
- For players with small hands, this grip joins the hands and reduces too much wrist movement. It also provides a solid hold on the handle without having to use a stiff grip, and this reduces the swing tension.
- The handle can stray into the palms.
- Many golfers find the grip uncomfortable to use.
Cross-Handed Putting Grip (Left Hand Low)
In this grip, golfers (right-handed) position their left hands on the putter under their right hands. This is the contrast of a normal grip. How the left hand and right-hand join varies. The left pinkie finger can lie either on top or below the right index finger. Alternatively, the left index finger can point straight down and lie on the fingers of the left hand at a right angle. The left and right thumbs must lie on top of the putter’s grip for extra support.
- It works well for players whose right hands (or left hands for left-handed players) are excessively active during the stroke.
- Lining up and keeping the face square is simpler with this grip since the left hand is nearer to the head of the putter.
- The cross-handed putting grip positions the left arm and wrist in line making it is easy to keep the left-hand flat.
- Despite being perfect for placing the putter head square to the target in line with this grip, it is difficult for the golfer to feel the pace of the putts since the dominant hand is distant from the putter’s head.
The Claw Putting Grip
This putting grip has been famous since the early 2000s, and more professional golfers are now using it. There are various ways in which the right hand (for right-handed golfers) lies on the putter. The left hand, however, will always hold the putter the same way, ensuring that the thumb lies flat on top of the putter grip. The right hand should be two to four inches away from the left hand.
- The right-hand boosts the grip pressure of the left hand because of its passive position.
- Using this putting grip even during practice sessions alone can assist the golfer to feel the right grip pressure with the left hand in the stroke.
- The elbow falls on the left arm, causing a pull. If the elbows are not lined up properly, it interferes with the alignment of the forearms. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the position of the forearms to be certain they are parallel to the target line.
Arm-Lock Putting Grip
With this putting grip, the handle of the club connects to the inside of the left forearm (for right-handed players). This joining should not break at any stage of the stroke. Note that having the putter handle against the forearm does not form anchoring as it is constituted under Rule 14-1b (The player may use any putting grip with the arm lock method so long as they maintain the forward angle of the putter through the stroke).
- The arm lock grip in a belly putter or long putter forms a perfect substitute for anchoring.
- The arm-lock grip maintains the hands ahead of the ball through impact.
- This putting grip needs a putter with at least six degrees of loft and sufficient length for the handle to lie flat against the inside of the left forearm.
- It can be difficult for golfers to line up the face of the putter due to the angle of the shaft slanting towards the hole.
Prayer Putting Grip (Palm Facing Grip)
This putting grip is characterized by the palms facing each other. Therefore, it can be sometimes referred to as ‘Palms Facing Grip’. Usually, the thumbs are placed alongside each other. The player can place the right fingers on top of the left or vice versa.
- While using this grip, the hands are usually at the same level making the shoulders to be at the same level as well. This enhances the pendulum of the stroke as it forms a proper triangle between the shoulders and the arms.
- For both thumbs to fit perfectly next to each other, the putter has to be wider.
Ten Finger Putting Grip (Baseball Grip)
With this grip, begin with the suitable lead hand, followed by the trailing hand placing its little finger close against the index finger of the lead hand. Cover the thumb of the lead hand with the lifeline of the trailing hand.
- The ten-finger grip offers more contact with the ball, making the strike more solid.
- It helps a golfer achieve more distance and leverage.
- It helps receive more release from the division of impact.
- It is good for people suffering from joint pain, arthritis, those with small and weak hands, and beginners.
- The right hand may overpower the left hand during the stroke, making it easy to lose the potency of the shot or hitting crooked shots.
- Since all the right-hand fingers are on the club during the stroke, the hands split leading to depletion of power.
Even though there is no putting grip considered right or wrong among the various types, it is important for a golfer to learn what the correct way is to correctly grip a putter in a way that works best for them. A good grip makes controlling the clubface and squaring it through impact with the ball much easier. A bad grip, on the other hand, allows for the movement of the top of the backswing possibly leading to excessive swinging.