Should You Change Your Putting Grips

The putting grip is the one area in all golf that probably differs the most among both tour players and amateurs alike. The type of putting grip is something that is somewhat personal as long as it gets the job done. Each style of putting grip carries with it different pros and cons. The best putting grip for you will depend on what you personally want to accomplish and improve on.

Before making a change there are some questions to ask yourself in order to make this decision. Ask yourself the following questions first;

(1) Does your putting grip feel comfortable and does not cause any undo tension?
(2) Does your grip help keep your wrists from flexing during your stroke?
(3) Does your grip encourages your upper body, shoulders and arms, to swing as one complete unit?
(4) Does your grip help keep the putter face square at impact?
(5) Does your grip provide a sensitive feeling in your hands?

If you can answer yes to all these questions you should probably stick to the grip you are using now.  Greg Norman’s advice on putting grip styles is simple stick to what you have if it works. However, if you’re current grip is lacking in one or more of these areas then it maybe to your benefit to experiment with a new putting grip. Many touring professionals well make changes or try different putting grips. Bernard Langer was experiencing a bad case of the putting yips so he designed his own grip to combat the problem. Mark O’Mera changed to the saw grip, or also called the claw grip, to help reduce his right hand from over controlling his putts. Even Tiger Woods has made slight alterations to his grip in the past.

If you do decide to make a change the number one rule of advice is give it sufficient time to develop and get comfortable with. Changing your grip can be a very difficult adjustment,  this is especially true when you are changing your swing grip. Once you decide to change and feel this well work out better then commit to it. Below is an explanation on the more common putting grips used and their benefits for using  them.

Reverse Overlap:

Reverse Overlap Grip

Reverse Overlap Grip

The most common grip used is the reverse overlap grip.  It is almost the same as your regular swing grip but your left index finger wraps on top of your right fingers. This is where the term reverse overlap comes into play. Notice the image to the right how the left index finger is overlapping the right little finger.

The advantage of this grip is that it helps gives you the feeling that your grip is merely an extension of your forearms. It also encourages a solid unity with your hands and the upper body as one complete unit. The final advantage of this grip is that it helps cut down on any flexing of your wrists.

 Cross Handed Grip:

cross-hand

Cross Hand Grip

The cross handed grip is where you reverse the positions of your hands on the club. The left hand is lower down the shaft while the right hand is farther back.

The main advantage to this style is that it helps level out the shoulders in the putting set up. Another advantage with the cross handed grip is the left wrist is much firmer which helps keep the putter club face square at impact.

The Claw or Saw Grip:

Claw Grip

Claw Grip

This grip has the right hand lay on top of the putter shaft so that the fingers rest on the top flat area of the club shaft. Then position your right thumb under the shaft to act as an anchor for the top of the right hand.

This grip style helps take the right hand out of play and forces the left to take control of the putting stroke. For golfers who are right handed and have a very controlling right hand then this style may be a beneficial change.

 Bernard Langer Grip:

BERNARD_LANGER_GRIP

Bernard Langer Grip

This grip is named after touring pro Bernhard Langer to help cure his problem with the putting yips. To form this place your left hand at the low point on the putting shaft and point your index finger down the shaft.  Then wrap your right hand at the top of the grip so that the fingers grab the back of your left arm. Also, have your thumb on your right hand lay slightly above your left wrist.

This grip style strongly encourages the left arm and hand to act as one unit and keeps the left wrist from flexing. It also helps in reducing any unwanted movements if you are experiencing the jitters.

Two Fingers Down Grip

Two Fingers Down Grip

 Two Fingers Down:

This is a small change to the reverse overlap grip in where the only change is to run the index fingers down the shaft.  This minor change aids in keeping the cub face square and adds additional feel to your grip.

 Palm to Palm Grip:
This grip is designed by having the inside of your two hands facing each other so that your two palms are parallel to each other.  The left hand fingers will

Palm to Palm Grip

Palm to Palm Grip

completely wrap around the right hand fingers and you can either wrap the index fingers or point them down the shaft.

The advantage to this grip is that it helps keep either hand from dominating the putting stroke. However the disadvantage is that it is harder to keep the wrists from flexing and therefore you loss control of distance and accuracy.

 

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