When you swing a driver or an iron, there are some very specific guidelines on how you should hold the golf club. On the putting green, however, you can grip the club however you would like as long as you can repeat the stroke consistently.
There are certain putter grips that have become more well-known through the years. These grips allow golfers to keep the putter face square and get through the impact zone with ease.
Let’s take a look at 5 different types of putter grips and which one is best for your game.
Whenever I look at a golfer using the claw grip, the first thing that comes to mind is that they don’t know how to hold a putter. Of course, this isn’t true; this one just looks odd, like you have your hands mixed up.
However, Phil Mickelson even gave the claw a try when he won the PGA Championship. Phil has always struggled with putting consistency, especially on putts under 10 feet, and he seems to be a bit better once switching to the claw.
For this particular grip, you will hold your left in place at the top of the club with the thumb pointed down the shaft. Next, you will take your right hand and grab the club underneath with just the thumb and the index finger. The other fingers rest in the back.
The claw grip is undoubtedly not the most common option in the game, but it works well for those with hands that are not all that steady in their swing.
- It can help to calm hands and wrists
- Encourages more consistency in the stroke
- It proves to be effective on shorter putts
- It can be hard to get the hands in the correct position each time
- Not as great for arc style, putting stroke
Pros Who This Putting Grip Style: Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson
Best For: If you have a straight back straight through putting stroke and need more consistency, this is an excellent grip to try. If you think the claw putter grip may be for you, read our full guide on the claw putter grip here.
Cross Handed (aka Left Hand Low)
The cross handed putting grip can also be referred to as the left hand low. This is a common putter grip used to increase stability and decrease wrist action. Golfers on the PGA Tour use the cross handed grip often, and it’s an excellent option for amateur golfers to think about as well.
With the cross handed grip, things are kept pretty simple. Right handed golfers will have their right hand low on the club and the left hand up high. The fact that the hands are switched keeps your wrists from hinging and allows for more consistency.
The problem with the left hand low is that it can feel a little restrictive on longer putts. It can also take some time to figure out how to get the hands to work together during the putting stroke.
- Very simple putting grip style to learn
- Players can almost immediately switch to this without much learning curve
- This does not feel all that strong on longer putts
- It can be a bit restrictive
Pros Who This Putting Grip Style: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson
Best For: The cross handed putter grip is best for those that have trouble with flipping their wrists in their golf putting stroke. If you want a more detailed cross handed putting stroke explanation, read our full article here.
The reverse overlap is such a popular putter grip that it is actually called the conventional putter grip style. If you want to hold the putter like Tiger Woods, this is also the putter grip to consider.
When I play around with my putting stroke and experiment with different methods, the reverse overlap is always the easiest to get my hands into. This grip feels more natural than others and increases the ability to keep the putter face square.
For the reverse overlap, you will put your right hand on the bottom of the club in the typical position. When you grab the club with your left hand, put only the ping and ring finger on the grip and have the middle and index finger overlap your right hand.
Players will experiment with different exact locations of the fingers. The key is that the hands are slightly more connected and that there is less room for movement in the putting stroke. With the reverse overlap, you will also want to be sure you are not digging your fingers into the other hand.
This grip has a tendency to feel weak, but added grip pressure is certainly not going to help.
- Easy to get your hands in the right position
- Feels more controlled
- It can help eliminate excessive wrist motion
- Not as effective at working with unwanted wrist action as something like the left-hand low-putting grip
Pros Who This Putting Grip Style: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy
Best For: If you know that your regular putting grip is not working, this is the best place to start. Use the reverse overlap for a few rounds and see if it does the trick to help make your putting stroke more consistent; it works for arc style and straight back straight through. If this putting stroke interests you, you can find out more here about the reverse overlap.
I always find it funny when teaching about the arm lock that the two players who use this putting grip style are two golfers that can be considered quirky. Bryson Dechambeau is known as the scientist on the PGA Tour.
He analyzes and dissects things that most golf professionals would not worry about. However, he feels as though this helps his game. He uses the arm lock putting style as it is helpful in creating rigidity and consistency in this putting stroke.
If you have seen Keegan Bradley play, then you likely know how he is when it comes to pre-shot routines and movement on the golf course. The Arm lock putter grip style allows him to lock into place and take the shot.
Many golfers that use the arm lock putting stroke will use an extended length putter. However, depending on your height and the setup that is comfortable for you, you can use a standard-length putter with a longer arm lock grip.
To properly hold the putter in the arm lock style, you must have one arm extended almost completely down the grip, and then at the bottom, you will be able to grip the club in a reverse overlap way.
Essentially golfers look as though the left forearm has a putter grip pressing up against it for most of the putting stroke. As you can imagine, this creates a stable motion.
- Very consistent on shorter putts
- Allows players to stay more centered
- Does not feel weaker for long putts
- More calculated method of putting
- Need to put a new grip on your putter
Pros Who This Putting Grip Style: Keegan Bradley, Bryson Dechambeau
Best For: Golfers that are more calculated in their putting style and want to improve the number of putts they make inside 10 feet may want to give this one a try. Check out our full arm lock putting grip guide here.
Prayer Putting Grip
The prayer putting grip is a unique style where your hands are on both sides of the putter. The prayer putting grip helps decrease grip pressure for those who tend to add too much pressure when swinging the putter.
With the prayer putter grip, you will have one hand on one side of the shaft and the other hand on the other side of the shaft, with the hands facing each other. The thumbs and the index finger point straight down.
This is a funky grip to get used to at first.
When your hands are put on the club, you will notice that the grip pressure is reduced almost because you feel as though there isn’t a way to grab the club appropriately. This is, of course, the goal, but it does make it more difficult to feel stable in your putting stroke.
I have difficulty with the prayer putting grip on the golf course. When I’m practicing and working on different putting strokes, it always feels good, but translating on the golf course is hard. It feels like I need just a little more pressure in the hands and a little more traction to stay controlled.
- Golfers can reduce their grip pressure
- Easy to repeat the hand position each time as it is pretty simple
- The putter grip feels less stable
- It can be difficult on longer putts
Pros Who This Putting Grip Style: Matt Wallace
Best For: The prayer-putting grip is best for those that struggle with too much pressure in their hands and the grip. The only problem with this one is that it creates such a reduction in pressure in the hands that you will sometimes have difficulty controlling the club. Some players use this as a drill on the putting green to get used to the lighter pressure and switch to reverse overlap.