What Are the Different Putting Grip Styles, and Which One Should I Use?
If you are new to the world of golfing, you must know that putting is one of the most elemental aspects of the game. If you can master this, you have a bright future ahead of you in terms of golf. Here we will demonstrate the different putting grip styles with their corresponding pros and cons.
You also need to acknowledge that determining the correct style for you is only one piece of the puzzle. Practicing is what counts. You can obtain cool, complementary tools for that here and here.
However, you should be aware that this is explained from the perspective of right-handed players. This means that if you are left-handed you should think of the explained techniques in opposite ways.
Which Grip Style Should I Use?
The short answer is: It is completely up to you. Golfing is a highly personal sport that involves vast amounts of sensorial feedback. This implies that whatever works for you will be just fine as long as you can putt the ball in the cup the largest amount of times possible. Therefore, you should experiment with all of them to find out which one works best for you and which one is the most comfortable as well.
Different Putting Grip Styles
Reverse Overlap (“The Traditional One”)
Reverse overlap is a style that looks pretty much the same as the overlap you use for driving the ball, although adapted for putting. Most of the PGA Tour pros use this one. Some of the most popular names are Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Reverse overlap is very good for locking your hands and diminishing overt wrist hinging. Because of this, clubface rotation is also reduced, which stands for more precision while also having the comfort of being able to engage both hands in the action.
If you are a type of player that still likes to use the wrist hinges to generate extra power in your shots, this might not be the best-suited style for you, as it is particularly good at preventing that.
This is the only style that involves a symmetrical activation of both hands. As the name suggests, it consists of placing both hands in an identical position, akin to the one that takes place when praying, hence the rather predictable name.
“The Prayer” allows you to apply a smooth stroke while avoiding a superfluous exertion of force to grip the club. It is a valuable balance between symmetry and power. It certainly permits more fluidity of motion, as jittery movements are eliminated.
Some players report the feeling that the club is going to slip anytime soon. If you like feeling that you have a secure hold of it, this grip may not prove to be beneficial. It is also quite inefficient when you wield wider grips.
This one is an analogous opposite to the reverse overlap, as your hands are inverted. For this form of shooting, the right hand goes at the top, and the left hand at the bottom. In fact, world-famous golfer Jack Nicklaus once claimed to have wanted to learn this style.
If you have an overactive dominant hand this style works best for you, as much of its action is reduced by simply locating it in a place where it holds less leverage for power outputs.
Your dominant hand isn’t dominating the movement, meaning that you have to learn how to use your non-dominant hand properly in order to make this style work for you.
The Arm Lock involves using a type of putt with longer shafts, which means you’ll have to invest in an additional club. It is similar to the reverse overlap, but the player uses the longer part of the shaft to rest the club on the non-dominant hand’s forearm for extra stability.
It is a style that provides major stability and reduction of clubface angle alterations. It makes you putt in a straighter line. For some golfers, it seems to be more comfortable than the regular reverse overlap.
It tends to take away from the feel of the shot and adds more tension to the arm, resulting in a high likelihood of fatigue, especially after long hours of playing.
Clawed Arm Lock
This style is composed of the combination of two styles: The Claw—to be explained later—and the Arm Lock. Its outcome is a pseudo-robotic, stable putt.
For those golfers that need an additional sense of stability in their short-range shots, this style comes in handy.
It can be way too rigid for some. In addition, the dominant hand is removed from the equation, as it only serves the purpose of stability. The success of the shot practically solely relies on the non-dominant arm.
Arm Lock with Broomstick
The Arm Lock with Broomstick is highly unorthodox for two reasons: firstly, it requires very strange moves, and secondly because you need a club specifically designed—or at the very least, modified—for this variation.
When you follow this style you make use of most of your body’s larger muscle groups. This entails that you are less prone to short muscle fatigue. Pros like Bernhard Langer, and Adam Scott favor this style.
It can become highly inconvenient and awkward for many golfers. As a matter of fact, fewer golfers employ this method by the day because of these aspects. The logistical cons by themselves can outweigh any possible pros.
When using “The Claw”, you just pinch the putter with your dominant hand, while the non-dominant hand gets hold of it. This style became famous after Phil Mickelson made use of it to become the 2021 PGA Champion.
If you possess somewhat wild wrists and hands, and clubface angle control is something you struggle with, this style is for you. The limited movement of joints coupled with a square clubface helps you sort this out.
It may feel very unnatural to you, especially if you belong to a reverse overlap background. Also, the club moves in a back and forth motion instead of an arc. You may not become accustomed to this.
As you can see, there are many styles you can work around with. You only need to remember one single concept: you have to find one style that suits you. For more tips on how to become a greater golfer go to https://back2basics.golf/.