When it comes to different ways to grip a putter, you may know just a few things. Likely, you already know how you like to grip the putter, even if you don’t know the technical name of that grip style. And maybe you’re familiar with the grip styles of a few of your favorite golfers, too.
But there’s a fascinating history behind different grip styles, why some are suited best for certain players, and which ones have become indelibly linked with iconic golfers. If you’re already in the know when it comes to how SuperStroke putter grips majorly up your game, the next step is narrowing in on the right grip style for you. Find out more about the history behind grip styles, which grip styles the pro’s rely on most, and consider whether it’s time to switch yours up.
The history behind golf grip styles
Putting grip styles have been around since putters were invented, as far back as the 16th century when golfers played with clubs made with wooden heads. Through the centuries, as golf clubs improved and were continuously refashioned in new materials, golfers have also been tinkering with the best way to grip their putter.
It may be no surprise, but today the most popular putting grip style is the conventional, or reverse overlap grip. This is likely due to the fact that it’s the putting grip style most like the grip many golfers use with regular clubs. But there’s an interesting history behind some of the grip styles that break the mold beyond the conventional.
One such grip is the left-hand low putting grip (also referred to as cross-handed). Like the conventional, it’s one of the oldest used grip styles, dating back to Orville Moody, who used it to win the 1969 U.S. Open. Today, it’s used by many pro’s, perhaps most famously by Jordan Spieth, for whom the Flatso grip is such a natural fit.
Another putter grip style that’s gained popularity in more recent years is the claw putting grip, first used by Chris DiMarco. 2018 marked a big year for the claw grip style, as four of the twenty-four golfers at the Ryder Cup deployed this method.
Who each grip style is best suited for
As we’ve mentioned, the most common grip style amongst the pro’s is the conventional, or reverse overhand grip, which is when the right hand is placed below the left hand. This is a grip that’s especially suited for golfers with larger hands, and it helps to eliminate grip pressure.
It’s also very close to the golf grip most golfers use for regular clubs, so it makes sense that many pro’s don’t deviate when it comes to putting. Two of the pro’s who consistently rely on this putting grip style are Patrick Cantalay and Sungjae Im.
The left-hand low (or cross-handed) putting grip is one of the most popular non-traditional grip styles that caters to many players. Some of these might be lefties, like Jordan Spieth – a natural lefty who golfs right handed – or just someone looking to quiet their wrists during the putting motion and rely more on the bigger, more stable shoulder muscles to create a balanced pendulum for great steadiness and control.
There’s a shorter adjustment period when trying this style for the first time, and if you’re curious about switching things up, the left-hand low putting grip may just be the best one to try out first. In fact, Jack Nicklaus has said that if he had to teach someone to putt, he’d start them out cross-handed.
The claw is another style to try if you’re looking to switch things up. It has a very distinctive look, typically with left hand in conventional top position and the right hand holding the club handle between the thumb and forefinger as your palm faces your torso. If you find you like the feel, you can also get some further assistance from the Traxion Claw Putter Grip, which was specifically designed for golfers who use this grip style.
One final style we haven’t spent too much time on already is the wrist-lock style, first used by Bernhard Langer. Similar to the claw, the right hand isn’t used much, but unlike the claw the left hand also takes a backseat. Instead, this grip requires the use of your arms and shoulders to make a steady, pendulum-type stroke to propel the ball forward. The Wrist Lock Grip is a natural fit for this grip style, engineered to keep your wrist in place.
Which is more important: grip style or the type of putter grip?
There are a lot of good questions to ask when it comes to grip styles, and one is a chicken vs. the egg-type question: which matters more, the way you hold the putter or the type of grip you’re using? We’d have to say, both!
There are grip styles that are naturally suited for certain golfers based on their preferences, comfort of the grip and whether they’re right or left-handed. But knowing your grip style will only get you so far. It’s important to have the right tools and use a grip uniquely suited to compliment your grip style. You can easily learn more about the differences between golf grips and find out which putter is best suited for that grip to make the right purchasing decision for your game.