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Various Ways to Grip the Putter
Find Which Grip Works Best For You

Learn how to grip the putter with varying styles.Get a Grip
There Are Limited Variations With a Full Swing Grip

When you grip the club to make a full swing the only variation is what you do with your pinky finger of your rear hand (right hand for right handed players). You can put it against the index finger of your front hand (baseball grip), you can overlap it over the index finger of your front hand (overlap grip) or you can lock it with the index finger of your front hand (interlock grip). Now I say the only variation is the position of the rear pinky, but of course you could turn one or both hands into a strong or weak position to change the grip up a bit. In the world of golf instruction however, a general consensus on what a "neutral" grip position is has pretty much been reached. Therefore, once you achieve that neutral position, the only thing to vary is the pinky finger.

What's Your Style?

With the putting grip though, you have hundreds of options. That's right; hundreds. Whether you've seen it at your local club, or on t.v., you've seen hardly a putting grip match from one player to the next even in the same group. Just like in the full swing grip there are a few things we must have standard in a solid putting grip before we throw in some variation. With all solid putting grips we should hold the handle in the palms of our hands with our palms facing each other and our thumbs pointing straight down. I will explain later how you may alter the position of the rear palm, but not the front palm. This palm hold puts us in a neutral position and helps eliminate excessive hand and wrist action. Aside from that there are a number of ways we can position our rear hand:

  • Traditional - In a traditional grip (baseball grip), the rear (right) hand is below yet touching the front (left) hand.
  • Reverse Overlap - In the reverse overlap grip the which is by far the most popular grip we reverse our full swing grip. Instead of overlapping the pinky finger of our right hand over our left index finger we switch it up and overlap the index finger of our left hand over our right pinky finger. This puts our front hand in a more dominant position and helps to overcome the urge to flip the rear hand.
  • Left Hand Low - In the left hand low grip we simply reverse the hands altogether where the left hand sits lower on the grip (for right handers) than the right, yet the positions of the palms and fingers are the same.
  • Rear Hand Variations - There are so many ways to vary the rear hand it's too much to list in one article. The Saw Grip and Pencil Grip are two common styles. You may even see some players grab their front forearm and hold the handle flush against it with their rear hand. Regardless of what you do with your rear hand it's important to keep the grip in the palm of the front hand and in a neutral position so you won't force the putter face open or closed at impact.

Your Grip Position Has Huge Influence

Which grip you choose is really up to you. Gripping the putter is probably the part of the game where you can really let your own style shine. It's just a matter of finding out which one gives you the best stroke and the most confidence and feel. One thing's for sure, your grip influences 3 very important things:

  • Your tension level - Having your hands in too strong of a position or a position that feels awkward can up your tension level. Tension is obviously the enemy to a smooth putting stroke. The more tense your arms, wrists, hands and shoulders are, the more jerky your stroke will be.
  • Your tempo - Again, an awkward position or one that makes you too handsy can make controlling your tempo and being consistent with it a real challenge.
  • Your clubface position and path - Too strong of a grip can make you shut the putter face through impact, whereas too weak of a grip can make you force the face open. With too strong of a grip it's easy to roll the club inside and with a weak grip it's very easy to take it outside on the takeaway. Both hands should be in as neutral a position as possible to combat inconsistent strikes.

Being comfortable is just as about as important as being neutral. If something doesn't feel right you simply are just not going to trust it. There is no place where trust is more important than on the greens. Second guessing is easy to do while standing over a putt, but having a grip that feels good, that you know keeps the face neutral and keeps your stroke on a good path will give you the confidence you need to bury a lot of putts.

The Situation:

You are trying to find a putting grip that works for you.

The Solution:

Stick with the basics and hold the putter in the palms of your hand with your thumbs pointing straight down. This will put you in a neutral position and one that will help keep the face square through impact. From there the style you choose is really up to you. You can try going through some of the examples listed above on the practice green to find one that works. This is just a sample as putting grips vary greatly. Keep in mind that any change is going to take hours on the practice green before you reach the point of feeling comfortable and trusting it on the course.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
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