4 of the Most Popular Putting Grips the Pros Use Today
Every confident golfer knows the best place to shave strokes from your game is on the putting green. But all too often, players spend more time at the driving range.
Unless you’re a hole-in-one machine, every single hole requires a putt. That’s why so many golfers (including 100+ professionals) have added the Perfect Practice putting mat to their homes and offices. But any putting practice would be incomplete without considering your grip.
What grip do you use, and is it the right grip for your game? Browse our Perfect Practice guide below to learn about the most popular grips and how they can help your golf game.
How to Hold a Putter
There is no “right” way
While just about everybody holds a driver or iron the same way, it’s an entirely different game when you make it to the green. The way you hold your putter might not seem like a big deal to a beginner, but an experienced golfer knows your putter grip can undeniably influence your score.
At the same time, here’s another important reminder:
There’s truly no “correct” way to hold your putter.
Once you’ve taken some time to practice on a putting mat or putting green, it becomes much easier to understand what tendencies your grip can counteract and which grip is best for you.
The Different Putting Grips
From the most popular putting grip on the PGA Tour to newer innovations
When we talk about your putting grip, you’ll often hear the term “right hand” to refer to the lower (or more dominant) hand in your grip. But that’s no help for the lefties, so we’ll be referring to your “dominant” and “non-dominant” hands or your “lead” and “trailing” hands.
While there are a number of different putting grip variations, today, we’ll discuss four popular styles used by pros and amateurs alike:
- The Conventional (Reverse Overlap Grip)
- The Cross-Handed Grip (Left-Hand Low)
- The Claw
- The Wrist-Lock
The Conventional (Reverse Overlap) Grip
A good rule of thumb for any new golfer will be to start with the most conventional grip and experiment from there. This is the “reverse overlap” grip, which is a slight variation of the grip you would use with any other club.
For a long time, if you weren’t using this conventional grip – you were doing something wrong. That makes it no surprise that it continues to be the most common grip on the PGA Tour. With this one, you start with your dominant hand lower. Then, the forefinger of your non-dominant hand overlaps your dominant hand’s fingers or interlocks with the pinky on your dominant hand. To finish the grip, your thumbs both point downward.
The beauty of the reverse overlap grip is that it still provides adequate feel, without completely disconnecting your dominant hand from the putter head. However, this is also where it can become a liability for some golfers. If you find that your dominant hand is just a little too eager, a grip that reigns it in might produce a smoother, less stuttery stroke.
As the second most popular grip on the PGA tour, the cross-handed grip (also known as the “left-hand low” grip for right-handed golfers) switches things up to put your non-dominant hand lower. This places your dominant hand in a position where it gives power to the clubhead without going overboard.
The cross-handed grip also brings your shoulders into a more level position, which accomplishes a few things. A conventional grip encourages more open shoulders, which can lead to putts being pulled to one side. By leveling your shoulders with a cross-handed grip, it’s easier for some golfers to line their putts up more accurately by improving their stance from the get-go.
For most golfers, the hands and wrists are a huge source of inaccuracy while putting. If you find your putting stroke relies too heavily on the feel in your hands and wrists, the cross-handed grip might be right for you. By lessening the influence of your hands and wrists, it forces muscle groups like your shoulders, arms, and hips to join the party. For many golfers, the end result of this full-body collaboration is a putt that’s more accurate and consistent.
The Claw Grip
The claw grip is the third most popular grip on the PGA Tour. It’s one of the stranger-looking grips out there, which brings up an important reminder for any golfer: whatever gets the ball in the hole works. If it’s legal and it works for you, you should use it! After all, the ball doesn’t know how the club is being gripped.
Like the cross-handed grip, the claw grip takes the power away from your hands and your wrists and places it on your shoulders instead. Here’s how to form it:
- Imagine your lead forearm and your putter shaft forming a line. Grip the putter shaft in your lead hand (along your hand’s lifeline), with the grip resting on your index finger.
- Next, wrap your lead hand’s fingers around the grip. The thumb should be gently resting on the top of your grip.
- When your trailing hand enters the picture, its palm is facing the hole with your thumb and index finger on either side of the handle. Your thumb will be slightly in front, the webbing of your fingers will be touching the rear of your grip, and your index finger will be slightly behind.
By taking the power out of your hands and almost eliminating the wrists completely, it’s much easier to stop “THE YIPS”. Ever seen a golfer choke at the last second and putt 3 feet instead of 10? That’s the yips. And while “The Yips” may make a great band name, no golfer ever wants to share the putting stage with them.
The Wrist Lock
The wrist-lock grip is another grip that’s focused on eliminating the bad influence your wrists have on your stroke. This style has gained quite a bit of popularity over the years. It borrows some of the same principles as the arm-lock putting style, without being quite as outlandish looking.
The most common method uses a conventional grip with your lead hand above your trailing hand. The wrist of your lead hand should be pressed against the top of the putter’s handle. You can also accomplish this as a variation of a cross-handed grip.
As another way to reduce the moving parts of your putting stroke, wrist lock putting has become an increasingly popular method.
What is the most commonly used putter grip?
It should come as no surprise that the most commonly used putting grip is the conventional grip. Today, a majority of PGA tour players continue to use this grip because of how it balances the many competing forces at play. The hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders all work together to create a stroke that works well for many golfers. For some golfers, however, that balance can be a delicate one. For this reason, the conventional grip is a perfect starting place to discover where your accuracy suffers.
If you find that you’re turning the clubface or producing an inconsistent ball path – practicing your putt with one of the less common (but equally valid) styles could work well!
There’s your grip and then there’s your GRIP
The actual “leather” end of the golf club is also referred to as your grip, and it can have a big impact on the way you make your putter stroke.
Once you dial in the style you prefer on your putting practice mat, you can even find grips made specifically for your chosen putting style. In general, if you prefer something like the claw grip (with less hand and wrist action). Then, you’ll want a somewhat larger grip. This helps keep your hands in check, allowing your shoulders, arms, and hips to do the work.
What is the best putting grip for SuperStroke?
SuperStroke golf grips have become one of the most popular putter grips on the PGA tour for good reason. But with SuperStroke offering putter grips made specifically for different putting grip styles, finding the best putting grip for your preferred method can take a bit of practice.
For example, the SuperStroke WristLock putter grip is engineered specifically to prevent unwanted wrist motion. Naturally, it’s made to work well with the wrist lock grip. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a wide variety of SuperStroke grips that work well with any putting grip style.
What is the most popular putter grip on PGA tour?
Every golfer knows the shame and heartbreak that comes after sacrificing a birdie to a 4-putt. That’s why putting drills on a putting practice mat have become a favorite way for more than 100 PGA professionals to lower their scores on the course.
Still, it’s no shock that the conventional grip remains the most popular grip on the tour.
Who uses it: Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy
Other popular grips include:
- The Runner Up: Cross-handed grip (left-hand low)
Who uses it: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell, Pat Perez
- The Awesome Oddity: The claw grip
Who uses it: Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood
- The Consistency Builder: Wrist lock grips (and variations)
Who uses it: Bryson DeChambeaua, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar
The Bottom Line
There’s no better way to knock dozens of strokes off your golf game than by practicing your putting. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to experiment with your grip, practice makes perfect!That’s why we designed the Perfect Practice putting mat to be the best putting practice mat available. With easy-to-see track lines, it’s clear as day how different putting grips influence your ball path. And with a super convenient roll-back ball return, it’s easy to create the muscle memory that helps you sink putts like a pro.