How to Hold a Putter: 8 Correct Putting Grips

by Jon Birdsong on February 6, 2012

How to Hold a Putter: 8 Correct Putting Grips

The game of golf is won on the putting green and the starting point is putting grips. As we pivot most of our content on ATrueGolfer, it’s logical to start with putting, the most important part of the game. Careers have been built and ruined in thanks to the putter; how you hold the putter is the first step in finding your true golfing persona. Quality putting comes and goes and knowing your options on how to grip the putter is critical to adaptation, experimentation, and decision-making.

With the help of UGA standout and 09′ Walker Cup player, Adam Mitchell, we explore how to hold the putter through 8 different variations and the benefits and short-comings of each grip.

Remember, there is not a perfect putting grip. Each grip will provide different results based off your personal feel and experiences. After this article you should know some of the more popular ways to grip a putter.

Overlap Putting Grip

Used by the majority of golfers, the overlap putting grip is the most traditional putting grip. It provides minimum wrist flexibility while still maintaining a high degree of feel. Players who use the the overlap putting grip inclue, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer. When beginning to learn the game of golf, most golfers start off using the traditional overlap grip, it’s normally months if not years after beginning does one experiment with other grips. A major weakness in the overlap is the susceptibility of becoming too handsy and consistently mis-time the putting stroke. Below, Adam Mitchell shows us how he grips the putter using the overlap grip:

Overlap Putting Grip

Overlap Putting Grip

Interlock Putting Grip

The interlock putting grip is another popular putting style used amongst golfers. Similar to how many golfers hold an iron, the interlock putting grip is done by simply locking the pointer finger and the pinky. The benefit of this putting grip is the provides a significant amount of feel for the putter. Sometimes on very slow and bump greens a putter may switch to interlock grip in order to gain more feel on less consistent surface. The interlock grip can also lend itself to inconstancies that lead a golf to experiment in a grip that produces less feel but a more stable stroke. Below, Adam shows us how he grips the club using the interlock grip.

Interlock putting grip

Interlock Putting Grip

Cross Handed Putting Grip or Left-hand Low Putting Grip

The cross handed putting grip (often referred to as left hand low putting grip) gained popularity in the 90′s and remains prevalent in golf. There are many variations of the the cross handed putting grip and the benefits and weaknesses very significantly for person to person. However, in general, cross handed putting squares up the shoulders along the golfer’s line causing the shorter putts to have more consistency. The general short comings of cross handed putting is the lack of feel for the longer distanced putts. There have even been occasions where golfers will putt overlap for putts over 15 feet and cross handed for putts inside 15 feet. Below, Adam shows us how he holds the putter when he putts cross handed.

Cross Handed Putting Grip

Cross Handed Putting Grip

Reverse Overlap Putting Grip

The reverse overlap putting grip is very similar to the overlap putting grip except the following. Instead of your right hand’s pinky finger (for right handed players) overlapping the pointer finger of the left hand, the reverse occurs. The left hand’s pointer overlaps the right hand’s pinky. This is a small variation but produces an entirely different feel. The pros and cons of this grip are too individual to post. Below, Adam shows us how he grips the putting when using the reverse overlap putting grip.

Reverse Overlap Putting Grip

Reverse Overlap Putting Grip

Ten Finger Putting Grip (Baseball Putting Grip)

The ten finger putting grip was most popular in much earlier era of the sport. Back when the putting greens weren’t as smooth or consistent as they are today, golfers would use ten finger putting grip to maximize feel on the putting green. The ten finger putting grip is simple, below Adam shows us how golfers use the ten finger putting grip.

Ten Finger Putting Grip

Ten Finger Putting Grip

The Claw Putting Grip

The Claw Putting Grip has become a house hold name in the last decade of the sport. There are many variations of the claw which we show below. However, the greatest benefit of the claw is how it takes much of the wrist action out of the putting stroke causing the shoulders to do most of the work; thus creating a more consistent, steady stroke. Many players who develop the yips use the claw putting grip as it’s been found to take take much of the wrist break out of the stroke. Below, Adam shows us three different ways the claw putting grip can be used on the course.

The Claw Putting Grip

The Claw Putting Grip 1

 

The Claw Putting Grip 2

The Claw Putting Grip 2

 

The Claw Putting Grip

The Claw Putting Grip 3

Conclusion

Every golfer will have their preference when it comes to putting grips. The 8 different ways to grip a putter shown above the most common you’ll find today. It’s important to experiment with each one and remember that as your putting comes and goes, you’re now informed of the options available on the putting green. Good luck and let us know which one you like the most.


 

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Rubini February 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Great article. I am a recreational golfer and love the sport and always look to improve my game. I am very excited to try out some of these new grips once the weather allows.

Jon Birdsong February 14, 2012 at 7:59 am

Chris,

Thanks for the kind comments. Let me know how the experimentation goes.

Best,
Jon

Matt March 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

i was having a friendly discussion with my roommate and fellow golfer about pro putter grips. do you know of any pros that use the interlock grip?

Jon Birdsong March 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Current pros? No. Most of the pros that used interlock were in an earlier generation because the greens weren’t as pure and required a little bit more wrist action — hence — the interlock, to navigate the rougher greens. Good discussion with your roommate.

Ken Parker May 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’ve had the YIPS for a number of years and have tried everything, belly putter, left hand low (reverse), modified claw and nothing consistently worked until now.

My right hand (RH golfer) would always want to take over taking the club back too much on the inside and then provide a quick transition resulting in the RH twitch at impact with the ball either going right from open face or left from closed face.

I was experimenting again with the the LEFT HAND LOW (reverse) grip and happened to pick up one of my older putters that was 1″ shorter.

I felt like I was bending over too much so I had the butt end of the putter grip sitting in the meaty section of the right hand with the little finger resting on the very end.

INSTANTLY my right hand no longer felt dominant and I can now putt without the dreaded YIPS.

I’m again using my preferred 1″ longer putter with the same HIGH RH and stroke feels great.

For the first time in many years, I now feel in control.

Cheerz ;^)

Ed July 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Just realized after 17 years I have been putting with a baseball grip. Switched to overlap and my putts go straighter. Cup seems a lot bigger now!

Jon July 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Tiger Woods actually uses a reverse overlap grip contrary to what this article states (overlap grip).

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/short-game/putting/puttinggrips

Louie DePasquale July 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Excellent article on the “8 correct putting grips”! I have always had the yips (50 years) and have tried several different putting grips. Never had a problem with long putts over ten feet, however, the shorter the putt the “Yippier” I got! (Is there such a word as Yippier?) The last few years I switched to a modified reverse overlapp putting grip which seems to work well with the shorter putts. Although my hands were reversed, I locked my left wrist and wrapped the index and forefinger of my right hand around the pinky and ring finger of my left hand. Instead of a Pendulum Stoke I stroked it like a Piston (Staright back-Straight Thru) and let my right hand control the stroke/speed & distance. One thing I found to work well to control the didtance was a slow/straight back/dileberate backstroke and a controlled Straight Thru Follow Thru! Oh well, it worked for me!
What do you think of the the Long/Anchored Putters many of the Pros are using. My feeling is keep them long, however, it SHOULD NOT BE ANCHORED!
Louie De

Matt Russell July 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm

In response to Matt’s question about current pros who use the interlocking grip…Loren Roberts has always used this grip. He does advocate a little hinge in the wrists on the way back, so perhaps the grip helps with this.

Herbert Willi August 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

very, very interesting. May I ask you which grip you suggest for a 9 year old boy, HC 32 ?

Jon Birdsong August 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Herbert,

Good question. I think the overlap putting grip makes the most sense for a 9 year-old. That’s a great one to start with. Then let him experiment ways to improve and refine his putting. The reason I suggest overlap is, traditionally, that is the one that yields the most “feel” from a player. Younger players go more off feel and less off structured technique because they’re young.

Good luck and keep us updated on the progress.

Thanks,
Jon

15342 August 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm

What would you suggest for an experienced 11 year old

Jon Birdsong August 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

15342,

I would suggest keeping it as simple and basic as possible. The overlap is my suggestion for now. Again, experimentation will be necessary to find what is best.

Thanks,
Jon

Nam, Ng December 13, 2012 at 3:05 am

I have aquestion: can golfer hold the putter grip with fingers touch the sharp?

Jim Birdsong February 10, 2013 at 10:13 am

Enjoyed your info on grips. Nice to always see a Birdsong!!

Kevin March 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

I’ve always used the overlap. I’m a terrible putter that always pushes every put. Should I try another grip to stop pushing everything?

James January 8, 2014 at 4:39 pm

These are all great methods. The one variation of the standard overlap that is used by many today, including tiger woods, is when the pointer finger overlaps three fingers of the lower hand. This feels uncomfortable at first but after you get used to it it makes the hands more of a single unit.

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