In this post, we will be discussing some of the putting grips that you can use. There are many putting grips with many variations, that are used by golfers all with some success. There simply is not a one size fits all method that works for everyone.
The aim here is to find out which grip allows you to stroke the ball, on the line that you have picked. This requires that the putter face returns to the ball squarely, striking the ball on the sweet spot of the putter face.
The 3 main types of putting grips that we are going to talk through are:
- Right hand low
- Left hand low
- Claw grip
The basic idea of placing your hands on the putter revolves around the concept of the prayer grip. The prayer grip helps you to work the hands in unison rather than have one that is dominant.
The prayer grip foundation also helps you take the putter out of the fingers and into the palm of the hands. This ensures that the fingers that are attached to fast twitch muscle fibers, don’t cause a problem when your nervous trying to make a putt out on the course.
Next time you get nervous when you’re on the first tee or putting, look at your hands before you take your grip, are they shaking slightly? Well if they are, it is a natural effect of the hormone adrenalin flowing through the body.
Some call adrenalin the fight or flight hormone, which is designed to prepare the body for action. Now when you are putting which requires precision in the stroke and ball contact, shaking hands is not good. So, taking the putter grip out of the fingers is an advantageous thing to do.
Left Hand Low
Let’s get started on the grips themselves, with the left-hand low first. For a right-handed golfer, this method requires that the left hand is lower on the grip than the right. The basic premise with this method is that it is easier to pull the club through on the putting line than it is to push it.
An analogy that explains the concept would be, that of a car pulling a trailer? You never see a car pushing a trailer do you. Anyone who has had to reverse their car with a trailer attached, knows that this is a much more difficult maneuver compared to, pulling the trailer along the road. This is since it is far easier for keep the load stable if it is following the force.
When you attach this principle to putting, it is easier to pull the putter face (Load) along the putting line and through impact with the ball, than it is to push the putter.
When you place your grip on ensure that the putters grip runs over the lifeline of your hands and that the hands are connected without any gap. To ensure the hands stay connected allow the index finger of the right hand to overlap the fingers of the left.
Right Hand Low
For the right-hand low version, simply swap the position of the hands over with the right hand being lower than the left. This time the left-hand index finger overlays the right-hand fingers to keep the hands connected.
In the putting stroke, it’s important that the hands work as one unit throughout the stroke. This is important when you consider the concept of pulling the putter face along the target line through impact. We don’t want your normally dominant hand taking over and causing you to push the putter through impact.
The Claw Grip
You often see professional golfers who are struggling with their putting, adopting a claw type grip. This is a common alternative as it ensures that the dominant hand stays neutral.
The claw grip can be used with left- or right-hand low methods. For the left hand, low method simply take hold of the putter’s grip along the lifeline with the left hand. then using the thumb and fingers of the right hand for a pincer grip. The hands should be close together touching without any discernible gaps.
When you are trying out the different grips try to use an indoor putting mat. Test out each grip using the putting test we discussed at the start of the book. Putting mats generally come in 6ft lengths so test at 3ft and 6ft. Collate your scores and see which grip gives you the best results.
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