Hello and welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. This week we’re going to have another look at putting and potential ways to improve your confidence and stroke. We are going to look at potential ways to hold the putter and how this can influence your putting technique.
When it comes to holding a putter there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to hold it. On tour you see many different styles of putter as well as different shapes of grips and consequently hand positions.
I don’t do anywhere near as many putting lessons as I would like to. Partly because we don’t have a grass putting green but also because I think this gets overlooked by club golfers. I have seen a few different coaches myself who specialise in putting and they have some amazing technical equipment to help understand the art of putting. I can almost guarantee less putts on the golf course by having a lesson and purely focusing on grip, set up, alignment and perception of the stroke.
Now lets have a look at some ways you can hold it to try and improve your putting. Take a look at the video to see examples of what we’re talking about.
This is the traditional way to hold a putter. The right hand sits below the right when holding the other clubs so it kind of makes sense to hold it this way. This feels most comfortable for most players but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. When holding it like this I often see people break their wrists too much and flick the clubhead towards the ball. This can cause inconsistency with strike and start direction. Even though the right hand it below the left like the other clubs, the fingers can be in different positions. Some people like to interlock or overlap more of the back fingers for more control. I try to encourage people to put their thumbs straight down the front of the grip. I don’t for full shots.
This way is often used by people who over rotate the clubface and miss left. If you get prone to flicking the wrists, placing the left hand below the right can stabilise the left wrist. This is a very common method and can be seen on tour by some of the best putters including Jordan Spieth. If you have never done it before it can seem scary and unreliable but like anything it takes practice. If you don’t class yourself as a good putter anyway what do you have to lose? A change could make you a better putter in the long run.
There are a few different variations of the claw and this also takes a fair bit of practice. This type of hold takes most of the right hand out of the equation. Controlling the putter face with the left hand and just gently guiding and stabilising the putter with the right hand has been a preferred method for some great putters including Tommy Fleetwood. This type of grip has been used when neither of the above methods work. I have tried all of the grips mentioned and under pressure this one has been the most reliable.
When coaching I use this hold on the putter to improve tempo and engage the correct muscle groups. This hold involves placing the palms either side of the grip and placing the middle fingers down the side. The hands should be symmetrical and placed an equal distance down the grip. When you squeeze the hands together and create a putting stroke you can feel the core, back and shoulders engaging. This is how you can get more control over the putter instead of just flicking with the hands. Next time you’re on the putting green try this hold and create a rhythm to get a pace for the greens. Some people hold it this way or at least similar to it. Personally I struggle holding it like this when playing but really like it as a drill.
There are thousands upon thousands of putter grips on the market and finding the correct one for you can be difficult. You have to feel them and try them to know if they work for you. We have a large selection in the shop and sometimes a new putter grip on the oldest of putters can make a huge difference. If you have a trusty putter but the rubber is coming off in your hands just replace the grip. Get a grip that suits the way you want to hold it and not adjust your hands to the grip that is on the putter. We also have a large selection of putters in stock with varying grip sizes so if you are in the market for a new putter come and see me and I can do you a quick putter fitting.
I cannot tell you how important it is to have a putter and a grip you can trust and rely on. I have been through some testing times with a putter and I have eventually found a putter and grip combo I can trust. Eliminating 3 putts and holing more 6 foot putts to save pars and birdies is a great feeling. It also dramatically improves your scores!
There is no right or wrong way to hold a putter. You have to find what works for you and for some people the conventional method doesn’t always work. You need to hold the putter in a way that gives you confidence and works under pressure.
If you would like a putting lesson, putter fitting, or new grip on your putter please get in contact. Like I said at the start I don’t feel like I give enough attention to people’s putting and would love to do more of it.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon.