Ways to Grip a Putter

By Bill Herrfeldt

Most golfers choose one of three ways to grip their clubs, but there are almost countless ways they can grip a putter. When they hit a ball before reaching the green, the flight and distance of the ball depends on the makeup of their swings. But when they reach a green, it's only a matter of getting the ball in the cup in the fewest strokes possible. So they use a variety of grips to shorten their odds of making putts.

Conventional Grips

A high percentage of golfers grip the putter three ways. One way is to grip it with both hands, then overlap your right hand with the index finger of your left, assuming you are right-handed. Another is adapting the so-called Vardon grip, which means you will put you hands on the grip, side-by-side, and overlap your left hand with the pinkie of your right. The third is called the "baseball grip" because you grip the club with both hands and have all 10 fingers on the club.

Unconventional Grips

Some of the best players in the world have found new ways to grip their putters. Many touring professionals grip their putters "cross-handed" as a way to reduce the amount their wrists break when they putt. Then there are others who have adopted the "claw" grip. Assuming you are right-handed, place your left hand on the putter, then invert your right hand and place it just below your left, and hold the putter between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, with the fingers straight and pointing in the direction you want the ball to go.

Longer Putter, Different Grip

Some players have purchased longer putters to improve their games, but they have had to adapt their grips to accommodate them. Some have putters that come to rest on their lower chest, creating a fulcrum. Most of them will grip the club conventionally with both hands on the grip together. But if the putter is even longer and its butt end rests somewhere near the neck of the golfer, he might grip the club at the top with his left hand to steady it, and place his right hand on the putter about belt-high.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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