If you've ever watched a professional golf tournament on TV, you've probably noticed that the players all have different grips when they're putting. While it may not seem like a big deal, the grip you use can actually have a significant impact on the accuracy and distance of your putts. In this blog post, we'll explain the 7 most common grips and how to choose the one that's right for you.
The prayer grip is one of the most popular grips used by amateur golfers. It's called the prayer grip because it's done by holding the club in both hands and then interlocking the pinky fingers of each hand together (imagine your hands clasped together in prayer).
To do this properly, you'll need to have relatively small hands; if your pinky fingers are too large to fit together comfortably, this isn't the grip for you.
Advantages of Using the Prayer Grip
- The prayer grip can help keep your hands from getting ahead of the club head, which can lead to tension and a loss of power.
- It can be helpful for those who tend to grip the club too tightly. The prayer grip can also assist in maintaining a more consistent swing.
- Another benefit of the prayer grip is that it gives you more control over your shots. This is because both hands are working together to hold the club, as opposed to just one hand.
- The prayer grip can also help to improve your accuracy, as it gives you a better feel for where the club head is during your swing.
Disadvantages of Using the Prayer Grip
The prayer grip is that it can be difficult to master. It's important to make sure that your hands are in the proper position; if they're not, it can lead to a loss of power and control. Worried about power? High quality, real food like that contained in a Whole In One Bar can keep you powering along through your round.
- Additionally, the prayer grip can make it more difficult to generate speed, as both hands are working together to hold the club.
- The prayer grip can cause the club to twist in your hands during the swing. This can again affect your overall control and accuracy.
- And finally, the prayer grip can make it more difficult to make adjustments mid-swing, which is not the ideal situation if you're trying to make a difficult shot.
The Broomstick Grip
The broomstick grip is a popular grip among amateur golfers (and witches) because it provides a great deal of stability. It's also relatively easy to learn how to do. However, there are some drawbacks to using this grip that you should be aware of before using it yourself. Let's take a closer look at both the advantages and disadvantages of the broomstick grip so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it's right for you.
Advantages of the Broomstick Grip:
- The broomstick grip is extremely stable. This is due to the fact that you're holding the club with both hands close to your body. As a result, there's very little chance of the club moving around during your swing, which can lead to more accurate shots.
- The broomstick grip can help you generate more power. This is because you're able to use both arms to generate force, rather than just one arm like you would with some other grips.
- The broomstick grip is also relatively easy to learn. If you're a beginner golfer, or if you're just trying out different grips to see what works best for you, the broomstick grip is definitely worth considering because it's not overly complicated.
Disadvantages of the Broomstick Grip:
- One of the main disadvantages of the broomstick grip is that it doesn't provide as much control as other grips. This is because your hands are further away from the club head, which makes it difficult to make small adjustments mid-swing.
- Another downside to using the broomstick grip is that it can be uncomfortable for some people. This is because you're essentially gripping the club like a staff or walking stick, which can put strain on your wrists and forearms after extended periods of time.
- Finally, the broomstick grip isn't ideally suited for all types of shots. Specifically, it's not ideal for shots that require a lot of spin because it's more difficult to apply spin when using this particular grip.
The Claw Grip
For those not familiar with the claw grip, it is a putting grip in which the index finger of the upper hand is extended straight, while the other fingers are curled around the club.
This grip gained popularity on the professional tour in recent years after being popularized by players like Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar. While the claw grip can help some players with alignment and consistency, it's not without its drawbacks. Let's take a closer look at both the pros and cons of using the claw grip.
The Pros of Using the Claw Grip
- One of the main benefits of using the claw grip is that it can help with alignment. Because your index finger is extended straight, it acts as a sightline for where you want your putt to start. This can be especially helpful on longer putts where alignment becomes more critical.
- The claw grip can also help promote a more consistent stroke because your hands are in a fixed position throughout the entire stroke. If you tend to have issues with slice or push putts, the claw grip can help eliminate that by ensuring that your hands don't rotate through impact.
The Cons of Using the Claw Grip
- The claw grip can make it more difficult to control distance. Because your hands are locked into place, you have less ability to adjust your stroke length depending on the distance of the putt. This can make it more difficult to hit your putts consistently close to the hole.
- Additionally, if you do have any issues with your wrist action during your stroke, they will likely be magnified when using this grip.
The Reverse Overlap (Conventional Grip)
The reverse overlap grip is so named because the pinky finger on your trailing hand overlaps your lead hand's index finger. This grip is the most common grip style used by pros and amateurs alike. The reverse overlap grip is sometimes called the conventional grip because it's the way that most people naturally hold a golf club when they pick it up for the first time.
Pros Of The Conventional Grip
- The main advantage of using the conventional grip is that it provides a great deal of control and accuracy. This is because your hands are in a very strong position on the club, which gives you the ability to make small adjustments mid-swing.
- It's easy to learn. Because it's the most natural way to grip a golf club, it doesn't require a lot of time or effort to master.
- The conventional grip is well-suited for all types of shots. Whether you're hitting a draw, fade, or straight shot, this grip will give you the accuracy and control that you need to execute the shot properly.
Cons Of The Conventional Grip
- It can be tough on your wrists and forearms. Because your hands are in a very strong position, they can take a beating (fatigue) after extended periods of time.
- Additionally, the conventional grip can make it more difficult to hit shots with a lot of spin. If you're looking to hit a high-flying shot that stops quickly, this might not be the best grip for you.
The Interlock Grip
The interlock grip is so named because the pinky finger on your trailing hand interlocks with the index finger on your lead hand. This grip is similar to the conventional grip, but with the addition of the interlock, it provides a bit more stability and control.
Pros Of The Interlock Grip
- The interlock grip provides all of the same advantages as the conventional grip, with the added benefit of extra stability. This is because your hands are locked together, which gives you a bit more control over the club during your swing.
- The interlock grip can also help you hit shots with more spin. Because your hands are locked together, it's easier to rotate them through impact, which can add spin to your shots.
- Finally, the interlocking grip can help you hit draws and fades more consistently. This is because the interlock gives you more control over the clubface, which makes it easier to keep it square through impact.
Cons Of The Interlock Grip
- The interlock grip can be tough on your wrists, grip, and forearms. Because your hands are in a very strong grip position, they can also fatigue quickly as in the conventional grip.
- Additionally, the interlocking grip can make it more difficult to hit shots with a lot of power. This is because the interlock makes it harder to release the club through impact.
Arm Lock Grip
The arm lock grip is a putting grip where the pinky finger of the trail hand is locked underneath the lead hand's index and middle fingers. This grip gained in popularity a few years ago when several high-profile professional golfers, most notably Adam Scott, began using it (although he eventually changed to claw).
Advantages of Using the Arm Lock Grip
- One of the biggest advantages of using the arm lock grip is that it provides much more stability than a traditional grip. This is because both hands are effectively locked together, which means they can't move independently of each other during the stroke. This provides a much more consistent stroke, which is crucial for putting.
- Another advantage of using this grip is that it takes the wrists out of play. This is because the lead wrist is locked in place by the trail hand, which means it can't break down during the stroke and cause an inconsistent hit. For many golfers, taking the wrists out of play can be a huge benefit.
Disadvantages of Using the Arm Lock Grip
- One of the biggest disadvantages of using this grip is that it can be difficult to master. Many golfers who switch to this grip find that their accuracy suffers in the short-term as they're getting used to it.
- In addition, this grip can put extra strain on the elbow and shoulder, which can lead to injuries if not used correctly.
Arm Lock With Claw Grip
Many golfers believe that the arm lock with claw grip is the best way to putt. They think that because they can control their wrist action more, they will have more consistent contact and accuracy. While this may be true for some golfers, there are also some drawbacks that come with this grip.
Advantages of Arm Lock with Claw Grip
- Increased control over wrist action. When you use an arm lock with claw grip, you are essentially locking your wrists into place. This gives you much more control over your wrist action and prevents unwanted movement that could affect your accuracy.
- More consistent contact. Because you have more control over your wrist action, you are also more likely to make consistent contact with the ball. This is especially important when trying to sink those long putts!
- Greater accuracy. The increased control and consistency provided by the arm lock with claw grip usually result in greater accuracy for most golfers. If you're looking to improve your putting game, this may be the grip for you.
- Added power. Some golfers find that they are able to generate more power using an arm lock with claw grip. This is because all of your energy is focused on hitting the ball instead of wasting it on wasteful wrist movement.
- Reduced hand and wrist fatigue. Many golfers find that their hands and wrists start to feel tired after a while when using a traditional grip. The arm lock with claw grip helps to reduce this fatigue by taking some of the strain off of your muscles.
Disadvantages of Arm Lock with Claw Grip
1. Limited range of motion - One drawback of using an arm lock with claw grip is that it limits the range of motion in your wrists. This can make it difficult to make those long putts or hit precise shots around the green.
2. Requires practice - Another drawback is that it can take some time to get used to using this grip correctly. If you're not careful, you may find yourself making some wild shots at first!
3. Uncomfortable for some - Some golfers simply find that this grip is uncomfortable and prefer to use a traditional grip instead. If you have any pain in your wrists or hands, you may want to avoid using this grip altogether.
Wrist Lock Grip
The wrist lock grip is a putting grip that has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among amateur golfers. The wrist lock grip is achieved by locking the pinky finger of the lower hand on top of the index finger of the upper hand. This grip provides extra stability and control, which can be helpful for golfers with a tendency to wrist breakdown during their stroke.
Advantages of the Wrist Lock Grip
- The main advantage of using the wrist lock grip is that it helps to promote a more stable, consistent stroke. Because the pinky finger is locked in place, it takes away the temptation to grip the putter too tightly, which can lead to tension and wrist breakdown.
- The wrist lock grip gives golfers a physical reminder to keep their wrists firm throughout their stroke, which can help them to achieve better contact and create a more consistent roll.
- The wrist lock grip can help golfers who have trouble keeping their putting strokes on plane. Because this grip locks in the wrists and forearms, it gives golfers a physical reference point for where their putter should be during their backswing and follow-through. This can help keep wayward strokes on track and improve accuracy and distance control.
Disadvantages of the Wrist Lock Grip
- This grip can make it more difficult to generate speed with your putter head. Because the wrists are locked in place, they are unable to generate as much power as they could with a traditional grip. As a result, golfers who use the wrist lock grip may find themselves having to make more aggressive strokes in order to hit their putts at their desired distances.
- The grip does not allow for as much feel as a traditional putting grip might. When using the wrist lock grip, golfers are not able to “feel” the clubhead as much as they would be able to with an alternate grip such as the reverse overlap. This lack of feel can make it more difficult for some golfers to gauge speed and distance control accurately, which could lead to more missed putts.
Each grip outlined above has its use cases and limitations, so in theory, being able to change from one to the other is actually a good thing. However, since we know that's difficult to do, limiting yourself to about 2 can still serve you well.
Of course, your comfort should rule the day. If you are unable to spend the time developing muscle memory for a new grip, or if it just feels really odd to you, then don't do it.
Since so much of your golfing success depends on your short game and putting, it's safe to say that the time spent working on your grip should be considered an investment in yourself.