How do you find the right putter grip? Here are 5 things to consider
The only point of contact you have during a putting stroke (or any golf swing for that matter) is the grip. That being the case, the grip style you decide to use on your putter can have a significant impact on performance.
Is the grip tapered or non-tapered? Is it thick or thin? Is it round, square, or triangular? Does it have ridges or is it smooth? Changing only the grip can make your old putter feel/perform like an entirely new putter.
The putter grip market is flooded with options for all sorts of player preferences, but it can be a bit daunting trying to navigate the market and find the right grip for you. Whether you’re desperate and need any way possible to make more putts, or you’re just looking to tinker, here are some things to consider when looking for the right grip.
In case you missed it, we had an in-depth conversation on our recent Fully Equipped podcast on the subject of putter grips. Check it out in the video clip below, or just keep reading!
1) The testing process
Unfortunately, the only truly reliable way to test putter grips is to try the grip out on the putter head you plan to use. If you test a certain putter grip on a mallet head, for example, it’s very unlikely that the same grip will feel or perform the same way on a blade-style putter.
Tim Briand, co-host of our Fully Equipped podcast, suggests either trying different grips on your gamer putter until you find the right one, or to head to a brand-agnostic fitting facility to try numerous grip styles on the same putter head.
The grip plays an important role in how a putter feels, but it’s also dependent upon what putter head the grip is attached to.
The shape of the grip (coupled with how you decide to place your hands on it) plays a huge role in the path of the stroke. That’s because different shaped grips will change the contact points of your hands on the grip, which will change the energy applied to the clubhead.
There are no firm rules on grip shape, but definitely take note of your grip style (traditional, cross-handed, claw, armlock, etc.) and find a grip that makes your hands most comfortable in your desired position. Certain grip styles can even influence the way you setup to the ball, so be cognizant of how you react to new grips.
According to Briand, size does matter when it comes to putter grips. While he says there may be some placebo effect involved, thicker grips tend to reduce the rate of closure, and also have stabilizing effects. So, if you tend to pull putts, or have a shaky/loopy stroke, a thicker grip may be for you.
Just as size matters when it comes to putter grips, so does weight. Whether the grip is light or heavy will absolutely affect the overall weight of your putter, the swing weight, the way it feels, and even how the putter head releases. Some grips are designed to have a counter-balancing effect, which is something you should be aware of before you make a purchase.
It’s important to find out the weight of your grip and consult with a fitter or local professional to find out how the new grip will impact weighting of the putter. If you put a new grip on your putter and it feels way different than before, it could have to do with a difference in weight.
Due the low-speed nature of a putting stroke, the material of a putter grip might not matter as much as a full swing grip, but it’s still worth mentioning. If something about the grip material feels wrong to you, it may force you to alter your grip in some way. For example, if the grip feels slick and you tend to sweat a lot, you may tend to grip the putter more firmly, thus impacting your speed and directional control.
Comfort is king when it comes to grip material, so try a bunch and find the one you like best.