How To Grip a Putter: 4 Putting Grip Styles (Pros & Cons)

In the world of golf, one of the most famous sayings is, “Drive for Show and Putt for Dough.” While straight and powerful drives give you a chance to shoot a good score, at the end of the day, it is the putter that has the final word, and that is why we have specifically written this article to teach you how to grip a putter.

Throughout the years, golfers ranging from world-class tour pros to twenty-plus handicappers have thought up experimental grip styles to help them make more putts.

Some players have had no choice but to switch putting grips to get away from the dreaded yips, while others are simply tinkerers looking at every angle possible to make more putts.

In this article, we will explore the following;

  • How To Grip A Putter Conventionally
  • How to Grip A Putter With A Cross Handed Grip
  • How to Grip A Putter With The Claw / Pencil Grip
  • How To Grip The Putter Using An Armlock Grip

Let’s get a grip of it!

how to grip a putter: 4 putting grip styles

How to grip a putter Conventionally

The conventional grip for the putter is the most widely used version in the world, and it is what most players on the PGA Tour prefer.

The way to properly execute the conventional putting grip is to start by holding the putter as you would with a driver or iron. However, instead of interlocking your top index finger with the bottom hand or placing it beneath it, overlap it on top of your bottom hand.

Where you place your top index finger is up to you as some players like it going straight down the shaft, while some like it to be placed between your pinky and ring finger.

conventional putter grip


  • The conventional putting grip closely resembles your full shots and is not a foreign feel
  • Gives you access to use your bottom index finger as a pressure point to help with distance control
  • Is very easy to learn as a beginner as it closely resembles your grip on all other shot types


  • Can sometimes cause players to get handsy with the putter as it is very similar to a full shot feel that requires the use of wrists
  • When players use this grip for too long, the natural feel can turn into yips
  • The conventional grip can cause some players to hit their putts too firmly
putting into the hole

Players on the PGA Tour That Use a Conventional Putting Grip

On the PGA Tour in 2021-2022, 78% of wins came from players using the conventional putting grip, according to a study done by Smart Line Putting.

Notable players that use a conventional grip are none other than Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day. These three legends of the game have combined for twenty major championship wins.

How to Grip A Putter With a Cross Handed Grip

The cross handed grip, also referred to as left-hand low for right-handed players and right-hand low for left-handed players, is the second most popular putting grip on the PGA Tour.

This grip is executed exactly how it sounds, as you will grip the putter the same way you do conventionally but swap the position of your hands.


  • Levels out the player’s shoulder to encourage an even pendulum stroke
  • It helps some players start the ball on line since the back of the bottom handed is extremely square to the target line
  • Encourages the use of the big muscles to keep hands and wrists out of the stroke


  • Some players find that their feel and distance control is reduced by using this method
  • The path of the putting stroke can sometimes become loopy
putter and bal  close up

Players on the PGA Tour That Use a Cross-Handed Putting Grip

The cross-handed grip throughout the 2021-2022 PGA season yielded the second most wins, coming in at 20% according to the same study from Smart Line Putting mentioned above.

Notable players in the professional game who prefer a cross-handed putting style are stars such as Jordan Spieth, Alex Noren, and Dustin Johnson. Most notably, Spieth has been using the grip ever since he burst onto the scene, winning the 2015 Masters and US Open with his Scotty Cameron Circle T 009.

putter on the green

How to Grip A Putter with the Claw / Pencil Grip

In the world of golf, not many things can debilitate a golfer quite like yips. Yips are when a player can not physically get this hand to quite down enough to make a smooth stroke, which can cause them to viciously push or pull the ball offline.

The two previous putter grip styles are no match for this disease and call for drastic changes to be made; enter the claw/pencil putting grip.

The claw, also known as the pencil grip, is a style of putting meant to take your bottom hand entirely out of the stroke.

To successfully execute this grip, you will want to grip the putter conventionally with your top hand, then simply support the stroke with your bottom hand by placing the grip between the crease of your thumb and index finger.

the claw grip

The job of the top hand is to control the stroke while the bottom hand sticks around for the ride. This grip style works so well at taking away the yips because it forces players to use their big muscles to make the stroke.


  • It helps players decrease the yips and make smoother strokes
  • Forces the player to use their big muscles and not their smaller ones
  • Takes your mind off of technique and forces you to be an athlete


  • Feel may be decreased by this grip style
  • Can cause some players to leave putts short on slower greens
  • Some players feel like they have less clubface control putting with the claw
conventional putter grip

Players on the PGA Tour That Use a Claw / Pencil Putting Grip

Making up the final 2% of wins on the PGA Tour for the 2021-2022 season from the study outlined above is the claw/pencil grip.

Throughout the years, however, due to putting woes and fast greens, we have seen many tour players turn to this style for added support.

Most notably, Justin Rose, Tony Finau, and Tommy Fleetwood have successfully used the claw/pencil grip. These players were already great putters, but through trial and error to improve their game, they determined that this grip was the right one for them.

golfer with putter

How To Grip A Putter Using An Armlock Grip

Similar to the claw/pencil grip, the armlock putter has grown increasingly popular over the last few years, and golfers worldwide strive to comfortably hole more putts.

This putting grip differs from the previous ones discussed as it requires a specific style of putter to pull it off. The armlock grip requires a golfer to purchase a specific putter with a longer grip, shaft, and added loft.

The more extended grip rests seamlessly against the player’s front forearm, and the added loft ensures a pure roll since the setup entails a large forward press.

the armlock putter grip


  • Takes the hands out of the stroke, encouraging minimal face rotation and consistent start lines
  • Forces players to utilize their muscles and work like a pendulum


  • Limits feel as armlock putters can be heavy and cumbersome
  • Takes a lot of practice initially to get used to an entirely new method

Players on the PGA Tour That Use An Armlock Putting Grip

Matt Kuchar was the lone pioneer on the PGA Tour to make the armlock method famous. In recent years Kuchar as even taken the armlock a step further and now locks it on his back arm instead of his front.

Even since the USGA and R & A’s ban on anchoring, Kegan Bradley and Webb Simpson have also migrated over to the Armlock method to great success.

To join them, former PGA Tour player turned LIV golfer Bryson DeChambeau, rocks the armlock method week in and week out. He even used it to fire an insane 58 recently in the LIV golf tour’s event at the Greenbriar.

golfer on green with putter

How To Grip a Putter: Key Takeaways

How to grip a putter? That is a great question, and we wish that we had a definitive answer for you, but unfortunately, the answer can only be found by spending countless hours on your local practice green to find out what works best for you!

What we can tell you is that most winners on the PGA Tour prefer either a conventional or cross-handed style, but if you struggle with yips, you need to look at the claw or armlock. Whatever you choose, know that you are standing alongside the best players in the world in the pursuit of making more putts.

Next Up: The Pitch Shot In Golf: 5 Tips To Improve Your Pitching Game

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Hello, I’m Patrick Stephenson, a golf enthusiast and a former Division 1 golfer at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. I have an MBA degree and a +4 handicap, and I love to share my insights and tips on golf clubs, courses, tournaments, and instruction.

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