The Claw Grip Golf: What Is It And Can It Improve Your Putting?

You drive for show, but you putt for dough. Is this the most overused golf mantra? Probably, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Your ability to “roll the rock” on the green has a significant impact on your scorecard – good, bad, or ugly. The claw grip golf might help you make more putts!

If your golf buddies call you the “boss of the moss,” you probably don’t need the claw golf grip, but if they are stingy with the gimmes, you should keep reading.

Let’s take a closer look at this alternative style of putting that has saved many professional golf careers.

In this article, we will cover:

  • What Is The Claw Grip In Golf?
  • Do Professional Golfers Use The Claw Grip Golf?
  • Why Should You Use The Claw Grip Golf?
  • Who Should Try The Claw Grip Golf?
  • What Type Of Putter Works Best With The Claw Grip Golf?
  • What Are The Other Options For Holding Your Putter?

Let’s get into it!

A man wearing grey trousers and a black top uses the claw grip with the words what is the claw grip golf in the foreground.

What Is The Claw Grip In Golf?

The claw grip golf is a way to hold your putter that removes your right hand from your stroke (right-handed players).

If you flinch on short putts or suffer from the yips, the claw golf grip is something you should try today.

To use the claw golf grip, follow these steps:

  • Place your left hand on the putter in the normal way, with your thumb pointing down the shaft
  • With your right hand, only use your thumb, your index finger, and your middle finger
  • These three fingers should lightly rest on the shaft, but you don’t truly grip the putter with your right hand
  • This will force you to rock your shoulders to stroke the golf ball

Do you need to see it? Check out this video from the Golf Channel.

Everyone does the claw grip golf slightly differently, so feel free to tinker with your right hand until you find the best feel for you.

Do Professional Golfers Use The Claw Grip Golf?

Yes – pay attention the next time you watch the PGA Tour on TV – you will be amazed by the number of players using the claw golf grip.

Chris DiMarco started the revolution, but it is now used by Phil Mickelson, Colin Morikawa, Webb Simpson, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, and many others.

There is no shame in moving to this style of putting – many of the best players in the world have decided it is a better way to roll the golf ball.

Why Should You Use the Claw Grip Golf?

The claw golf grip will stabilize your putting stroke. One of our favorite putting tips is, “Use your large muscles, not your small muscles.”

This means that the best putters use their shoulders to roll the ball, not their hands and wrists. A wristy or handsy stroke is less consistent because it is easier to flinch at impact.

The claw grip removes your right hand from the stroke and forces you to rock your shoulders.

All great putters have stable wrists when they hit putts. You can use your hands to hit putts, but under pressure, this motion is harder to repeat.

The claw golf grip can be the solution to golf nerves and the yips!

A man wearing white long sleeves holds a golf club using the claw grip.

Who Should Try the Claw Grip Golf?

You may golfers lament that they have “old man hands” – what they mean is that as they have aged, their hand-eye coordination is not as good anymore.

The putting stroke that works when you are a junior golfer or a college golfer may not work once you are in your 50s.

Many experienced golfers will convert to the claw golf grip as they get older – watch the Champions Tour on TV, and you will see a high percentage of claw grips.

It isn’t just about age – players of all ages can struggle to make a consistent stroke, and the claw could help them.

Are you uncomfortable with short putts (2-5 footers)? Do 3-putt several times a round? If you answer “Yes” to these questions, the claw putter grip might save you strokes.

Assess your golf game. If putting is preventing you from improving, it may be time to try something different on the greens.

What Type Of Putter Works Best With The Claw Grip Golf?

To get the most out of your short game, you need everything to work well together. You want your putting stroke, putting grip, and your putter to match.

You can use the claw golf grip on any style of putter, but we think you will get the best results by using it with a mallet.

Are you looking for an example? Check out the TaylorMade Spider.

This type of putter will help you put an overspin on the ball – this promotes the ball staying on the ground and rolling smoothly.

A man wearing golfing shoes stands on the green about to make a putt.

What Are The Other Options For Holding Your Putter?

We would consider the claw golf grip to be an alternative style of holding a putter. The two most popular are conventional and cross-handed.

As the name suggests, conventional is the standard putting grip. You hold the putter in a similar method that you grip your other clubs (driver, irons, etc.).

The first time you ever putted (probably at a mini-golf course), you naturally used the conventional grip. Tiger Woods uses a conventional putting grip.

On a side note, if you want to learn golf from the “G.O.A.T,” check out his bookTiger Woods: How I Play Golf.”

The second most popular putting grip is “cross-handed” or “left-hand low.” To use this grip, you place your right hand on the grip first and place your left hand below it.

This assumes you are a right-handed player – if you are a lefty, reverse the hands.

Plenty of professional golfers use a cross-handed grip. Jordan Speith, Xander Schauffele, and Billy Horschel are just a few examples.

A golf teacher shows a young student how to hold a golf club.

If conventional and cross-handed are the standards, is the claw golf grip the only alternative putting style?

Definitely not! You have plenty of options to try – here are a few additional techniques:

  • Armlock putting – This was created when the belly putter was banned in 2016. You use a longer putter and brace it against your arm. Matt Kuchar uses this style of putting.
  • Wristlock putting – Similar to armlock putting, but the putter only rests against your wrist to help you stabilize your stroke.
  • The Saw Golf Grip – This is similar to the claw, but you place your fingers on your right hand across the shaft, and they point towards the hole.

The important thing to remember is that being a bad putter is not a life sentence. You can improve with practice and/or by trying a different style.

If you are frustrated on the greens, try something different. The claw golf grip could reignite your love of the game.

Up Next: Let’s Learn How To Read Greens

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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