Finding the right thick or thin grip can help you make more putts.
Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
You can't shoot a good golf score without making putts, so when the ball stops going in the hole, many golfers start to tinker with different putters. Sometimes, a new grip on your old putter can help you find the missing magic. Changing to a thicker or thinner putter grip will not only change the way the club feels,В butВ also it will also affect the way you use your hands and wrists in your stroke.
The Rules of Golf limit the thickness in a putter grip to 1.75 inches. The grip must be fairly uniform in shape, meaning it can't have exaggerated bends, and it can't be molded to fit your hands and fingers. The rules allow for one flat side, which allows you to place you thumbs on top of the shaft, a position most players prefer. The putter grip can taper from a thick to a thin end, or it can have a uniform thickness from top to bottom. The putter grip must be 7 inches long, but it can be longer.
Thicker Grips for Better Control
In 2013, Phil Mickelson, a PGA Tour pro known for experimenting with equipment, debuted an oversize grip on his putter at the Masters tournament. Although this wasn't a first in pro golf, it was a departure for Mickelson, who was trying to quiet his hands during his stroke on Augusta Nationals slick greens. Thicker grips help you stroke with your arms and shoulders by limiting how much your wrists hinge. Overactive hands will hinder both your speed and direction control. You can thicken your grip by adding extra layers of grip tape under your putter grip. As the time of publication, you could also purchase grips of varying thicknesses to find one that fits you best. Generally, these grips were slightly more expensive than conventional grips.
Dave Stockton, a former tour pro and highly regarded putting instructor, makes a case against using thick putter grips. He believes that great putting is largely about having a feel for distance control, which he believes is transmitted through the finger tips. Stockton believes the putter grip should be just wide enough to create a small space between the finger tips and the pads at the base of the palm of your top hand when you take your grip. Stockton, unlike many modern golf teachers who promote a pure arm and shoulder stroke, allows for some wrist hinge in the backstroke to create fluidity and to make it easier to keep the hands ahead of the putter in the forward stroke.
The term yips refers to involuntary twitching, shaking or jerking in your hands during your putting stroke. Many golfers suffer from this condition, though the exact causes are unknown. The yips can make it almost impossible to control the putter, particularly on short putts. Dallas-based golf instructor Hank Haney recommends a thick handle combined with a split-handed grip as one means to control putting yips. He suggests holding the club conventionally in the top hand, but lowering the bottom hand to the end of the grip and scissoring the shaft between the forefinger and index finger. Haney says this position always you to lock the thick putter grip against the inside for the wrist on your lower and to prevent unwanted motion during the stroke.