We see a lot of people asking about putter grips, especially during a TECfit custom club fitting. GolfTEC Students want to know, what’s the deal with the big putter grips? Are they right for me? Why are they so popular?
In this article, I’m going to attempt to answer those questions.
You’ve probably seen oversized putter grips growing in popularity in recent years, especially with Tour Pros. Unlike a standard putter grip, the oversized version helps to take the hands out of the equation and puts an emphasis on using bigger muscles to develop a repeatable stroke.
Are they right for you? To answer that, we have to look at several factors. There are pros and cons that come with any change to your golf equipment. In relationship to the putter:
- Relieve tension
- Quiet wrist movement
Notice that ‘feel’ is in both the pros and cons columns. How the grip feels in your hands is incredibly important. More on that in a second.
The weight of the grip can have a major impact on the way the club feels in your hands. A lighter grip makes the club head feel heavier because it increases the swing weight. Conversely, a heavier grip makes the head feel lighter. This is, of course, the one factor that everyone thinks about when they look at these new grips. If you’re someone looking for distance from a driver, you might want a lighter grip to create faster clubhead speeds. When putting, you don’t want the weight of the grip distracting you or countering the clubhead weight to the point it feels like you’re swinging a toothpick. A lot of the grips on the market weigh in around 60 grams. You want that counter-weight for a smooth pendulum swing with the putter.
You have a lot of choices with oversized grips. SuperStroke, for example, offers grips in diameters ranging from 1” (Ultra Slim 1.0 weighing in at 65 grams +/- 5) to 1.67” (Fatso, 5.0 weighing in at 90 grams +/- 5). The USGA limits putter grip size at 1.75”, so keep that in mind when trying out new grips.
Why are they so popular? Depends on who you ask. Feel is definitely a factor. Results are another. Oversize putter grips are helping elite players win championships. As usual with Tour Pros, if it brings results it doesn’t much matter what it looks like – something KJ Choi was on the forefront of six-plus years ago during his AT&T win (since then, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner, Jordan Spieth and a host of others have all jumped on the oversized putter grips bandwagon).
“It’s all about business out here,” Choi said. “If you perform well, there’s a lot of money involved. I felt like I had to go with my feel and use what I feel confident in. And when I used it, it actually reduces the movement of your wrist, and you just use your shoulders and it makes the ball roll better and it gives me confidence.”
There’s a reason why SuperStroke, one of the most popular oversized options on the PGA TOUR, has between 23-35 players in the field each week using the grip.
So is a big putter grip right for you? The best way to know for sure is to talk to your local GolfTEC Coach and try out some different grips to find the right fit for you.