This page is devoted to golf putter grips specifically (We discuss golf club grips in general on another page of this site). Do they have the same importance as the grips for other types of clubs?
You bet they do. Unfortunately, you’d be shocked by how many golfers don’t think about their putter grips at all. That’s a shame, because your putter grip comes into play on virtually every hole.
Putter grips are like the Rodney Dangerfield of golf – they deserve more respect than they get. On almost every hole you’ll be putting at least once or twice. There’s no denying that you use your putter more than any other club in your bag. And that means your putter grip comes into play more often than any other club’s grip.
We all know putting is one of the big keys to scoring well, and confidence is a big part of putting. All good putters feel a glow of confidence as they’re standing over the ball. Part of their confidence stems from knowing they’re reading the green properly. Part of it comes from having the right putter for their stroke. And part of it comes from having a putter grip that’s the right size, shape and composition to help them put a good roll on the ball.
There’s nothing in golf that’s more personal, more individual, more idiosyncratic, than putting. Put ten golfers onto a green and you’re likely to see ten different putters. You’re also likely to see several different ways of grasping the club and several different putting stances. And, you’re likely to see several different grips. That’s how individualistic putting really is.
Like grips for other golf clubs, putter grips come in different sizes: ladies, standard, mid-size and my personal favorite, the jumbo. But, because putting is so strongly individualistic, putter grips come in a much larger number of shapes, materials and colors than grips for other types of golf clubs. And golf putter grips are only used with putters – you cannot use them with other types of clubs.
The grips are intended to allow you to grasp your putter firmly but lightly – the type of hold you need to control the putter and allow it to release properly during your follow-through. As a result, many golf putter grips are made of rubber or a synthetic, soft and tacky “rubberized” compound that is intended to deliver both comfort and feel. Others have a rougher texture which can prevent sweaty hands from slipping.
Some golf putter grips are more or less rectangular, with the narrower sides of the grips being down the length of the shaft. Others are oval, although even these feature a flattened area at the top which allows your thumbs to rest comfortably and securely as you’re grasping the club (only putter grips may have this flattened surface). Most of the grips that come standard on putters are one of these two main types, and most golfers feel comfortable using one or the other. If you love a putter but you don’t like the shape or feel of its grip, replacing it with a grip you like better is easy and cheap.
Although it’s important, shape isn’t everything when it comes to golf putter grips. Like other grips, golf putter grips come in different sizes, and you need to make sure your grips are the right size for your hands and the type of putting stroke you have. Smaller golf putter grips encourage “handsy” strokes, so if your hands are already overly active, you might have more success with an oversized putter grip. Not long ago, I put a “jumbo” grip on one of my putters and it made a world of difference. It helps me swing the club with the muscles in my upper arms and shoulders instead of my wrists.
And, as a general rule, the larger the grip, the heavier it will be. The weight of your putter grip will affect your putter’s swingweight (the percentage of the putter’s weight that is in its head). Lighter putter grips tend to make putter heads feel heavier, while heavier grips tend to make putters feel lighter because they counterbalance some of the weight of the heads. It all depends on what you prefer and what works well with your individual putting stroke.
No matter what color grip you prefer, you can get it for your putter. There are even clear putter grips that let you insert the graphic of your choice so you can see it whenever you’re on the green.
The big grip companies like Golf Pride, Winn and Lamkin all make golf putter grips in addition to grips for other golf clubs. Several smaller companies make putter grips too. And then there are the “branded” golf putter grips: Odyssey, PING, Cleveland, TaylorMade, Nike, and so forth use them on the putters they sell.