Don’t be afraid to switch up your grip!
Putting woes plague even the best of golfers. Endless numbers of the world’s best players have battled with a balky putter from time to time. Sometimes it can be a deficiency in the stroke dynamics, sometimes it can be an ill-fitting putter, and other times it can be a lack of confidence or negative attitude toward putting. We have all heard the self-deprecating talk and most likely experienced times of negative thoughts toward a particular putt or putting during a round. Even worse, we have seen golfers with the yips or a mental game so bad that it can affect the putting stroke to the point of missing very short, makeable putts.
How do you go about breaking that cycle?
There are several ways to help remedy that lack of confidence. Sometimes it is as easy as switching putters. A fresh new look can add confidence, especially if that is the correct putter for your type of stroke. But beware the honeymoon period can wear off, and you might be back where you were before the switch.
Another change you can make is to the type of grip you employ. Many times people have poor putting dynamics/fundamentals and subsequently miss putts as a result. These misses, over time, can contribute to the negative mindset, etc. We have seen instances in the putting lab where we suggest a grip change (cross-hand, claw, 10 finger, conventional, etc.) and see immediate improvements. Additionally, there are numerous examples of players on tour that change putting grip styles. The latest example would be Lucas Glover switching to the claw grip at the end of the year due to issues arising from a break down in mechanics (especially under pressure) and a subsequent lack of confidence.
This grip change can be explained in a couple of ways.
First, it is a fresh feeling and you are not bottled up by past memories of poor putting. This “new” feel can breed confidence, especially if the golfer sees improvement (e.g. making putts or missing closer to the hole).
Second, the grip change could help remedy issues in the stroke dynamics. For example, a claw-type grip can engage the shoulders more and help quiet down excessive right hand action in the stroke. Another example would be using the cross hand method allowing for better shoulder positioning and helping to control the putter face better through impact.
Ultimately it really depends on each individual golfer. If you are struggling with your putting, don’t be afraid to change it up and try a different grip method to see if that can help you make more putts. This change can be examined easily on SAM PuttLab or under the watchful eye of a trained professional.
If you want to improve you putting, please give us a call at Impact Zone Golf to set up an assessment today. You can then see for yourself what putter or putting method works best and can help you improve your putting faster and more efficiently.
Dan Grannan can be reached at 239-236-5536