The first time you see the claw putting grip, you may be tempted to tell a golfer they are doing it wrong. The funny thing is, they aren’t!
Chris DiMarco was the first golfer on the PGA Tour to help the claw grip style stand out, but since then, other golfers have become quite pleased with how this grip has helped their game. Whether you are a right-handed golfer or a left-handed golfer, the claw putting grip can help with alignment, stability, and grip pressure.
What is the claw putting grip?
The claw putting grip is a way to hold your putter where the top hand is in the normal position, and the bottom hand grips the club almost as if it is a claw. The results of this unconventional grip include less motion with the wrists, lower grip pressure, and better tempo in the putting stroke.
Although golfers can install a conventional grip on the putter when they use the claw grip, most find that a longer Super Stroke or extended putter grip is a better solution. With the left and right hand being separated, it can help to have some space between them on the club that conventional Putter grips do not allow for.
This could be a good option to consider if you have tried different golf grip styles and still don’t have something that improves overall control and consistency.
Why use the claw putting grip?
The main reason to use the claw putting grip is to give the right hand (for a right-handed golfer) a little less control in the putting stroke.
Whether you switch to a cross-handed grip, the claw, or even the reverse overlap, one of the most common trends is to keep the wrist hinge to a minimum and use the left hand to create a more consistent stroke.
When your upper wrist can remain firm, the putting stroke is more repeatable. Excess wrist movement creates inconsistencies in the putter head positioning. The claw putting grip will appeal to golfers, especially amateur golfers that struggle to control ball speed and alignment and create an accurate stroke each time.
The claw can work for both arc style strokes and straight stroke golfers looking to make more consistent putts.
How do you use the claw method of putting?
The claw method of putting is pretty simple once you understand the hand positions. I encourage you to remember that your bottom hand does not need to be in a perfect position according to the claw method of putting. As long as you are comfortable and the hand is not overly active in your putting stroke then you should be fine.
Step 1: Left hand position
First, place your left at the top of the club near the butt end of the putter grip. I recommend holding the left-hand position the same way you would with any other putter grip or even the full swing grip. The only thing that may change is the position of the finger due to it being a pistol grip or some other type.
Step 2: Right-hand position
Next, you will make what looks like a claw with your right hand. Use this claw to grip the club somewhere under your left hand. Many golfers like to create quite a bit of separation between the two hands, and this requires a slightly longer grip than the traditional pistol shape standard length.
The thumb will go on the back side of the putter, and the pointer finger through the pinky finger will be on the top of the putter grip.
Step 3: Finger location
Some golfers use the more common method of the claw grip, and their fingers are pointed down the target line. Others will turn their hand slightly, and the fingers point down toward the putting green.
Either option is acceptable.
Step 4: Practice swing
The claw grip feels slightly different, but you will keep your ball position, setup, and stroke length the same. The key here is that you will now have a right hand that stays out of the stroke. From time to time, you may play with the position of the right hand, which is entirely acceptable.
What is the difference between claw and pencil putting grip?
The main difference between the pencil grip and the claw grip is the right hand’s position. In the claw grip, the fingers remain on the top of the putter grip with the thumb underneath. The pencil grip has you hold the putter with the right hand the same way you would hold a pencil. Therefore, only three fingers end up gripping the club, with the rest wrapped around the back.
Hopefully, you can now see that the traditional style grip is not the only option you have. The entire game comes down to whether or not you can make a putt. If the claw grip gives you more confidence, especially on those shorter putts, then implementing it is a good idea.
If you are still looking for options when it comes to your new putting strok, be sure to check out our recent post on the Proper putting grip. We have broken down the putting grip down to 5 of the most common, one of which is sure to help you make putts, or at least, improve your Lag putting.