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The 7 Best Putting Styles Explained

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Some of the best putting styles are used by all the PGA professionals. If you take notice of the practice regimens of touring professionals, you will see an equal amount of time on the surface of the putting green as on the range hitting full shots. After all, up to half the strokes in a round area on the green. The old saying “drive for show, putt for dough” certainly has validity, yet if you go to the driving range and watch the average weekend player, the putting greens are nearly empty.

Check out these golf putting tips for beginners along with this article and you are closer to becoming a better golfer!

To improve your overall game, putting should be at the top of the list. While practicing the stroke is vital, experimenting with different grips is also important. There are many different of the best putting styles that the average golfer may not be aware of. If you are struggling with your putting or just looking for a change to spark your game, take a look at these different putting grips.

  1. Conventional
  2. Cross Hand
  3. Split Hand
  4. Wrist Lock
  5. Claw
  6. Palm to Palm
  7. Arm Lock

Conventional putting style

The conventional golf putting styles is the most frequently used grip by professionals and amateurs alike, this grip features the right hand below the left for right-handed players and vice versa for left-handed players.

You can grip the putter in the same manner as with the other clubs in the bag, which is generally with the pinky finger of their top hand overlapping or interlocking the index and middle fingers of the bottom hand. However, most players will overlap in a reverse manner.

Since this grip is very similar to the grip used for the other clubs, it is a grip that feels quite natural. It’s the grip first used by most players. The overlapping grip is particularly good for players with more arc in their stroke, allowing a proper square-blade at impact, closing thereafter.

If you have experimented with unconventional grips without success, try going back to the grip you most likely grew up with. It will feel natural and allow your arms and hands to free up for a smooth stroke.

Cross Hand putting style

A cross hand grip is the best golf putting styles for the amateur golfers. This style is the reverse of the conventional grip. The dominant hand is holding the club above the non-dominant hand. This grip gives the dominant hand more control over the putter, and in theory, a more balanced stroke.  Jim Furyk was one of the first to succeed with the cross-hand grip.  Padraig Harrington and Jordan Speith are other notable PGA Tour professionals who have used the grip successfully.

Putting the dominant hand below the non-dominant hand eliminates virtually every possibility of the wrist of the non-dominant hand to break down. It also prevents the dominant hand from taking over the stroke. The grip could take some time to get used to because it clearly doesn’t feel natural at first. Note that this adjustment takes less time to get used to than some of the other grips noted in this article.

Golfers who have never tried any other than the conventional grip should try this before any of the other nonconventional grips.  This grip is a great style for those who suffer from the yips, affecting control and distance, particularly short putts. The stability of this grip style should provide a more consistent roll with a little practice.

Split Hand putting style

This is one of the best putting styles that is close to the conventional grip with the hands spaced apart. It’s the kind of grip that hockey players use when on the ice.  The dominant hand is lower on the putter, and the non-dominant hand is on the top. The dominant hand does all the work in the stroke, guiding the shaft and the putter’s head through the ball. The theory behind the use of this grip is that any space between the hands increases the feel and control of the putter. The increased control should lead to more consistent contact and better accuracy. Notable professionals who used this are Daniel Chopra of Sweden and Natalie Gulbis.

Wrist Lock putting style

The wrist lock style is one of the best putting styles known to this day. The oldest player to win at a Champions Tour event and winner of nearly 120 events worldwide, Bernhard Langer was the first to use the wrist lock grip.  Undoubtedly, the new grip prolonged Langer’s career, adding more to his Hall of Fame resume.

There are a few different versions of the wrist lock grip, with the most popular being the non-dominant hand near the bottom of the grip and forearm pressed against the handle of the club with the dominant hand.

Although this grip style looks very awkward, it forces the golfer to use arms and shoulders entirely in the swing. It completely removes any possibility of breaking their wrists and promotes a smooth, pendulum-style stroke.

Players who break their wrists consistently during their stroke might want to give the wrist lock style a shot.

Claw putting style

This claw grip is one of the most unique and best putting styles used today. It is a version of the split-handed grip because the dominant hand has very little contact with the club. The non-dominant hand is positioned at the top of the shaft with the dominant hand under, gripping the shaft like you would a pen or pencil.

The grip non-dominant hand, arms, and shoulders influence the putter’s path through the stroke. There are several variations to the grip, which wasn’t without controversy when Chris DeMarco first used it more shortly before the turn of the 21st century. It didn’t take long until other professionals began using the grip.

Should the average player use the grip? Years ago, this answer would depend on whether or not you can stand that ridicule you got from trying such an unorthodox approach.  That won’t be a concern in this day, so anyone who is having problems with the yips should give it a try. Be warned that this method requires practice to find the best position to put your bottom hand.

The professionals that have used this grip include Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, and six-time major champion Phil Mickelson.

Palm to Palm putting style

With this grip style, line the hands up closer together than a conventional grip by lining up your palms, then wrap the dominant hand around the fingers of the non-dominant hand. The grip is also known as the “prayer” style grip.  The idea is to bring the hands down a bit from the handle towards the middle of the grip.  In theory, this should help fix and shakiness during the stroke. Players with the yips could try this approach but take it to the practice green several times before playing in the competition. The most well-known professional to use this grip is Vijay Singh, winner of 64 events worldwide, including two major championships.

Arm Lock putting style

As unconventional as the arm lock grip may appear, it’s great for limiting the movement of your hands throughout the stroke.  First, choke up on the putter, which will stay locked into position next to the forearm of the non-dominant hand. This grip is accomplished from the pressure of the dominant hand, pushing the butt end of the grip against the lead forearm. Like most of the nonconventional grips, this grip is great for players with the yips. This grip is one of the several grips used by Bernhard Langer over the years and Jason Dufner and Soren Kjeldsen.

Long Bombs Golf Final Say:

The first noticeable unconventional stroke was the late great Sam Snead, who used a croquet-style putting in the mid-1960s. After that, that grip was outlawed, which caused players to stay with the conventional grip for many years.  Anything unconventional drew sneers, but those days are well in the past.  For those having putting issues, try any or all the above putting grip styles and find the one that best suits your game. After all, great putting will lead to your best scores.

Try out different strokes and keep your stats on each one. This will help you determine which putting style works best for you. You can keep track of this with our best golf stats book here! 

Check out the best putters for beginners here!


About the Author


How we got onto 16 with a 5 minute wait at the WM Phoenix Open!

How I got on hole 16 (The Stadium hole) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with little to no wait!! I also have tips and tricks on what to do once you are inside the gate and inside the stadium hole. Check this out if you ever plan to make a trip out! If you ever have the chance, it is definitely worth the trip.

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