The Claw Grip – A Possibility?

Many of you will probably have negative feelings towards the idea of using the claw grip when putting; it isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  However if you are struggling with your putting it may be something worth trying.  I changed to the claw grip at the start of the 2011 season and reduced my putting by 4 shots on average per round.

It was noticed that I had a small movement in my right hand while putting through the ball.  This yip or twitch was not visible to myself and was only noticeable if someone else looked at my hands throughout the putting stroke.  My distance control and accuracy was mediocre when hitting long putts.  My accuracy with short putts was poor, often struggling to hole anything from 5 to 12 ft and occasionlly missing putts within 5 ft.

To prevent this unwanted movement it was necessary to split my hands and I felt most comfortable with the claw grip method.  My left hand grip remained in the orthodox position.  I would place my right hand with three fingers on top of the grip pointing towards my target; my thumb would sit underneath with my pinky resting on the side of the grip.

Almost immediately I felt a positive difference.  I was comfortably holing putts from 5ft, my distance control and accuracy improved with long putts, often getting the ball very near to and if not in the hole.  Psychologically I approached each putt with more confidence believing that I could hole almost any putt on the green.

If you are struggling with your putting it would be worthwhile getting someone to check your hands throughout the stroke.  If you do have a twitch I would recommend using the claw grip method.  Mark O’Meara demonstrates and explains why he moved to the claw grip method above.

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