Should You Try a Big Putter Grip?

Super Stroke Grips (5)

Everyone’s Doing It

While there have been more-hyped equipment stories this year, nothing has impressed me like the movement towards large putter grips, primarily SuperStroke grips.  From winning majors (Phil at the British and Jason Dufner at the PGA Championship) to earning rave reviews from equipment geeks, these large putter grips seem to be everywhere.  So, should you try one?

Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Final Round

The Short Answer

If you’re a short answer guy: yes, you should try a big putter grip, assuming that you’re not putting well.  If you’re already putting well, why are you even reading this?  Get out on the course and make some money.

The Long Answer

If you really want to get the most out of your putting, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider when changing your putter grip.  First, let’s examine some of the differences between grips.

Super Stroke Grips (12)

Shape

Though you may not realize it, putter grips come in a wide variety of shapes.  The most common putter grip is a “pistol” grip with a flat top surface and a rounded back, but there is variety even within that category: different amounts of taper and different shaping of the back of the grip can produce very different grips.

Beyond the standard pistol grip, there are a variety of more exotic shapes.  Most of the SuperStroke grips seen here are mostly round with a small flat surface on the top of the grip.  SuperStroke also makes a “Flatso” model (above, on the right) with an extended flat surface and a hexagonal shape.

Finally, there is a small minority of players who use completely round grips on their putters.

Taper

I mentioned taper briefly in Shape, but it’s worth a discussion all its own.  A grip’s taper refers to how much smaller it gets as you move from the butt of the club towards the head.  Just as every player has preferences for size and shape, they will likely have a preferred amount of taper in their grips.

It’s very common for golfers to build up the bottom of their grips with grip tape to try to give the grip a consistent circumference from top to bottom, thus eliminating the taper.  The reasoning behind this is that many players believe a smaller grip leads to more hand/wrist action, thus a grip with a lot of taper could lead to hooks.

One of the primary things that I like about SuperStroke grips is that they don’t have any taper: they’re perfectly even along their entire length.

Super Stroke Grips

Size

This is, of course, the one factor that everyone thinks about when they look at these new grips.  SuperStroke offers their signature grip in diameters ranging from 1” (Ultra Slim 1.0) to 1.67” (Fatso, 5.0).

The USGA limits putter grip size at 1.75”.

Weight

The weight of the grip can have a major impact on the way that the club feels in your hands.  A lighter grip makes the club head feel heavier because it increases the swing weight.  Conversely, a heavier grip makes the head feel lighter.

One of the reasons that larger grips are becoming so popular is they no longer need to be heavy; many of the SuperStroke grips weigh around 60 grams, a very standard weight.  Regardless of whether you’re switching to a heavier or lighter grip, it’s important to consider how it will change the feel of the putter head.

Super Stroke Grips (4)

So What Grip is For Me?

Most people will go to the store, fiddle around with a few different grips, then toss one on the counter.  That’s a fine process since comfort is king when it comes to grips.  My process is just a touch more detailed.

Get Some Data

Before you make any changes, get a little bit of data on your current putting.  How much data you want is entirely up to you, but establishing a baseline is critical to knowing whether or not you made a good change.  Personally, I would collect a combination of on-course performance (putts per round, putts per GIR, average length of putt made) and putting green work (% of putts made from various distances with notes on the misses: left, right, short, or long).

Feel Up Some Grips

This is the most important part of the process.  You need to find a grip that has a shape and size that is comfortable to you.  Don’t rely on sizing charts, salespeople, or what anyone on tour plays.  Only you know if a grip feels comfortable and gives you confidence.

Don’t Lose Weight

Before you chop the current grip off your putter, measure the swing weight.  After the new grip is installed, make the necessary adjustments to get the swing weight back to your preferred number.

Practice, Play, and Get More Data

Now that you have your new grip, get out and practice with it.  Once you’ve broken it in, collect some more data to find out if the new grip really did help.

Repeat until you find putting nirvana.

phil_mickelson_british_open_championship_2013-650x366

Should You Try a Big Putter Grip?

Yes.  Ultimately, the putter grip is part of your equipment, and you should be fit for it.  It’s the only thing that attaches you to the club, and it’s tremendously important.  SuperStroke and other manufacturers have given golfers an unprecedented amount of choices, and we should go out and take advantage of that.  I know I will.

If you have any questions, please post them below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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41 Comments

  1. chris saternus

    You mention collecting data with different putter grips. If you are going to do it, design a testing regimen and measure with old grips. Then practice and measure again. Then change grips and practice and measure again. All that practicing will make you a better putter even if you putt with an old mechanics cloth wrapped around the shaft.

  2. Kevin Simms

    I’ve never tried a larger grip but have always been interested in one. Nice summary on the benefits of one!

  3. Golf tips are always interesting to read. Its great when you find a new tip that you haven’t heard of before.

  4. Cedric Theofanous

    Really like the advice to always get some sort of baseline measurement before changing! Science…

  5. I now have fiberglass shafts which have been used for approx 10 years. i think I heard that steel shafts are more accurate. Is this true? I have been thinking of going back to steel. If i do that is Nike a decent club to put in my bag? I am a 4 to 5 handicap. Liked your video on putter grips. Thank you in advance.

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      Thanks for the questions.
      No, steel shafts are not more accurate than graphite. There are dozens if not hundreds of types of steel shafts and graphite shafts. Saying that one broad category is better than another is just not possible.
      Nike makes many fantastic clubs. The key is getting fit for the best ones for your swing and your game.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Nan Stein

    I just bought a Super Stroke Putter Grip but was wondering if you should hold the grip at the top or more to the bottom of the Super Stroke? I have a little arthritis in my fingers but not bad and the Super Stroke Grip really feels good to me.

    • Matt Saternus

      Thanks for the question. There really isn’t one definitive right way to do it. What these bigger grips is really teaching us is that there are a lot of different “right” ways. The key is finding yours and then being very consistent with it.

      Best,

      Matt

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  8. Angia Green

    One very good golfer in our society told me I should change my fat grip (i have Fatso 5.0 Super Stroke) to a conventional one as it is difficult to judge the distance with the fat one. Sometimes it seems that might be true.. But as 24 handicapper playing 1.5 years so far its difficult to judge distance anyway :-(

  9. Angia Green

    Just wanted to see if you think that might be the case…

    • Matt Saternus

      Angia,

      Great question. I think for most golfers, distance control problems are the result of A) lack of practice and B) poor green reading. The idea that big grips are bad for distance control is definitely out there, but I don’t think it’s backed up by any kind of data or testing. Perhaps we will test that for Golf Myths Unplugged one day!

      In the short term, I would recommend playing whatever grip you’re comfortable with. If you think that you have feel and touch with the Super Stroke, stick with it, practice, and look into AimPoint to improve your reads. If you’re uncomfortable with the big grip, by all means, change it.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. Angia Green

    Great reply Matt, thank you very much!

  11. Alan Hawkins

    I love the large putter grip. I think it helps tremendously with nerves in the hands. ( Yips) if one suffers from this condition, the large grip will help you feel more secure in the putting stroke. It takes the delicate nerves in the hands and relaxes the hands.

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  13. Robert Nowry

    I installed a large putter grip on my Odessey Saber tooth putter and now I cannot feel the head of the putter! It was a Winn 1.32 grip. I am 50 years old and on any putt over 20 ft I get the yips. I have tried cross handed but while I have better direction I find feel is less. Suggestions ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Robert,

      I’m not too familiar with the Winn grip that you mentioned, but my guess is that it was too heavy relative to the putter head. You can try a lighter grip or add some weight to the putter head with lead tape to restore the feeling to the head.

      Best,

      Matt

  14. Bob vanderlaan

    Matt good evening. Wondering if you have tried the new 2015 super stroke squared grip or if there is any data out on this grip. It feels good in the hand but not sure I should not go with the flatso. 5.0 which also feels good and has some proven data behind it. Currently have a 2 ball putter with standard factory grip. Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Bob,

      What “proven data” are you referring to? To me, the only thing that matters in choosing a grip is whether or not it works for you. If you prefer the Square, go with that. The success others have had with the the Flatso won’t necessarily correlate to improvements in your putting.

      Best,

      Matt

  15. David Reynolds

    I have a wonderful old Ray Cook plain, blade putter and am normally a very good putter. I had to finally change the grip and since I like over-sized (double) grips on my clubs, I got one for the putter. Suddenly, I lost my ‘feel’ for the putter and while I started making more 5 (and in) footers (I get the yips on short putts for some reason), I no longer could cozy a putt of 20 feet up to the hole and was often coming up 5-8 feet short on putts of 18-30 feet.

    When I went back to get another grip, I was told that since I had a light, flat, single blade head, a thin grip was recommended and this was no doubt why I lost my feel.

    I didn’t see any mention of the type of putter head in your article but is what I was told true? I haven’t been out to putt since I changed it but am eager to see if I regained the feel I used to have.

    • Matt Saternus

      David,

      What the person at the shop was probably referring to was the loss of swing weight. When you went with the bigger, heavier grip, the balance of the putter moved towards the grip and you lost some of the feel for the head. A thinner, lighter grip will put the swing weight and balance back where you’re used to it.

      Best,

      Matt

  16. Great video. Just bought a bettinatdi bb1. I golfed my first round with it today. Amazing putter. I was wondering your suggestions if i did put a superstroker on if that would throw the balance off. It did come with a golfpride pistol grip on it. I don’t know if that is lighter than a supetstroke but would love any input.

    • Matt Saternus

      Chad,

      The SuperStroke grips aren’t too much heavier than most standard putter grips, but there could be a small difference. You can always get the swing weight back with a little lead tape.

      As for whether or not to change, I would start by asking how you’re putting now. If you’re putting well with the new putter, leave it alone. If you’re looking for a change because you’re putting poorly, absolutely, give a big grip a try.

      Best,

      Matt

  17. Hi Matt, I changed the grip on my Scotty Cameron to a Champ C1 big grip to get away from yips when close range. Now on long distances, I tend to leave my putts short. Perhaps because of the big grip, I’m not holding the putter tight enough. Should grip pressure be lighter with big grips?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tony,

      I can’t tell you what your grip pressure should be, but I think that people generally hold large grips more gently just because it’s harder to squeeze them. Have you checked the swing weight before and after the grip change? You may have lost some SW making the putter feel different than it did before.

      Best,

      Matt

  18. Roger Campbell

    I have a fitted putter that is very heavy. I also use a jumbo grip on my woods. Would a Superstroke larger grip or a secret grip improve my putting? My issue is more with distance.
    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Roger,

      The only way to know for sure is to try it. Do keep in mind that switching to a heavier grip will make that heavy head feel lighter.

      Best,

      Matt

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  20. Does it matter what type of putter you have to be able to use a big grip ?

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  22. Jason Teji

    Hey Matt,

    Its great to see such a detailed post on the matter, putting is literally how you win games. I have driving down but I’m awful on the green. I was wondering if you’ve ever seen these before – http://www.p2grips.com? I used to use a superstroke but honestly I think it was too fat for me, I didn’t enjoy the feel. I have terrible problems with my wrists and the classic one looks like it might have the best of both worlds. Be great if you have had any experience with them.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jason,

      I have not heard of P2 prior to your post, but I’d certainly be open to reviewing them if the company is interested.

      -Matt

  23. jack wheeler

    Hey Matt, thanks for the info on the big putter grips. just noticed you wrote this three years ago but most relevant to me. And, i really, really appreciate the “short & long answers” versions.

  24. Jon Compton

    Hi Matt, I had a super stroke 5.0 large grip on the handle of my previous putter.. Then I got a Scotty Cameron XR 7 that came with a thinner grip. If I swap and put on my old grip, and find it unsatisfactory, can the original SC grip be reinstalled? Or do they cut it off when they remove it ? Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      It depends who’s doing the work. Grips can be removed “safely” and later reused, but most shops just cut off the old grip.

      Best,

      Matt

  25. Rick Stowell

    Hi Matt, have you found that switching from a traditional pistol grip to a fatter grip requires a different placement or grip of your hands?

    • Matt Saternus

      Rick,

      The grip will sit differently in your hands, but you don’t need to grip it any differently.

      Best,

      Matt

  26. David cahill

    Hi .my putting at the moment is a struggle I’m pulling and pushing my putts and if I’m not at times the putter on its backstroke isn’t goin back even which I feel is causing me to pull and push putts.would a thicker grip on putter help.im trying everything but I just can’t get the putter goin.can you or anyone help me out.thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      David,

      A larger grip may help, but I would also suggest a lesson and/or working with a fitter to find a putter that will work better for you.

      Best,

      Matt

  27. Just acquired an old brass- headed blade putter with a set of clubs to take up the game again. I want to cut the shaft about 2 1/2 ” as i have been gripping cross handed and two fingers of my left hand are on bare shaft.
    Have a Superstroke 3.0 ordered but am just going off some advice, have never tried one. I fully expect it to feel much better than the old, tapered grip.
    Will know for sure in a week. If there is no deterioration in my putting i’ll be happy.

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