Grip style: InterlockingChris Kirk interlock grip Hand position: strongChris Kirk strong grip Putting grip style / hand position: Varies between conventional and “claw”
    Chris Kirk conventional and “claw” grip

    Chris Kirk Grip
    If it ain’t broke,” the old saying goes, “don’t fix it.” Apparently, there’s one Georgia Bulldog who never heard the phrase.

    Chris Kirk’s grip with the putter seemed to work just fine in 2013, when he ranked 17th on the PGA TOUR in strokes gained putting, and 2014, when he ranked 22nd and won twice en route to a second-place FedEx Cup finish.

    But standing dead last through three rounds of the 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Kirk decided to try the “claw” grip he’d been practicing for six months. Something must have clicked: Kirk fired an 11-under-par 62 in the final round at Kapalua.

    Kirk’s regular putting grip is an unusual, “triple overlap” concoction – think Ryan Moore’s putting grip, with an extra right finger over the left. With the claw, Kirk simply holds the top of the handle with his left hand and gently squeezes the bottom between right thumb and index finger.

    Kirk made the switch, he said, in the hopes of starting the ball on the correct line more often.

    Chris Kirk’s grip, full-swing version, is just a tad on the strong side. In fact, his left hand is basically neutral; it’s his right that’s turned away from the target. You can tell by the “V” (base of thumb and forefinger) pointing almost directly up his right arm at address.

    It’s an all-purpose grip that helps Kirk keep the ball in play. He’s not the longest hitter out there, ranking 80th for driving distance in 2014, but his accuracy has improved steadily since his rookie year in 2011.


Golf Grip Terms
Note: All descriptions are for right-handed golfers.

Vardon / Overlapping Grip: Method of holding the club by placing the right pinky finger on top of the crease between the left index and middle fingers. Named for British golf legend Harry Vardon.
Interlocking Grip: Method of holding the club by wedging or locking the right pinky finger between the left index and middle fingers.
vardon grip interlocking grip
Neutral: Position in which the hands are directly aligned with the clubface. The golfer with a neutral grip can typically see two full knuckles on the back of the left hand when addressing the ball.
Weak: Position in which the hands are rotated left (toward the target) on the club’s handle. The golfer with a weak grip can typically see one full knuckle on the back of the left hand when addressing the ball.
neutral grip weak grip
Strong: Position in which the hands are rotated right (away from the target) on the club’s handle. The golfer with a strong grip can typically see more than two full knuckles on the back of the left hand when addressing the ball.
Reverse Overlap Putting Grip: Conventional putting grip style with the left hand above the right and the left index finger extending downward, on top of the fingers of the right hand.
strong grip reverse overlap
Cross-Handed / Left Hand Low Putting Grip: The right hand is placed at the top of the handle, above the left hand, the opposite of a conventional grip.
Claw Putting Grip: The left hand is placed in the conventional position, at the top of the handle, with the right hand lower on the handle and holding the club between the thumb (on the grip’s underside) and fingers.
cross handed Claw Grip