There’s a noticeable difference between the golf grip on a regular club (iron, wood or hybrid) and that of a putter.
Instead of a uniform round shape, most putter grips are flat on the front, aka “pistol” style. It’s a helpful, game-improvement design which places the hands directly opposite each other, as if gripping a ruler, and promotes a stroke in which the hands work in unison with little or no wrist action.
While nearly all putter grips are made in this style, a number of variations are available. As with regular grips, size is an important factor that influences your stroke. Putter grips come in an array of materials that can change the club’s feel, too.
As a general rule, the bigger or thicker the grip, the less freedom of motion your hands will have. (Per USGA rules, a grip may not exceed 1.75” in diameter). A thin putter grip will allow more wrist motion, a larger grip less. While a wrist-free stroke is widely recommended, some golfers find that an oversized grip robs them of touch and feel on the greens.
A key benefit of oversized putter grips: They help relax the hands. A smaller grip requires more squeezing to hold onto, which can cause unwanted tension and restrict the stroke. Spurred by the success of K.J. Choi and other professionals, jumbo or super-sized putter grips have gained popularity in recent years.
To enhance feel and comfort, some companies integrate different materials into specific sections of the grip. Some use unusual surface patterns to achieve the same effect. Because the grip’s weight can alter the putter’s balance and feel, most oversized grips are offered in lightweight versions.
If your stroke is out of sorts, experiment with various grip sizes at your local club or golf shop. The answer to your issues may be right at your fingertips.