Putting is one of the more unique and personal aspects of golf with a myriad of strokes, stances and hand positions deployed across the world by millions of players.
To match all of these contrasting techniques and of course hand sizes, golfers can now, quite literally, get hold of grips ranging from wafer thin to super jumbo thick. On wedges, irons, hybrids and woods, there is also a host of different grip thicknesses to match different player’s needs.
In putting, some grip thicknesses are directly designed to help match some putting strokes and others to help out with a particular putting fault. Very large putting grips, for example, tend to help players who struggle with particularly ‘wristy’ strokes. On the other hand, very thin grips allow golfers struggling for feel around the green to better judge the distance and line on putts.
As well as fat or thin grips, there is also the grip shape to consider which can also affect the way someone holds the putter and hits the shots. With other clubs, the grip thickness can help influence the way a player moves their hands through the swing. Very thick grips tend to cause a player to have ‘quieter hands’ meaning they are less likely to turn them over through impact and send a shot left (for a right handed golfer). Very thin grips on clubs will help players who struggle to square the club face up at impact or who find it hard to release the club.
To find the perfect grip for your own game, you should first properly assess your hand size. There are a number of manufacturers such as Ping who have hand charts allowing golfers to measure hand length and span to get custom fit grips. Golfers looking to see if their grips are too thick or thin can use the following test.
Pick up your 7 iron with the left hand. If the fingers of the left hand when wrapped around the grip are pressing into the flesh pad of the left thumb, the grip will be too thin. Golfers should be able to wrap their left hand around the golf club and not press into this flesh pad.
Getting custom fit for your grips is always the best policy with both long clubs and the putter. Experiment with different makes and sizes and seek professional advice. Your grip is the only point of contact between your body and the club, it has to be correct.