Golf is a mental game. The smallest changes or thoughts can either debilitate or improve your score quickly. This is the case for every club, but none are more finicky than the putter. If you’re anything like me, you have a love-hate relationship with almost every putter you’ve owned. It’s the only club in my bag that I swap out consistently when things aren’t going well to change the mojo.
Nowadays there are more ways than ever to switch up your putter. One increasingly popular way is to go to a fatter grip. It’s a style that I have used from time to time and many PGA/LPGA Tour players have made the switch too. There are many benefits to the fat putter grip that could make it the answer to your putting woes.
How does a fat putter grip help?
In the simplest terms, I think the main benefit of a fatter putter grip is how it impacts your hands and wrists. The increased size quiets down any excess motion or hinge in your wrists and leads to a more consistent strike on the golf ball.
I first used a fatter grip in a qualifying round during my time in college. I had been struggling on the greens and my coach let me borrow his SeeMore putter with a SuperStroke 1.0 Flatso grip on it. I had my best putting round in a while and ended up winning a tournament with the same putter a few weeks later. It changed my putting in the short term so much that my coach gave me the putter and I still go back to old faithful occasionally.
I’ve found it helps most on putts inside of 10 feet. I compare the grips to an extremely dulled down version of anchoring. Not in the actual functionality, but how it reduces the impact nerves have on putting. Of course, you can still yip it with it a fat putter grip, but from my experience, it's less common.
I don’t notice a huge difference on long lag putts. If anything on slower greens my feel is a little worse on super long putts in the 50+ foot range. Those are few and far between and are not a strength of my game to begin with.
I have two putters with fat grips, both are SuperStroke 1.0s (the smallest nontraditional grips that they make). SuperStroke started the thicker putter grip movement back in 2009 and are the dominant brand in the space. Jason Dufner won the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill and since then the popularity of the grips on Tour has increased.
Nowadays at any PGA Tour event somewhere from 30-40% of the players will be using a variety of a SuperStroke grip on their putter. Jordan Spieth has had great success with the Flatso grip and recent winners Wyndham Clark and Davis Riley use the grips as well.
There are other brands that make fat putter grips that pros use. Bryson DeChambeau uses a JumboMax putter grip. Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson use Garsen putter grips. But SuperStroke is the most well represented on Tour.
How fatter grips could help you right now
Despite the growing popularity, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler still use a traditional grip and the visual of Tiger using a fat grip is jarring to even think about. The feel of a traditional grip is great when you’re rolling it well, but for amateurs I think the benefits far out way the cons.
“There’s not many Tiger Woods in the world,” notes SuperStroke VP Ian Zubkoff. “We just wanted to help people play better golf and make golf easier.” Zubkoff considers SuperStroke to be a “Tour derivative” because many of their 40+ grip styles were made because of feedback received from players on Tour. The grips benefit players in different ways, and some sizes help those who suffer from certain misses consistently.
If your tendency is to pull putts you may want to opt for a larger grip, such as a 3.0 or 5.0 for SuperStroke, which has 4 different sizes (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 5.0). When tested on a SAM Puttlab, the fatter the grip the more the ball drifted to the right for righties (left for lefties).
I find 1.0s (or any fatter, non-tapered grip that is on the smaller side) offer a nice middle ground from the standard putter grip to the gaudy 5.0. I still have good feel, but also get the benefit of steadier hands.
“It is a highly personal thing,” Zubkoff said. “Really, it’s about what feels good in your hands.”
I recommend giving the larger grips a try. There is no better feeling than that ‘aha’ moment when you hold a putter and know instantly that it will improve your putting and your confidence.
Have you ever switched to a fatter putting grip? Let us know how it impacted your putting in the comments below.
I've always considered my self a decent putter but like every other golfer on the planet, I'd have brief runs of losing my feel for the putting game. I'd change putting styles, left hand low, right hand low, saw grip etc. and then just grind my way back into form. I've played with the grips that came from the factory with my putter, changed out to a variety of grips, some fatter, some not. SuperStroke, Winn's Jumbo Lite DriTac's, Lamkin Cross Line, etc.
Just prior to the end of last years golf season, I decided to retire my 2005 model steel Odyssey, 2-ball CS putter. I found a good lightly used (9.5/10) Cleveland Huntington Beach 6 CS putter from an online re-seller for a price that was too good to pass up. The courier delivered it to my door the day before the last golf tournament of the year I was scheduled to play in. It came with a P2 Classic grip. Mmmmh? never heard of them, but the moment I put this putter in hand I was sold. I practiced for 30-40 min on the carpet in the house that night and put it in the bag. To make a long story short, my first official game putt with this Cleveland putter with the P2 grip, it dropped for birdie. I made 4 birdies that tournament and I swear it was a combination of the P2 grip and how well balanced this particular Cleveland putter feels in my hands. I've been using this putter since the start of this years season and I have all the confidence in the world when I've got this putter in my hands.
The P2 isn't necessarily a "fat" style grip but I can say it won't hurt any golfer to try different styles of grips.
Great article......I recently just switched to a fatter grip and love it!