The Claw Putting Grip: Master Your Putting Stroke with The Claw Grip

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claw putting grip

Are you looking to improve your golf putting game and sink more shots on the green? If so, you may want to consider the popular technique of claw grip putting. This unique grip style has gained popularity among golfers of all skill levels, thanks to its ability to reduce wrist action, lower grip pressure, and improve tempo.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of claw grip putting and explore its many benefits and advantages. We’ll provide a detailed overview of the technique, including step-by-step instructions on how to use it effectively. Along the way, we’ll also share some tips and tricks for making the most of your claw grip and improving your overall putting game.

So if you’re ready to take your golf putting skills to the next level, read on to learn more about claw grip putting and how it can help you sink more shots on the green.

Key Takeaways

  • The claw putting grip is an unconventional way of gripping the putter that aims to reduce wrist action and increase stability in the stroke
  • The claw grip involves placing the left hand on the putter as usual, and resting the right hand on the shaft with a split thumb and forefinger, creating a claw-like shape
  • The claw grip can help golfers who struggle with feel, comfort, or consistency on the greens, as it puts the left hand in charge and prevents the right hand from interfering with the face control
  • The claw grip has been used successfully by many professional golfers, such as Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, and Tony Finau, who have improved their putting performance with this technique

The Basics and Origin of the Claw Putting Grip

The claw putting grip, as the name suggests, mimics the shape of a claw with the way your hands are positioned on the club. This unconventional but effective grip has its roots in the game’s constant evolution and players’ pursuit of perfection. The grip was designed to provide better control and stability during those decisive moments on the green.

While the traditional putting grip may work for many, the claw grip has emerged as a saving grace for those struggling with putting consistency. The claw grip’s essence lies in its unique hand placement and the control it offers, particularly over the lead hand. This leads to improved precision and consistency in putting strokes.

Although the claw grip may seem unconventional, and possibly uncomfortable at first, it has been adopted by several top professionals. Once mastered, the claw grip can enhance your overall performance and significantly improve your game, particularly on the greens.

Demand for Left Hand Control in the Game

The demand for left-hand control in the game of golf is undeniable. The putting stroke, in particular, is a crucial aspect where left-hand control plays a pivotal role. For instance, in a claw grip, the left hand leads the way, allowing for better control and precision. By adopting the claw grip, your right hand essentially becomes a passenger, letting the left hand dictate the direction and speed of the stroke.

Struggling With Comfort and Feel during Putts

If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable on the putting green or struggled with the feel of your putts, you’re not alone. The claw grip, in particular, may initially feel strange to many golfers. The way the claw grip feels is quite different from traditional grips due to its unique hand placement. However, with practice and patience, over time you can enhance your comfort level and improve your putting performance.

Encountering Issues with Short Putts

Short putts can be surprisingly challenging. If you frequently miss those putts in the 3-foot range, adopting the claw grip might be a game-changer. Many golfers have found the claw grip to be particularly effective for these tricky short putts. You can even practice these shots on a home putting green, allowing you to get comfortable with the grip and improve your short game.

claw putting grip

Necessity for Better Control in Golfing

One of the central aspects of golfing is the need for better control, particularly when putting. Achieving this can be challenging, but the claw grip offers a solution. This grip provides more control over the putter’s shaft and, more importantly, the clubface of the putter. If you’re struggling to get the club head into a neutral position at impact, the claw grip could significantly enhance your game.

Detailed Explanation of the Claw Putter Grip

Understanding the claw putter grip requires understanding its parts and how they function. Start by gripping the putter with your lead hand. This grip works best when your upper hand remains in a conventional position. This means creating a continuous line between the putter shaft and your lead forearm, which is essential for control and accuracy.

Next, set the claw. The lower hand gives the claw grip its name. Form your lower hand into the shape of a crab’s claw. The space between your thumb and first finger, forming a ‘V,’ should meet the putter grip seam at the back, with the palm facing the hole. This unique positioning is where the claw grip derives its name.

Once you’ve set the claw, support the grip. Simply position your hand right down, making sure your fingers are well-positioned around the putter. Ensuring a firm but relaxed grip is the key to mastering the claw putter grip.

Who Can Adopt a Claw Putter Grip Efficiently in Their Game?

This style of grip can be beneficial for a variety of golfers. Those who are struggling with face rotation or the conventional grip can certainly benefit from the claw putter grip. It’s also excellent for golfers looking to enhance the influence of their lead hand. Remember, a proper grip on the putter’s shaft and a lead forearm that aligns with it can significantly improve your game.

Golfers Looking to Enhance Lead Hand Influence

Golfers who are aiming to enhance the influence of their lead hand should consider the claw putter grip. This grip style naturally prioritizes the lead hand. By reducing the wrist action in the putting stroke, you can achieve greater consistency and better control over distance, particularly for those long lag putts.

Players Struggling with Comfort During Putts

Are you finding it hard to get comfortable on the putting green? It’s a common issue, even among the top players. The claw grip can help you find a more comfortable and effective way to putt. However, some golfers find the claw grip feels unusual at first. But with practice and patience, you can adjust to it and improve your game.

Individuals Frequently Missing Short Putts

If you’re a golfer who often finds themselves missing those tricky short putts, the claw grip might be the solution you’re seeking. Many golfers swear by its effectiveness, particularly when it comes to putts within that challenging 3-foot range. The claw grip can provide the control and precision needed to sink these putts more consistently. You can even start practicing this grip at home, using an office putting green to refine your technique and boost your confidence.

Step-by-step Instructions to Implement the Claw Putting Grip Method

Adopting the claw putting grip can provide opportunities for improved performance on the green. If you’re ready to give this method a try, let’s get started with a detailed, step-by-step guide. Here, we’ll walk you through how to position your hands and fingers to achieve an optimal claw grip.

The Position of the Left Hand – The Top Hand

The positioning of your left hand, or your power hand if you’re left-handed, is vital to mastering the claw grip. This hand serves as the guide for your putting stroke and helps with consistency and distance control. Your left hand should lead the way, positioned at the top of the grip. It’s crucial to maintain a firm yet flexible hold, allowing your swing grip to be fluid and controlled. Try not to let your right hand overtake; remember, it’s just along for the ride.

Placement and Role of the Right Hand – The bottom Hand

The right hand plays a crucial role in the claw grip, especially if it’s your dominant hand. The key is to ensure your right hand is connected to the club in a way that promotes consistency and control during the putting stroke. The palm should be facing towards the target, with the pointer finger extending down the grip. The thumb and index finger should be positioned in a way that they naturally fall into place when you hold the club, providing a comfortable yet secure grip.

Alignment of the Fingers for Optimal Grip

Once you’ve positioned your hands correctly, it’s time to focus on the alignment of your fingers. Unlike conventional grips where both hands tightly grasp the club, the claw grip promotes a more relaxed hold. This relaxed grip, particularly with the bottom hand, reduces the tendency for the wrists to break down mid-stroke, encouraging a smoother swing. As you swing the club, remember to keep your fingers relaxed and aligned for the best possible grip. This approach can help promote a pendulum-like stroke, contributing to more precise and consistent putts.

claw putting grip

Practicing the Stroke with the Claw Grip

Getting the claw grip right involves mastering the way you swing the club. The key lies in maintaining a relaxed hold, particularly with your bottom hand. This ensures minimal wrist action and promotes a smoother, pendulum-like stroke. The claw grip approach is designed to reduce any tendency for your wrists to break down mid-stroke, which is a common issue with conventional grips. By practicing this method regularly, you can enhance your putting performance significantly.

Elucidating the Differences Between Claw and Pencil Putting Grip

The claw and pencil putting grips are two widely adopted styles in golf, each with its unique features. The primary difference between the two lies in the position of the right hand. In the claw grip, the fingers rest on top of the putter grip with the thumb underneath. This formation allows for better control and a smoother stroke.

On the other hand, the pencil grip simulates holding a pencil. Here, only three fingers grip the club, while the rest are wrapped around the back. This grip provides a different feel and may be suitable for golfers who prefer a lighter, more delicate touch.

Both grips have their merits and choosing between them relies heavily on your personal comfort and the style of play you adopt. It’s all about finding the grip that gives you the best control and consistency on the green.

Pros and Cons: Gaining Insight into Claw Grip Putting

The claw grip style of putting has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these can help you decide whether this grip style is right for you.

Advantages of Adopting the Claw Grip Putting

One significant benefit of the claw grip putting technique is the enhanced control it offers. With your fingers on top of the grip, you can manage the club better, leading to more accurate putts. The relaxed grip, especially with the bottom hand, promotes a smoother stroke, reducing the likelihood of the wrists breaking down mid-stroke. This, in turn, can improve your overall putting consistency.

Potential Downsides of the Claw Grip Putting

While the claw grip putting technique has many advantages, it does have potential downsides. For some golfers, it may feel unusual or uncomfortable initially, especially if you are used to a conventional grip. It may take some time to get accustomed to the new grip style and see improvements in your game. However, with practice and perseverance, many find that the benefits outweigh these initial challenges.

Insights from Professionals Using the Claw Grip Putting Method

Over the years, the claw putter grip has gained popularity among professional golfers, particularly on the PGA Tour. The demand for this grip has seen a significant increase as tour players look to enhance their game and gain better control over their putts.

Well-known professional golfers like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Tommy Fleetwood, and Justin Rose have adopted the claw putter grip in their game. These golfers have demonstrated the efficiency of this grip, especially in managing hand positions during putting. Their success on the green has served as a testament to the effectiveness of the claw method.

It’s worth noting that not all professionals use the claw grip. For instance, Tiger Woods is known for using the reverse overlap grip, a different approach to putting. Hence, it’s important to understand that adopting a particular putting grip largely depends on an individual golfer’s comfort and the specific demands of their game.

Further Reading – For the most comprehensive guide on putting, including grip styles, tips, and how to practice, see our golf putting and golf putting tips pages.


Will switching to the claw grip improve my putting?

Switching to the claw grip can potentially improve your putting, but it depends on your personal preference and comfort. Many golfers have found success with the claw grip, including professional golfers like Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood. It’s worth trying if you are struggling with your current putting technique.

Does the claw grip affect grip pressure?

Yes, the claw grip usually requires a lighter grip pressure compared to conventional grips. By using a lighter grip pressure, you can reduce tension in your hands and wrists, which can lead to a smoother and more controlled putting stroke.

How does the claw grip affect wrist action?

The claw grip helps to minimize excessive wrist action during the putting stroke. With the extended index and middle fingers on your lead hand, the grip limits excessive wrist rotation and encourages a more pendulum-like motion. This can lead to more consistent contact and improved accuracy.

Can the claw grip help me with short putts?

Yes, the claw grip is particularly useful for short putts. The stability and control offered by the grip style can help you make more confident and precise strokes on shorter putts, increasing your chances of sinking them.

Is the claw grip considered unconventional?

Yes, the claw grip is considered unconventional compared to the more traditional putting grips. However, it has gained popularity among golfers due to its proven effectiveness and success on professional tours like the PGA Tour and Ryder Cup.


As you contemplate adopting a new grip for your golf game, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons. The claw grip putting method, an unconventional way of gripping, has proven successful for many top tour players around the globe. PGA Tour players like Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose have adopted this unconventional grip, demonstrating its effectiveness on the green. Even on the European Tour, the claw grip style is a common sight.

The claw grip, as taught by putting coach Phil Kenyon, offers several benefits. One of the key advantages is how it gives the trail hand a more passive role. This can lead to a more stable face and a smoother stroke, beneficial for golfers who struggle with control and consistency. Using the claw grip, you can achieve a stroke dominated by the left hand, which can enhance your lag putting and improve ball speed. Moreover, this grip can help in reducing the wrist hinge, which often leads to putting yips.

However, it’s important to note that the claw grip may not feel comfortable for everyone. When you first wrap your fingers around the golf club, it may feel strange. But golf is a game of adaptation and finding what feels the most comfortable for your hands on the club. Customization is key – some players may prefer a reverse overlap putting grip, a pencil putting grip, or even a cross-handed grip. It’s all about finding the putter grip that gives you the most confidence and comfort on the green.

So, is the claw grip putting the right choice for you? If you’re looking for better control, consistency, and a new technique to refresh your game, it could be worth a try. Remember to take practice swings and experiment with different putter grips, maybe even a super stroke or a Cameron putter. Give it a shot and see if this unconventional grip puts a positive spin on your game.

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Tommy is a confirmed golf fanatic. He's been playing golf for 20 years and just loves everything about the game. His dad used to play golf a lot and watch the PGA and European Tours, so Tommy started watching too. Now he knows a lot about golf and loves to coach people and help them play better.

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