Claw Putting Grip: Complete Guide for Stability and Better Control

Colin McCarthy

claw putting grip

The claw putting grip has revolutionized the way many golfers approach their short game. Originating in Asia and gaining prominence in the early 2000s thanks to PGA Tour players like Chris DiMarco and Sergio Garcia, this unconventional grip offers a unique solution for those struggling with putting issues.

By minimizing the influence of the trail hand, the claw grip aims to provide more stability and control during the stroke.

Today, both recreational and professional golfers are turning to the claw putting grip as a viable alternative to traditional methods.

Its ability to ease tension and steady the hands makes it especially appealing to those plagued by the yips or an overly tight grip.

While it might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, many have found significant improvements in their putting performance by adopting this technique.

What Is the Claw Putting Grip?

The claw putting grip is a technique where a golfer holds the putter with a claw-like grip. This unique hand placement minimizes the influence of the trail hand, which can often lead to a more stable and controlled putting stroke.

Golfers position their trail hand with fingers pointing downward and the thumb resting on the top of the grip. The lead hand holds the upper part of the handle, guiding the putter.

Invented decades ago, the claw grip gained popularity in the early 2000s with notable PGA Tour players like Chris DiMarco and Sergio Garcia.

It’s said to have originated in Asia, where variations of the grip have been in use for many years. Today, the claw grip is widely used by both recreational and professional golfers who seek alternatives to traditional putting grips.

Benefits of Using the Claw Putting Grip

The Claw putting grip has gained popularity among golfers for several reasons:

Improved Stability and Control

The claw putting grip enhances stability and control during putting strokes. Golfers experience a more stable putter face, as this grip minimizes the hands’ influence on the club.

By promoting a more neutral hand position, the claw grip helps reduce twisting and turning, leading to more precise putts. Many professional golfers, including Tommy Fleetwood, have found great success using this grip.

By allowing the lead hand to guide the putter, the grip encourages smoother and more consistent strokes, which can significantly improve overall performance on the green.

Reduced Wrist Action

The claw putting grip also effectively limits wrist action. Reducing unnecessary wrist movement can lead to more accurate and consistent putts.

This grip positions the trail hand in a more passive role, which minimizes its influence and reduces the likelihood of wrist break during the stroke.

The design of the grip helps align the upper wrist with the putter, facilitating a more vertical and locked feel at address.

This not only enhances the stability of the stroke but also activates the larger shoulder muscles, promoting a more controlled and consistent swing path.

For golfers struggling with issues like the yips, the reduction in wrist action can bring significant benefits and restore confidence.

How to Implement the Claw Grip in Your Game

Implementing the Claw grip in your putting game involves a few key steps:

Initial Positioning

Align the putter’s shaft with your lead forearm to form a continuous line. Bring both together to create a grip that runs up the hand, not across it.

This alignment promotes better stability and control. Additionally, position your trail hand underneath or on the side in a claw-like formation.

This minimizes wrist movement, helps in maintaining a square face at impact, and improves consistency in your putting stroke.

Thumb Positioning

Place the butt of the putter in the lifeline opposite the middle of your wrist. Let it run down the palm to the index finger. Then, wrap the fingers of your lead hand around the grip.

The thumb should rest neatly on the flat top of the handle. Next, bring your trailing hand below, stabilizing the grip using a claw-like pattern where your fingers pinch the handle lightly. This setup promotes a controlled, pendulum-like putting stroke.

Button Pressing

Ensure the butt of the putter is held securely against the inside of your wrist. This placement keeps the grip steady, allows for more consistent strokes, and helps maintain the putter’s head path.

Additionally, practice proper wrist alignment to minimize wrist breakdown during strokes. Consistency in your grip and alignment promotes better accuracy and control on the greens.

Additionally, make sure your shoulders stay level and relaxed throughout the putt. Practicing regularly with the claw grip can enhance your touch and feel, leading to improved performance in crucial moments.

Relaxation and Stretching

Keep your grip pressure light to avoid tension. Relax wrists and forearms to minimize unwanted movement. This relaxation ensures the putter moves more fluidly, adding to the consistency of your stroke.

Additionally, aligning your eyes directly over the ball can help with accuracy. By maintaining a steady head and calm demeanor, you foster better control and achieve a smoother, more precise putt.

Practice and Adaptation

Spend time practicing with the claw grip to adapt to its unique feel and benefits. Use short putting drills to build confidence and consistency.

Many golfers find that consistent practice helps to internalize the technique, leading to improved performance on the green.

Additionally, experiment with different variations of the claw grip to find the one that suits you best. Seek feedback from a putting coach or use video analysis to refine your form.

Comparing Claw Grip with Traditional Putting Techniques

Comparing the Claw grip with traditional putting techniques can shed light on their respective strengths and weaknesses:

Performance Differences

The claw grip offers different performance benefits compared to traditional putting grips. Claw putting grips enhance consistency by reducing wrist action during the stroke.

This grip stabilizes the putter head, leading to a straighter roll and fewer missed putts due to wrist breakdown.

Traditional putting grips, while effective, often rely more heavily on a player’s hands and wrists, which can introduce more variability. The claw grip helps mitigate hand and wrist movement, promoting a smoother and more reliable stroke.

Studies show that professional golfers using the claw grip notice reduced chances of developing the “yips”—involuntary wrist spasms during putting.

For instance, Sergio Garcia has successfully used the claw grip to address his putting inconsistencies. Traditional grips can be less effective for golfers with such issues, leading to higher putt variability.

Player Preferences

Player preferences often dictate the choice between claw and traditional grips. The claw grip is particularly favored by golfers experiencing issues with maintaining a steady stroke.

Players like Chris DiMarco and Sergio Garcia have popularized this grip on the PGA Tour due to its performance benefits.

However, traditional grips remain popular for their natural feel and familiarity. Some players prefer them because they offer more tactile feedback and tactile engagement with the putter.

Recreational golfers often stick with traditional grips due to habit and comfort. Yet, many transitioning to claw grips find an improvement in their putting accuracy and control.

Ultimately, the choice between claw and traditional grips boils down to individual needs and comfort. Experimenting with both can help players determine which grip best aligns with their putting style and enhances their overall performance on the green.

Common Concern approach

Golfers often weigh multiple concerns before switching to a claw putting grip. These concerns include comfort, consistency, and transition period.


Golfers worry about the initial discomfort of changing putting grips. Adapting to the claw grip may feel unnatural at first, impacting their confidence and overall performance during the adjustment phase.

Understanding that this discomfort is temporary can ease their mind. Golfers worry about the initial discomfort of changing putting grips.

Adapting to the claw grip may feel unnatural at first, impacting their confidence and overall performance during the adjustment phase.

Understanding that this discomfort is temporary can ease their mind. With consistent practice and the right technique, many golfers find that the claw grip ultimately enhances their control and accuracy, leading to improved putting performance.


Consistency in putting is crucial. Concerns arise about whether the new grip can deliver the same level of reliability as their old grip.

For golfers accustomed to traditional grips, the claw grip offers a different feel, aiming to reduce wrist action for a more stable stroke.

Additionally, this grip can potentially minimize common issues like pulling or pushing putts. By promoting a smoother and more controlled motion, it may help golfers achieve a more consistent performance on the greens.

Transition Period

The time it takes to get accustomed to the claw grip can vary. Players might feel uncertain about how long it will take to see improvements in their putting game.

Practicing with the new grip during practice sessions, rather than in competitive play initially, can shorten this transition period effectively.

Additionally, incorporating drills specifically designed for the claw grip can expedite mastery. Observing progress through consistent practice will ultimately build confidence and enhance overall performance.

Technique Adaptation

Adapting to the claw grip requires modifying existing putting techniques. Golfers must learn proper hand positioning and grip pressure unique to the claw grip.

Resources like professional advice or instructional videos can assist in this adaptation. Consistency and practice are crucial for mastering the claw grip.

Over time, golfers may notice improved control and stability in their putts. Utilizing training aids can further enhance skill development.

Performance Metrics

Measuring performance improvements is essential. Golfers often monitor key metrics like putts per round and putt accuracy to determine the effectiveness of the claw grip.

Keeping track of performance data can provide objective insights into the benefits of switching grips. Additionally, consistency in practice is crucial to fully adapt to the claw grip.

By regularly reviewing performance data, golfers can identify trends and make informed adjustments to their technique.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the claw putting grip?

The claw putting grip is a technique used by golfers to improve stability and control in their putting game. It involves a unique hand positioning that helps to minimize the influence of the hands and wrists, making the stroke more consistent.

Which professional golfers use the claw putting grip?

Professional golfers like Chris DiMarco and Sergio Garcia are known for using the claw putting grip. They favor it for its stability and control benefits, especially useful for those dealing with the yips.

How do you implement the claw putting grip?

To implement the claw grip, position your dominant hand with the thumb pressing lightly against the putter.

Is the claw putting grip uncomfortable?

Initially, the claw putting grip may feel uncomfortable as it requires modifying your existing putting technique.

How long does it take to see improvements with the claw putting grip?

The time it takes to see improvements can vary. Most golfers notice changes after a period of consistent practice and adaptation, which can range from a few weeks to several months.


The claw putting grip offers golfers a significant edge in stability and control, making it a valuable tool for those struggling with the yips.

While the transition period may present challenges, the benefits of improved consistency and performance make it worth the effort.

Addressing initial discomfort and adapting to the new technique requires dedication and practice, but the potential for enhancing one’s putting game is substantial.

For golfers willing to invest the time, the claw grip can be a game-changer on the greens. Many professional golfers have adopted this grip for its ability to reduce tension in the hands and improve overall accuracy.

Additionally, the claw grip promotes a more fluid putting stroke, which can help maintain steadiness under pressure, ultimately leading to lower scores and increased confidence on the course.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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