The full swing grip is organized so the golfer can form two 90 degree angles between the shaft and each respective forearm at the top of the backswing. The work required to create these two angles stores significant power at the top of the backswing that is released with a fury in the downswing.
The putting stroke is entirely different. Instead of creating angles with a view to release them, we want to build a stroke that moves our forearms on the same plane as the putter shaft which ideally should move straight-back straight-through on the 70 degree lie angle of the putter. To best accomplish this we need to organize our forearms on the same plane as the putter shaft and keep them both moving together on the single plane. (See my other post and video on this here).
You can see above that instead of forming two 90 degree angles between the shaft and forearm, we are forming one single 180 degree angle. And to organize our forearms this way requires a different grip than the traditional full swing overlap or interlock grip
Below are procedures on how to form the classic “reverse-overlap” putting-specific grip used by most of the greatest putters that correctly and easily aligns the forearms with the shaft.
The Reverse Overlap Putting Grip
First of all, the classic “neutral” putting grip is referred to as the”reverse-overlap” grip. It’s “reverse” because it simply reverses the traditional full-swing overlap by switching the positions of the right-pinky and left-forefinger. My classic reverse-overlap grip is shown below in Figure (3) through Figure (5) below. You can see the left-forefinger sits on top of the right pinky instead of the other way around.There are many benefits to using this gripping for putting which I will get to in a little bit.
Before I go on, I want to say that I’m a big believer in having 9 of your 10 fingers on the rubber of the grip. Not 8. Not 10. But 9. Why? It’s about stability. Nine fingers produces the best combination of: (1)
sufficient flexibility to get the putter grip running down the lifelines of both hands, and (2) control over the handle so the “Y” of the putting stroke doesn’t break down through impact.
Getting the Left Hand Grip on Correct
The first trick to forming the reverse overlap is to give the left index-finger the room and flexibility to get the grip running more up the life-line of the left hand. As shown in Figure (6), this requires extending the left index finger sufficiently outward to allow for the reverse overlap. To provide feel and promote the grip running up the life-line, the tips of the last three fingers should become the “attachment points,” and if this is done correctly, a small “hole” will form just above the left pinky finger and below the butt portion of the grip. This is shown in Figure (7).
Figure (8) shows the completed reverse overlap grip. There are many options for where to place the left index finger that is further described later in the post. This picture shows the left index finger extended down and wrapping along the top of the middle right-hand finger.
Notice how the extension of the left index-finger places the left wrist in a “joint-neutral” position relative to the left forearm. Said another way, the left wrist runs straight up into the left forearm without any angling between them.
Getting the Right Hand Grip on Correct
The right hand is quite often where better players mess up their putting grip. There’s a natural tendency to place the intersection of the lifelines of the right hand (shown in Figure (9)) directly on the side of the right thumb, as you would for a full-swing grip. While that’s great for the full swing, from down-the-line it creates unwanted angles between the right forearm and the shaft. We want those lined-up straight. It also creates an imbalance along the tops of the forearms where the forearms are aligned left of the target-line instead of parallel. This often produces an unwanted left -bias to the stroke path.
To get the right hand on correctly, you want to marry the knuckle-nail region of the middle left-finger, shown by the green dot in Figure (10), to the intersection of the life lines of the right hand, shown in Figure (9). Doing so places the midpoint of the right wrist squarely on the middle of the grip as seen from down the line. Figure (11) shows a green dot that splits the middle of the right wrist, and if we had x-ray vision, also runs right through the center of the grip. This produces a right wrist and right forearm condition which is perfectly aligned and joint-neutral.