Putter grips are one of the most overlooked and underappreciated items in a golfer's bag. Most golfers do not even give a second thought to their putter grip. Improvements in technology have upgraded most golf club components, but putter grips are still similar to past models as of 2010. The introduction of mid-length, or belly, putters and long putters, however, has brought to market a new type of grip in addition to the standard version.
Traditional Putter Grips
Most putters are standard length, in the 33- to 36-inch range. Such grips are similar to those from bygone eras. The most common putter grips are either pistol grips or paddle grips. Pistol grips get their name because their shape resembles an actual pistol grip in that it has a protruding section on the back that helps the golfer correctly grip the putter. The paddle grip gets its name from the flat front section used for lining up the thumbs correctly on the putter grip. Both these grips are easy to use and install and are comfortable for most golfers.
Jumbo Putter Grips
Jumbo putter grips have been around for many years, but have just recently begun to regain popularity as of 2010. Golfers who want to reduce wrist action during their putting stroke favor jumbo grips The larger grip forces their wrists to be still, often resulting in a steadier stroke.
Mid-Length Putter Grips
The mid-length putter, or belly putter, has been a popular putting alternative since its arrival on the PGA Tour in the late 1990s. The belly putter is placed against the abdomen, which allows the golfer to swing the putter like a pendulum. The grips for belly putters have changed, as they were initially a split grip, with a 12- to 15-inch bottom section and a 4- to 6-inch top section, separated by an approximately 4-inch gap. This has recently been largely replaced with one-piece grips approximately 15 to 20 inches long. This newer style of grip allows the golfer to place his hands anywhere on the shaft of the putter covered with the grip for a more comfortable setup.
Long Putter Grips
Long putters have gained popularity because of a small contingent of pro golf tour members who use them. This putter allows the golfer to stand straight above the putting line for a better view of the putt. Split grips most often are used on long putters. This style of grip allows the golfer to control the putter much like a pendulum, with the golfer grasping the shorter grip with a steady hand and swinging the putter with the hand that grips the longer grip.