Cross Handed Putting Grip – Pros, Cons, Tips And Is Left Hand Low For You?
Textbook golf is boring, isn’t it?
It’s easy to read the work of the great teachers and emulate the perfect textbook technique, but sometimes you just want to get a bit alternative.
Many of us have experimented with various putting grips in an attempt to sink more putts and reduce our scores.
Today we are looking at one specific alternative grip, the left hand below right. This grip has many benefits and is used on the green by many tour pros.
In fact, Matt Fitzpatrick even chips this way now too! Let’s see what it’s all about and help you decide if you should give it a shot.
Why Is The Putting Grip Important?
First things first, you use your putter more than any other club in the bag.
Improvements in this skill can reduce your scores faster than working on anything else.
On top of that, if you’re not gripping the putter in a way that feels comfortable or suits your stroke then it’s not ideal,
Many putting grips exist and each can help fix various ailments in the stroke.
It is important to find the one that works best for you and to give various grips time for you to grow comfortable with them.
It’s a bit of a minefield but this could unlock new confidence on the greens.
Overview Of The Different Putting Grips
The is right hand below left with thumbs downward.
This is a grip used baby the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. From this to the most extreme grip, “the claw”.
This grip is reserved for those who are desperate for putter face control and have tried everything else.
In between those extremes we have various alternatives like the technique and, probably the most popular alternative grip, cack-handed or .
There are many benefits to this slight change in technique and it is definitely worth a shot.
What Is The Left Hand Low Putting Grip?
It’s as simple as the fact that your hands swap places.
Your right hand grips the top of the putter and the left hand goes below it, hence the name. Other than that, nothing changes.
This does feel very strange at first but after a few strokes it starts to feel really good.
How Do You Do It?
Simply take the classic putter grip, then swap hands, here’s a explaining it all.
Her game went into overdrive after she made this switch. As I said in the last paragraph, this does feel really strange at first, especially on longer putts, but if you persevere that will go away.
What Are The Main Advantages Of The Cross Handed Putting Grip?
It is clear from your set-up position that this grip helps to better align your upper body at address.
Having the left hand low creates a really nice shoulder position in relation to the ground and this helps us use the upper body more effectively.
By switching hands you can actually improve your consistency of strike.
Assuming your right hand is your strong hand, it can have a tendency to steer or control the putts.
When it is at the top it can’t have as much of an influence and this can make you a more consistent putter.
Again, when your dominant hand is further up the club it can have less of an effect on the putter.
Sometimes we can get wristy and try to hit putts rather than just stroking them, left hand low can really eliminate a lot of this and give you increased pace control on the greens.
Finally, try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand to normal tonight.
You’ll notice that you’re much more aware of everything you do during the brushing. The same goes for putting and this switch can get your brain more engaged with putting.
This can improve your skills on the green.
What Are The Main Disadvantages Of The Cross Handed Putting Grip?
Long Range Putting
From personal experience, I loved left hand low on shorter putts, I feel I holed a ton more but on really long putts it felt difficult to get enough power.
Of course very long putts are quite rare but this is definitely something to work on if you make this change.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it’s so important, this feels really strange when you first try it.
It is a feeling that will go if you persevere and it is worth it to push through but you need to know that it is very odd to begin with.
Top Tips For A Left Hand Low Putting Grip
Give it a shot: if you are struggling with your putting then give this a try, it could be what you need.
There is something about trying a new putting grip that injects a bit of freedom into your stroke and can bring quick improvements.
Commit to the change: once you decide to try it then you need to give it a few rounds and a few practice sessions to embed the change.
You need to practice under pressure to make sure that you can use this on the course during competitions etc.
Practice one-handed: this is great for everyone and not just when making this change but practicing one-handed will improve your skills exponentially.
This is another one that feels very strange but when you putt with both hands again it feels much easier.
Get confident, start close: By holing short putts from only a few feet you can really improve your confidence.
Seeing yourself holing putts breeds confidence and this is the best place to start. Try to add pressure to your practice by holing ten in a row or something similar.
Who Should Be Using A Cross Handed Grip?
I’d say that anyone who is struggling with their putting, especially on shorter putts.
It’s not just that this will make things mechanically different but it can act as a reset.
You give yourself a clean-slate and you can rebuild your putting back-up. It’s a very liberating experience.
I’m not a fan of changing your putting grip frequently, this is a fundamental and you have to build your skill with one or two grips.
However, if you feel you need a change then commit to making that change and practice hard.
Should High Handicappers Be Using A Cross Handed Grip?
I am always an advocate of building good fundamentals and I think that higher handicap players should be more into the textbook techniques.
If you have tried the standard putting grip and it really isn’t working for you then this is a good next grip to try.
The best thing you could do if your are struggling on the greens is to get a putting lesson.
So many golfers ignore this skill and are oblivious as to how much a difference it can make to your scores. Start with a lesson.
Should The Pros Be Using A Cross Handed Grip?
Yes, absolutely. It can be a great way of refreshing your putting no matter what standard you are and many top tour pros use this.
Pros have a lot more time to dedicate to getting this right before they use it in anger which means that can apply the change quickly and effectively.
Which Pros Use It?
The most famous users of this grip include Jordan Spieth, Padraig Harrington and Matt Fitzpatrick.
These are golfers who have used this grip for most of their career and, it’s safe to say, it’s served them well. These are some of the finest putters in the game!
Signs That You’re Using The Wrong Putting Grip
The proof is in how many putts you take in your rounds and how you feel over your putts.
If you just aren’t sinking many putts and find yourself barely single-putting a change in grip can give you a boost.
Another thing to pay attention to as it can be a clue is where you miss your putts.
If you find that you miss most of your putts to the left then this can be a sign that your right hand is getting too dominant.
This type of consistent miss can be remedied with a change to left hand low and can help take that right hand out of play.
Changing your putting grip can be weird and it can be daunting but it can be incredibly powerful.
It can give your putter a new lease of life and it can very quickly allow you to feel confident on the greens again.
It is something I have done before and I recommend experimenting.
The left hand low grip, one I used for many years, feels fantastic and can make you more consistent.
Commit to the change and put serious practice in to grooving the new grip and you will come out of the other side of the transition a new putting machine.