Fitting Larger Putter Grips

Today I want to talk about fitting larger putter grips.  I should start off by explaining to you that putter grip fitting surprisingly has nothing to do about your hand size whatsoever. Rule #1 in putter grip fitting is the grip must feel comfortable to the golfer. No book or chart in the world that is going to tell one with any certainty exactly what size they will ultimately need.  This is one time that there is no substitute for grabbing different putter grip sizes just to experience something that could very well help your game and lower your score.

Larger putter grips have been around for some time now. They are designed to encourage less tension in the muscles of your hands and forearms. The end result is less of a “wristy” stroke. Instead you use the big muscles in your shoulders to have more of a pure pendulum stroke.

While in theory this works great, there are a few things to be aware of.  Making a grip bigger usually causes it to be heavier as you have more material.  In some cases is can raise the weight considerably even as much as 200g!  Using a heavier putter grip is the equivalent to back-weighting or counter-balancing a putter and leads to less head feel.  While back-weighting does help certain players, I treat grip sizing and back-weighting as independent variables.

Over the years, jumbo and super jumbo putter grips have made inroads by using lighter materials in order to avoid counter-balancing the club as much.  For instance, UST Mamiya’s ST1 White Super Jumbo and the Winn Giant Pistol putter grips are by far the two largest putter grips we offer.  Their weight is nearly identical to rubber grip models that are described as mid-size and noticeably smaller in diameter.  Plus these two grips will blow your mind that something that big can be that light the first time you go to pick one up.

If you rely on your wrists to propel your putts and you have no problems with distance control or direction, then there is probably no need to change from a smaller sized putter grip.  But if that doesn’t describe you, take a good hard look at many of the larger putter grips on the market.  Make sure to use the grip weight specifications to your advantage when sifting through your options.  If you like the present balance of your putter which is utilizing a standard sized model, choose one of the lighter models.  If you routinely counter-balance your putter, look at the heavier models.

For clubmakers, it is a good habit of stocking various sized putter grips (standard, mid-size, jumbo and super jumbo). These can be held by the golfer as they come out of the box (good), installed onto cut-off shaft butts (better) or installed onto the same type of putter (best) so the player can get a feel in real conditions.

Now there is one downside to the very large putter grips as they do not fit down inside the putter well of your golf bag and you end up placing in one of the other dividers.  This is a small sacrifice to have if a larger, properly fit putter grip helps reduce your score.

Practical fitting devises
For clubmakers and fitter out there who have used or thinking of using the Dynacraft SPOT putter, here is a suggestion.  Purchase extra hosel adapters and putter shafts that you can interchange to fit for putter grip size.  It is most cost effective fitting method as you can use the same base head.  Not only that, but they store easily and can be transported to and from the practice green without lugging a bunch of different putters around.

Dynacraft Spot Putter – Clubhead Model #P986A $19.95 each
UST-Mamiya ST1 Putter White Super Jumbo Model #RU31 $15.99 each
Winn Excel Lite Giant Pistol Putter Model #RW148 $19.99 each

5 comments

  1. ctjoe says:

    Jeff, another great article. My question has nothing to do with putter grips. I see a company advertising jumbo grips on face book for iron’s and wood’s and claiming that you should not be concerned with the swingweight change that the heavier grips will produce. They also claim that you will get better control and more distance. What’s your opinion?

    Thanks,

    Joe

  2. Jeff Summitt says:

    Joe:

    There are two things to consider here. One is swinweight which takes in account overall weight and weight distribution. Here is an article I did about grip weight and the effect on swingweighting:
    http://blog.hirekogolf.com/2010/02/tricking-the-swingweight-scale/

    Then there is actual performance regardless what the physics tell us. This is why there is no substitute for hitting balls. Those large grips for the full swing clubs are going to be positioned in your palms rather than in your fingers so you will not be swinging the club the exact same much the same way jumbo putter grips are designed to take out the wrists out of the swing.

  3. ctjoe says:

    Thanks Jeff, that should clear it up.

  4. Lucinda Marchessini says:

    I would like to have a super jumbo putter grip fitted to my putter. Would you advise how I can get this done in England? Thank you LM

  5. Jeff Summitt says:

    Lucinda,

    Go to your local pro shop. If they can’t re-grip your putter they can advise where to go locally.

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