Golf Digest Schools
How the saw grip addresses this common putting problem
We see tour players testing out new putting grips every week. While some fans might think it's merely to change up their mojo or an act of superstition, Golf Digest's Chief Digital Instructor Michael Breed explains that there's a method behind the madness.
"What they're trying to do is minimize face rotation," Breed says.
When the putter face starts to open and close, Breed says that's when you're going to encounter some real problems on the green.
To increase your consistency and control on the green, Breed suggests experimenting with new grips, like his signature saw grip.
The saw grip can help minimize face rotation because it encourages a straight back and straight through putting stroke. To copy Breed's hand placement, set your trail hand on top with your thumb hooked behind the grip. You can also tuck your pinky behind if you don't like it hanging out to the side.
"What I really want you to focus on is the back of the palm," Breed says, "I want the back of the palm parallel to the sightline of the putter, and your elbow is going to be almost out, kind of creating a push."
As you practice pushing through with your trail elbow, you should also feel your trail shoulder getting active during this movement. Once you've grooved this motion and feel comfortable with your new grip, Breed says to shift your attention to your routine.
Updating your putting routine after making a grip adjustment is important because you need to be sure that you are setting up to the ball correctly every time–especially when you are out on the course.
Breed recommends a three-step pre-shot routine. First, set your distance to the ball. Then, take one practice stroke looking down and paying attention to what's going on with the putter itself.
Make your second practice stroke looking at the hole. While looking at your target, Breed says to focus on feeling the weight of the putter and the speed. Breed's last step is to get set up, take one last look at the hole and pull the trigger.
Remember that the point of this new grip is to limit your face rotation. If Breed's grip doesn't work for you, continue experimenting with different hand placements until you find one that's most comfortable and keeps your putter face controlled.
For more of Michael Breed's putting secrets, check out his series "6 Putting Hacks" on Golf Digest Schools. Boost your performance on the green with six of Michael Breeds putting hacks that cure common putting problems, like a yippy stroke, poor speed control, hitting of the toe and inconsistent aim. This brand-new series is the fastest and easiest way to become a better putter.