Tiger Woods Putting Grip (Detailed Breakdown)
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How is Tiger Woods putting grip different from most golfers or is it the same?
Was his grip the secret to becoming one of the most consistent and clutch putters of all time? Or, was it something else?
We’ll break down how Tiger grips the putter and more of his best putting tips today to help you find confidence on the greens.
Tiger Woods Putting Grip
In his book, How I Play Golf, Tiger describes his putting grip as the “All American grip.” It’s very conventional compared to some players who use a claw, prayer grip, or left-hand low (also known as cross handed).
As he said in his book, “My putting grip is conventional in almost every way. If you look at the long history of the game and its greatest players, most of them have held the club very similarly to the way I do. I’m glad I had them as models when I was young.”
Tiger has used the same grip style throughout his entire career – which has included 82 PGA Tour wins and 15 major championships. Needless to say, there’s a lot we can learn from Tiger about his putting grip.
Let’s get into the specifics…
Left Hand Position
The handle of the putter runs under the putter of his left hand. He noted in his book that most players like the handle running straight up the palm so the club is parallel to the forearm but not Tiger.
He thinks this left-hand position provides him more feel and freedom with his wrist action. The back of his left hand faces the target in a “weak position” which helps discourage this hand from rotating too much in his stroke.
The reverse overlap grip has his left forefinger laid across the fingers of his right hand for “unity” in his putting stroke. It’s not like his full swing grip (which is interlocking) but does prevent either hand from playing too big of a role.
Right Hand Position
The back of his right hand is parallel to his left hand. This ensures that neither hand “fights” for the dominant position and both play a key role in a solid putting stroke.
Both hands are square to the target which keeps the putter face square at impact.
Tiger’s right thumb extends down the shaft to point just below his right forefinger. He doesn’t lengthen his right thumb too much as it tightens his wrist and doesn’t allow the proper hinge. He also said that he doesn’t shorten the thumb too much either because that can limit his distance control.
Tiger has been known to routinely putt in practice with his right hand (dominant hand) only. This helps him instill a sense of pace and a big part of his warm-up routine.
While the hand placement is important to Tiger’s success on the greens, grip pressure is also very important. Tiger said he struggled with gripping it too firmly early in his career until he heard Ben Crenshaw talk about the importance of gripping it lightly.
Ben told him, “The lighter you hold it, the better you’ll be able to feel the weight of the putter head at the other end of the shaft.”
Not to mention less grip pressure leads to less tension and more of a free flowing stroke. Too many golfers, especially under pressure, grip the club too hard which makes it hard to have a good feel on the greens.
Tiger said, “On a scale of 1 to 10, my grip pressure is about a 5. That may be tighter than Ben holds his putter, but it’s pretty light for me and I do have an increased sense of feel. No doubt about it, light is right.”
If you’re struggling on the greens but feel like your grip isn’t the issue, make sure to double-check your grip pressure. Sometimes a subtle switch is all you need to start rolling the rock with confidence.
Tiger’s Putting Routine
As Tiger mentioned, his grip is very conventional not to mention his posture, eye position, and stroke. But he has the ability to make more clutch putts than any other golfer ever – like the putt at the 2008 US Open to force a Monday playoff.
What’s his secret to success? A great routine.
Tiger has one of the most consistent putting routines of all time and one of the biggest reasons he’s so clutch under pressure.
As he said in his book, “The thing about my routine is I never change it. I do it at the same speed and go through the same thought process every single time.”
This allows him to gather all the information about the putt (speed, distance, grain, apex, etc.) and also control his thought process. By having the same timing he’s able to get into a great flow, analyze the putt, and trust his stroke.
While having Tiger’s grip can help you on the greens, having a solid routine might help even more.
More Tiger Woods Putting Tips
Want even more tips from one of the best putters ever?
Here are a few more words of wisdom from Tiger.
- Choose the right putter. Tiger doesn’t recommend a specific type of putter (like mallet or blade) but instead finding one that gives you tons of confidence. Don’t forget, putting is all about comfort and confidence more than anything else.
- Keep a steady head. Every good putter has minimal head movement in their stroke and Tiger is a perfect example of this. Less motion leads to more stability and better strikes on every putt.
- Improve your eye position. Your eyes play a big part of posture and stroke path so make sure they’re above (or slightly inside) the ball. This will get you looking at the putt properly and get into a solid posture. Having the right putter length is key to a solid posture and eye position.
- Stop peeking. If you peek too soon to see if you’ll make the putt it leads to sloppy contact and a lot of missed putts – especially from short range. Try to “hear” the putt in vs. see it in to make better contact and probably make more putts.
- Let your arms and shoulders do the work. While the lower body plays a pivotal role in the full swing, it’s not needed with putting. Instead, let the arms and shoulders do the work and keep the hands quiet for a steady stroke.
Do you have more questions about how the best golfers in the world putt? If so, keep reading our top questions and answers now.
How does Rory McIlroy grip his putter?
Rory is one of the best ball strikers from tee to green but has had some issues on the greens. He routinely switches putters but generally has a traditional reverse overlap grip.
Does Tiger Woods use an overlap grip?
With his full swing Tiger uses an old-school interlocking grip (most players overlap). He learned this from watching his idol, Jack Nicklaus, who also used the same grip style.
When it comes to putting, Tiger Woods uses a reverse overlap putting grip. This is very conventional compared to other styles and hasn’t changed throughout his illustrious career.
How far does Tiger Woods hit a 7-iron?
Tiger is arguably the best iron player of all time and can hit just about any shot required. Whether it’s a high draw, a low fade, or a stinger, he can do it all.
His stock distance with a 7-iron is likely between 175–190 yards but depends on temperature, altitude, shot shape, and other factors. He also likes to shape shots in both directions and hit a lot of knockdown shots to minimize spin.
How does Brooks Koepka grip his putter?
Brooks Koepka has a unique putting grip but it’s worked extremely well as he already has five major championships. He has a conventional reverse overlap grip with one major difference – his right index finger runs down the shaft. This isn’t seen very often on the PGA Tour or LIV Golf but it’s worked wonders for him.
How does Jordan Spieth hold his putter?
Jordan Speith is another clutch putter, especially from short to mid-range, and is anything but conventional. He uses a cross-handed grip where his left hand is lower than his right hand. This can provide more stability on short putts but make it harder for some golfers to have proper distance control on long putts.
Another thing Jordan does differently is sometimes he has a “head up” putting style. Instead of keeping his eyes on the ball, he actually looks at the hole which would terrify a lot of golfers. But it can help you react to the target and might be worth a shot at least in practice to get the speed of the greens dialed in.
Related: How to Master Lag Putting
Tiger Woods has a very conventional putting grip that hasn’t changed in his impressive career. Which goes to show, if something is working don’t change it unnecessarily like so many golfers do.
If you’re a solid putter now, don’t change your grip or putter – stick with what’s working. But if you need some help on the greens, a grip switch might be just what you need.
Whether you try out Tiger’s grip or something else, do whatever gives you the most confidence over the ball. Then stick with it. Paired with a consistent routine like Tiger, you can become unstoppable on the greens.
Do you have a Tiger Woods putting grip (reverse overlap) or prefer left-hand low or another style?
Let us know in the comments below.