Straight vs Pistol Putter Grip – Which One is Better?

Choosing the right putter grip can significantly influence your comfort level on the greens and potentially your overall performance in the game. Putter grips come in various shapes and sizes, but two common styles are the straight (non-tapered) putter grip and the pistol putter grip. Each has its unique characteristics and can affect your putting stroke differently.

Straight putter grips maintain the same diameter throughout the length of the grip, offering a consistent feel in both hands. This can lead to a more uniform stroke and be beneficial if you seek to minimize wrist action during the putting motion. On the other hand, pistol putter grips feature a noticeable taper, with a thicker top section that subtly thins towards the bottom. This shape can provide a more comfortable and ergonomic feel in the upper hand, which may aid in stabilizing the wrist movement and enhancing control over the putter’s head.

Your choice between a straight or pistol putter grip should depend on your personal putting style, hand size, and comfort preference. It’s essential to consider how each grip type might complement or alter your current stroke mechanics and whether a change could lead to improved putting accuracy and consistency on the greens.

Understanding Putter Grip Fundamentals

With various grip styles and shapes available, it’s essential you understand the role they play. Your putter grip can significantly impact your stroke’s stability and feel.

Types of Putter Grips

Straight Grips: These are uniform in shape and do not have a taper. SuperStroke is a well-known brand that offers non-tapered grips, which can help reduce wrist action during the stroke.

Pistol Grips: Pistol grips, such as those by Golf Pride, feature a taper where the lower hand is placed, which can assist in wrist alignment and control.

Rubber Grip: Most putter grips, including those by Lamkin, use rubber or synthetic materials to provide texture and tackiness.

Anatomy of a Putter Grip

  • Taper: The tapered design refers to whether the grip narrows from top to bottom. Pistol grips are tapered, while straight grips are not.
  • Shapes: The cross-section of the grip can be round, oval, or have indentations for better finger placement.
  • Weight: A grip’s weight affects the putter’s balance and moment of inertia (MOI), influencing stability and feel.

Selecting the Right Grip Size

  1. Assess Your Hands: Grip size should correspond to your hand size for a comfortable hold.
  2. Consider Your Stroke: Some golfers find a larger grip minimizes wrist action, while others prefer the feedback from a standard size.

When choosing between straight or pistol grips, consider your natural putting stroke and comfort level. While both can be beneficial for different reasons, the right choice for you will depend on personal preference and putting style.

Comparing Straight vs. Pistol Putter Grips

Selecting the right putter grip is crucial as it influences your stroke, comfort, and ultimately, your performance on the green. Understand the differences between straight and pistol grips to make an informed decision.

Grip Shapes and Stroke Impact

The straight grip is uniform in diameter from top to bottom, which can aid in maintaining a consistent stroke by minimizing wrist movement. A putter from the PING Sigma G Tess series, equipped with a straight grip, such as the Golf Pride Tour SNSR Straight, is prone to provide a more linear path due to its design, which can enhance your accuracy.

On the other side, the pistol grip is characterized by a pronounced curve at the butt end, fitting comfortably into the palm and allowing for natural alignment of the wrists. This shape can offer better control for players with an arc to their putting stroke by aligning the grip more intuitively with the movement of the hands.

Ergonomics and Comfort

When it comes to ergonomics, your hand size and preferred hold are determining factors. A pistol grip, such as the Golf Pride Pro Only, supports the palm more and may relieve some strain on your hands during play. Its design is meant to fit more naturally into the hand’s curvature, often making it a comfortable choice for players with a traditional overlap or interlock grip.

In contrast, a straight grip offers a different tactile experience due to its uniform shape. The consistent thickness may suit golfers who prefer a symmetrical feel throughout the grip or those who deploy a “claw” or “pencil” grip. The even distribution of material may reduce pressure points and contribute to a feeling of solid control across all fingers.

Grip Pressure and Stability

Grip pressure plays a vital role in how well you can stabilize the putter head during a stroke. A straight grip can promote a lighter grip pressure, potentially increasing stability and providing a smoother tempo throughout your putting motion. With less emphasis on the wrists, your stroke depends more on the shoulders, possibly improving distance control.

Alternatively, the pistol grip’s contoured shape can lead to a firmer hold, which might enhance feedback and give you a better sense of the putter head’s position. However, too much grip pressure can affect the fluidity of the stroke and possibly influence the putter’s path, impacting your accuracy.

Both grips come with various options for surface texture and traction, which are important for maintaining a consistent grip under different weather conditions. Consider trying out both types of grips to get a feel for what improves your game the most.