Legit question: when it’s time for a new putter grip, how do you go about choosing it?
Do you stick with what you’ve always used? Do you go to a local retailer and grab what’s on display and wave a few around to see what you like? Or do you just go ahead and buy a new putter (I kid, I kid…sort of).
Hardly an exact science, is it?
“The putter grip category has been ruled by feel,” Pascal Stolz – Lamkin’s VP of Product and Marketing Strategies – tells MyGolfSpy. “Polyurethane has become a trend, but we’ve lost in the last few years what a putter grip is supposed to do. It’s supposed to fit your hands and your putting stroke so you can make more putts.”
Truth is many of us know what we like in a putter grip and stick with it, but many more do the wave around thing and hope for the best.
Lamkin thinks there’s a better way.
In the coming weeks, Lamkin will be rolling out what it’s calling a first-of-its-kind putter grip fitting system, allowing you to demo the company’s putter grips to find the one you like best.
If you’re not getting fit for your putters, you’re leaving strokes out there – that’s not up for debate.
But putter grip size and shape matters, too, and your hand size, stroke mechanics, and your hand placement all play a part in what grip might work best for you.
“The grip has a huge impact on actually controlling the path of your stroke and getting the clubface square at impact,” says Stolz. “How can we get a system to give golfers the opportunity to find the right putter grip based on their putting style, putting stroke, and how they actually grip the putter?”
Well, coming soon to a retailer near you is Lamkin’s new Putter Grip Fitting System. It’s a little mini-kiosk you’ll find at your store’s putting green featuring every putter grip in the Lamkin catalog equipped with a special clip that connects to a TaylorMade Spider X putter. All you have to do is pick a grip, clip it on the Spider and roll a few.
Don’t like it? Unclip and try another one.
The display has all the necessary instructions, including which size, shape and texture grip work best with different putting strokes and different gripping styles, including standard, overlap, claw, lead hand low, finger down the shaft, and so on.
“If you have an arc-swing path, like Ben Crenshaw, if you put an oversized grip on, you lose the ability to free your hands through impact,” says Stolz. “A smaller grip would be better. If you’re straight back-straight through, if you have a small pistol grip, your upper hand is going to take control, and you’re not going to be as precise.”
Depending on which retailer you visit, you’ll see either a stand-type display with 12 grip options or a three-sided island display with 18 grip options. Lamkin’s Sink Fit putter grips – in both rubber and polyurethane – as well as its Deep Etched rubber and full cord grips, will be included in all sizes and shapes.
Will This Help?
Lamkin rolled this concept out in August at 16 Golf Galaxy locations and noticed enough of an uptick in putter grip sales to earn a world-wide rollout, starting this coming February. Golf Galaxy plans to roll out the three-sided island display to all its locations in 2020.
Lamkin says the process is pretty simple and self-directed, meaning you can do it on your own without a salesperson’s help. The upside, of course, is you get to try a variety of grips on a real putter, and you get to roll some real puts and see what you like. It may not be your putter, but hey, life isn’t perfect.
“It’s not 100% science at this stage,” admits Stolz. “There are so many different putters grips, but through our research, we’ve learned golfers can fit themselves better, which results in better performance.”
Therein lies the downside – it’s still fit through feel, but at least there’s some science to help you determine your own swing path and grip style, and point you toward grips that might work better for you. You’re still trying to choose a grip in a retail environment rolling putts on an in-store putting green, which, of course, is how many of us wind up choosing a putter to begin with.
And a cynic might kvetch that you only get to try Lamkin grips, but Lamkin came up with the idea, so…
…so what do you think? How do you pick a putter grip? Might something like this help you find something that works best for you?