The ban on anchored-putting styles isn’t scheduled to go into effect until 2016, but many tour players are already preparing for the day when they can no longer lean on their long and belly putters.
It’s not even February, but we’ve already seen photos of two very successful long-putter users, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott, practicing with non-anchored putters. If you look closely at the photos below, you’ll see that neither Pettersson nor Scott are gripping the putter in a traditional way — they’re both using a version of the “claw” grip, which places their right hand on the putter in a position that’s similar to the way they gripped a long putter.
Dean Dingman, president of SuperStroke golf, said that as the death date for anchored putters grows nearer, golfers who were successful with anchored long and belly putters will start to gravitate toward new, non-anchored putting styles. That’s why his company has released five new putter grips that will give golfers who struggle with conventional putting styles more options on the green.
SuperStroke’s new “The Claw” putter grip looks much like conventional putter grips, but it’s length has been stretched 2.5 inches, which better accommodates the claw style of putting.
The grip was inspired by Phil Mickelson’s experiment with the claw putting style last fall. Mickelson wanted more grip length to accommodate the position of his lower hand, which rests farther down the grip when using the claw style of putting. To do so, Mickelson cut down one of SuperStroke’s 21-inch belly putter grips to 13 inches, which gave him the length he needed as well as a reduced weight (The Claw weighs 93 grams) that gave his putter a better balance.
SuperStroke’s Flatso grips are designed in a non-tapered pentagonal shape that creates a wide flat section on the front of the grip, as well as a pistol-style ridge that give the grips a different feel than the company’s round-shaped putter grips. The Flato is available in four different styles — Flatso, Flatso Mid, Flatso DB and Flatso 17 — all with different constructions that target different golfers.
The standard Flatso has a front-section diameter of 1.7 inches, which some golfers will use to place their thumbs more parallel to each other on the wider flat section of the grip, which will level their shoulders at address. With the Flatso, golfers can also position their hands further away from each other, which will help some create a more shoulder-driven stroke.
“We noticed that some tour players were trying to get their hands closer together and level out their shoulders at address,” said Jon Luna, director of marketing for SuperStroke. “Others players asked us for more of a pistol-style feel on the back of the grip. We feel that the larger flat section gives golfers more versatility and more options on how they can putt.”
The Flatso weighs 100 grams, and like all of SuperStroke’s standard-length grips, measures 10.5 inches. The Flatso Mid is a smaller, lighter version of the Flatso, with a diameter of 1.4 inches and a weight of 60 grams. Because of it’s smaller front section, the Flatso Mid will help golfers square up the face slightly faster at impact than the larger Flatso grip.
The Flatso DB (or Double Barrel) has the same outer construction as the standard Flatso grip, but it has two holes on the interior of the grip that will allow golfers to either add or subtract offset from their putter. If a right-handed golfer installs the grip on their shaft through the left hole, they will subtract 0.25 inches of offset from the putter, which should delay the closing of the putter face through impact — good for players that tend to miss their putts to the left. If the grip is installed through the right hole, the grip will add 0.25 inches of offset to the putter, which should speed up the closing of the face and help players who tend to miss their putts to the right.
SuperStroke’s Flatso 17 is a 17-inch-long version of the company’s Flatso Mid grip, and was designed to add stability for golfers who anchor mid-length putters to their leading forearm. In this style of putting, which has been popularized by Matt Kuchar, the Flatso 17 is turned counter clockwise (for a right-handed golfer) so the 1.4-inch diameter of the grip rests flatly against a golfer’s upper wrist and forearm.