Author: Britt Olizarowicz - Britt first picked up a golf club at the age of 7. Now almost 30 years later, she has been a Division 1 college golfer, golf teaching professional, membership director, and golf writer.
If you have been studying the styles of different putter grips, chances are you have learned that there are some alternatives to the claw grip. One of the most common of these alternatives is the saw putting grip.
- The saw putting grip is a variety of the claw grip
- For shorter putts, the saw can keep your putter head incredibly stable
- Although the saw grip will work for a variety of putting stroke styles, it’s best for the straight back straight through method
- The saw grip can help players with distance control on shorter putts
The saw grip has been used on the PGA Tour, helps golfers keep the putter head on a straight line, and could be the perfect solution for your golf game. Let’s take a look at the saw putting grip and whether or not you should give it a try on the course.
What Is The Saw Putting Grip in Golf?
The saw grip is a variation of the claw grip style. With the saw grip, your left hand (for right handed golfers) sits in the traditional position, and then the right hand sits below it, with the right thumb and index finger being on the side of the grip.
The other fingers on the right hand stay more to the side of the putter as well. Some that use the saw grip turn their hand slightly to the target, but the ideal positioning is to keep the right hand as a guide and not as a leader in the putting stroke.
Who Is Saw Grip Putting For?
The most important benefit of saw grip putting is the ability to keep the putter face square as you are putting back and through the ball. The saw grip helps speed control those shorter putts, but it mostly helps with consistency and a square strike.
Any golfers from low handicap to high handicap can use the saw grip. Although our example explains this for a right hand golfer, the saw grip works well for left handed players as well. The key is that the dominant hand is not the lead hand in the stroke (similar to arm lock putting – explained here).
How To Use The Golf Saw Grip
When learning any new grip like the pencil grip, reverse overlapping grip, or left hand low putting, you have to spend some time on the practice putting green before you take it to the course. The putter grip is important because it will impact how you strike the golf ball.
1. Get The Left Hand Position Correct
The left hand position is incredibly important in any new putting grip; for a right handed golfer, the left hand needs to lead the way. Make sure you have your thumb pointing down, the grip is mostly in your fingers, and your grip pressure is not too high – and having a light grip pressure is one of my best putting tips I teach to my students.
2. Right Hand Below The Left
Next, the right hand goes on the club below where the left hand is. The separation between the two hands does not need to be much, and most golfers find it best to keep the hands a little closer.
The key here is that the thumb goes under the putter grip, and the other fingers stay on top. With a claw grip, you feel as though you grab the club with the claw. However, with the saw grip, it’s more like resting the hand on the side of the putter grip.
Keep the fingers to the side of the putter grip if possible, or have them extend over the bottom. Some of the variations between these putting grips are very subtle.
3. The Stroke
After making this grip change, you will notice that during the putting stroke, the grip makes it easier to make more putts from a short distance. The saw golf grip keeps the putter head on the target line and ensures that you can stay square.
Some golfers take the left hand index finger and stretch it down the putter grip. If you find that you are struggling with power this is an option.
Pros/Cons of Saw Putting Grip
With any different type of putting stroke style, there are both pros and cons. However, the most important thing to figure out is which of these styles is best for your game.
- Keeps the putter head very stable on shorter putts
- Great for straight back straight through putting strokes
- The non dominant hand will not get overly involved in the putting stroke
- Has been used by pro golfers (tour proven putting stroke style)
- Not easy to hit longer putts with the same control
- Many amateurs start to use the right hand to push the club too much
Professionals That Use The Saw Grip in Putting
One of the key features golfers like to know about a putting stroke or style is whether or not it has been tour proven. Luckily Mark O’Meara and Collin Morikawa have used this putting stroke on the PGA Tour.
Interestingly Morikawa loves the saw grip on the shorter putts to keep the clubface square, especially on the fast greens found on the PGA Tour. However, for the longer putts that need more power when he’s further from the hole, he switches to a conventional putter grip style.
Taking four fingers off the club and having them rest on the side can make it harder for those “full swing” type putts. Pro golfers like Morikawa know what feels right and what doesn’t, and if the longer putts require too much work from the shoulders, it makes sense to switch to something more conventional for longer putts.
I recently experimented with placing my bottom hand in the saw position to see what it would do. I did find that the right arm stays in a better position, and the control on a short putt is pretty impressive.
If that is something you struggle with, you may want to give this option a try. Here are a few final questions to help clear up what the saw putting grip is.
Why use the putter saw grip?
The putter saw grip in golf is a great idea for players that have trouble controlling the putter face. If you have a hard time staying square on shorter putts, use the saw.
What is the difference between a claw and saw putting grip?
The right hand position is a little different between the saw and the claw putting grip (explained here). The claw wraps your hand around the club more, where the saw stays to the side of the putter grip.
Does Collin Morikawa use a saw putter grip?
Collin Morikawa grips his putter with a traditional reverse overlap putting grip until he gets closer to the hole. Once he gets close to the hole, he uses a saw putter grip to keep the putter face a bit more square. Having two putting grip styles is unconventional.
Final Thoughts – Saw Grip Putting
The saw grip in putting may look a little different at the address position. However, the impact is what is most important in a putting stroke. When the putter’s face comes to the ball, you will notice that it is incredibly square, something not all golfers can say about their style.
Developing a new putter grip is something that you can work ANYWHERE. I practice putting drills in the house, in the back yard, hell I even putt at the office haha. You really can practice your grip, stroke, and impact anywhere!
I gave the saw putting grip a shot recently and was impressed with the feel and consistency. If your putting game needs a little bit of a change this season, give the saw putting grip a try.