Putting cross handed is the second most popular grip style on the PGA Tour!
Have you tried a cross handed putting grip yet? If not, you might want to after you’re done reading this article.
As I’m sure you know, putting plays a pivotal role in your total score. Golfers will do whatever it takes to get the ball in the hole! Whether it’s changing up the putter head, using a line on their golf ball, or even doing golf hypnosis.
Golfers know that putting can make or break a score. A cross handed putting grip might be the solution if you’re struggling on the greens. Keep reading to learn how it can improve shoulder alignment, get your left arm in the right position, and hopefully average fewer putts per round.
Cross Handed Putting Grip (Cross Handed Method)
So, what is a cross hand putting grip anyway?
Cross handed, also known as left-hand low, is just as it sounds. If you’re a right-handed golfer, your left hand is lower on the grip than your right hand.
In a traditional or conventional golf grip, the right hand is lower than the left. But this gets flipped with cross handed as your left hand is now the dominant hand in the putting stroke. We’ll cover more about the different ways to place your right hand below.
This is the second most popular putting grip only behind the traditional putting grip on the PGA Tour. Let’s see why so many golfers like the cross handed technique with the flat stick.
Pros of Cross Hand Putting Grip
If you’re like most golfers you won’t just change your putting grip unless it’s absolutely essential. I don’t blame you either – putting is one of the most important parts of the game.
If your putter is hot, golf gets easier and lower scores are inevitable. So if things are going well with your traditional or claw grip, don’t switch (aka, if it ain’t’ broke, don’t fix it).
But if you’re in a golf slump, everything feels 10x harder… putting specifically. So if you need to mix up your putting, switching to a left-hand low grip might be just what you need. Here are the biggest benefits to this type of grip.
1. Better Alignment
One of the fundamentals to playing better golf and improving your putting is alignment. If your putter alignment is off, it doesn’t matter how good your putting stroke is. Because if you set up right or left of your intended target line, you will then need to push the putt or pull your putt to get it back to the hole.
A cross hand grip makes it easier to square your shoulders at address position. If you typically have an open shoulder (left shoulder open), this is a great way to fix it. This type of grip positively impacts your posture and leads to a straight back, straight through putting motion.
2. Square Path
If you’re the type of golfer who takes the putter back too far on the inside, this grip can fix your path quickly.
While it’s okay to have the putter come back on a slightly inside arc, too much can lead to pushes and poor contact. But the cross hand grip makes it easier to have a straight back, straight through putting motion. While you’ll still likely have some inside arc, it can eliminate the big misses.
If you struggle with an inside path, another great way to fix it is with a putting mirror. These mirrors have path lines to make it easy to see how the putter should go back and forth in the stroke.
3. Eliminates Wrists
Another benefit to cross handed putting is that it eliminates excess wrist movement. If you tend to get flippy at impact and not lead with your hands ahead, this grip can help you out.
Remember with putting you don’t want much wrist action.
Instead, you want to use your upper body to move your hands and wrists to create a free-flowing stroke. A left-hand low grip will put your left hand in the driver’s seat and make it the dominant hand to minimize wrists in the stroke.
4. Great for Short Putts
Another huge benefit is that left hand low technique is great for putts inside 10-15 feet. It makes it easier to keep the face square on short putts and create an efficient stroke.
But this is also a downside when it comes to longer putts as you’ll see in the next section.
Cons of Cross Hand Putting Grip
While there are plenty of advantages to this grip style, there are some downsides too (just like any putting grip). Here are the downsides that you should think about before switching grips.
1. Takes Time to Adjust
Anytime you make a big grip change, whether it’s a full swing or putting, it can take time to adjust. This might take a few days to a few weeks depending on how often you practice.
It’s a good idea to time this grip change correctly so you don’t make the switch before a member guest tournament or other event. Otherwise, you might not feel 100% confident yet and not have your best putting performance.
If you want to improve your putting and don’t have enough time to go to the course, invest in an indoor putting green. This is a great way to work on your short putts and make grip changes quickly.
2. Steeper Swing Arc
One of the biggest downsides to a cross handed grip is a steeper swing arc. This means the ball will make contact with the putter that has a more descending angle.
If you notice the ball jumping initially off the face (you can easily see this with the slow-motion camera on your smartphone), adjust the ball position. You want to get the ball position more in the front of your stance (about an inch) to account for the descending angle of attack.
This slight adjustment will allow you to hit up on the putt more vs. hitting down on it. Ultimately, you should get a better, more smooth roll that doesn’t bounce. (See our article on putting with topspin). If you notice a lot of putts ending up short of the hole, always check if the ball is skipping or bouncing with your camera.
3. Difficult With Lag Putting
The biggest downside with cross hand putting is that it makes it hard to take the putter back far enough for long putts. This is why it’s great for short putts but it makes distance control and lag putting very difficult!
It seems to restrict your backswing length which might feel like you have to “pop” the ball with more speed. This isn’t ideal for slow greens which most amateurs play on. But if you play on fast greens, it might not be as big of an issue (this is why it works so well with PGA Tour players who putt on extremely fast greens).
I’ve experienced this myself in the past and actually used to use a cross hand for putts inside 10 feet and traditional for longer ones. However, switching grips on the green isn’t for everyone!
To get some extra help with lag putting, make sure to read our full guide here.
How to Grip the Putter Cross Handed
So, how do you grip a putter cross handed?
If you want to test out cross handed putting simply reverse your grip (assuming you have a traditional grip now). Put your left hand on the grip first and get it into a comfortable position. Once your left hand is secure, grip your right hand on the top of the grip.
But your right hand can be placed in several different positions.
The first option is to simply reverse the right and left hand with a traditional putting grip. Your left hand will be lower and the right hand should be at the top of the grip.
A second hand is to incorporate a claw with your right hand. Grip the putter with your left hand low then place two or three fingers in a claw-like fashion at the top of the grip. This isn’t as common but with putting it’s all about finding out what works best for you.
The final way to place your right hand is by making the right-hand level with the left. This is more of a “prayer” putting grip but oftentimes gets lumped in with cross handed.
FAQs About Putting Grips
Do you have more questions about different types of putting grips to find the best one for your game? If so, keep reading to learn more now and see if a cross handed putting grip is right for you!
Is cross hand putting better?
Cross hand putting might be a great upgrade for you to play golf with more confidence. If you struggle with taking the putter too far inside or have too much wrist action (which leads to a poor roll), this is a great alternative.
But it’s not for everyone and should only make the switch if you’re in a putting slump.The good news is that you can test it immediately and pretty quickly learn if you like the style or not.
What professional golfers use a cross hand grip?
Some of the biggest names to use a cross handed grip include Billy Horschel, Pat Perez, Kevin Chappell, and others. But perhaps no one is more famous for this grip than Jordan Spieth – who is one major short of completing the career grand slam.
Not to mention, when he’s on, he’s one of the best putters on the PGA Tour. It seems like the hole is the size of a bucket on short to mid-range putts and he seems to always make them.
What is the advantage of cross handed putting?
There are tons of advantages to using a left-hand low putting grip. One of the biggest benefits is getting rid of excess wrist motion.
By having your left hand dominate the grip, it guides the stroke and makes it impossible to flip your wrists at impact.
What kind of grip is best during putting?
It varies from player to player. Some golfers prefer traditional, others like left-hand low, and others prefer a claw. While some golfers use mallets and others use blade putters.
There is no “one way” to putt. That’s why it’s important to test out different grip styles, putters, and routines to find out what gives you the most confidence on the greens.
What is the claw grip in golf?
A claw grip is another unique style to grip the putter. It’s the third most common grip style (traditional is first, cross hand is second) and becoming more common.
Like cross handed putting, the claw minimizes wrist activity in the putting stroke. The left hand is the dominant hand (for right-handed golfers) and the right hand is barely touching the grip. Like left-hand low, there are multiple variations of this grip as well.
Should you wear a glove while putting?
Most elite golfers do not wear a glove while putting. There are some exceptions over the years but in general, the overwhelming majority of professionals do not wear a glove.
The main reason is that you get a better sense of grip pressure and feel with bare hands. This makes it easier to feel the putter face in your hands and usually make a better stroke.
While a glove is okay to wear on full swing shots, a lot of pros also don’t use them for short chip shots too. Test out with a glove vs. without a glove on chipping and putting to see how it impacts your game.
What putter grip do most pros use?
In terms of grip style, the most common is a conventional putting grip. Left hand low is the second most popular and the claw grip is third.
In terms of grip manufacturer, SuperStroke is one of the most popular with professionals and amateurs alike. They make long-lasting grips that come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors to fit any type of player.
Final Thoughts on Cross Handed Putting Grip
Putting cross handed might be just what your game needs if you’re going through a putting slump. However, if things are going well and you’re rolling the rock well, don’t change your putting grip.
Golfers tend to have a “test it” mentality when it comes to new swing tips and grips… but don’t make golf harder on yourself. If things are going well, leave them to not get overly technical while playing golf.
But if you want a new putting style, the left-hand low putting method can help you minimize hand movement and drain more putts. Now players are using the cross hand grip for chip shots too. You can read all about cross hand chipping here.