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Puttering Around With An Oversized Grip

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Getting a grip on your golf game has literally become more important than ever.

Oversized grips have changed the game, and it’s certainly become a major topic. Like anything, once something has some kind of success, it becomes more popular.Consider the anchor putter and how it enjoyed immense popularity until it was banned from the sport.

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In Paul Runyan’s book The Short Way To Lower Scoring, he wrote: “I suggest you avoid grips that seem a bit thin in overall diameter. You will find that a thicker grip encourages a firm-wristed stroke.”

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I asked Mark Zucchino, the host of Golf Talk Canada, which can be heard on The Sports Network’s radio and TV platforms, about the popularity of the oversized grips.

“It is a common theory that the smaller a grip, the more the hands are activated in the golf swing, so the opposite is then also true,” Mark told me. “The larger the grip the more one would use their big muscles/shoulders/torso versus their small muscles and hands. So the putting stroke is a small swing, however the target is small and the focus is more precise than a swing from 200-plus. On a five-foot putt that is flat with no break if the putter face is open or closed two degrees, or the path of the putter is off two degrees inside or outside with a square face, the putt will miss.”

SuperStroke, a company that is active in the oversized grips, has Jordan Spieth among its clients. In fact, SuperStroke boasts that every win Spieth has won since turning professional has been with one of its putters (S-Tech Club Grip, Flatso 1.0). Sergio Garcia, who won a tournament in Dubai last week and was making some incredible putts in the dark, is another client (S-Tech Club Grip, Pistol GT Putter Grip). Other clients include Jason Dufner (S-Tech Club Grip, Slim 3.0) and Victor Dubuisson (TX1 Club Grip, Slim 3.0).

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“SuperStroke really made their dent in the marketplace with the Oversized Grip, the SuperStroke 3.0, 4.0, and the 5.0, which is what I use,” Mark added. “The larger grip takes my hands out of the stroke and allows me to use my shoulders more. It takes out the twitch or yip in the stroke."

“It’s not just an oversized grip, though. There have been many oversized grips that have come and gone based on the theories about the swing and putting. The big difference with SuperStroke is that the grip is also not tapered. The bottom is the same diameter as the top, where as in a traditional tapered grip it narrows at the bottom. Thus if something narrows at the bottom, the lower hand would tend to take over and be more active in the stroke. So it is working against the objective, which is to have the hands work together and stay quiet as the larger muscles/shoulders make the stroke."

“The two interesting points SuperStroke found out is that this tapered technology also works with thin grips, and they recently brought out a 1.0 and 2.0 grips for those who prefer a thinner feeling grip but want the tapered technology so that the hands work better together in more of a singular unit."

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“The second point of interest is that they have just branched out of putter grips into grips for all clubs. I haven’t seen these grips and I’m not sure if they use the same tapered technology, but it’s going to be interesting to see what they come up with in this part of the marketplace.”

Mark said that overall he likes to tinker with his putters and has had success with the SuperStroke.

“The technology makes sense to me,” he said. “I've always been a hand-zee player, and on short putts it helps me stay connected.”

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