What is The Reverse Overlap Putting Grip & Should You Use It?
Written by Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.

Updated on December 13, 2023

Have you ever heard of the reverse overlap putting grip? Though it may sound a bit complicated, the reverse overlap is one of the simplest putting grips in golf. When it comes to putting, the reverse overlap is considered a conventional grip.

The reverse overlap grip has been around a long time and it has become the most popular grip on the PGA Tour. In fact, according to this poll, 68.5% of PGA players on the Top 70 FedEx Cup standings in 2019 used the reverse overlap grip.

This putting grip style is giving some golfers a huge advantage. Find out how it works and if you should use it here. After reading this, you’ll be able to decide if the reverse overlap putting grip will help you shoot lower scores.


What is The Reverse Overlap Putting Grip?

Perhaps you have heard of the famous overlap grip for full golf swings. Do you know how the overlap grip requires you to take your right pinky finger and lap it over your left index finger?

This putting grip works in a similar, albeit opposite fashion. Here’s a quick guide to how to use the reverse overlap putting grip:

  1. Grab the putter shaft with your right hand first
  2. Place the golf club into your right palm and make sure your right thumb points straight down the shaft
  3. Loosely grip the club with the fingers of your right hand
  4. Now place your left hand on the club
  5. Curl your left index finger over your right pinkie finger

reverse overlap putting grip


Why Some Golfers Use This Putting Grip Style

1. More Control of the Clubface

Most golfers love the reverse overlap putting grip because it keeps the putter more in the palms. This gives the golfer much more control of the putter’s clubface. 

More control usually leads to more stability and consistency on the greens. All of this adds up to a more confident putting stroke and more birdies on the golfer’s scorecard.

2. Prevents the Hands from Rolling Over

Another big reason golfers prefer the reverse overlap grip is because it helps prevent the hands from rolling over at impact. Golfers who roll their wrists during their putting stroke often struggle with finding the correct ball speed on the greens.

3. Simplicity

Other golfers like the reverse overlap grip because it’s a simple putting technique that has a long history of success. In golf, simplicity means a great deal to both amateurs and professionals alike. 

Not only is the reverse overlap easy to learn, most golfers feel it is incredibly comfortable. Comfort means everything, especially on the greens.

4. Grip Pressure

Lots of golfers get super nervous while on the putting green and they end up gripping the putter way too tightly. This makes it more difficult to sink any putt, especially a long one. 

The reverse overlap grip makes it easier for the golfer to lighten their grip pressure on their dominant hand. This leads to better accuracy and a more pure stroke.


Pro Golfers Who Use The Reverse Overlap Grip

Tiger Woods

We can’t leave the greatest golfer of all time off this list. Woods has used the traditional reverse overlap grip his entire PGA Tour career. 

Woods prefers to lap his left index finger over both his right pinkie and right ring fingers. The 15-time major champion is known as the best clutch putter of all time so the reverse overlap grip has worked exceptionally well for him.

Rory McIlroy

McIlory has been one of the best players on the PGA Tour for quite some time. The 4-time major champion switched to the reverse overlap putting grip back in 2011 and it has served him well.

Shortly after McIlory made the putter grip switch, he won his first major title at the 2011 U.S. Open. The reverse overlap grip allows McIlory to keep his left hand in perfect alignment with his target line. Though it seems as if McIlory has been on Tour forever, he’s still only 32 years old and should be able to win a few more major championships.

Jason Day

Though Day’s putting has declined a bit in recent years because of a whole slew of back injuries, he’s still one of the best putters on Tour. The 12-time PGA Tour winner uses the reverse overlap grip and it helps him keep his grip pressure light on the putter. This grip style also allows Day to keep his left forearm aligned with the putter face.

Day won the 2015 PGA Championship and, if he can stay healthy, should be able to make a run at another major soon. The 34-year old Australian has remarkable touch on the greens and the reverse overlap grip is a big reason for his putting acumen.


Other Common Putting Grips

Have you tried the reverse overlap grip and didn’t like the feel of it? Here are 4 other common putting grips for you to explore. Practice with each grip style to see which one works best for you.

Vardon Grip

The Vardon Grip was made popular by pro golfer Harry Vardon and is also known as the overlapping grip. With the Vardon grip, the right pinkie rests on top of the left forefinger. 

Though lots of golfers utilize this grip for a full swing, not as many use it for putting. Many golf instructors feel that the Vardon putting grip allows for too much wrist movement at impact.

Saw Grip

The saw grip is a popular choice for some golfers, but it is considered unconventional. With the saw grip, the left-hand holds the club in a normal, neutral position.

The right hand, however, forms a saw shape with the four fingers. The right thumb grips the underside of the golf club. PGA Tour phenom Collin Morikawa has improved his putting quite a bit since switching to the saw grip.

Claw Grip

The claw grip is similar to the saw grip, so much so that some folks use the terms interchangeably. With the claw grip, the left hand is also neutral. PGA Tour stars like Justin Rose, Tony Finau, and Tommy Fleetwood use the claw grip.

The right-hand forms a cupped claw, but the right forefinger points straight down the shaft instead of across the shaft like with the saw grip. Lots of golfers who have struggled with the yips have found relief by using the claw grip.

Cross-Handed Grip

The cross-handed grip is also known as the left-hand low grip by lots of folks in golf. PGA Tour golfers like Rickie Fowler use the cross-handed grip whenever they are in the midst of an awful putting slump. Fowler claims the cross-handed grip helps him get back to basics and helps him regain his feel on the greens.

As its name implies, the hands swap positions when using the cross-handed grip. With the non-dominant (left) hand lower on the golf club, the golfer’s shoulders are more likely to stay aligned properly throughout the entire putting stroke. Jack Nicklaus never used the left-hand low putting grip, but he famously said he wished he would have learned to do so during his epic pro golf career.


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Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.