What is The Saw Grip & Can It Help You Sink More Putts?
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

The saw grip is considered a bit unconventional by most golf enthusiasts, even though some pro golfers on the PGA Tour use it. Have you ever thought about trying the saw grip?

The saw grip is a golf putting grip that can help a person eliminate a putting hitch that occurs when a golfer makes a stroke. Keep reading to learn more about this putting grip style and its potential benefits.


What is The Saw Grip for Putting?

The saw grip is used by golfers that are not comfortable with a conventional grip while putting. If you struggle on the greens and aren’t making as many putts as you’d like, you may want to give the saw grip a shot. Here’s a quick guide to how it works:

  1. Take the golf club in your left hand and use a standard neutral grip with the thumb pointing straight down the putter shaft. Keep the handle rested right in the palm
  2. Make a saw with the four fingers on your right hand
  3. Place those four fingers across the putter grip (they should be pointing towards the hole)
  4. Grab the underside of the handle with your right thumb
  5. For the putting stroke itself, use a pendulum type of motion

saw putting grip


Why Some Golfers Use This Putting Grip Style

1. Golfers Who Have a Tendency to Pull Putts

Are your putts constantly rolling just left of the hole? If so, that means you struggle with pulling your putts. This happens when the putter face closes just before impact.

The saw grip makes it easier to keep the clubface square through the entire putting stroke. This leads to more consistency and a stroke that goes right to the target line.

2. Golfers Who Struggle With Their Putting Speed

Do you constantly find yourself using the incorrect amount of speed on your putts? Maybe your putts tend to end up too far past the hole and then you overcompensate and end up well short of it. 

The saw grip may be the perfect solution to help you find the correct ball speed on the greens. The pendulum, back-and-forth swing often gives golfers more control over their ball speed. 

3. Folks Who Want to Improve Their Touch on Fast Greens

Many golfers find that they have better touch on the greens after switching to the saw grip. This is especially true if the greens are extremely fast.

PGA Tour legend Phil Mickelson claims that the saw grip helped him improve his touch and accuracy on fast greens. This is probably due to the extra control that the saw grip provides. More control usually leads to more birdies on the scorecard.

4. Golfers Who Want to Use Their Shoulders More in Putting

The most consistent putters in the world use their shoulders to get the ball rolling instead of their wrists. However, not every golfer can do this while using a conventional grip. This is because the dominant hand tends to take over the putting stroke with a normal putting grip.

The saw grip takes the dominant hand out of the stroke and makes it act as only a guide. This forces the golfer to use his shoulders instead of his hands.


Pro Golfers Who Use The Saw Grip

Lots of popular golfers on both the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour Champions use the saw grip. Here are a few of them below.

Mark O’Meara

O’Meara used the saw grip during his PGA Tour career and it helped him win 16 PGA Tour events, two of which were major championships. 

O’Meara started using the saw grip at the advice of Hank Haney, who helped him cure his case of the yips. O’Meara feels that the saw grip helps him keep his right hand in a straight line during his entire putting stroke.

Collin Morikawa

Morikawa is one of the best young players on the PGA Tour today, as evidenced by his win at the 2020 PGA Championship. The two-time major champion learned the saw grip from Mark O’Meara and started using it in the early portion of 2021. 

The grip change paid almost immediate dividends, as Morikawa won the 2021 WGC-Workday Championship at Concession Golf Club just a few days after making the switch to the saw. The sky’s the limit for how many PGA Tour events Morikawa can win!

Mark Calcavecchia

Calcavecchia used a saw putting grip for most of his career and it worked exceptionally well for him. “Calc” won 13 PGA Tour events, including the 1989 Open Championship.

Calcavecchia still plays on the PGA Tour Champions and he’s won four times on that circuit. Even at age 61, Calcavecchia still has a smooth, consistent putting stroke.

Chris Dimarco

Dimarco’s grip could be considered either the saw grip or the claw grip since he uses a cupped right hand. How important was it for Dimarco to make a putting grip change? Some folks say that Dimarco’s switch to the saw grip may have saved his pro career back in the mid-1990s.

Dimarco has won three times on the PGA Tour in his career and has come close to winning a major on three different occasions.


Other Common Putting Grips

Vardon Grip

You’ve likely heard of the overlapping grip, which is often used for a full swing. It was made famous by Harry Vardon, a famous golfer from the early 1900s that won seven major championships.

With the Vardon grip, the left-hand holds the club in a neutral position. The right pinkie laps over the left index finger. 

The Vardon grip works great for full swings but can cause problems while putting since the wrists can easily roll before making contact with the golf ball. For this reason, not many golfers use the Vardon grip while putting.

Cross-Handed Grip

This grip is also known as the left-hand low grip. As its name implies, the left-hand acts as the bottom hand with this putting grip. Jim Furyk, one of the most consistent putters on the PGA Tour, has used the left-hand low putting grip his entire career.

Lots of golfers say that the cross-handed grip helps give them a better feel of the putter head. For this reason, lots of pro golfers go to the cross-handed technique when they are in the middle of a putting slump.

Claw Grip

The claw grip can be considered a variation of the saw grip. The only difference is that with the claw grip, the right hand has more of a cupped shape to it. Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, has been using the claw putting grip for several years.

Though there are lots of variations of the claw grip, most of them have the fingers of the right hand pointing down the shaft. This grip helps reduce the use of the golfer’s dominant hand and often leads to a more accurate putting stroke.

Reverse Overlap Grip

The reverse overlap grip is the most widely used putting grip on the PGA Tour. Lots of golfers consider it to be the most comfortable of all the putting grips and it is considered to be the most conventional. PGA Tour stars like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and a whole host of others use the reverse overlap grip.

With the reverse overlap, the golfer takes his left forefinger and laps it over his right pinkie and right ring finger. Many golfers feel that the reverse-overlapping grip prevents their hands from rolling over just before impact. This is a huge key to putting with more consistency.


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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.