Trying an unconventional putter grip can be a game-changer for any golfer. While traditional putter grips have been the norm for decades, new and innovative designs are emerging that challenge golfers’ perceptions of what a grip should look and feel like. Let’s explore the benefits of trying an unconventional putter grip as we examine one option with the latest from GOAT Grips.
Upon first glance, it is easy to believe that GOAT Grips are just an oversized grip rotated to the left, leaving the flat side parallel to the face. However, the truth is that many more design elements are involved in making these a better option for those who prefer to play a larger putter grip. Before diving into the philosophy of this design, let’s first take a minute to talk about a problem that Dan Ridgway, founder of GOAT Grips, identified by using some of the other oversized grips on the market.
Without directly mentioning another company, it’s reasonable to believe that any golfer reading this article knows which brand has a stranglehold on the oversized grip market. Now, visualize as those putter grips increase in size, the shaft still gets inserted in the exact location, which is directly in the center of the grip. When a grip gets more prominent and the shaft position remains the same, that leading hand gets further and further from the shaft, which does several things, including effectively adding some additional offset, reducing the amount of leverage a golfer has, and minimizing that connected feeling one gets when using a more traditional putter grip. Ever take the extreme jump from a pistol grip to something significantly wider? There is a very distinguishable difference in the feeling which some golfers can struggle to adjust.
GOAT Grips offers a solution that addresses the abovementioned issues and provides golfers with an alternative option. It allows golfers to experience the benefits of oversized grips while maintaining the connected feeling they achieve when using a smaller grip.
When it comes to GOAT Grips, their shape is what makes them unique. They look like an oversized grip turned sideways, but it’s important to note that the most prominent flat side of the grip should be parallel to the face during installation. The flat side of the putter grip should be held in your left hand to ensure a secure fit and provide a good feel for what the putter face is doing throughout your stroke. Although GOAT Grips have a unique design, they still have a traditional flat front side with a hard edge on the leading-hand side and a deeper rounded backend which makes them feel like a midsize putter grip.
GOAT’s TRU Performance Core has been shifted from the center to the hard, flat side, which has several benefits. Oversized grips can sometimes cause golfers to lose feel for the putter and add an effective offset. By pushing the shaft to the leading side of the grip, GOAT’s design helps reduce the effective offset and gets your lead hand closer to the shaft than any other oversized grip on the market. Additionally, having more of the grip behind the shaft increases stability during the stroke, keeping the putter face square to the intended line. While GOAT only has two models available, they plan to expand to offer more grip sizes. With the TRU Performance Core, any grip they offer will maintain the feel of connectedness, making it easier for golfers to control the face, regardless of the grip size. While it may seem like a small change, it sets GOAT’s design apart from what is currently available.
During this review, I had the opportunity to try the two current models that GOAT Grips offers: The GOAT TP 2.0 Tour Blackout and the GOAT TP 2.0 Tour Proto. Although both models are the same size, they have a different feel. Those who prefer a softer, slightly tackier feel will appreciate what the Blackout grip offers. On the other hand, the Tour Proto was slightly firmer while offering some surface texture. I found the Tour Proto grip to resonate more with me. However, I wish the Tour Proto featured the same goat logo on the Blackout model.
As part of the testing process, I installed the GOAT Tour Proto and Tour Blackout grips on two different putters. While the former found its way on a traditional anser style putter, the latter was installed on a mallet putter with a significantly more face-balanced design. Over the years, I have jumped back and forth between blade and mallet designs, with the mallets being my current go-to style.
I struggle with a pull/left miss when using a blade putter, which happens more often than when I use a mallet. However, after learning about how GOAT Grips can help golfers control the face, I wondered if simply changing the grip could help reduce this problem. To my delight, I did notice some improvements. Specifically, the putter’s toe felt more stable and less likely to become too active throughout my stroke. Was it a complete miracle worker? No, but for someone who prefers the look of a blade but battles some inconsistencies, every little bit helps, and GOAT Grips proved to be up to the challenge.
This grip continued to impress when I switched to the mallet putter. The putter already had a higher MOI design, and the combination with the face-balanced putter made it even better. At a putter fitting in the past, my highly skilled fitter once told me I should never consider a face-balanced putter because it didn’t work with my natural putting stroke. However, with the GOAT Grip, having that sense of where the face was, I saw some results that have me pondering a move to this type of design for a more extended audition.
Lastly, I wanted to know how these grips would work with different putting styles. I am usually a more conventional reverse overlap putting grip, but desperate times call for desperate measures, causing me to experiment with a cross-handed grip. While I don’t intend to change my putting style anytime soon, these grips, especially on the mallet putter, gave me more comfort putting my left hand low than I can ever remember.
GOAT Grips offers a unique and innovative design that helps overcome the common issues that golfers face with oversized grips while maintaining the connected feeling of a smaller grip. While the design might seem unconventional, GOAT Grips are undoubtedly worth a try to see how they can benefit your game.
More information on GOAT Grips can be found at www.goatgrips.com.