When it comes to putter grips, it wasn’t very long ago that consumers were very limited on what options they had. Even with aftermarket grips we were left with deciding between two or three different styles from two or three companies. A few years ago that started to change and we’ve become more and more accustomed to seeing some pretty unique grips on the putters of some of the world’s best golfers. As with everything in the golf equipment industry, consumers immediately wanted what they saw.
One company has an offering that is indeed unique in design, the PalmBird Putter Grip. As unique as the design is, the story of the discovery is every bit as interesting. Designer Phillip A. Jaffe is both an avid golfer and PGA Member. He came to find the inspiration for the PalmBird grip while pruning the giant Bird of Paradise plant in his backyard. While Phil was working to cut back the plants he took notice of the oblong shape and how the stalk felt in the palm of his hands. It was then that he realized just how natural this shape felt as he practiced his putting motion with the stalk in his hands. From here the PalmBird was born.
From the company
PalmBird Features & Benefits
- Conforms with USGA rules and proudly made in the U.S.A.
- Putter grip and putting teaching aid all in one
- Heavier to provide counter-balancing, giving you greater control of the putter head
- Improves your ability to keep the putter head square at impact and throughout the stroke
- Non-tapered grip body, allowing balanced grip pressure in both hands
- The crescent shape encourages the putting stroke to be initiated from the shoulders instead of the hands and wrists reducing stroke arc, helping to keep the putter head square and on line
- Significantly reduces the possibility of the “yips” due to less wrist flexion and forearm tension
- The PalmBird’s design, covers a larger surface area in your palms, which allows for lighter grip pressure in your thumbs and fingers
- Naturally reduces wrist break throughout the putting stroke
- Made of weather resistant Thermal Plastic Rubber which provides durability, comfort, and traction
Specs: Width 1.07 inches, Height 1.65 inches, Length 11.5 inches, Weight 169 grams
Testing the PalmBird
Right away upon unboxing the PalmBird I could definitely see what Phil Jaffe felt with the Bird of Paradise plant that day in his yard. The shape really does contour right to your hand very naturally and taking some mock putter swings with the grip you can get a sense of how it may help you with your putting. At home I have a Bettinardi BB8 putter that was due for a regripping, so I decided to go ahead and install the PalmBird onto my pride and joy putter to see what this grip was all about. Installation was a breeze. By simply removing the old grip and using mineral spirits rather than any other solvent (per instructions from the company), I had my new grip on and was rolling putts in no time at all.
I’ve always correlated oversize putter grips with quieting the hands throughout the stroke. While I’ve never really struggled with flipping my wrists or having what I would consider a jerky putting stroke, I was impressed with how the PalmBird changed how the putting stroke felt to me. Prior to this I hadn’t ever putted with a jumbo sized grip, so it was certainly a new and different feeling, but the more I rolled putts the more used to it I became.
As I continued to adapt to the different feeling, I found myself getting better with my short range putting – anything inside of 10 feet or so. One thing that I never really got a handle on throughout my testing was distance control. I constantly came up short on longer putts, and while I was usually making the 5 or 6 footers that I wound up leaving myself with, I still wasn’t crazy about struggling with distance control to that degree. I don’t fault the design or the concept behind the PalmBird grip in the slightest. I just think the adjustment to a jumbo grip is certainly not something you can expect immediate success with (at least not for me).
I put the putter with the PalmBird installed in the hands of multiple players from my local men’s club and found that a lot of people enjoyed the feel in their hands almost immediately. One guy in particular had a grip that was about the exact size and he raved about the PalmBird immediately. In fact, he didn’t want to give me my putter back.
As I mentioned, I installed the PalmBird on what I believe is the greatest putter I’ve ever used, my Bettinardi BB8. It’s a blade putter that gives back such a smooth feel and sound when putting the ball. Installing the PalmBird did not change any of that. I was extremely impressed and quite happy to experience that same great feel that I’ve come to love with my putter. This was probably my biggest concern going in, so I was very impressed to say the least.
While I’m not a jumbo grip user, the grip just feels natural and comfortable in my hands. Personally I’d like to see the company come out with a PalmBird mini or something a little smaller. I think that would be a must-try grip for guys like me. Of the people that tried my putter on the practice green, everyone agreed that they like the feel of the grip in their hands. Other players who are more familiar with a grip that size did not seem to have the same struggles I did in terms of distance control.
The PalmBird is available by visiting the company’s website at www.palmbirdputtergrips.com for $19.99 plus a minimal shipping fee. I definitely recommend that people who like the benefits of an oversized putter grip look into getting a PalmBird in their hands before deciding to purchase another product.