Anyone who is familiar with THP knows the name Pat O’Brien and the presence that he holds when it comes to putting. A longtime advocate of SeeMore putters and a main pillar to the SPi method, when it comes to putting there are few people in golf that are as trusted and respected. His students have won PGA titles all around the world and have included the likes of Zach Johnson, KJ Choi, and many others.
Now, Pat O’Brien has released a new product focused on what he considers should be the biggest point of focus for putting, the grip. The “Perfect Putting Grip” focuses on teaching and ingraining the “modern grip”, and THP was fortunate enough to spend time with this new product.
What is the “Modern Grip”?
Before discussing the “Perfect Putting Grip” it is important to better explain exactly what the “modern grip” that Pat advocates adamantly enough to release a dedicated training aid is. Essentially, for decades it has been taught/believed that the putter should be placed deep into the palms in order to better “control” the stroke when in reality it leads to hitting the ball and what many call a “pop” stroke. Greens used to be much rougher and required more force to be put onto the ball through the stroke to get it to the hole. Today however, greens on golf courses have never been better or rolled truer, but despite the change many still use that same palm based grip trying to brace to hit the golf ball, and not stroke it.
In the full swing we preach keeping the club out of the palm and into the fingers in order to keep tension out of the situation and improve feel through the swing. We know this to be true, so why in the area of the game where tension is your biggest enemy and feel your best ally do so many do just the opposite of this? Why do we treat the putting grip as a separate entity when it too is a golf swing? The “modern grip” places the putter more into the fingers which biomechanically frees the user of tension and allows the putt to be stroked, thus introducing consistency into the area of the game where so many golfers struggle the most.
The Perfect Putting Grip:
This belief in the “modern grip” and its ability to improve putting for golfers of all skill levels is precisely why Pat O’Brien has released the “Perfect Putting Grip”. All told, this is one of the most simple and straight forward putting aids out there. Rather than simply continuing to practice/ingrain the same tension filled grip on the greens for hours and hours, this product gives users a visual aid on the actual grip to ensure consistency and free up their putting stroke.
The Perfect Putting grip itself consists of two grip sized decals, an instruction card detailing installation and use, and access to Pat O’Brien putting instructional videos. The decal shows the correct placement of the fingers and heel pads for both hands according to the modern grip Pat O’Brien teaches. Additionally, the product is made of a Mylar material intended to provide durability over time as well as temporary or permanent installation onto any putter grip.
Application and Use:
Installation of the Perfect Putting Grip is straight forward. Included with the decals are step-by-step instructions (also viewable on the website) and thanks to the Mylar material you do have some “forgiveness” with the placement should you need to adjust it. Thanks to the design and fringe-like cuts on the decal it installs well on a variety of putter grips with varying angles. For this review it was placed on a Golf Pride, Iomic, and SuperStoke 1.0 and there were no issues with install and usability. However, it should be kept in mind that the decal is a set size and is not really intended for some of these massive grips we are seeing on the market right now, but there were no issues with the standard and midsized grips we used it on.
It may be of concern to some that the aid is a “sticker” and therefore durability can be a worry, but the review time spent with the Perfect Putting Grip proved that it really is not. The Mylar material that it is composed of held up extremely well through practice use and even in the bag (though abusive bag wear can affect any grip let alone one with a decal attached). The website mentions temporary or permanent installation as an intent with the material and this reviewer was able to re-use the same single decal on three different putters for testing. It is doable, but keep in mind that multiple removals will affect the hold of any decal regardless of the material.
Using the Perfect Putting Grip is as simple as it gets. The decal literally tells you where to place your fingers and heel pads on the grip to remove all of the tension from the stroke. Seeing as this user was already utilizing the “modern grip” that Pat O’Brien teaches it was immediate affirmation of proper hand placement. For those new to the grip, it will undoubtedly take some time to get used to, but the benefit to such a simple training aid is that you do get that same immediate and understandable visual feedback as someone who is already familiar with the grip. It is proof that sometimes the best training aids are the most simple.
Pat O’Brien has long been a believer in the putting grip being the key building block to success and fun on the greens for golfers of all skills, and with the Perfect Putting Grip he has really grasped onto to an ingeniously simple and effective way to show and not just tell golfers what that “modern grip” can do for their games. Though many will talk about putting being the most personal aspect of the game and everyone being different, it bears remembering that the grip is the most fundamental aspect, and the Perfect Putting Grip is an effective illustration as to why.
The Perfect Putting Grip kit is priced at $19.99 and along with much more information on the modern grip, it can be found at www.PerfectPuttingGrip.com.