Ben Crenshaw Putting Grip: Detailed Analysis

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Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw is widely regarded as one of the best putters to have graced the game of golf.

Without a doubt, Crenshaw has plenty of natural skill. But, he credits a lot of his success to locking down the fundamentals of the putting stroke — starting with the grip.

In this article, you’ll learn everything about Ben Crenshaw’s putting grip.

Let’s get right into it!

Ben Crenshaw Putting Grip

Ben Crenshaw uses a reverse overlap putting grip technique. Essentially, this is where the top hand’s index finger overlaps the bottom hand for stability. Crenshaw is known to have a very light grip pressure, which allows him to feel the weight of the club head during the putting stroke.

ben crenshaw putting on the green
Ben Crenshaw uses the conventional reverse overlap putting grip technique.

Reverse Overlap Putting Grip

The reverse overlap putting grip technique is one of the most common ways to hold the putter. Effectively, the bottom hand bears most of the control, and the top hand links to it via an overlapping index finger. This ensures the hands work in unison for optimal feels and control.

The technique is referred to as the reverse overlap grip because it reverses the typical overlap grip used by many golfers for a full swing with the clubs in the bag.

While the grip has been around for many decades, there are many notable players from the modern game who use the method — including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

In fact, around 68 percent of players on the PGA Tour use this conventional grip.

How Does It Work?

The first step is to hold the putter grip about halfway down with your right hand, assuming you’re a right-handed golfer.

Make sure to run the grip down the palm, rather than the fingers. Place your thumb on the top of the grip, serving as a useful reference for the center.

Then, place your left hand at the top of the grip, with the middle finger butting up against your right hand’s pinky finger.

Set your left thumb on the center of the grip, aligned with your right thumb.

Finally, overlap the index finger on your left hand across your right hand’s pinky and ring fingers. In effect, this allows both hands to work in unison during the stroke.

The reverse overlap grip helps prevent the hands from rolling at impact and keeps the grip secured in each palm for ultimate control and feel.

reverse overlap grip

The Master of Grip Pressure

Nicknamed “Gentle Ben” — Crenshaw holds the putter very lightly, as though he’s holding an injured bird in his hands.

In fact, his grip pressure is so light that Mike Cooney states: “The putter seems like it’s almost ready to fall from his hands when he putts.”

So, what’s the benefit of having a super light grip pressure on the putter?

Essentially, it enables him to feel the full weight of the putter head throughout the putting stroke. This makes it easier to have consistent distance control.

Conversely, if you grip the putter too tight, the head will feel very light. This would make it more challenging to achieve consistency with regard to distance control.

By gripping lightly, the putter head can swing confidently through the ball at impact.

“I’m trying to let the putter head do the work.”

Ben Crenshaw

Putting is a delicate skill, where sensitivity and touch are vital components. For this reason, Crenshaw recommends a grip pressure of about 4 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Listen to some words of wisdom from the man himself:

Crenshaw’s Influence

As one of the greatest putters of all time, Ben Crenshaw continues to have a lasting influence on the sport from a coaching standpoint.

He’s coached a number of top players, including Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Before embarking on his second Masters Championship, Spieth gained some extra putting insights from Ben Crenshaw before clinching his famous win at just 21.

Likewise, Tiger owes a lot of his putting success to Crenshaw. After opening the tournament with a lackluster 70-72 at the 1997 Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he shared a putting lesson with him before heading into his third round.

In the lesson, Crenshaw emphasized the importance of holding the putter loosely:

“He had me loosen up my hands, get my putter head behind my hands, and from there let the weight of the putter head hit the ball. I ended up shooting 63-64 in a weekend.”

Tiger Woods

Check out the interview clip with Tiger Woods below:

Final Thoughts

To summarize, Ben Crenshaw uses a conventional reverse overlap putting grip.

Perhaps what sets him apart from the rest is his light grip pressure. This allows him to feel the weight of the putter head in the stroke, for optimal speed control.

In a discussion with Golfweek a few years ago, Crenshaw shared an interesting quote from famed coach Harvey Penick: “Never try to putt like anybody else.”

Regardless, Ben Crenshaw’s putting grip certainly wouldn’t be a bad one to learn from!

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Hailing from the South West of England, Jake has been playing golf for over a decade. He founded Pitchmarks with the aim of helping everyday golfers like himself learn more about the game, through instructional content and honest gear reviews. He has a degree in Architecture and a passion for golf course design, along with a lofty goal to play the world's top 100 courses.