Should you try Webb Simpson’s eye-catching putting grip?

February 3, 2020
Webb Simpson lining up a putt.

Webb Simpson, flying somewhat under the radar, has quietly become one of the most rock-solid players on Tour. Six PGA Tour wins, including a U.S. Open and a Players Championship, an increasingly impressive team record and about a million top-25s finishes has brought him up to 7th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

When people try to explain Simpson’s remarkable consistency, they inevitably begin talking about his accuracy from tee-to-green. There’s no doubt that controlled fade of his is a hugely important part of his game — especially so far this season. But when I think about the glue that keeps his game sticking together, my mind drifts toward something different: His putting.

It’s easy to forget at this point, but Simpson’s U.S. Open victory was one of the major catalysts for the case to ban anchored putters. And, for a long time, it looked like he would become the biggest victim of it. The ban was announced in 2013, and Webb tried to preempt the move by switching ahead of time, before the ban went into place at the start 2016.

An above-average putter before the ban (he ranked 43rd, 53rd, 41st, and 34st between 2011 and 2014 in SG: Putting), he ditched his trusted belly putter and his game immediately imploded. He dropped to 174th and 177th in SG: Putting his next two seasons, contributing to an almost five-year winless streak.

That, it seemed, was that. Except it wasn’t.

Webb flirted around with a series of conventional and counter-balanced putters before eventually landing on an Odyssey Arm Lock V-Line Putter.

Arm Lock Putters

Odyssey Arm Lock V-Line

The Odyssey Arm Lock V-Line is a rounded face-balanced mallet design that features a White Hot Microhinge insert, adjustable sole weights and elongated Arm Lock shaft.

$199.99

Buy Now

He began with a conventional grip but eventually switched to a claw grip. That’s when the results really started gaining steam. He finished 5th in SG: Putting in 2018 and 11th in 2019, and is currently 7th in SG: Putting.

Should you try Webb’s grip?

Arm-lock putting — where the shaft of the club rests up against the lead arm throughout the stroke — helps create more stability during the stroke by making it a more lead-arm-centric motion. The addition of the claw takes your trail hand out of the stroke even further, making it even more lead-arm centric.

So, if you’re a golfer whose left arm (for a right-handed golfer) is more dominant than your trail arm, and you tend to get twitchy with your trail hand when you putt, give this a try. You should be able to prevent the face from closing too much by mistake, and that the stroke becomes more of a pushing motion with your lead side.