True to its name, the Flat Cat putter grip flattens out the top of the grip to remove the arched or rounded shape found in traditional putter grips. This creates a broad, flat surface on top. The grip is typically very upright, allowing both thumbs to press down the shaft toward the ball. The palms wrap around the club more underneath instead of on the sides. With origins tied to Tiger Woods’ famed clutch putting, the Flat Cat putter grip is flat on top with both thumbs pressed down the shaft. Used properly, it can help golfers find better alignment, grip tension, and feel to sink more putts.
Benefits of the Flat Cat Putter Grip
- Better Alignment – With the thumbs pressed down the shaft, it is easier to align the putter head visually behind the ball on a consistent line.
- More Secure Grip – The Flat Cat allows the hands to grip more underneath the club for added stability and tension control.
- Improved Shoulder Alignment – The upright nature keeps the shoulders square without rounding. This enhances directional putting.
- Greater wrist mobility – Flattening the top of the grip gives the wrists added freedom of motion to control face angle and stroke path.
- More responsive feel – With hands wrapped more beneath, golfers can better feel the swing and strike for improved touch and pace control.
Drawbacks of the Flat Cat Putter Grip
- Difficult transition – It can be a dramatic adjustment going from a traditional arched grip to the flat top and thumb-down hand position. Takes practice.
- Loss of wrist hinge – Some golfers feel the Flat Cat restricts wrist action, reducing the ability to control pace and line with subtler wrist moves.
- Less stability on steep slopes – The upright stance and flat top can make it more challenging to control the putter face on severely breaking putts.
How To Grip a Flat Cat Putter- Tips
- Find a putter with a flat top design – Not all putter grips will work. Seek out a truly flat surface on top.
- Position hands directly on top – Place both palms on the flat part of the grip with thumbs pressing down the shaft.
- Allow wrists to hinge freely – Keep loose wrists to let the clubhead release naturally through impact.
- Keep grip pressure light – The Flat Cat works best with a soft, responsive hold on the club.
- Stand tall with shoulders square – Maintain good posture to keep alignment consistent.
- Adjust ball position – A forward press with the Flat Cat may require moving the ball slightly back.
The Flat Cat grip doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. Some putters switch between conventional and Flat Cat grips depending on putt distance and breaking tendencies. For short putts, the added alignment confidence of a Flat Cat can be beneficial. On long lag putts, a traditional grip may allow for more wrist action to control distance. You can also consider using the Flat Cat only when putting, then switch to a standard grip for chipping or pitching around the greens. This hybrid approach gives you the alignment of the Flat Cat while using your familiar grip style for other clubs.
How do you hold a flat cat putter grip?
To hold a Flat Cat putter grip, position your hands with the flat front aligned to the putter face and the curved back against your palms. Allow your fingers to wrap naturally around the grip and place your thumbs parallel to the putter face. Maintain a relaxed grip pressure and practice to adapt to the new grip for improved putting performance.
What is Tiger Woods putter grip?
Tiger Woods popularized a distinctive putter grip known as the “Tiger Claw” or “Flat Cat” grip. It features a flat top profile with both thumbs pressed down the shaft, palms gripping underneath, and an upright posture. This upright flat-hand position helps Tiger improve alignment, stability and wrist action while putting. Despite the unique hand placement, he maintains a light hold and forward press with the grip.
How do most pros grip their putter?
Here is a brief overview of how most professional golfers grip their putters:
- Conventional Style – The vast majority use a standard pistol-style grip with the hands wrapped around the sides, a rounded top profile, and thumbs pointing up.
- Neutral to Strong – Many pros use a neutral or slightly strong left-hand grip to reduce face rotation through impact.
- Light Grip Pressure – Despite differences in hand position, most share a light and soft grip pressure allowing the putter to swing freely.
- Forward Press – Forward pressing the putter at address is a very common technique to allow free wrist hinge.
- Anchored Stroke – Prior to the ban, some pros like Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley used longer putters anchored against the body.
- Claw Grip – A small percentage use a claw-style grip with the right hand, allowing finger isolation for feel.