Mystery Solved: Paddle vs. Pistol Putter Grips

Posted October 09 2013

If you’re trying to understand putter grips, there’s one thing that sticks out (like a sore thumb). It’s that there are a bazillion different kinds to choose from. Aside from the multitude of brands, colors, sizes, styles, ying, yang, democrat, republican.., you also need to understand what all these crazy names mean. If you’ve walked away from your pro shop scratching your head wondering what exactly makes putter grips differ from each other, you’re not alone. We’re here to unravel one of the deep mysteries that surrounds the putter grip ecosystem and clarify once and for all: the difference between a paddle and a pistol putter grip.

To begin, let’s take a look at 2 popular putter grips. The Lamkin E.B.L. 3GEN Paddle putter grip, and the Winn Medallist Pro Pistol Putter grip.


Checkout the Butts

Whether we like it not, the butt matters. The butt profile of the grip that is. The key difference here is that the Pistol shape is like a wider and flatter oval with a fairly centered axis of symmetry. The Paddle, on the other hand is more of an egg-shaped oval. Here are some everyday oval objects to help us remember this terminology:

The Paddle-shaped watermelon. And the Pistol-shaped funky chair. Geometry can be fun, kids.



The View from the Top

A key element of the shape is the top-down view. This affects how we actually hold the grip. The paddle shape (contrary to what most people think) actually has a slimmer top, widening towards the bottom. Imaging someone taking a perfectly oval shaped grip, and lopping off the top. Think lasik for your grips. The paddle grip gets lopped off at an angle so that the flat section width tapers as you go down the grip. The pistol grip gets lopped off more horizontally, thus allowing for a wider and more even flat surface throughout the grip. Many players appreciate the consistent and wider flat top area a pistol grip provides for your thumb to sit pretty and do its thing. What does this mean? You guessed it. Big thumb people pick up your pistol grips.



All Fingers on Deck

The side view tells us more about how your fingers will actually place on the grip. Because of the more elongated and tapered shape of the paddle, players with longer fingers prefer the paddle shape so that their fingers aren’t overextended around the grip. A pistol shape gives smaller hands a more even grip in the same The modern pistol grip also has less of a taper and thus promotes light gripping in both hands.


Well there you have it. The mystery of the paddle vs. pistol putter grips. SOLVED. Till next time, when we look at why birds chirp at 5 in the morning, and why manholes are round.


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