Tiger Woods, for the longest time, has used a PING putter grip on whatever flatstick he uses. Because of his long-standing equipment deal with Nike Golf, the letters P-I-N-G are blacked out, but they can be clearly seen in TV close-ups.
That’s why the change in Tiger Woods’ putting grip seen Wednesday at the Presidents Cup is kind of shocking.
What’s a Super Stroke grip? It’s a putting grip made most famous by the likes of Jason Dufner and K.J. Choi. The non-tapered, one-piece grips come in a variety of sizes, almost all of which are bigger — in some cases, way bigger — than the traditional putting grip. The idea behind the Super Stroke grip is that its size will quiet a player’s hands in the stroke, creating a traditional pendulum motion that helps make more putts. The grip materials are also designed to equalize grip pressure, so a player is less likely to pull or push their putts.
The grips retail for about $25, although there are a number of other similar-styled putter grips on the market.
The Super Stroke grip Woods was photographed using is about twice the size of the PING grip he has always used, but not nearly as big as the grip Dufner uses. The grip is also about 6 grams heavier than the one Woods currently uses.
The big question is if Tiger Woods is considering a putter grip change for the start of the Presidents Cup on Thursday, just experimenting for fun or planning a change for sometime in 2014.
Woods’ familiar refrain in the major championships in 2013 has been his inability to get the speed of the greens down, leading to poor putting. The change in grip, however, temporary, may be a tacit admission that it wasn’t the speed of the green, but his stroke that was holding him back.