Phil Mickelson/Chris Chambers/Getty Images
During The Barclays tournament Phil Mickelson was spotted using the claw grip on his putter. Nick Faldo did not notice the change until Sunday, when he gasped in horror, on live TV. Last year, after Keegan Bradley won the PGA with a long putter, Phil gave the belly putter a test drive for a few weeks. You have to ask yourself, in Gods name Why !! The belly putter trial did not work out, and neither will this new switch to the claw grip. True that Sergio had a good win using it, but as we saw on Sunday the magic did not last. Phil said of his belly putter trial;
“I feel that I’m probably putting better with that putter than I would be the short putter, so I’ll end up using it for the rest of the tournament I would anticipate. But I don’t know if it’s a short-term or a long-term thing, but it feels good.”
Of his latest switch, which happened on the third round of The Barclays, Phil said;
“I had a chance to get a couple more, but for me I drove the ball well and I putted very well and I hit some good iron shots. For me it built some good momentum after a day, yesterday, where I had lost a little bit of confidence. I made some putts and that was a nice feeling.”
The people who usually change over to strange putter grips are the people who have always had putting problems, and most of them continued to have the same problems because fundamentally they have a poor set up, or inconsistent swing. Phil has neither of these problems, he has always been a good putter, his problems now are in his head, he has lost confidence in the routine he trusted. To get that confidence back it just requires plenty of practice, with the tools that have always been good for him, and plenty of enthusiasm and support from the people around him. Those who are advising him.
Many people think this change will be a short-term fad for Mickelson, they are questioning whether he will be able to make more putts with the Claw grip than his traditional method. What will Phil do next? I bet he will quickly return to the method and putter that has bought him success for all these years.
You notice that I have not recommended he try one of our putters, Phil will be best served to return to his traditional method and tools.