How using a claw grip is helping this pro contend at the WM Phoenix Open

InsideGOLF: The perfect Valentine’s Day gift every golfer wants ($100 value – just $20)
Nick Taylor is using the claw to great effect in Scottsdale.
Getty Images
Of the players at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round of the WM Phoenix Open, Canadian Nick Taylor may be the least recognizable for American fans.
Though the 34-year-old has two PGA Tour wins under his belt (the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship and the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), he’s conscious of the underdog role he’ll be playing when he tees it up in the final group alongside Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm on Sunday.
“They’re obviously amazing players,” Taylor said of Rahm and Scheffler after Taylor fired a third-round 67 on Saturday. “I’m just going to have to do my own thing tomorrow. Easier said than done. But if I keep playing like I have been playing I think I’ll have a decent chance coming down the stretch.
“But I can’t really pay attention to what they’re doing,” he continued. “If I get wrapped up in that it’s probably when I would struggle a little bit. I’ve been in a position where I’ve been an underdog, so I just got to keep my head down and keep playing.”
Taylor has already posted two top 10s this season, including his best two finishes, T6 at the Fortinet Championship and T7 at the Sony Open, since his win in 2020.
To what does Taylor attribute his resurgent play? He revealed on Saturday that he’s recently adopted a claw-style putting grip, which he says has made a big difference in his game.
“Since January I went to that claw grip kind of last fall for the last — I did the last round in Mexico and it worked out well. Didn’t work out in Houston. It just gets my fundamentals in a better spot. Got my stroke a lot tighter.”
So what is the claw grip? It’s effectively a way to minimize the hands’ influence on the putting stroke, and instead emphasize the arms and shoulders to swing the club, keeping grip pressure light.
Plenty of big names have adopted the claw over the years, including Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson. And if Taylor can emerge victorious on Sunday, perhaps still more will give it a try.

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on and GOLF Magazine are published by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF


You may also like