Enda McLoughlin believes mainstream putter manufacturers may have gotten the wrong end of the stick.
“The majority of putter innovations are focused on alignment, face inserts, head-weighting, and head shape,” says the 35-year-old head professional at Wicklow Golf Club, an hour south of Dublin, Ireland. “But in reality, most putting problems originate further up the club.”
McLoughlin says it doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive the head of the putter is when movement in your hands causes the putterface to move from its intended line. “You simply must control what the putter face is doing in order to stroke a good putt,” he insists.
Early in 2005, McLoughlin began tinkering with his putter grip as he considered the grip on his Scotty Cameron model to be too thin. Nothing happened until 2009, however, when he seriously began the design process and applying for patents. It wasn’t until 2012 though, that McLoughlin’s first grip came to market. “It was painfully slow because I was a one-man band, doing everything myself,” he says.
Fat putter grips have become a common sight on the PGA Tour over the last few years, and they are likewise becoming popular among club golfers thanks largely to Jordan Spieth’s victories at the Masters and US Open. McLoughlin’s P2 grips are similar to Spieth’s Super Stroke grip, but differ in one key area – the position of the shaft inside the grip itself.
McLoughlin says the shaft in a P2 grip lies “off-center.” Essentially, the shaft is positioned toward the back of the grip, with the top end of the grip being made thicker than the bottom. “This increases the effective lie angle of the putter, and positions the wrists higher at address,” says McLoughlin. “Unwanted movement is therefore restricted during the stroke, allowing the forearms to be aligned in perfect symmetry with the shaft of the putter, and allowing the lead arm to feel like a continuation of the puttershaft.”
Convinced he had hit upon something special, McLoughlin sought independent feedback to confirm his findings. In early 2015, he hired Quintic Consultancy which specializes in biomechanical analysis and which is headed by Dr. Paul Hurrion whose putting expertise has been relied upon by Padraig Harrington, Danny Willett, Rory McIlroy and numerous other European Tour players.
“The report we got back from Quintic was very encouraging,” says McLoughlin. “They found that putts were struck closer to the sweet spot, and they rolled true with significantly less sidespin.”
The original line of four P2 grips were almost double the weight of typical grips (ranging from 95g to 182g), “in order to enable golfers with inferior fine motor skills to control the putterhead consistently” says McLoughlin. The Core line was introduced at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show and, though the response from PGA pros and buyers was largely positive, there was some demand for more conventionally weighted grips.
The new Tour line appeared at this year’s PGA Show and is made up of the Aware Tour, Classic Tour, React Tour, and Reflex Tour models that feature slightly different shapes and range in weight from 51g to 77g. “We brought out the lighter grips after receiving feedback from Tour professionals, PGA professionals and low handicap golfers who liked the size and structure but preferred them to be lighter,” says McLoughlin. “The response was fantastic. We took a lot of orders which will be fulfilled starting April 1st.”
P2’s US distributor is Pro Impact Golf, from whose web site you can purchase the grips.
Core Line – $30
Tour Line – $35
Short Putt Tips: Lakewood Golf and Haven Moses