It’s been said by many a player, that a good grip connects the player to the club, be they woods or irons or putters. Hence, the reason why they should be taken care of, bad grips will only affect your performance in the long run, and whether you choose to clean them or replace them, the bottom line is to make sure you take care of them.
A quick question, if grips connect the player and the club, just how much attention should be paid to the maintenance of the grip? The answer to that question depends on what type of player you are. Sometimes, grips just need a quick clean; a bucket of warm water, some soap, and a towel to dry and soon you are good and ready to play.
While cleaning grips is a habit to cultivate and any player would risk losing not just around in a game, but the grips if care is not taken, there comes a time when sweat, oil, grime, and sunscreen get rooted in your grips and your only option is to replace them. So, when cleaning no longer restores that feel of tackiness, you know it is time to regrip that golf grip.
Why is it important to re-grip golf grips?
The benefits are truly endless, but we can go through a few;
- Comfortable games: You should replace your grips if the grip is wearing off because it’ll be a lot more comfortable to play with. Once you have perfect fitting grips, you are more likely to have a better time playing.
- Better traction: For a smooth round of fun, without the fear of your handle slipping from your grasp.
- Smoother swings: Less tension in your hands while playing with clean or freshly gripped handles will give you smoother swings, which are tied to more enjoyable rounds of golf.
When to re-grip golf grips
You’ll know it’s time to regrip your golf clubs when your old grips start feeling hard or slippery. This indicates they are worn down and need an upgrade. If you play multiple times per week then you may have to replace them once a year. If you play on the weekends then your grips could very well last beyond a year. The best way to make your golf clubs last, is to clean you grips.
You can tell if your grips need to be re-gripped by examining the grip. If the material shows visible wear spots or cracks and splits, and when you hold it, does the material feel rock hard? Just because a grip does not look worn down does not mean it is not. After using the grips for a year or more, or 40+ rounds, it is time to re-grip that golf club.
How to remove golf grips
You’ll need to have your new grips and some sort of solvent on hand. All you have to do is cut off your old grip and tape, put on the new tape, apply some of the solvents, toss on the new grips, and make sure everything is aligned. I’d recommend you practice with an old club before you try the real thing. Removing old grips is pretty easy too.
First, clamp the shaft near the lower end of the grip. Then point the face of the club toward the floor. Cut the old grip open. Now be careful, cutting into a rounded surface requires care and for safety’s sake, do not cut up toward your body. Also, avoid cutting into the shaft.
When you’re done, peel off the old grip and scrape the tape away. Remove the remaining residue with grip solvent and a clean cloth. Easy as riding a bike.
Which new golf grips to buy?
Golf grips all feel different and you must use something comfortable. Some grips are softer than others and some grips are larger than others. If you are a beginner player you could try a slightly thicker and softer grip, even then you might find there are other grips you’d prefer.
A player has to consider a few factors before deciding what new golf grips to purchase;
- Prevailing weather
- Style and finishing
With these in mind, it should be a cakewalk choosing that new set of grips. Some grip-making companies help with the selection by creating grips in all shapes and sizes that come with advice on how to use them, from the arrows on the grips that show you how to put them on the clubs, some arrows show the center of the grips and some are designed to help with your alignment. Below are a few grips you might like to check out;
- Winn Dri-Tac Standard Golf Grip
This golf grip is affordable and has a non-slip tackiness with very good traction. Did I mention affordable?
- Lamkin Crossline Undersize
- Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G Golf Grip
Check out our product review page for a comprehensive list of golf grips to buy
How to re-grip golf grips
Once you’ve selected the golf grip you prefer, you can proceed with the task of re-griping your golf club. You could get it done by paying a professional, but honestly, re-gripping golf clubs is a simple, straightforward task, and you could do it yourself. Once you’re familiar with the process, it is possible to re-grip golf clubs in a matter of minutes. Maybe practice with an old club first, just to get a hang of it.
- Vise equipped with rubber vise clamps: Rubber vise clamps are essential to protect the club’s shaft and to prevent it from rotating.
- Utility knife or straight blade: To cut through the old grip. If you own graphite shafts, it is better to use a hook blade to cut through the old grip.
- Deactivating grip solvent & a clean cloth: Used to get rid of any residual adhesive.
- Two-sided grip tape (¾’ or 2”), and 1/64” build-up tape if needed
- Rubber gloves: You may want to wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the deactivating solvent.
Follow these steps to re-grip your golf club.
- Remove old grip: Peel off the old grip with a blade, be careful as you scrape the tape away. Remove the remaining residue with grip solvent and a clean cloth afterward.
- Apply grip tape: Size up the new grip to determine how much of the shaft requires taping. Apply ¾” grip tape in a spiral pattern from the top of the shaft to the point where the grip will end. Then apply 2” grip tape lengthwise. Remove the paper backing. Add a little extra tape to the end of the shaft. First, use build-up tape if you want to increase the width of the new grip. It also comes in ¾” and 2” widths. Again, apply the ¾” width in a spiral pattern. Apply the 2” width lengthwise. Each layer adds 1/64” to the size of the grip. You can layer the tape to achieve the desired thickness.
- Apply some solvent: Use a golf tee to plug the hole at the end of the grip. Next, pour some solvent into the open end of your grip. Cover the open end with your hand and shake for a while to distribute the solvent. Remove the tee and pour the excess solvent onto the grip tape on the shaft. Place a tray under the clamped shaft to catch excess solvent. You can use the excess solvent on the other clubs if you are re-griping more than one club.
- Slide the grip into place: While the grip tape is still wet, roughly align the grip then pull it down over the end of the shaft. Make sure the end of the shaft nestles into the end of the grip. Adjust the alignment so the club and grip fit. You’ll have about one minute before the tape is no longer slippery. Allow the new grip to dry for several hours before use.
- Have a blast: Here is the fun part. Head to the first tee and start playing with your re-gripped clubs!
Of course, there are other methods to re-grip your golf clubs, you don’t need to use traditional grip solvents. There are also environmentally friendly solvent alternatives like soapy water and compressed air. The big difference is in wait times. The solvent-based approach needs about two hours of drying time. The water-based approach requires 24 hours of drying time. Using compressed air eliminates drying time.
- The water-activated method: This requires about 3 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent in a quart of clean water. Apply the solution to the grip tape. Slide the new grip in place.
- Compressed air method: If you have a source of compressed air (no, inflated balloons won’t do), get a specially-designed pressure tip from a golf supplier. Attach it to the compressed air source, and plug the other end into the hole in the butt end of the grip. The compressed air will then expand the new grip, allowing you to slip it over the grip tape. Pull out the pressure tip, as the grip returns to normal size, tightly adhering to the grip tape. It is possible to use the compressed air method to remove old grips as well.