More and more people are diving into golf for relaxation and pure competition nowadays. Along with buying all of your golf gear, there is an important part of a golf cub that often gets overlooked and that is the golf grips. In this article, you will learn everything about golf grips; why its important, how to maintain them and what size is best for you? keep reading for all of these juicy bits.
What Are Golf Grips?
Let’s face it, it is hard to get that perfect shot without an effective grip. A golf grip is basically the top part of your club that you hold to give you the perfect swing; if you are gong to fix your slice or hook, you might want to start getting familiar with the golf grip. This term is also used to describe the technique that a golfer holds the golf clubs but, in this article, we are referring to the actual grip of a club.
Knowing how to handle the golf club correctly is the first step of becoming a good golfer. Even professionals give credit to good grip when they make shots that seemed impossible. Choosing a golf grip is not just a walk in the bar, luckily, a lot of retailers sell golf grips but they come in different thickness, sizes and build material. There are also golf grips for different types of golf clubs; for instance, the golf grip for a putter may be different from the type suitable for your driver.
It all boils down to what feels best for you. Check out the kind of materials used to make golf grips.
Types of Golf Grip Textures
- Cord Golf grip: this is one of the most popularly used pattern of golf grip because it provides firmness and comfort. They have a corded material like a string built into the grip and it is especially good for rainy weather and golfers that do not like to wear gloves.
- Rubber golf grips: these types of grips are also very popular because they are soft. Most golf clubs that haven’t been re-gripped will probably have the original rubber ones as a standard.
- Wrap golf grips: this type of golf grip is like a spiral round the golf club and it is pretty useful if you haven’t exactly mastered finger placement. You can just memorize the spiral number to place your hands.
- Ribbed golf grips: this is the most useful type of grip for new golfers. The rib helps in club control and stability as well as tell people where to place their hands.
- Velvet grip: with a pattern of repeating crosses, this type of grip feels a little over the top but more and more people are buying it. It was first released as part of the tour velvet line.
- Heavy or lightweight golf grips: you know how some golf clubs are specifically designed to be lightweight or heavyweight? Well, you will have to buy a grip to match the specification of your golf clubs so as not to offset the balance of the club.
Basically, there are a variety of golf grip textures; round ones even exist. All of these textures actually play a crucial role, they will improve the firmness of your grip and prevent slipping. In fact, in wet weather conditions, you should completely avoid using smooth grips and materials like plastic which are prone to slipping. Use a heavy pattern instead with a busy texture.
Why Are Golf Grips Important?
There are many benefits of golf grips. Check out some reasons why pro golfers are so exact when it comes to their golf grips.
- It helps you keep your hands securely on the club: let’s imagine a situation where there are no golf grips on a golf club, it will be easy for your hands to slip when they are sweaty. When you are practicing alone, it may not be much of a problem but in a competition, this may cost you the entire game.
- A good grip is a confidence-booster: some people will argue that it is not the ball, or clubs or grips, it’s the golfer and they are right to some extent. There is a certain confidence that comes with your golf club just fitting right in your hands. Because of this, you can make shot after shot with unwavering confidence.
- Golf grips can affect your game: a recent study actually showed that 90% of golfers missed at least 3-5 shots that they would have otherwise made using the wrong size of golf grips. Even though it is a usually underestimated golf gear, a good golf grip is very beneficial to golfers and it can change how you hit the ball.
- You can master the right technique to solve your slice: sometimes, you can find yourself with a natural slice where the ball always goes towards the right or left but is never really centralized. If your stance is correct and you are holding the golf club correctly but it just won’t go away, there is a high chance that using the proper golf grip will help you get straighter balls.
- Helps you control the pressure of your hold: Its not new to see people holding a golf club like they are strangling it. This will definitely make you lose a lot of easy points. A firmer golf grip will help reduce the amount of excess pressure while a softer grip will make people with little pressure tighten their hold more than they would have. Having a golf grip can solve seemingly small problems.
- Picking the right grip for the weather: this is one of the key importance of golf grips. Some grips are not suitable for extremely wet weather or even humid atmospheres, your hands may always feel slippery during certain periods because you are using the wrong grip. This is noticeable with people who don’t like using gloves for golf. You should know that no golf grip is completely water resistant but some will still be very effective even if the weather is wet.
- Golf grips can help to alleviate pain: some golfers may have health issues like arthritis and this may cause pain when you squeeze too hard. Large and soft grips will hep reduce pain and improve swing consistency.
When to Change Golf Grips?
Although most golf clubs will come with custom grips, there are certain times when it is necessary to change your golf grips. So, is a simple cleaning enough to get your golf grips as good as new? Or should you just buy a new one? Keep reading to find out.
Golf grips can get old really fast. No matter how often you clean them, things like ozone, grease or dirt can get stuck under the grip. A worn out or dirty grip will subconsciously make you hold the club tighter in fear of it slipping, this may affect your wrist movement and the entire game as a whole.
The truth is, changing golf grips depends on how often you play golf. You can be a weekend golfer or someone who swings their golf club every day, all of this will contribute to how worn out your golf grip may get.
Once in a while golfer: some people have golf clubs primarily to show off to friends and never use them. Even in that situation, the usual agents of degradation will work their way to the golf grips and the quality is sure to reduce. Regrip once a year to give your golf club a fresh look and feel.
Recreational golfer: if you are a weekend golfer, you should change your golf grip after every 6 months.
Frequent golfer: someone that plays golf often may regrip as soon as after 1 or 2 months. This is because a golf grip will lose that original feel before you start seeing changes like wear and tear. Even though it is hard to notice this, some pros do notice the change in their swing and regrip immediately to solve it.
As a rule of thumb, a good grip is only good for about 40-rounds of golf. If you are patient, note down how many complete rounds of golf you have played to know when to change your golf grip.
Will Cleaning Help?
Yes, it will. You should always make sure all your gear is clean and ready to rock! Golf grips go through a lot; they are exposed to sun, rain, dirt, human sweat and oil. They do last long but consistent abuse will have it falling apart. Cleaning your grip is very easy, you can use a washing agent with a pad, soft brush or a washcloth if it is a soft grip. Next, dip your golf grip in warm water to remove all of the soft, wipe with a towel and air-dry before use. Remember to be gentle and avoid using a harsh detergent.
Cleaning your golf grip after every use will definitely help to increase the lifespan of your golf club but this does not mean that you can completely avoid changing it. At some point, the golf grip will have a clammy and sticky feel especially in wet periods, this is a good sign that you should regrip immediately.
How To Change Golf Grips
Regripping your golf clubs is something that will save you a lot of time, stress and money in the long run. This can be done in two ways; you can get a professional to regrip your golf clubs at around $3-$10 per piece and for the entire set, you may pay $70-$100 depending on the golf club and the type of grip you are buying. Or, You can do it the cheaper way by yourself at home. Check out how to regrip your golf clubs by yourself. But, if you are not good with handling equipment, just pay for it.
- Get Your New Golf Grips
Obviously, you can’t regrip without a replacement grip. If it is your first time trying out regripping, you should buy more grips than needed in case something goes wrong with the installment, you can use the extra grip. Besides, you will need the grips in the future so buying excess is never a loss.
- Get Some Installment Tools
To start off, you will need something to bind the grip to the shaft of the golf club. There are different types of grip tapes you can choose from; if you are using water as a solvent, get the water absorbent grip tape. If you are using WD-40, you will need a double-sided grip tape. Secondly, you need a utility knife or blade to cut open the old grip, rubber vise and clamp.
- Remove Your Old Golf Grip
Secure the club properly and use the utility knife to cut open the old grip. Be very careful when doing this and always cut away from yourself. Don’t cut too dip or you may nick your golf club. Peel back and remove the old grip. The grip tape goes next, you may have some trouble getting all of it off but it is important to remove every last piece of the old grip tape. Do not even attempt to put a new grip tape over an older one, it will increase the thickness of your grip. You can pour some water over the tape while scraping it off to make it easier to peel and be careful with your shaft to avoid bending it.
- Add The New Grip Tape
Adding the new tape properly is crucial if you want a balanced grip. Cut out tape that is a little more than the length of your grip and peel the backing from one side of the tape strip. Next, place the sticky side of the tape strip on the golf shaft and flatten with your fingers to make sure it is secure. After this, peel the other backing and wrap the grip tape around the shaft. You can cut off the excess grip tape.
You may have heard about pros adding more tape to one side or even bunching on tapes under the grip. All of these hacks are only necessary for people who have fully mastered what makes their swing the most effective. As a beginner, you should fix the tape evenly on the shaft or it will affect the balance of your golf club.
- Install The New Grips
This is the part where you want to get everything just right. At this stage, you can use a vise to ensure that your golf club won’t move when you slide on the new golf grip. In fact, I would suggest that you use a vise if this is the first time you are doing this. Imagine trying the align your golf club and sliding on a new grip at the top at the same time, it is beyond frustrating.
First place your thumb at one end of the golf grip and pour a generous amount of water in the grip. Cover the other end and shake to really get that solvent all over it. In light of zero wastage, pour that same water over the grip tape on your shaft and make sure it is completely coated so that the grip will fit in easily. Slide your new grip onto the shaft and get it all the way down to the shaft. Take care that the logo of the grip is properly aligned on the club, this shows that your grip did not twist while sliding.
- Finishing touches
Wipe down the newly installed golf grip with a towel to remove all fluid and allow it to dry for 6-8 hours before taking it for a swing.
Different Size Golf Grips
While there are different types of grips, it is essential to get the proper size of grips as well. A lot of golfers actually neglect to get fitted for their golf grip and this is wrong. Different hand shapes and sizes will determine the grip that will work best for you. Grips are the only part of the golf club that you get to touch while playing and it helps you direct the clubhead for a perfect strike.
Golf grips comes in a variety of sizes. The most common sizes are the Junior or Undersize, Standard, Midsize and Oversize. You can customize by adding additional layers of tape during installation. A grip that’s too small, will cause extra holding and this commonly leads to pulling the ball. A grip that’s too large limits wrist movement, suppresses shot distance, and can cause you to slice or push the shot. Basically, buying the right size is super important.
What’s My Grip size?
To determine the appropriate size for you, measure the top of your wrist to the end of your longest finger. Use that number to guide you.
- Junior/Undersize (less than 7 inches) – the outer diameter will usually be less than an inch or 0.8 inches.
- Standard (7 inches to 8 ¾ inches) – 1 inch for outer diameter.
- Midsize (8¼ inches to 9¼ inches) – 1⅛ inches outer diameter
- Oversize (more than 9¼ inches) – 1⅜ inches outer diameter.
Most golfers use the standard grip size but that may not be the case for everyone. When it comes to the diameter of the grip, some players prefer thicker or thinner grips. There is no rule for this, it is down to what you prefer.
As earlier said, any size not originally available can be achieved through build-up tape. Some people use the Undersize or standard grip size with two or more layers of tape. Now, grips are made in a variety of materials (rubber, cord, plastic), keep in mind that some are heavier than others and this can impact the feel of the grip.
Unfortunately, simply calculating grip size with your hand size may not be an appropriate way to fully know the diameter size to purchase. Seek advice from golf professionals and club makers to know the material of golf grip you should use, the proper size of grip and the thickness of the diameter.
The way you swing, your glove size and your grip technique will also play a role in the perfect grip for you. A smaller grip would be great for outside and inside players while people with hooks may need bigger sizes to make their ball fly straight. The good news is that when you know what’s right for you, you can just keep buying only that type of golf grip.
Different grips for different people
Senior golfers: senior golfers will most likely feel comfortable with rubber grips instead of cord grips because they are softer. They also buy the oversize grip because it keeps their hands steady as they play.
Grips for playing with pain: people with arthritis usually go for bigger and softer golf grips to help with consistency.
Golf grips are not only fancy, they are like a hack to make you improve your game. Now that you know everything from the benefits of golf grips to how to regrip your club and pick your golf grip, you can properly shop for a good golf grip.