The grip is an extremely important part of your golf equipment. Not only do your hands have to create the proper grip in how you hold and manipulate the club, but you want to make sure you have the correct actual grip installed on your clubs. Your grip is the only relationship you have with the club, so it better be functional and feel good to you. How do you choose the right grip? Is it all about what you like the feel of? What do the different patterns and textures do? I’m here to answer those questions for you. You will find, like many things in golf, you can go against the rule of thumb as long it performs for you and helps your game.
Does size matter? Grips for the most part come in four sizes; undersize (which is normally for juniors, ladies, or any player with small hands and skinny fingers), standard, midsize, and oversize or jumbo. The deciding factor on what size to play has always been hand size or what size glove you wear. But the different sizes can provide function and play a big part in shot trajectory as well. If you play a smaller grip the tendency is that you will get quicker with your hands and hit a draw or a hook. Less mass in your hands will create speed and maybe cause you to close the club-face too quick or too early. The exact opposite occurs with a grip that’s too large for you. More mass under your hands will slow them down, thus leaving the face open and hitting a slice or a push. Have you been fit, taken lessons, and still hook your driver? Try a larger grip. A larger grip will also aid a player who has hand ailments, such as arthritis. There are even some grips that have been deemed as arthritic for that very purpose. They are more of an oversize grip, don’t taper so they stay a similar diameter throughout, and they have a special, tacky texture that forces the player to not grip so hard, thus reducing pressure and pain in the knuckles.
Break it down Besides size, you also need to decide what feel, material, and texture you prefer. I have broken them down and separated them into 3 categories: Wraps, cords, and softer all-rubber grips. Each type serves a purpose, but ultimately the deciding factor on deciding which to put on your clubs, is whatever feels good to you.
A wrap-style grip is just that, it appears that each section is wrapped around the shaft. And back in the day, they were. Now they are one piece of course and each section is raised a bit. These are normally a comfortable grip, and a mixture of soft rubber with some added tackiness. They provide some good friction without being harsh on your glove or hands. However, some wraps aren’t great in wet conditions or if your hands tend to sweat. A Golf Pride Tour Wrap is an example of a wrap-style grip that is more durable and will last longer. Winn grips, while soft and unique when new, don’t last very long and aren’t great for a player who plays more than 25 rounds per year. Their Dri-Tac models, while much improved as far as durability goes, still don’t compare to some others out there.
The second style of grip is an all-rubber grip with some vibration-dampening and feel tech built in. These grips usually have some type of etching or pattern cut into the grip to provide texture and durability. The stand-out feature is to dampen the vibration you get on mis-hits and provide a consistent, soft feel at impact with every swing. Grips such as this tend to last a little longer, especially if you clean them with a brush, warm water, and a towel after every dozen rounds or so. This helps remove oil and dirt that transfers from your hands. Some examples would be the Golf Pride Tour Velvet, Lamkin Sonar, or the Pure Golf Pure Pro.
Lastly we have the most durable, textured, grip in the bunch; the cord grip. These grips feature a very course threading woven into the grip itself. It provides long-lasting durability and tremendous friction and texture. Cord grips perform the best when moist and maintain their tackiness. Downside is they are rough on your glove and hand. The feel has however evolved over the years, and they are much softer than they used to be. You could even consider a multi-material grip which provides cord under your top hand, your glove hand, and softer rubber under your bottom hand. Some types to look at would be the Golf Pride Decade Multi-compound, the Golf Pride Z- cord, and the Lamkin Crossline cord.
Winner’s Bag: Nick Taylor Mr. Taylor was cool as a cucumber with the likes of Phil and Jason Day nipping at his heels on Sunday. He snagged the win at Pebble with a bag full of Taylormade equipment. Let’s take a closer look at his tools of the trade. Interestingly, Nick has not made the switch to the brand new SIM driver. He is still playing the M2, which is now on sale at Golfhq.com for $249!
Driver: Taylormade M2, 9.5°, Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X shaft – GET YOURS >
3-wood: Taylormade SIM Max, 15°, Fujikura Ventus Black 7X shaft – GET YOURS >
Driving iron: Taylormade SIM Max 4-iron, 21°, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 steel shaft – GET YOURS >
Irons: Taylormade P770 4 & 5, P750 6 – PW, Dynamic Golf Tour Issue X100 steel shafts
Wedges: Taylormade MG Hi-toe, 52° 56° 60°, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 steel shafts – GET YOURS >
Putter: Taylormade Spider Tour Red – GET YOURS >
Ball: Taylormade TP5 – GET YOURS >
Genesis Invitational Picks Oh no! The hot streak is over. In fact the always unpredictable Pebble Beach slapped me right across the face last week and all 3 of my picks, Snedeker, Stallings, and McDowell, missed the cut. The best attribute a golfer can possess is bad short term memory, so let’s move north to Riviera CC and the Genesis Invitational shall we? This is the one important tournament that has eluded Tiger in his career ever since he made his debut as a 16 year old. Winner Adam Scott First tournament since winning the Australian Open in Dec. Phenomenal career at Riviera with seven top-15 finishes and a win. Finished T-7 last year. Will contend Paul Casey Old school game for an old school course. Casey plays difficult tracks well, especially in the elements. And it tends to rain at least a day or two at this event. Sleeper Max Homa Finished T-14 last week. Time for the young gun to live up to the hype.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Written by Seth Zipay, Head Golf Professional
Design and Published by Craig Walton