Which golf club grips should I be using?
As golfers, we are constantly bombarded with technology and design to find a few yards, but you never hear serious talk about grips. And when you think about it, the grip is the only point of connection between the player and the golf club. Having the right grips on your golf clubs to suit your grip pressure, the way you hold the club, your finger size can fundamentally change the way you play and your enjoyment of the game.
There are thousands of grips out there to suit all types of golfer, budget and preference. In this guide, we've gathered up a small cross-section of the range available from Golf Pride to teach you a little more about them and maybe identify the correct grip for your game.
Everything below is transferable between grip manufacturer, perhaps just under a different guise.
The thickness of grips is standard across manufacturers with four different sizes to accommodate varying hand size - just like gloves. There's standard, undersize (or ladies/junior) which is a little smaller, midsize which is bigger than standard, and finally jumbo.
Figuring out the right thickness grip for you is relatively easy. As a general rule (there are exceptions and personal preference of course) is to place your top hand on the grip as you would for a swing and look at your third and fourth fingers. The correct size for you will see those third and fourth fingers just gently touching the palm of your hand. If the grip is too big, then there'll be a gap between your fingers and the palm.
If you're not sure what grip you have the size is usually stamped on the butt. If there's nothing indicated, then the grips are most likely standard.
Why is it important?
There are players on Tour who love the feel of thicker grips - like Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson. For those guys, the thick grip reduces the amount of wrist rotation intervening in the golf swing. You'll find some players who suffer from a hook because of overactive wrists will choose thicker grips. And conversely, you'll get players with a slice using thinner grips to get the wrists more involved.
The wrong grip size might be having this effect without you knowing.
At their simplest grips are just a tube of textured rubber - similar to the Tour Velvet from Golf Pride. This grip is a favourite on the PGA Tour and will come as the standard option when buying some new golf clubs. However, not everyone is the same, so there are options out there.
Inner Core grips are a softer grip where the finger will sink into the rubber a little more. The inner core is a rigid plastic tube or sleeve inside the top of the grip. This prevents any twisting of the grip when you put the pressure on with your top hand. If you tend to hold the club more on the end of the grip, you'll love the stability of the inner core.
Wrap grips simulate the days when all golf grips had to be applied by wrapping them onto the club - the same as a tennis racket. The modern versions are solid construction, but some players like the feeling of the wrap style because the fingers nestle nicely in the grooves that spiral down the grip.
Multicompound (or hybrid) grips are hugely popular, especially so amongst players that also play golf in wet conditions and have different materials top and bottom, one for each hand.
For the top hand, there is a cord running through the rubber. The presence of this cord provides extra stability to the main or top hand, especially when it is wet or humid. The bottom part is a simpler, softer rubber for touch and feel.
Most grips are thicker at the top and taper in to be thin at the bottom. But not all of them! Reduced Taper grips, while they still taper, it is vastly reduced. They came about after feedback by Tour reps who were regripping clubs for the world's best players and noticing a lot of requests for extra layers of tape to be placed under the bottom part of the grip.
Players who use these grips will like to grip the lower hand with less pressure. Reduced taper grips also tend to have a slightly softer texture than standard due to the additional rubber present.
Alignment grips feature a ridge down the back of the grip that gives you the confidence the grip is sitting in the right part of the hand and fingers.
What about putters?
A regulation course with a par of 72 allows for half of those shots to be putts. Yet for some unknown reason, we don't give putting the attention it deserves - spending hours on the driving range and then five minutes on the putting green.
It's fair to say that you want to know that the golf clubs and equipment you're using is as good as your playing partners when you're standing on the first tee. None of us wants to be at a disadvantage because of our equipment.