A certain friend laughingly boasts about the “silky” feel to the grips on her golf clubs. No wonder: She hasn’t replaced her wraps since the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Her playing partners stand clear when she swings, just in case her driver should fly in their direction.
While most women may not need to switch grips as often as an LPGA Tour pro, it’s recommended that a woman who plays golf once a week or so replace grips yearly, or after about 40 rounds, and more often if she plays a few times a week.
But, do you? Chances are it’s a part of your equipment you -- like Ms. Silky -- tend to neglect. You do so at the peril of your game. A worn or decrepit grip can endanger the well-being of your regular foursome and -- most common scenario -- foul up your game.
Specifically, a grip that is slippery, cracked, worn and/or shiny can cause the club to shimmy in your hands. You squeeze harder to stop the shimmy, and the death vice produces herky-jerky, inconsistent swipes at the ball. Not good.
Ready to run out for a new wardrobe of grips right this minute? Avoid buyer’s remorse by giving your purchase at least as much consideration as you would your next pair of shoes.
This is no simple decision. A grip’s texture, size, material and other factors really come down to personal preference. Golf Pride, which markets itself as the No.1 grip on the PGA Tour, has a variety of colors, sizes, and fabrics, and offers a fun online tool to help you choose.
It will ask you about:
- Moisture management: How wet is it where you play and do your hands sweat a lot?
- Responsiveness: How much shock absorption do you require?
- Surface texture: Do you like ‘em tacky, soft, or firm?
- Glove size: Match your grip size to the glove you wear. If like me you don’t wear gloves, do consider that grips that are too small can cause hooks from closed club heads, while slices can result from grips that are too big.
Of course, the universe of golf grips is almost infinite and growing, with Winn Grips’ new Dri-Tac line extremely popular. Lamkin, another leading seller, targets women with its customizable, undersize REL 3Gen grips in an explosion of colors.
Which brings us to installation. Pure Grips, the company that invented tapeless installation, was a huge hit at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show with its profusion of grips in all the colors of the rainbow and beyond. What intrigued us, however, was its seemingly simple approach to installment, so we asked the company to send us an array of chromatic grips and its special installation tool.
Our DIY experience? That’s another story -- be sure to check it out on GottaGoGolf’s We Tried It blog.