2011 Buyer’s Guide Grips

The grip is the most important part of the golf club
Probably the most unsung and underrated component, the grip is actually the most important feature of any club. If you don't have a good grip, no matter how well a club is designed, or how well you swing, you won't get the results you're hoping for. In 2011, there are several new grips that feature multimaterials, dual compounds and so on, each designed with specific needs in mind. Want shock absorption? How about a firmer, more weather-friendly texture? It's all here in 2011. Take a look at some of our favorites and choose the right grips for not just your woods and irons, but your putter too.

Black Widow Tour Silk

Key Feature: Designed with an aggressive pattern with inspiration from Softspikes spikes, the Tour Silk is a firmer more responsive grip with ample tackiness. What We Like: Great looks in both all white or all black, and a firmer feel, which better players will appreciate. Who It's For: Better players who want comfort and more feeling in their grips. Material: Rubber Design: Textured velvet Size: Standard, ribbed bwgrips.com Black Widow Widow Maker

Key Feature: The dual-compound Widow Maker has a lower half like the Tour Silk, but an upper half with corded traction for enhanced gripping power. What We Like: It's an awesome all-weather grip, and the corded section practically glues itself to a golf glove. Who It's For: Good to better players who want a responsive grip and who aren't afraid of playing in the rain. Material: Dual compound Design: Semi-corded Size: Standard bwgrips.com Black Widow Signature II

Key Feature: Web Traction Technology that delivers exceptional gripping power. What We Like: Have you ever seen a cooler-looking grip? We haven't. The soft compound also feels fantastic. Who It's For: All player types who want a grip that looks gnarly, has a medium firm feel and holds up in the rain. Material: Proprietary compound Design: Round, ribbed Size: Standard bwgrips.com Golf Pride VDR

Key Feature: The new VDR grip from Golf Pride has variable depth pressure for excellent shock absorption and a tacky, weather-resistant feel. What We Like: We like the pattern that resembles fingers wrapping around the grip, not to mention the sweet, velvety feel. The colors are cool too (blue, red, white and black). Who It's For: All players. Material: Variable Depth Rubber Design: Velvet Size: Standard, midsized, undersized golfpride.com Golf Pride Players Wrap

Key Feature: This new putter grip incorporates a Tour wrap design on the underside, but a flat paddle design on the top. It's also seamless. Cool. What We Like: Add this to your "Why didn't I think of that?" list. This grip has great looks and an even better feel. Who It's For: Everyone, especially fans of the Tour Wrap grips. Material: Rubber Design: Pistol putter Size: Standard golfpride.com Golf Pride V-RAD Camo

Key Feature: Advanced Composite Rubber (ACR) that yields a tacky yet soft feel at impact. What We Like: The feel of the ball seems to travel all the way up the shaft and into our hands. Better players will love that kind of responsiveness. Oh yeah, it's in a great camo color! Who It's For: Good to better players who want a soft feel that doesn't absorb too much feel. Material: ACR Design: Pistol putter Size: Standard golfpride.com

Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G

Key Feature: A classic grip made anew with a softer rubber that's also tackier than before. What We Like: The sweet black, red and white colors! Also, we didn't think there was much room to improve on the performance and feel of the original Tour Wrap, but Golf Pride proved us wrong. These grips are excellent and hold up beautifully to rain and perspiration. Who It's For: Everyone who liked the original Tour Wrap and who wants to add a dash of color to their set. Material: Rubber Design: Wrap Size: Small, standard, midsized golfpride.com Lamkin REL 3GEN

Key Feature: 3GEN tech married with R.E.L. tech, meaning this grip has amazing feel, durability and performance (3GEN) with a smooth, lightly textured surface (R.E.L.) that maximizes hand-to-grip contact. What We Like: So silky, yet so tacky. What an awesome-feeling grip. Who It's For: All golfer types, especially those who like a smoother-feeling grip (with loads of tackiness, of course). Material: Proprietary rubber Design: Velvet Size: Standard lamkingrips.com Lamkin Perma-Wrap Classic

Key Feature: The popular Perma-Wrap Classic wrap-style grip is now available in white and made with Lamkin's patent-pending 3GEN material, an advanced rubber compound that creates a natural, secure grip like no other. It lasts a long time, too. What We Like: The new Perma-Wrap Classic with 3GEN looks great and feels even better in the hands. Who It's For: All types of players. Material: Advanced rubber compound Design: Wrap Size: Standard, standard with 3GEN, midsized, oversized lamkingrips.com Lamkin N-DUR

Key Feature: Using a synthetic rubber compound, the N-DUR has a tacky, hexagonal design pattern on the underside of the grip for added gripping support where the fingers take hold. The top is softer for more hand comfort and less fatigue. What We Like: White is the new black. However, these grips also feel great, and the colored section feels tacky and supportive. Multiple colors (on the backside) are available. Who It's For: All golfers. Material: Synthetic rubber Design: Velvet Size: Standard lamkingrips.com Lamkin E.B.L. 3GEN

Key Feature: The 3GEN compound reduces vibration without dulling the feel of the putt. Also, the dual compounds lend a soft feeling on top and a slightly firmer feel on the underside. What We Like: You don't need to squeeze hard with this grip. And it has a soft, solid feel. Who It's For: All golfers. Material: The 3GEN compound Design: Constant taper pistol putter Size: Standard, midsized lamkingrips.com Pure PURE Wrap

Key Feature: Made of pure rubber with no seams and needing no grip tape, this grip is as evenly constructed as possible. Comes in soft or firm models. What We Like: The air-powered installation is a real hoot, and quite practical. The feel and performance of this grip is superb too, especially in bad weather. Who It's For: Golfers who want an even, seamless grip without the hassle of tape. Material: Rubber Design: Wrap Size: Standard, midsized puregrips.com Sharpro Dual Performance

Key Feature: Using two different rubber compounds, the DP grip has softness in key areas and firmness in the fingers for added control. Also, the DP grip is available in corded models for those who want added firmness and all-weather capabilities. What We Like: These grips seem to be extremely durable, which in our book, is a big plus. Who It's For: All golfers, including those who like to add color to their bag. Multiple color options are available. Material: Dual rubber Design: Velvet (cord) Size: Standard, oversized sharprogrip.com Superstroke UltraSlim

Key Feature: This brand-new design is only 1" in diameter, compared to the 1.67" Fatso and 1.3" Slim designs. Also, its texture is unique–it's both firm and soft. What We Like: The UltraSlim became the fastest-growing oversized grip at the end of the 2010 PGA Tour. Who It's For: Everyone looking to get into the benefits of nontapered, oversized putter grips while still staying within the range of size of a traditional grip. Material: Multimaterial Design: Nontapered Size: Standard-slim superstrokegrip.com Superstroke Slim Lite

Key Feature: The brand-new 55-gram SuperStroke Slim Lite quickly became the #1 most-played jumbo putter grip model on the 2010 PGA Tour. Why? It's the lightest jumbo grip on the market. What We Like: SuperStroke's patented nontaper design in both models allows for finger-tip placement on opposing sides of the shaft, keeping the putterface square, and dramatically improving feel for distance control. Who It's For: The Slim Lite is for anyone interested in a midsized oversized putter grip. Material: Multimaterial Design: Nontapered Size: Midsized-oversized superstrokegrip.com Superstroke Fatso Lite

Key Feature: Weighing in at 85 grams, the SuperStroke Fatso Lite is the biggest and lightest of its kind in terms of weight-to-size ratio, helping it to become the largest putter grip used on the PGA Tour. What We Like: The large surface area brings more of the grip into contact with the hands, inhibiting breakdown of the hands and wrists. Who It's For: The Super Stroke's size encourages use of a "soft hands" technique and ensures a smooth and fluid putting stroke. Material: Multimaterial Design: Nontapered Size: Oversized superstrokegrip.com Superstroke Pressure Zone

Key Feature: Designed to reduce pressure in the lower hand for straighter and longer shots. How? With Modified Taper Tech that blends a traditionally shaped top half of the grip with a slightly larger parallel bottom half of the grip. What We Like: New ideas. Also, we dig the 40-gram lightness. Who It's For: Those who want the hands to work more in unison and who want better comfort in the lower hand. Material: Proprietary synthetic material Design: Velvet Size: Standard superstrokegrip.com Tacki-Mac it2

Key Feature: Equipped with negative ions and a tacky, velvet surface, the new Itomic it2 and it2 MID (it2 MID shown) are made of a blend of thermoforming materials that are durable and hold up well in tough weather. They're also a cinch to keep clean. What We Like: The negative ions are supposed to help relax the hands. We say, why not give it a try? Who It's For: All types of golfers, especially those who need to relax more. Material: Proprietary compound Design: Velvet Size: Standard, midsized tackimac.com UST Mamiya Comp DV

Key Feature: An aggressive, dual-compound pattern that not only helps to add traction, but also works to help line up the fingers on the grip. What We Like: There are a lot of textures going on, all carefully designed for different parts of the hands. Plus, it just looks plain cool, especially in white. Who It's For: All types of players, especially fans of UST Mamiya graphite shafts. Material: Dual compound Design: Textured Size: Standard ustmamiya.com UST Mamiya Pro DV

Key Feature: Made with a firm feel, this grip has a dual-compound top for feel and a corded underside for added firmness and traction. What We Like: Again, sharp looks. We really like the half-cord design, it makes gripping the club a lot easier. Who It's For: Golfers who desire a firmer feel, but who still like a little softness on the top. Material: Dual-compound half-cord Design: Half-cord Size: Standard ustmamiya.com Winn WinnLite Firm

Key Feature: By making this grip lightweight, the club's center of balance moves away from the hands, resulting in a higher launch angle upon impact. That's awesome. What We Like: Granted, it absorbs a lot of vibration, but does so without deadening the feel. And the corded design isn't abrasive like other corded materials sometimes are. Who It's For: Typically, faster swingers prefer firmer, corded grips. Material: Proprietary V17-PolyCord material Design: WinnLite velvet corded Size: Standard, midsized winngrips.com Winn WinnLite Soft

Key Feature: The WinnLite Soft grip features V17-Soft material for ultimate comfort, shock absorption, and feel. The camo design is awesome, and we also like the soft feel. What We Like: Its soft, velvety texture. It's like it melts into our hands. You don't even need a glove when using these. Who It's For: All player types who want a soft feel with great tack and shock absorption. Material: Proprietary V17 material Design: WinnLite velvet Size: Standard, midsized winngrips.com

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