Grips Buyer’s Guide 2007

Despite all the technology in the clubhead and shaft, it's the grip that's really come a long way.

Can You Handle It? Grips have certainly come a long way. In fact, the new grips for __ð07 are more colorful and more functional than ever, thanks mostly to a handful of new material innovations that double as a fashion statement and a competitive advantage. Several models include multi-density rubbers and polymers that lend comfort, strength and tackiness where it's needed most. Also, they've gotten a lot more durable and hold up better in the rain. Check out what's new, and don't hesitate when it comes time to put them on all your clubs. It's a must-do every season.

Avon Pro D2x

Avon Pro D2x Most golf instructors believe the upper hand should dominate the golf swing, and the lower hand is essentially just hanging on for the ride. So does Avon, which designed its new Pro D2x to lend firm support on the top region of the grip, while lending a soft grip for the lower hand to prevent it from interfering too much with the swing. Ridges and channels make the Pro D2x a solid all-weather option, and the oversize model is great for those who require a more secure grip. What We Like: The upper region is available with or without cords to accommodate just about everyone. Material: Dual-mold compound Design: Ribbed velvet Size: Standard, Jumbo Weight: 51g, 60g (Jumbo) Avon Tour MTx4

Avon Tour MTx4 Don't expect an Avon saleswoman to come to your door selling golf grips anytime soon. The Kingwood, Texas, company specializes in making great-feeling grips, not cosmetics. Their new offering, the MTx4, features enhanced micro-traction that eliminates clubhead twisting, while improving overall traction for a more relaxed, comfortable hold of your golf club. Hand alignment arrows help you hold your hands the same way every time you grip the club. What We Like: The MTx4 doesn't just feel great, but it also really helped us keep our hands on the club through the entire swing._Ê Material: Micro-texture material Design: Velvet Size: Standard, ladies Weight: 55 Grams Compgrip MF5

Compgrip MF5 Ultra-durable, ultra-absorbing, these synthetic leather grips are designed for all golfers, but with special emphasis on the serious player. Created with a Special Durable Polymer Formula and Micro Fiber Technology, the MF5 grip uses a microfiber composite sheet layer that pulls moisture from the outer polymer layer, then stores the moisture in the composite sheet layer to be evaporated out later. Pretty cool, huh? What We Like: Its snappy weave-like look and excellent moisture absorbing qualities make it a practical and aesthetic slam dunk. If you haven't tried a compgrip, you should._Ê_Ê Material: Microfiber polymer Design: Scottish Dry Series, X-Cross Series Size: Standard and Oversize Weight: 58g-78g Golf Pride Dual Durometer

Golf Pride Durometer Golf Pride's Dual Durometer has been one of the most popular over the last two seasons, thanks to its ingenious designs and cord and non-cord models with the velvety feel. But golfers aren't the only ones taking notice. The Arthritis Foundation has bestowed upon the Dual Durometer grips (along with Golf Pride's Whisper models) their Ease of Use commendation for their ability to minimize the painful effects on joints while swinging a golf club. The secret lies in the design, where two layers of synthetic rubber combine for gripping traction and comfort. The inner layer stabilizes the hands, while the outer layer provides excellent traction and a soft feel. The corded version is an excellent choice for golfers who play in wet conditions and prefer a slightly firmer feel with or without a glove. Dual Durometer Lite and Dual Durometer Putter models are also available. What We Like: The feel of the corded grip is unlike any corded grip Golf Pride has made–we mean that in a very good way. Any golfer who likes the extra grip of cord will find the Dual Durometer a good option. Material: Thermoset rubber Design: Corded velvet, Velvet Size: Standard, Midsize, Undersize, Putter Weight: 49g Golf Pride DD2

Golf Pride DD2 As golf styles continue to mature and draw on bright colors in shafts, clothing and even hair color, it's only fitting that grips reflect the trend. Golf Pride's new DD2 grips feature an almost animalistic pattern to create a visual thumb-placement guide. Of course, looks aren't everything, that's why Golf Pride has taken considerable steps to create a grip that's built with a firm core for stability and a soft exterior for superior comfort and control. What We Like: Feels great when we hold it, and it's stable when we make a swing. Also, we're suckers for anything that shakes up the status quo._Ê Material: Rubber Design: Two-Layer Rubber Size: Standard Men's Weight: 50g Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound

Golf Pride DecadeEvery golfer is familiar with Golf Pride grips, as they've been around seemingly since the beginning of time. The common belief that Golf Pride offers only traditional grip styles will soon be put to rest by the New Decade MultiCompound model. This innovative grip features a combination design with a velvet-cord section in the upper portion of the grip for firm, all-weather control. The lower portion is made of soft rubber to provide optimal comfort and feel. It's a superb model for golfers who want the best of both worlds. What We Like: The combination makes the NDMC as modern as a grip can get. Material: Multi-compound Design: Velvet (upper cord) Size: Standard Weight: 47g

Iomic X-Grip

Iomic X-Grip Innovative colors aside, these grips are actually infused with negative ions to help golfers not only better grip the club, but also relax and concentrate. The unique proprietary material is designed for supreme durability and crack resistance, especially when playing in mixed weather (wet/dry) conditions. These grips are already a sensation in Japan, so it's just a matter of time until the U.S. market heeds notice. Sure, they're a far cry from all-leather, wrap-style grips, but they're right in step with golf's modern focus. What We Like: With or without a negative charge, the brilliant styles and great feel of the Iomic grips are unlike any other model we've tested. Material: Proprietary synthetic Design: Velvet Size: Standard, Putter Weight: N/A Karakal X-tack II

Karakal X-tack II The X-tack line from Karakal is designed for all-weather comfort and support by using Karakal's proprietary X Factor process, which is made to preserve the grips' tackiness and comfort in all weather conditions. The X-tack II features a perforated top section (for a firmer top-hand grip) and a smooth velvet pattern bottom section for increased feel and feedback on short-range shots. With each Karakal grip, it's safe to say vibration is a thing of the past, as each grip absorbs unwanted vibration with ease. For players who struggle with any type of arthritic condition or joint pain, a grip with this type of performance benefit is highly recommended, particularly if you tend you play in hot, humid or otherwise wet conditions. What We Like: Drawing inspiration from tennis rackets, these grips are a fun alternative to cushioned wrap grips. Also, it's nice to have a solid alternative to other, more well-known brands. This design is pretty unique and has an eye-catching look that's sure to get the attention of your playing partners. Material: Synthetic Design: Perforated/Velvet Size: Small, Standard, Oversize, Jumbo, Putter Weight: N/A Lamkin Dual Density Crossline

Lamkin Dual Density Crossline The Crossline name has become synonymous with Tour-like performance. The Dual Density Crossline is no exception, featuring a firm, torque-resistant underlisting and a soft outer layer produced from a blended multi-material compound that makes for a unique product. This combination is aimed at providing both enhanced tack and feel with the added benefit of shock absorption. What We Like: A grip for players who like a soft grip but also want the control of a traditional design. Plus, the Crossline pattern never goes out of style, and provides plenty of feel and durability. Material: Multi-blend Design: Velvet Size: Standard, Oversize Weight: 48g, 61g (Oversize) Lamkin Dual Density Torsion Control

Lamkin Dual Density Torsion Control Arguably the most radical and different grip produced in the last 10 years, the Dual Density Torsion Control has a micro screen-like surface texture that's unlike any other grip. Combined with ridges that help better align grip positions, firm up and support the grip, prevent slippage, and combat rain and perspiration, the DDTC has the makings of a Golf Tips Tech Award frontrunner. What We Like: The firmer Tour Series, as well as a putter grip that combines the new Laser-Tac surface with a mesh rubber design. If you're open to something new, this grip is a good option._Ê Material: Laser-Tac proprietary rubber Design: Velvet Size: Standard, Oversize Weight: 52g, 64g (Oversize) Macro Golf Macro Grip

Macro Grip Featured on the Macro Square Stroke Mallet and Blade, the Macro grip is designed with a unique reducing-oval shape that's designed to help eliminate unwanted movements from the passive hand and eliminates unwanted wrist breakdown. In other words, the Macro grip is to help golfers with "the yips." To use, a split grip is recommended to allow the dominant hand to control the back and forward stroke, which diminishes the tension in the forearms. Now, is it legal? Yes, the USGA says the Macro grip conforms. What We Like: Anytime there's a new grip that's designed to help golfers with "the yips," we're always eager to try. Material: Rubber Design: Reducing-oval Size: Midsize, Oversize Weight: N/A Sharpro Dual Performance

Sharpro Dual Performance By combining two types of rubber compounds, the Dual Performance grip from Sharpro enables golfers the optimal softness and firmness needed in key areas on the grip. The top region where the fingers of the upper hand grip the club is firmer than the region below, where the lower hand holds the grip. In addition to multiple colors available, the Dual Performance grip comes in either 3/4 cord or no cord models. What We Like: A new putter company that provides solid performance with advanced technology and an attractive look and feel. Material: Dual rubber Design: Velvet Size: Standard, Oversize Weight: 50g-60g

Sharpro PTO

Sharpro PTO The new PTO (Pro Tour Only) is a texture-heavy, technologically rich grip from Sharpro. The upper-corded region is firm for support, and the lower region is designed more for comfort and control. Across both ends of the grip are a series of perforations, including a rugged channel designed to wick away water and debris. The design makes the PTO a high-performance model that offers a secure grip in all weather conditions. Three colors denote sizes: pink for ladies, red for standard and blue for midsize. What We Like: The deep channel wards away water, and the lower region is comfy. Material: Dual-density rubber Design: Upper-cord Size: Standard, Midsize, Women's Weight: N/A Winn DSi

Winn DSi That's "Durasoft Integration" for those of you wondering just what DSi stands for. The second of Winn's new offerings for '07 is an ultra-soft velvet grip with a high slip resistance. It's perfect for humid or rainy days and those palm sweating drives you'll be faced with during the heat of a friendly match. What We Like: Its soft feel makes it easier to hold the club (and keep our hands blister free), and its design shows us exactly where to place our hands. Winn is a company that always pushes the envelope of technology, design and performance. For that, we are grateful. Material: Proprietary synthetic Design: Advanced Vertical Seam Size: Ladies, Standard, Midsize and Oversize Weight: 40g-57g Winn G8 Rave

Winn G8 Rave Grip designs have come a long way since players took a long thin ream of leather and wrapped it around a shaft. Leading the charge is Winn, the Huntington Beach-based company founded by Dr. Ben Huang, a former aerospace engineering professor. Over the years, they've made great strides in the technological design of something frequently overlooked. New for 2007 are three products, including the G8 Rave, a techno upgrade to Winn's popular G8 line._Ê What We Like: The hip and colorful marble design, of course. Plus, the G8 Rave is tackier (but not tacky) and more durable than ever. Material: Proprietary synthetic Design: Advanced Vertical Seam Size: Ladies, Standard and Midsize Weight: 40g-52g Winn V17-AVS Arrow

Winn V17-AVS Arrow Winn's proprietary, high-performance grip material, V17, is said to provide a firm feel and slip-resistant performance for the life of the grip. The V17 material is combined with the company's Advanced Vertical Seam (AVS) construction to form the velvet-style Arrow grip. The AVS construction creates but one vertical seam up the back of the grip. This design offers golfers who don't like the feel of a wrap a solid option in the Winn family of grips. New velvet-like arrow perfs complete this high-tech package. Wrap-style Arrow is also available. Choose between Regular Firm and Extra Firm models. What We Like: Innovation! Material: V17 polymer Design: Velvet Size: Standard Weight: 50g-52g Winn Xi7

Winn Xi7 After years of R&D and some experienced insight from Winn advisors John Daly, Butch Harmon and Natalie Gulbis, Winn has introduced a grip designed specifically for higher swing speeds. The Xi7 features a highly textured, firm feel with optimum torque resistance. Like all of Winn's new offerings, their AI (Advanced Integration) Technology positions Winn compounds in crucial grip zones. What We Like: Not everyone swings fast, but for those who do, there's a grip made just for them. It's good to know Winn is developing grips with the most demanding and accomplished players in mind. Material: Proprietary synthetic Design: Scottish Dry Series, X-Cross Series Size: Standard, Midsize and Oversize Weight: 50g-57g _Ê _Ê Tech Talk Get A Grip By Jeff Shepherd Winn Grips

The important thing for recreational golfers to do when choosing a new set of grips is to find the model that best suits their individual needs. Thanks to new technologies there are so many choices available today that's it's critical to find out what you like and also what works for your game. Find the material that feels best and suits your playing conditions. Size and firmness are also extremely important. If you have any problems with your hands, such as arthritis, try some softer grips that are tacky but not too firm. Also, regardless of your hand condition, we strongly recommend you see your local PGA professional to find out what size grip is appropriate for you.

At Winn we've been focusing on advanced technologies for quite some time and have found that advanced integration is the most significant development so far. As is the case with our Xi7 model, we can now combine different patterns and firmnesses of Polymer to provide what we feel is the ultimate in grip performance. With our patented Polymer material and advanced integration technology, we can provide grips that absorb 65-percent more shock than traditional grips as well as 40-percent more slip resistance. This puts a lot less strain on the hand and arms, while still providing plenty of feedback.

How To Buy A Grip David Bass has been a professional clubmaker at Hillandale Golf Club in Durham, N.C., for 28 years. He's the area's utmost expert on getting golfers the right grips for their clubs. His advice: "Each type of grip comes in various sizes and textures. If you have oily skin and sweat while you play, you won't have an easy time holding onto a standard grip. You'll want soft cords. If you have tender and dry hands, go toward a rubber or composition grip, like those from Winn."

Everyone's hands are different, with respect to their finger lengths, shape and size of their palms. Bass suggests you take these traits into consideration as well. "Roll your hand into a circle and find the size of cavity it creates–that will help you determine the right grip size. You want your arms and shoulders to relax. If a grip is too small, it makes tension in your forearms and shoulders. If it's too big, you have to squeeze to hold on to it, and that also creates tension. So fit is the most important criteria."

The contour of the grip–how it gets smaller toward the lower hand–also needs to fit comfortably, according to Bass. "Most good players are __ðfeel' golfers and will want a firmer grip so that they get more response from the club through their hands. Whatever grips you buy–more than anything–make sure all 13 clubs other than the putter have same-sized grips." –Scott Kramer

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