Grips Buyer's Guide 2006
If you quickly and relatively inexpensively want to improve the way your clubs look, feel and perform, try a new gripAs is the case with all categories of golf equipment, new materials and technologies have vastly improved the quality and feel of modern grips, and there now are a number of cord-style grips that feel as soft as velvet models, but with the added tack cord provides. For golfers with sensitive hands, or who simply prefer a soft feel, a buffed, velvet-style grip still is the top choice. In addition, there are grips that feature a combination of durometers (degrees of firmness) in different sections of the grip or in separate layers. These “multi-density” models represent the hot trend in grip design, and they’re fantastic.
Finally, if you’re one of many who suffer from arthritis or chronic tendonitis, it’s a good idea to experiment with a mid- or oversized grip. Most of the major manufacturers now make models that are significantly larger than standard, which can be excellent for reducing pain and hand fatigue.
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 ‘feel’ 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.”
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