The topic of discussion is grips, handles, tread, whatever you may prefer to call them. Are they worn, ripped, cracked, worn down to the metal, slick or maybe even disintegrated? If this describes the predicament you and your grips are in, then I would recommend starting your golf season out right, get your golf clubs a gift, some new tread.
Yet before you put the same old grips on think about how important the grip is before just saying what difference does it make. Think about this, the reason that grips must be kept in reasonable condition is that this is a players only contact with the club and you have to be able to hold on with a delicate, yet firm, grasp. If the grips are worn, then certain swing compensations will manifest causing more chaos than consistency. Golf is hard enough with out trying to figure out if the club is going to go flying out of our hands.
So thats great but who cares, a grip is a grip right? No, not really. In the past grip choices were basic, they were made of leather or rubber and were available in only a few styles, wrap or velvet, with only a few options in textures (non-cord, cord, and ½ cord). The only consistency throughout the years in regards to player aid is inside the grip. The inner structure comes with only 2 options available, either round or ribbed (know as a grip with a reminder, which is a raised ridge inside the grip that assists the player in placing the club in the hands).
Grips, like golf clubs, should be suited to the player, not the other way around. A fitting for a grip should be considered, due to the uniqueness that all players have; different hand size, finger length, and strength.
Grip selection is normally based on:
Feel (tacky, firm, soft, and course)
Size (undersize, standard, mid, jumbo, and arthritic)
Style (wrap, tour velvet, cord, no cord)
Questions and suggestions that need to be considered prior to getting new grips:
Do my current grips feel to big/small in the hand?
Do my hands perspire?
Do I wear a glove?
Do I slice/hook the ball?
Do I have trouble placing my hands properly on the club?
Golf Grips: Tips for the Proper Fit
Lets examine the above questions in reverse. If a player has problems getting the correct grip, there are grips available with diagrams of how to place the hands. Examples of this would be any vendor grips( Taylor Made, Titleist, and Callaway to mention a few) and the traditional Victory grip.
If a player has the tendency to hook/slice the golf ball, the grips could be too large/small to accommodate the hand. If grips are not sized properly then what happens is that the club release is affected either not enough, or too much, causing the ball to move left if too small and right if too large.
If a player doesnt wear a glove/ perspire they may need to go to a grip that has a course texture so that a firm grip can be maintained throughout the swing.
As time goes on and advances in technology are made, even the simplest of things are affected. One change that seems insignificant, but carries a large impact, is with grips that players are now able to put on their equipment. Grips have gone more or less from leather to rubber to multi compound construction. For our explanation we will use 2 examples of grips that would more than likely make Hogan himself go Hmmm. The first grip is GolfPrides Multicompound and the second is the V17 AVS by Winn Grips.
Grips in todays day and age are focusing on control, comfort, and durability through the use of science.
Example 1: GolfPrides new decade Multicompound grip which combines black velvet cord for the upper hand with soft red rubber for the lower. A unique combination of control and comfort. This particular grip features innovative two layer thermoset rubber construction. A firm inner layer assures maximum control while the soft outer wrap delivers comfort and sensitivity.(golfsmith clubmaker magazine2004 vol. 13 no.8)
Example 2: The V17 AVS by Winn Grips
Revolutionary departure from standard rubber grips, the V17 AVS is engineered from the latest grip material to date. V17 is a proprietary polymer that offers a firm, responsive feel with unprecedented tackiness in all weather conditions. This extraordinary material utilizes an Advanced Vertical Seam process that allows the wrapped grip a virtually seamless appearance. (Winn home page)
Mitson’s Quick Grips Fitting System
The quick fit method for grip sizing:
Take your grip with the left hand only.
Take notice of where the ring and middle finger end up.
If these fingers end up wrapped into the palm (like making a fist) then the current grips are too small.
If the fingers on the other hand almost form the letter c then the grips are more than likely too large.
A properly sized grip will fit in the players hand with comfort and the ring and middle finger will almost touch the palm
Another pertinent question is when should a player change the grips? This is based on amount of play and practice. However grips should be changed a minimum of once a season, usually this is done before the beginning of the season.. Due to the fact that as time passes grips get slick, dry out, wear where the thumbs and fingers are placed. Another note is that as practice and playing time is put in some grips may need to be changed more often (example would be wedges, 7ir. and driver).
In conclusion this tech would recommend having your grips changed in Feb. so that you beat the rush and are ready to get to the links and play instead of searching for that club that just slipped out of the hands.