Ahhhh, golf grips. Likely the most overlooked and under appreciated part of club fitting. Most of you golfers out there think you have been through a club fitting of some sort. However, did you ever get to the grip fitting part? If so, did the club fitter ask if you had a grip preference? Did the technician measure your hand for size or ask what size glove you wear. Did you have an opportunity to see, touch, feel, test different types of grips or grips sizes? If you answered no to any of the above then you went through a basic fitting. When I say basic I mean you weren’t fitted properly. Take a few minutes to read the Q&A on grips and hopefully this you can this this information to lower your scores.
Question: Does the Size or Thickness of a Grip Really Matter?
Answer: Yes, the size or thickness of the grip on your clubs really matters. It can be extremely difficult consistently decent shots if the grips on your clubs are too large or small for your hands. In this article, you are going to learn all about the grip-handle on your clubs—from size, size related to ball-flight, to type of grip—size related to grip pressure, hand-types, physical disabilities, and hand-placement—and more.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a golfer’s equipment is the grip. Most players are unaware of the various grip sizes available today—from undersized to standard, midsize, to jumbo—and the in between sizes. The in-between could be that a standard size may vary from company to company. Over the last 30 years and over 100,000 fittings, our statistics show that just over 50% of the golfing population is fit for a standard-size grip. The remaining 40+% are, you might say, “abnormal.”
Length of had to size – We don’t just measure the length of the palm. For example, some golfers have a long palm and short fingers which might be more ideal for a cadet type glove and a thinner (tour velvet type grip). On the opposite hand (pun intended) you might see a golfer which measures to an average hand size with narrow yet long fingers. This golfer will most likely prefer a larger grip like a jumbo. The jumbo is also a popular option with those who have a lack of strength in the hands or has physical limitations in the hands and arms.
Overall, golfers with short fingers will benefit from an undersized thinner grip. And again, other things being equal, which they often aren’t, golfers with wide hands and or long fingers will benefit from oversized grips.
Question: What if I work with my hands for a living?
Answer: Attention tradesmen—carpenters, construction workers, mill workers, painters, electricians, etc. After years of fitting clubs, our statistics have found that these golfers, even with standard size paws have a tendency to hold the club with a death grip. Because they work with their hands, their hands and forearms are much stronger than the average Joe’s. We know that even with lessons from Butch Harmon or David Leadbetter, they’ll still find themselves giving the golf club the choke hold. The best way to combat excessive grip-pressure is to use a grip one size larger than standard. Larger grips tend to reduce grip-pressure, which is a critical key to a good golf swing. Lighter grip-pressure encourages more wrist-hinge, which creates a stronger release and increased swing- speed during the downswing.
Question: What are the parameters for fitting a grip?
Answer: Our philosophy is all about fitting golfers properly and individually, and taking into consideration all the variables. This may also mean making exceptions. So when you are selecting a new set of clubs and or grips, or even a particular club, see a golf professional, and tell him or her all about your game—including your sense of grip pressure, glove size, current type of grips, skin type (dry or sensitive), your physical limitations, and generally what your looking for.
Question: Will a smaller grip enable me to hook or draw the ball.
Answer: This urban legend this is incorrect. Although, a small percentage of golfers with appropriate hand size and grip pressure may find this to work.
For whatever reason, many golfers have been told that by switching to a small grip, they will reduce their slicing. The same has been said about a larger grip promoting a fade.
Fact is, the size of the grips on a golfer’s clubs should be determined by the size, type of a golfer’s hands and yes, grip-pressure. In fact most golfers hold the club too tight so those golfers with excessive grip-pressure will typically prefer and play better with a larger grip.
A grip that is too small will make it exceedingly difficult for any golfer to hold a club properly. With such a grip, a player is likely to manipulate the clubface resulting in erratic shots.
Question: How Important is grip pressure anyway?
Answer: Even a seasoned player and or a good ball-striker who uses a grip that is too small (for his or her palms or fingers), will find herself or himself creating excessive grip pressure. Excessive grip-pressure locks up the limbs from the fingertips up through the biceps and throughout the rest of the body. Excessive grip-pressure leads to TENSION, and tension is bad for any golf swing. Even with steady grip-pressure at address and at takeaway, a player may easily re-grip at the top of the backswing, thus engaging the small muscles (hands) creating tension in the downswing. This can lead to a multitude of problems including: an outside-in swing path, casting, slice, inconsistent divot pattern among other problems. If you’re like most that fall into this category, you’ll likely wear a hole in the left-thumb and heel-pad of your golf-glove.
Question: Does wearing a hole in my glove have anything to do with my grips?
Answer: As mentioned above, such wear in the glove comes from losing the club at the top of the backswing. At this point, the club separates from the glove-hand heel-pad, resulting in the player re-griping at the top to start the forward swing. The friction of re-gripping gradually wears a hole in both the thumb and heel-pad of the glove. As much as this is a swing flaw, it stems from an improper grip or inadequate grips/size.
The most common wear spot on a glove are on the heel pad of the palm and thumb areas. If you wear a hole in the glove in any spot, your hands are moving on the club during the swing. This can be caused by your grips being worn out, improper hand placement and the incorrect grip size. Let’s face it, even if your grips are the correct size that doesn’t mean that the grips aren’t worn out or that you achieve the proper grip.
If you feel as though the grips on your clubs may be improperly fitted, or that the positioning of your hands needs some improvement, don’t feel embarrassed. You and well over half the golfing population have the same problems. In fact, tour players are constantly working on their fundamentals (i.e. the grip). If you need help with your grip please see one of our videos (Breaking down the fundamentals of the grip Part 1 and 2).
Question: How often should you replace your grips?
Answer: If you play once a week or more you should consider re-gripping your golf clubs once a year. New grips can add traction and prevent the club from twisting in your hands. Old grips dry out over the course of a year and tend to be less shock absorbent after just a couple of months. Ultimately, new grips can also add life to an old set and eliminate unnecessary tension in the hands and arms.
Question: How long does it take to get fit for grip size?
Answer: Anywhere from 2-5 minutes. A fitting should start with a measurement and a Q & A about grips and what you currently use. After the fitting technician makes some recommendations, you should be able to try a couple grips before you have them installed. In the end your choice should revolve around your preference and what feels most comfortable.
Question: How Many Grip Sizes are there?
Answer: Juniors, Ladies, Men’s Undersize, Men’s Standard, Men’s Midsize and Men’s Jumbo. If need be, grips can be built up to precise (in-between) sizes.
Question: – Does grip alignment make difference?
Answer: Absolutely! Grip alignment is what many golfers use to set the clubface into a square position at address. So not only should the grip be properly aligned with the leading edge of the clubface, the butt cap of the grip should be square. It’s also important that the grip doesn’t fit lose or isn’t twisted. If the grip is not correctly aligned, it will make aligning the clubface (at setup) more difficult resulting in shots missed left and right. This subtle deviation may cause you to make setup and swing adjustments when the culprit is a crooked grip. This is a common error with do-it-yourselfers who install grips at home.
Question: What type of grip should you choose?
Answer: First, get fit for size. Depending upon your hand size, grip pressure, skin type and preference we can help you decide. Base your decision on what feels most comfortable.
Question: I’m having my clubs re-gripped, should I consider being fit for length and lie?
Answer: Depending upon your height and arm length, your clubs may need to be extended or shortened. This can be done during the re-gripping process. Finding the ideal lie angle for your swing will help you hit the ball straighter and improve ball striking. If you’re 5’ 8” or shorter or 6’1” or taller, standard length clubs will not likely fit. Consider this. If a person 5’8” and another person 6’1” walk in to a store and buy a suit. The first (shorter person) will likely walk out with a 30-inseam pair of pants while the other (taller person) will walk out with a 32-inseam pair of pants. So if there is a two inch difference in their pants shouldn’t there be at least a one inch difference in the length of their clubs?
Feel free to post your questions and comments below.