Golf Gloves: Grip It Before You Rip It!

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Golf Gloves: Grip It Before You Rip It!
Golf Gloves: Grip It Before You Rip It!

Although golf gloves go back at least to the late 1800s, they didn’t gain traction as a staple item with golfers until the middle of the 20th century.

A relaxed yet firm grip is what every golfer is after. It’s why almost every pro golfer on the PGA tour wears at least one golfing glove on the green. Very few good players don’t wear gloves although Fred Couples has been one and Lucas Glover another; they are rare! Maintaining a good grip is what golf gloves are all about. There’s nothing worse than a club whistling through the air when a slippery grip is lost. Gloves also offer protection from the weather elements and prevent blisters on your hands from rubbing the club grip on the skin. Normally, if you are right-handed, you’ll wear a glove on the left hand.

But you can wear gloves on both hands for added protection. Choosing the glove Golf gloves can be made of leather or synthetic materials, and each has its advantages. A glove made of leather is more comfortable to wear than one made of a synthetic material and it will last longer, but it is more expensive. Also a leather golf glove will ‘breathe’ more than the others. On the other hand, a glove made of synthetics tends to grip the club more securely in wet weather. Determine the approximate size of your hand by estimating whether it falls under the small, cadet, medium, large or extra-large category.

If you have short fingers and wide palms, try a cadet-style glove, which is shaped for this type of hand. For the glove to fit, it should be snug but not overly tight. Your fingertips should press lightly against the tips of the glove and band around the wrist should not cut off your circulation or prevent mobility. Move your fingers while wearing the glove to check the mobility offered by the glove. The glove will loosen through use, but avoid gloves that are overly stiff.

Check the palm of the glove, particularly in the area around the heel of your hand. This area is often one of the first to fail, so many manufacturers sew an extra layer of padding in this area. Care during the round Even with the moisture-absorbing technology found in top-notch golf gloves, it’s best to air out your golfing glove between holes. You can stick the glove in your back pocket when walking to the next tee, or hang it from your golf bag. Many golfers find it easier to bring an extra glove and alternate between the two from front to the back nine. Some players use 3-4 gloves during a round alternating between gloves to keep them dry and fresh. During wet weather they can be hung from the umbrella spokes as a ‘drying line’.

You should never use your glove to wipe perspiration from your forehead, face, or arms. Your gloves will last longer, as they are not designed to be drenched in sweat, throw a microfibre towel in your bag. Whenever there is water (saving a ball from a water trap), remove your glove first then use a towel to dry off your hand and continue with a dry hand in a dry glove. Care after the round At the end of your game, be sure to not just scrunch your glove up and toss it in a pocket of your bag. Just like airing out your glove between rounds, hang your glove on the exterior of your bag or hold your gloves as they dry off. Compacting leather gloves into a ball is like throwing a bathroom towel on the floor – it takes forever to dry and will be damaged when sweaty and crumpled up.

If possible, put the glove back in the package that came with the glove. It will keep the moisture in and protect the natural oils in the leather. A zip lock bag is an alternative. Gently wash your gloves to remove dirt, perspiration and other buildup. Cabretta leather is very delicate leather. Only wash non-synthetic gloves golf gloves when they are noticeably soiled, as continuous washing may wear out the leather. If washing by hand, use mild detergent and gently wash the glove until all surface dirt and perspiration is removed. If machine washing, set to a delicate cycle. Secure any velcro before tossing a glove in the washer and never use bleach. Remember to always air dry. If you expose leather to extreme heat, it may result in cracking and/or shrinking. Hang your leather glove and allow it to air dry for a while. Consider using a leather conditioner to ensure leather remains supple. What does glove wear tell you?

Worn-out palm: A worn-out palm is the most common wear pattern. It’s caused when the club is held in the palm instead of beneath the heel pad of the thumb and fingers. This leads to a slice or a lack of distance. Thumb tear: A thumb tear is usually caused by one of two things. That is either poor thumb placement or incorrect pressure between the thumb and club, resulting in a loss of control. Index finger wear: An index-finger wear pattern indicates a poor connection to the hands. With an overlapping grip, the right hand’s pinkie finger digs into the left hand’s knuckle. If you notice it wearing out more in one place on your glove, maybe check your grips. Worn out grips will create more friction on your gloves. The latest ladies glove. Show off your diamonds, expose manicured nails and get a sun tan on the back of the hand!

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