With golfers now returning to the course, before you start logging regular rounds, take a quick look at your grips. That means every single one of them, including the putter.
Do they have sheen or look worn in spots? The eye test is generally a good place to start when assessing the state of your rubber handles. If significant wear exists, or if you’re noticing the grip is starting to slip in your hands on humid or rainy days, it’s time for a fresh set.
But like a set of tires, you don’t want to replace them when they’re completely bald and fraying. Several years back, a study revealed that a set of worn, two-year-old grips can cost golfer 3-4 shots, on average, over the course of a round – so you can see the importance of keeping up with the tread on your grips.
Signs that your grips need replacement:
• Smooth, hard surfaces
• Shiny Patches
• Wear spots, especially where the thumb makes contact
• Faded or bare spots on grips that have been painted or have logos
• Complete loss of tack Heat, dirt, and oils from your hands are the biggest culprits when it comes to the natural degradation of a grip.
As the grip starts to wear down, bad habits start to creep in that can lead to poor shots and a lack of confidence. One way to combat the wear and tear is to wash your grips with soapy water after every couple of rounds to remove the dirt and oil accumulation, but even that won’t keep you from eventually replacing them.
So how often should you really be changing out your grips? For a tour pro, it’s every six weeks to two months based on conditions and usage. Unless you’re logging near-daily rounds, that would be excessive and unnecessary for the average recreational golfer.
On average, a set of grips is good for 40 rounds – one practice session counts as one round – which means golfers who play regularly should be doing a yearly replacement. Re-gripping your own clubs is not too hard and can be done at home; however, you are likely to need a vise with a grip protector, double-sided tape, white spirit, a sharp knife – provided you have the right tools.
This remains one of the most inexpensive ways to tune up your gear. And if you don’t have the tools to do it yourself, the course tech will quickly perform the task.
There is no right grip for everyone and the only way to know what’s right for you is to try out a variety of grips. You’ll be amazed at how differently your clubs will feel and perform, for you, with different grips.
The grip size needs to be considered; it’s important to make sure you have the appropriate grip size for your hands.
There has been much debate on how grip size affects performance. The old line of thinking has always been that smaller grips promote more hand action and perhaps hook, while larger grips do just the opposite.
New grips can make you feel like you are playing with a new set of clubs, but without too much financial pain!
WRITER: David Watson | Hua Hin Today