Does Size Matter?
I’m sure you all have your own answer to that age-old question, but I’m talking about your golf club grips! Even with all the different grips that have come on the market in the past few years, with too many golfers the grip is still the most overlooked part of the golf club equation. Today’s topic is courtesy of a question from Mark M., (who wins a new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge). Mark has asked:
"I am writing to you for your opinion on golf grips. I have seen references to things such as +2 wraps. What does this mean and how do you recommend sizing new grips?"
Well, Mark, early in my golf industry career, I was a marketing consultant to Neumann Leather, who made the finest wrap leather grips in the industry. And once I became aware of just how awesome those grips were, I became a devoted addict. But that whole hand-wrapped side of the grip industry has gone the way of the dodo bird. I still, however, remain very focused on the golf club grip and make a note to pay attention to the grips on clubs of those I play with. In too many cases, I see a mismatch of grips from the driver to the wedges, and some or all of them are worn out beyond function. That just cannot help you play your best golf.

When it comes to grips, you have lots of choices, and because we typically have a mismatched assortment of clubs in our bag, we also have a mismatched assortment of grips – in style, texture, age/wear and size. All of those conditions will contribute to a lack of shotmaking consistency. Let’s take these aspects of grips one by one, starting with grip size since that was what Mark was asking about.

First of all, Mark, grip size is important to your shotmaking, but there are a number of theories and principles at work here. When you hear “+ 2 wraps”, that means that the grip has two layers of grip tape on the shaft before the grip was installed. Generally speaking, each layer will add 1/64” to the outside diameter of the grip. At EIDOLON, we offer our grips built to standard specs, then plus 1, 2 or 3 wraps. That allows each golfer to get their grips to the size they prefer.

It is generally accepted that a smaller grip stimulates better/faster hand action through impact, promoting a draw shot pattern. Increasing the size of the grip is thought to slow down hand action a bit, thereby promoting a fade pattern, or helping to reduce draw/hook tendencies. But it really isn’t that simple, as the process starts with the individual golfer’s hand size and how he/she holds the club.

And there was just an article in a major magazine recently that offered the premise that almost all golfers play with grips that are too small. The research behind the article claimed to prove that increasing grip size improved ball striking performance. Hmmmm. I can’t prove or disprove that theory, but I have just put 2 wraps under all my clubs to see if I can get a take on this. I’ll report later.

But there is more to grip than size. If you have driver, fairways, hybrids, irons and wedges by different manufacturers or even different models, you probably have a mismatch of grip styles. That little “confusion” to your hands could prevent your best golf. Additionally, you have clubs you’ve used more than others, and those grips are probably more worn or much dirtier than the others, either of which can lead you to grip the club too tightly for best performance.

Grips can and should be cleaned with a soft bristle brush and mild abrasive cleaner like Ajax or Comet when they become soiled – 2-3 times a year at least. And it isn’t that major of an investment to have your entire set of “gamers” re-gripped to match them in type and size from driver to wedges. There are many capable clubmakers that can do this, or you can have fun and do it yourself with a kit from Golfsmith.

I highly recommend giving focused attention to your grips as you start this 2011 golf season. You’ll be surprised at what effect it might have.

And congratulations Mark. We hope you enjoy your new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge!
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
mjaber says:
I read an article recently that stated that there was no way to determine the best grip size for a particular golfer, other than trial an error. They ran a battery of tests with a number of golfers, all hitting identical clubs with different sized grips. The best grip varied from golfer to golfer, and rarely matched the suggested size by measuring the hand, and rarely matched the size the golfer prefered.

www.golf.com/golf/instruction/article/0,28136,20
4/5/11
 
bkuehn1952 says:
Interesting article, thanks for the reference. One more thing that I probably have screwed up. Sigh.
4/5/11
 
bkuehn1952 says:
The above post was directed to @mjaber. Just another thing that I screwed up!
4/5/11
 
birdieXris says:
I'm a midsize golf pride grip. Actually, my wedges, irons, 3w and hybrid are all midsize multi compund. My driver is a midsize cord from Lamkin. The only reason for that is because if i want to change my driver settings for higher or lower flight, i needed a round grip and the multi compound is asymmetrical. People still look at me funny though when i tell them i use midsize grips. My hands are small but they're built a strange way. I feel like i'm holding a toothpick in my hand with a standard grip.
4/5/11
 
Banker85 says:
I put on all new grips from driver to wedges with Winn Xi7 (5Xi) grips and i love them. It is nice to pick up each club and have the same feel throughout the set. I only played 2 rounds so far and hit the range 2x but i think it is making shots more consistent. Hey i havent lost a ball yet this year! As far as size or grip type just play what feels good, test out different grips i choose the Winn grips for the feel and look, and firmness of them, kinda a squshy feeling but firm. I love them.
4/5/11
 
mjaber says:
I think it's amazing that we have all this tech, but can't come up with a way to determine the best grip other than ye olde trial and error.
4/5/11
 
DougE says:
I play midsize Lamkins on all 13 lofted clubs in my bag and all the other alternates that I keep around the garage. When I buy a new club, before I even play it once, I have the grip changed to the same Lamkin Mid. It's what my hands are used to.
4/5/11
 
Kickntrue says:
@mjaber- doesn't that just say it's personal preference over science? I think there are a lot of things in golf where they can hook us up to machines and tell us whatever we want- but in the end comfort and preference matter most.
4/5/11
 
TeT says:
Lamkin oversized, 1 layer of tape
4/5/11
 
Tee it High. says:
This is an issue I have begun to address over the past two years, first moving up to a midsize and now a jumbo tour velvet which I have found to be the best for me and my large hands. My only issue is that Jumbo grips never have any options they usually only come in black so people with big hands lose the option of spicing up their clubs. Also they styles that come in Jumbo are VERY limited which is frustrating.
4/5/11
 
birdieXris says:
@banker - When i was at the GG getting tuned up a week or two ago with my dad, the fitter gave him an oversized winn grip. i forget what style it was, but my father hated the fact that it was so spongey. That and apparently it was the "high performance" type of grip that has to be changed every year and the jumbos were like $8 a grip. LOL. yea, dad got a set of tour velvets. :) Glad you like the Winn grips though> i had them back in the day in Highschool. They were sweet.
4/5/11
 
jrbizzle says:
I picked up a used Titleist 980F 5 wood (19*) this off season to replace a gap in my bag between my 4 wood (16.5*) and Raylor (22*). The club itself looks lightly used, but clearly was re-gripped with a Golf pride yellow. I'm very used to TaylorMade grips, and the Golf Pride is very similar, but whomever installe dit has the Golf Pride logo rotated about 5 degrees counter clockwise. Either they had no idea how to properly install a grip or that guy was fighting a serious hook. I hate to get the club regripped, as the grip is almost brand new, but it's very distracting when I'm setting up for my shot.
4/5/11
 
windowsurfer says:
I regripped an old set a few years ago with the (shrink to fit) tour style grips from Griptec. Cheap - just $3 ea. if I remember right. Liked 'em, easy to install + add tape to get exactly the dia. wanted. Want to do that again and make all clubs the same, a great idea, imo - to reduce variables seems logical. Trouble is, can't just buy Griptecs online, have to bid on them.
4/5/11
 
mjaber says:
@kickntrue... according to the article, only a small percentage hit their best shots with the grip that felt best to them. Even personal preference kinda goes out the window, since what I like, and what feels right, might not actually be right.
4/5/11
 
dartboss04 says:
it's really amazing how good new or clean grips feel...it's like getting a whole new set of clubs...

for some reason i like a different grips for my woods vs my irons...have the golf pride multi-compound white (rough feel) on my driver, 3w, 7w, and hybrid...and the tan winn excel on my irons and wedges...

also think putter grips are important...for the price of the original method putter, nike put a pretty crappy grip on it...i had it replaced with a winn avs and it feels like butter...
4/5/11
 
Niramas says:
@jrbizzle: why not just put your own mark on it?
4/5/11
 
legitimatebeef says:
I'm gonna try two wraps next time. I've always suspected that it might work for me and I guess there's only one way to find out.
4/5/11
 
larrynjr says:
I just recieved one of the Cleveland Golf, "play it forward" demo clubs and the new grips are very nice and grabby. Even my new clubs from last season don't feel that clean and sticky. Guess it's time to clean them..........
4/5/11
 
lcgolfer64 says:
I took Terry's advice last year:
www.oobgolf.com/content/the+wedge+guy/golf+equip

and started scrubbing out my grips with an Ajax or Comet type compound cleaner and a scrub-brush. Wow! Did that bring back the tackiness feeling in them. I'll probably re-grip mine this year with Lamkin or Tour Velvets.
But cleaning them every couple of weeks this way sure brings back the tack
4/5/11
 
jrbizzle says:
@niramas - the end of the grip is black with the GolfPride logo in bright white. I'm considering just blacking it out with a permanent marker to lessen the visibility of it. If I don't get new irons next year, my current one are going to need regripping, so at that point I'll probably regrip the 4 & 5 wood as well.

It's just very odd seeing a grip alignment mark so far off. Knowing my supserstitous ways, I'll get used to it and not be able to get rid of it :)
4/6/11
 
Joness says:
Terry,

I have a question about the taper on my grips - particularly on my wedges. I grip down for a lot of shots, but this means that I am gripping at a point where the grip on my club is much smaller than at the top. Therefore, it would make sense to me to have grips with much less taper on my wedges. However, I have not seen this done anywhere. Do you hav a view on this.
4/6/11
 
bkuehn1952 says:
@Joness: A partial solution is to double or triple wrap where the lower portion of the grip will be. This expands the grip lower on the club than what a normal installation would be.
4/7/11
 
tripleace says:
Grips are important, but how about the lenght of the shaft? Does a tall man need a longer shafted wedge? Any how about lie; should the lie of the wedge match the lie of the irons.
5/9/11
 
mantajim says:
Just regripped my whole set of clubs with Lamkins' N-Dur 3 Gen midsize round grips. They're two toned, white on top and black textured bottom. The white is nice because it goes with my R-11s and it remindes me to whip down the grips. Previous grips were standard tour velvets. It's nice having the same grips through out and I'm told the new tackiness feel is easily restored by cleaning.
This was my first time to regrip clubs myself. If your at all handy it should be easy. I spent about $25 on tape, shaft proterctor, and mineral spirits, had a vise, paint tray, razor knife and spray bottle. Edwin Watts wanted $40+ regrip the set. Do a U-Tube search with 'regrip' lots of video that show you just how to do it.
6/2/11
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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