Pay Attention To Your Grips
Better Golf Could Be Right at The Tips of Your Fingers

As a custom wedge company, we get many requests for mid-size or built up grips and I’m often interested in how these golfers came to the conclusion that this is what they needed for their game. Right now we are testing prototypes of a new SCoR II grip for our EIDOLON wedges, so grips are at my top of mind. And then I get this question from Matt G., so I thought I would just sound off on this for you readers. Matt asked:
A friend of mine recently changed to oversized grips on all his clubs and he swears by it, says it gives him a looser grip. What is your opinion on grips and do you think oversized grips help?
Well, Matt, first of all, I think the grip is the most overlooked and under-appreciated element of a golf club. At EIDOLON, we developed our SCoR grip as a guide to hand placement for precision shotmaking, and we’re working on the next generation for introduction soon. As you might imagine, I make it a personal mission to look at what golfers are playing – set make-up, type of clubs, condition, etc. . . . and I make it a point to look at the grips of their clubs for several reasons. Here’s what I see.
1. Grips that are worn and slick. Grips are not lifetime things. They get dirty and they wear. Grips that are not in their best condition cause you to squeeze the club too tightly trying to maintain club security. And this condition creeps up on you, so you really are not aware of it. The best grip care I’ve ever found is a soft bristle brush and abrasive cleaner like Comet. Just wet the grips, scrub them with a little cleaner, rinse thoroughly and you’ll be amazed.

2. Grips that have wear spots. The grip can be a great swing flaw detector. I see many that have a worn spot right at the right thumb, indicating the golfer is either re-gripping at the top or squeezing the club too tightly. I’ve addressed this in a previous post. Take a close look at yours.

3. Grips that are mismatched. Because we don’t buy our entire sets together, nearly every golfer ends up with at least 2-3 different kinds of grips on their clubs. And most often, they are all different sizes, as well as different feels and textures. One of the best things you can do for your game – that doesn’t cost all that much – is to have all your clubs re-gripped with the same grips. Driver through wedges . . .the same texture and size. It will help you achieve comfort and consistency.

4. And finally, Matt, I see grips that are too large or too small for the golfer playing them.
In order to assess whether or not a golfer needs oversized grips, I would have to know their glove size and see how they are gripping the club. In my observation, most all golfers grip the club too far into the palm of their hands, so a standard size grip can feel rather small. But the proper way to hold the golf club is in the fingers of each hand, so that the grip is nested under the pad at the base of the fingers. This allows the hands to work in a free manner and release through impact properly. Here’s how to see if your grips are correctly sized for your hands.

1. Grip the club in just your left hand (for right hand players), with at least ½” of the butt of the grip extending past the heel of your hand. With the grip under the heel pad, your little finger should be able to wrap around and just make contact with the heel pad, or have a small gap of ¼” or so. The grip should extend diagonally across your hand, so that it is underneath the pad of the forefinger. As you wrap the other fingers around the grip, they should just contact the pad at the base of the thumb. If they dig in, you might need a larger grip size. If they can’t get a comfortable and secure hold on the club, maybe smaller is for you.

2. With your left hand grip secure, lay your right hand on the grip, so that the grip is just under the pad at the base of the fingers. This is where most golfers have a problem – they allow the club to slip up into the palm of their right hand, which does make the grip seem very small. It takes pretty long fingers to wrap all the way around the grip when it is held properly. If you are holding the grip correctly, and your finger tips still dig into the pad at the base of the fingers, then you may benefit from grips that are sized up a wrap or two.
I encourage you all to pay this little extra attention to your grips. It might be the easiest way possible to correct a problem with a club or two that might be “out of whack” from the rest of your set, or it might open the door to a significant game improvement from the most overlooked element of your clubs.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to send in your own questions. Matt won a new EIDOLON wedge for his – you could be the next lucky golfer!!!
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 ]
bducharm says:
I see way too many golfers that have really worn and old grips. One of the best things you can do is clean your grips regularly - depending on how much you play. Oils and dirt make grips very slick. I clean my grips weekly.
9/15/09
 
aaronm04 says:
Terry: What is the difference between the types of grips? What does a cord grip offer that a rubber grip lacks? Is all purely about feel and personal preference?
9/15/09
 
bducharm says:
@aaronm04 - My take on this is preference. I LOVE cord grips because of their performance in humid or wet conditions. They offer a better grip than compound or rubber grips. BUT cord grips are tougher on your hands. They tend to be a bit rougher. Some of the newer grips (Winn, etc.) offer some interesting feel. There are also what I call the "half and half" grips - the ones that are lightly corded for your top hand and rubber compound for your lower (or ungloved) hand.
9/15/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Yeah, a friend had problems with sweaty hands - even in an arid environment. He had many mismatched clubs (as the parsimonious often do), most of which were assembled by his father. It wasn't uncommon for a head to fly off his shaft every so often. (Terry, maybe you can do a series on home fix-it jobs which the reasonably gifted can do compitently!) In fact, kudos for the nice home maintenance tip above!
I have regripped clubs myself - in fact I bought the grip tape and got advice from a golf tech at a store. A great way to practice, is to regrip your old loner set, or a "classic" set that you find at a yard sale. It's easier to use grips with no alignment design - so you can't screw it up.

My main question is though: say you have an unorthodox type of hand position, how do you know if it's necesarily limiting you? Do most scratch golfers learn to grip it "properly" as a rule? If I go and take lessons, will an "improper" grip become an impasse?
9/16/09
 
onedollarwed says:
Anyway, my friend mentioned above got a really puffy oversized grip for his driver, and his draw became a nice power fade instantly. Is this the kind of tniking that people are using? Or, do their hands hurt?
9/16/09
 
bducharm says:
The one thing connecting you to the golf club is your grip!!! You NEED a good grip - if you go for lessons, any instructor will help you with that first!!!
9/16/09
 
jrbizzle says:
New grips, with all the fancy alignments are a dream for a guy who grew up with some unforgiving hand me down blades and cheapo hard rubber grips. The only issue is making sure you get the clubs gripped at a reputable shop so you know the alignments are on properly.

The grips that came with my TM R7 Draw irons (two arrow heads down the shaft) pretty much guarantee a consistent set up. And once you take your grips, the hands cover it up so it's not distratcing at all. If they ever wear out, I hope you can buy new ones from TM, because I don't know what I'd do without 'em.
9/16/09
 
Banker85 says:
I had my irons regripped a couple weeks ago (Lamkin standard crossline) and i am making better contact and holding the club a lot lighter. I have been thinking about redoing my other clubs which are all different grips.
9/16/09
 
Swingem says:
Regripping is so easy to DIY and its fun to experiment with different grips. The alignment is pretty difficult to screw-up (unless you've been drinking heavily). I've recently been changing grips on select clubs on a weekly basis looking for the ones that I want on the whole set. Chose the Winn PCI-TL.
9/16/09
 
Tim Horan says:
I have just taken delivery of my MOI matched Tom Wishon 555m blades and one of the key issues when working with the clubfitter was the grips. We selected a Wishon V5 grip being the closest match with the Eidolon SCoR grips on my wedges. Previously I had New Decade grips which came up considerably thinner than the Eidolons. The thin grips notably on long irons and woods contributed to a pull hook. I have had all my clubs fitted with the Wishon V5 with two full layers of tape and an additional layer on the lower hand area. This has assisted not only with the light pressure grip but also relaxed the upper arm muscles of the right arm - No pull hook!
9/17/09
 
windowsurfer says:
In windsurfing, a loose grip on the boom relaxes your arms and reduces fatigue. In boxing, fighters have open hands - not clenched - until they strike partly for the same reason - fatigue. Should b true for too. Plus a loose grip promotes a looser swing. Loose, fluid swings work better, right? T Horan's point about "relaxed upper arm muscles" makes sense in this context.

I like oversized grips. I most notice grip size with worn - can live with narrow grips so long as they are grippy. Paying more attention to holding the club in the finger-tips-not-palm does make sense tho and I will give this some attention -- hopefully in about 3 hours!!

I like Grip Tec shrink-on grips, btw. For me, a low-cost, easy and fun way to personalize and manage my own grips. But evidently, brand is a big factor with most of us, so this no-name approach is not for everyone.
9/17/09
 
newrider says:
This year I switched to "oversized grips". I was having issues with arthitis in my right hand making it difficult to grip the lower portion.

I went to Tacki-Mac taperless serrated grips. They are also longer than normal grips and similar to score grips have a molded line every inch or so down the legth of the grip.

First put them on my wedges and immediately gained more control and lost the "flip" and the pulled wedge shot. Next tried 'em on my irons (I use SMT MB's) and gained the same control and I reduced over-cooked draw, hooks. Next the hybrids and fairways. Got longer and much more accurate and control. Jury is still out on the driver as it seems to make me try too hard to hit a draw without hooking but makes a sweet power fade very easy.

No pain in the hands is the best payoff.
9/27/09
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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