Golf grips have advanced significantly over the decades.
From what started out as leather strapping wound around old hickory clubs, golf grips have today become a major performance factor and source of style on golf clubs.
However, they do need to be the correct size for one, otherwise they can have a detrimental effect on one’s golf swing.
Does Golf Grips Size Matter?
It has always been said that golf grips that are too thin and have too much taper will lead to consistent hooks and pulls while a grip that is too thick will cause a lot of slices and pushed shots.
This hypothesis is still correct even with the advancements in golf grips today.
When the grip portion where you place your bottom hand on is too narrow it allows your hand to release over the top hand much easier, hence why you would tend to hook shots.
When that same grip portion is too thick your hand is unable to turn the grip over as effectively and therefore you often end up slicing the ball.
A grip that is too thick can also often lead to tendon injuries in your hands due to you applying too much pressure in order to try to release the club through the impact zone and impart draw spin on the ball.
By having less or more layers of tape applied underneath your grip your can effectively alter your shot bias, however, this is only a good idea to attempt if you feel confident enough that you can make a consistent swing with every club in your bag.
Most recently golf grip brands have started to produce grips with little to no taper from the butt of the grip to the front edge.
These grips are often more comfortable for golfers, as it spreads the pressure applied to the grip evenly across both hands.
If you are unable to source these non tapered grips it is easy enough to add strips of grip tape underneath just the front half of the grip to reduce the taper.
What About Golf Grip Materials?
The materials that a golf grip is made of can also affect your golf swing.
Rubber grips with cord mixed into them are known to be the best grips for playing in wet weather, as this cord provides more traction to your glove and hand.
These grips often feel much harder and therefore don’t offer as much cushioning and this can lead to blisters and calluses on your hands from holding them so tight.
Softer, more cushioned grips are becoming increasingly popular, but often don’t provide as much traction in wet conditions.
Thankfully these days materials have advanced to the point where you can get soft grips with plenty of tackiness that allow you to hold the grip with less pressure even in wetter weather.
Choosing A Golf Grip Size
When it comes to choosing the right size grip for your clubs you generally have the choice of undersize, standard, midsize and oversize or jumbo to select from.
You can further fine tune the size by adding layers of grip tape to the shaft before installing the grip.
This of course, should be done by a qualified club fitter who is able to install the grips correctly.
Selecting the correct grip size used to be as simple as measuring your hand to determine which size is best for you.
However, with the increase in variety of grips available it takes a few more steps to perfect this part of your golf equipment.
The initial measurement will give you a basic benchmark, but the grip needs to also feel comfortable in your hands and produce the shot shape you want to achieve consistently and a basic measurement of your hand wont give you all of these answers immediately.
Essentially you need to start by measuring your hand, fitting the suggested grip size based on this measurement, then hitting shots with this club and making adjustments to the size and taper of the grip until you find your ideal set-up.
It is a good idea to do this with a wood, an iron and a wedge to ensure all areas of your game are covered.
Lastly, it is advisable to keep your grips clean by wiping them down with a cloth and warm, soapy water especially after playing in wet or sweaty conditions. You should also replace your grips on a regular basis depending on how often you use your golf clubs.
If you play or practice three to four times a week the general rule of thumb is that you replace your grips every six months and at least once a year if you play less than this, but on average more than once a week.
If you clean your grips regularly and store your clubs in a cool, dry place your grips will likely last longer especially if they are made from some of the newer materials used today.