How Important are my Golf Grips?
Very. And any serious golfer will tell you exactly that. The golf grip is the only piece of equipment that a player is ever in direct contact with. Yet somehow, the golf grips’ importance is commonly overlooked and its condition neglected.
Golf grips are traditionally black, meaning any grime or wear-and-tear can be kept pretty well hidden. Unfortunately this seems to have lured many players into believing that their grips are fine and don’t need looking after. Over recent years we have seen an influx of vibrantly coloured and lighter grips making grime more visible. But grips are made of rubber which is made to last so I don’t need to clean or replace them right?
Wrong. Grips are made of materials that age and wear as a function of time and use. Ozone, heat, dirt and oils from your hands all age your grips and cause the natural degradation of the grip. A grip will never last you a lifetime and depending on how frequently you play, a grip can be and should be replaced annually. Yet I have seen players who have only gone to replace a grip because it has split (god only knows how old that grip was). But that is not the point, a grip that has only been replaced because it has split, should have been replaced years ago, so why wasn’t it?
We have found that a large proportion of golfers can’t tell when their grip needs replacing. Worse still, many golfers have put off replacing their grip even when they know it is in poor condition. This is due to the reputation of this piece of equipment: many don’t believe the cost of replacement offers enough of an improvement in their game. And this filters down to just basic maintenance. If people can’t tell a grip is dirty they won’t clean it and if they don’t think it is important then we don’t stand a chance.
Astonishingly though, over 80% of golfers ranked the importance of a golf grip above an 8, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely important. Yet over 60% of those people have never cleaned them and just over 40% have never replaced them. And it is here we we find ourselves going round in circles. People understand the importance of a grip but don’t realise the benefits of one in good condition. And that is because they can’t tell whether it is in good condition. If they don’t realise that a grip in good condition can improve your game (proven to knock 3-4 shots off per round) then they aren’t going to clean it and they aren’t going to replace it. Golfers will then see a poor grip as the norm and their views won’t change. Add in laziness and cost of replacement then perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised to see golfers with split grips.
The traction that a fresh grip provides lets you hold the club lightly without the subconscious fear of losing the club during your swing. This relaxed state promotes proper swing mechanics and wrist action. While a worn grip causes you to grasp the club tighter, causing arm and wrist tension that inhibits proper swing mechanics and leads to a loss of power and control. People spend 1000s of pounds on the latest gear and lessons from the pro in hope that their game will improve. Yet many don’t think to spend £15 on a bottle of Grip Pro that could potentially knock 3-4 shots off their round. Use it, have a feel of a clean and tacky grip and you’ll soon see the benefits in your game.
The golf grip is vital, start looking after it!