Dec 1, 2013
Coach's Corner by Mic Que: YOUR GAME IS IN YOUR HANDS

The grip. It's the only connection between your body and your golf club. You might think of it as a mere cushion between the clubshaft and your hands. In fact, it's one of those components that can have a dramatic effect on how you swing.

 

TEXTURE
The grip helps to keep the club from slipping out of your hands while you swing. That should be pretty obvious. Unfortunately, they wear out and over time become less tacky, forcing you to hold the club tighter. This causes unnecessary tension, restriction of movement (think less clubhead speed), loss of feel and even injury.

 

Aside from old grips, sweaty hands and humid weather can also make you hold the club too tightly. In such cases, it's better to use special corded grips for extra traction.

 

Take note however that the rough texture and firmness of corded grips can cause your shafts to feel a little stiffer and the clubhead to feel a little lighter.

 

THICKNESS
One of the things I like about PING's Fitting System is that their grips are color coded to match the size of a golfer's hands. Smaller grips for smaller hands. Bigger grips for bigger hands.

 

Unknown to many, grip size can affect direction. A grip that's too fat can limit wrist action. Not bad if you're hooking, but definitely a disadvantage if you're a slicer. On the other hand, a grip that's too small can cause unwanted wrist action, resulting in loss of control. This is especially true in putting, which is probably why the extra large grips made by Super Stroke have gained quite a following among pros. In extreme cases, oversized grips can also help alleviate pain for people with joint problems.

 

SHAPE
Some grips have what they call "ribs" that run longitudinally underneath the rubber. Depending on the rib's alignment, it can influence the placement of the hands and therefore the alignment of the clubface.


Some grips are designed in such a way that they feel thicker under the right hand, which can supposedly improve release (and consequently distance).

 

WEIGHT
A lighter grip can be beneficial in several ways. It allows you to increase your club's swingweight while reducing total weight. It can also make the shaft feel softer... without changing the shaft! With lighter grips, it's also possible to shorten your clubs and still maintain the same swingweight.

 

COLOR

 Certainly not the most important consideration. But for some, the connection that grips provide is not merely physical but psychological. Having the option to use colors that reflect one's character or personality is sometimes enough to give that extra edge.

 
 
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