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 ]
Gazza40 says:
I would be interested to hear your view on swingweight in wedges?
I myself prefer a few swingweights heavier on my wedges.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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