Golfers, we can be a curious lot.
We’ll pay $400-$500 to buy a new driver but won’t pay a fourth of that to have new grips put on our existing clubs.
Think about it. The only contact our body makes with the club is the hands on the grip. Summertime is coming and for most parts of the U.S, heat and humidity are part of the package. Such conditions exacerbate a slick, worn grip or one that’s not as tacky as it once was.
This recent study confirms the notion.
A group of 18 right handed male golfers (age 24-59) hit shots with three different 7-irons.
Each had the same shaft flex and clubhead but one had a new grip while two had been ‘cooked’ by a UV light, duplicating the effect the sun has on a grip.
Ball speed dropped 1.3 miles per hour when the players used the old grips, compared to the new ones, translating to two yards less of carry.
The shots weren’t as straight either.
“The face impact location for the UV2 tested grip had a 25% increase in dispersion in the x-axis compared to the new grip.
This demonstrates the possible slippage or rotation of the grip in the players hands during their swing.
Eighty nine percent (89%) of the participants felt the new grip was secure to very secure and not at all to somewhat worn or slick.
Whereas for the UV2 tested grip, 72% said the grip felt not at all to somewhat secure, and 56% said the grip felt fairly to very worn or slick.”
So, do yourself a favor and inspect your grips. Clean them with a towel and warm water, for starters. If they don’t feel tacky afterward, you see physical abrasion wear marks or you can’t remember the last time your clubs were regripped, it’s time to find a friendly club repair shop.
If you’re the DIY type, it’s a simple process that only requires a simple clamp or vice on your workbench.
The golfer who plays once a week should change his grips once a year – at the very minimum.
On a similar note, I heard another good suggestion on a podcast recently. Never regrip your wedges. By the time the grip is worn, so are the grooves. But that’s a story for a different day.
You can find the full abstract over on the Golf Science website here: WORN GRIPS VS. NEW GRIPS Sara F. Bryant