Rubber grips are made by adding
granulated cork, as well as other materials to liquid rubber. The cork
serves to displace the rubber, and is the reason many grips are called
composition grips. It also makes the overall weight of the grip lighter.
The rubber/cork blend is checked to assure the proper viscosity, and is
then molded in a high pressure molding machine. After molding, the grips
are sanded and painted. Some of the features of rubber grips are easy installation,
reminder ribs for hand placement, and they are less expensive. Rubber is
the most common grip material used today.
Some senior players use leather,
while most younger players use various rubber molded grips. The reason
has very little to do with the quality or playability of the grip, but
simply a difference in what each generation has been accustomed to. One
of the features of leather grips (generally made of cowhide or calfskin)
is that they have a nice soft, pliable, tacky feel. A few of the drawbacks
are its difficulty to install, and its price. Leather is not very common
Most of the more popular rubber
models come in an optional cord grip, in which strands of fabric thread
are embedded in the rubber grip. This makes for a better non-slip contact
with hand or glove, especially when wet with rain or sweat. However, it
does wear out gloves faster than non-cord grips.
Many of the cord models also come as half-cord,
in which the top of the grip (where your thumbs are) is smooth rubber and
the bottom (where your fingers wrap around the grip) is corded.
Grips come in a standard size,
but can be padded to a larger diameter with tape on the shaft under the
grip. Each layer of masking tape adds approximately 1/64th of an inch to
the diameter of the grip. This may not seem like a lot, but it makes a
significant difference in how the grip feels and can impact your swing.
It is also possible to get larger and smaller diameter grips.
5. Quick Comparison
Easy to install
Rough when corded
Usually wrapped spiral design
Harder to install
Natural soft, tacky feel
For larger hands
Minimize arthritis pain
Decreases hand action, promoting a slice
For smaller hands (many women)
Increases hand action, promoting a hook
The type of grips a person uses
will be based on feel. Some people like the natural soft feel of the leather
grips, while others refuse to use anything but corded composite grips.
Try going to a local golf shop and seeing which grips feel right.
This FAQ is Copyright 1999-2002 by Daniel J. Driscoll, all
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