VI. Grips

1. Rubber

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.

2. Leather

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


3. Cord/Half-Cord

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.

4. Oversized/Undersized

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

Rubber Grips

  • Slip-on design

  • Easy to install

  • Less expensive

  • Rough when corded

Leather Grips

  • Usually wrapped spiral design

  • Harder to install

  • More expensive

  • 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

6. Notes

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

rights reserved. Product and company names used in this document

may be trademarked or copyrighted by the respective owners. This

document may be replicated in whole or in part, without

alteration. All replications must include this copyright notice.

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