ALL golf club grips WEAR OUT over time. The more balls you hit, the more the grips get dirty/oily and the smoother they get. Smooth grips cause you to THGHTEN your grip pressure in order to prevent the club from slipping, and the more pressure you need to apply, the worse you will play. You can and should CLEAN your grips on a regular basis to keep them oil free and clean, but at some point they just get TOO smooth for maximum performance, and they need to be replaced.
First thing you need to know about golf club grips is that they come in a few different sizes and a few different styles. Sizes are easy to understand. Most factory golf clubs come with STANDARD size grips. Women’s clubs come with Ladies grips, which are also referred to as UNDERSIZE grips. Grips also come in MID SIZE, usually about 1/16” larger that standard size. Then you have OVERSIZE grips, which are usually 1/8” larger again.
Some grip companies use the word JUMBO instead of OVERSIZE, but they are really the same thing in most cases. Best thing to do if you have any questions on exactly what the sizes mean is to go to the Golfsmith website and look at all of the grips available to see what each grip company has to offer and how their grips sizes compare.
Grips also come in different styles, and by this I mean CORD, HALF CORD, or NON CORD design. CORD grips offer the most HOLDING POWER of the three, with HALF CORD being next and NON CORD as offering the least holding power. The more holding power of the grips, the easier it is for the golfer to hold onto the clubs with a lighter grip pressure, something that you strive for.
Lighter grip pressure is what you want. The trade-off of the added holding power of the CORD style grips is that they are HARD on your HANDS. The CORD material of these grips is more abrasive than non cord grips, so they can tear up your hands if you don’t had tough skin. They also tear up your golf glove a lot faster. So it’s a trade off. More holding power, but harder on your hands and your gloves. The HALF CORD grip offers the same good holding power for your TOP HAND, but has the non cord material for the bottom hand. This translates to good holding power with the top hand and an easy on the fingers material for the lower hand. I like to think of the HALF CORD style as the best of both grip styles. Tiger Woods plays with CORD grips, but if you watch him play, you will notice that he has TAPE on the fingers of his right hand. He wears the tape on his fingers because the CORD material of the grips tear up his right hand too much and the tape helps to solve this problem.
Different grip companies make their grips with somewhat different blends of rubber. Some are somewhat softer than others, and some have a sticky feel to them. Every golfer is different in terms of what FEELS BEST to them. Myself, I like FIRM feeling grips, but a HATE any grip this is TACKY or STICKY feeling. I much prefer a grip that is DRY to the touch. Think of sandpaper. Sandpaper is DRY and NOT TACKY at all, but it is very EASY to hold onto. Not slippery at all, that’s the feel I look for.
Buying replacement grips is pretty easy. First thing I’d recommend is that you look at the grips on some NEW clubs and ask yourself IF you like the way they fit you and how they feel. If you are happy with the size of the grip, you should buy new grips of the same size for your clubs. . If you like the style of the grip, you might want to stick with the same style when you buy new grips. Best way to find out what your options are would be to visit a local Golfsmith store and check out the different makes and models they have on display. Golfsmith is great for this. They have dozens of grips in different sizes you can handle in your own hands. They have SAMPLE grips installed on short sections of actual club shafts so you can feel how the grip would feel on a real golf club. How a grip fits your hand is VERY different off of a club compared to on a club, so you NEED to try out the grips ON a shaft to know how it will feel on your clubs.
You can also ASK one of the Golfsmith employees that work in their club repair department for ADVISE on what SIZE grip would be best for your hands. If the grip size is too large you will have problems getting a full RELEASE of the clubs coming into impact, and your ball striking will suffer.
Too small of a grip and the tips of the fingers of you top hand will dig into the palm of your hand TOO MUCH and again your swing will suffer. The tips of your fingers of your top hand should TOUCH the palm of your hand, but NOT dig in too much. If they don’t touch, then the grips are definitely TOO BIG. If you have any doubts on size, ASK for assistance when you tryout some new grips at Golfsmith.
Putter grips is TOTALLY about what FEELS good in your hands. As with the putter itself, it’s what YOU like most that matters. If the grip feels good in your hands, and you putt well with it, then that’s what matters.