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Best Golf Grips For No-Slip Performance
Golfers are used to deploying a wide variety of equipment when out on the green (there’s a reason why no other sport has a dedicated caddy), but the humble golf grips are rarely a second thought. While selecting the proper golf grip isn’t as exciting as picking up a sexy new set of clubs or a stylish new pair of cleats, the right grip is an essential component in your golfing arsenal.
Golf grips are one of the cheapest tools you can employ to improve your game, which might be one of the reasons they often don’t get the respect they deserve. Generally available in the $10-$20 range, golf grips are now offered in a wide variety of materials and textures to ensure your hands stick securely to the club as you chip away at perfecting your swing. You’ll also find golf grips in a striking array of colors and designs if you really want to turn heads while out on the course.
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What does a golf grip do?
Simply put, a golf grip helps you maintain a strong and secure grip on your club. Generally made of rubber and offered with a number of different textures, a golf grip slides over your club and allows you to execute your swing without slipping. If you’ve ever had wet or sweaty hands and tried to use a club without a golf grip, you’ll quickly understand how vital it is to maintain a proper grip during your game.
A secure grip also means you can apply less pressure while holding the club, allowing you more power and range of movement during your swing. It’s best to use the same grip for all of your clubs (apart from your putter), so you want to ensure you are choosing a grip that fits your hands well without feeling cumbersome or too light (the wrong grip can lead to swinging too low or too high).
What to look for in a golf grip
- Rubber Grips. Most golf grips are made from rubber, or a synthetic rubber alternative. Rubber grips easily to your skin, allowing for a secure and steady grip that will keep the club in your hand (and not in the bushes).
- Corded Grips. Those looking for a more tactile grip can opt for a corded grip, which contains bits of cotton cord woven into the grip. This provides extra traction, and the natural moisture-wicking properties make a corded grip the ideal option in rainy or humid conditions.
- Wrap Grips. Wrap grips provide a nice middle-ground between rubber and corded grips. Designed to imitate the classic leather-wrapped design, wrap grips offer the soft feel of rubber grips with the extra traction found in corded grips.
There is no one-size-fits-all model for golf grips. Since everyone’s hands are different, grips are offered in a variety of sizes, including Standard (0.58 to 0.60 in diameter), Undersize (1/64th inch smaller than standard), Midsize (1/16th inch larger than standard), and Oversize (1/8th inch larger than standard). For a truly snug and customizable precise fit, you can also add various layers of tape to your grip, but most casual golfers can probably skip that step.
How to remove and replace golf grips
Removing and replacing golf grips may look intimidating, but the process is relatively simple once you get the hang of it. First, you will need to secure the club, either in a vise, if you have one, or simply by holding the club as straight as you can. Using a hook blade, slide the blade under the grip and carefully cut upwards through the top of the grip. (If the top won’t fully slice through you can peel it back by hand.) Once the grip is removed you’ll need to clean up the tape residue from the club. You can use a plastic scraper, or a product like Goo Gone to get rid of the residue. You’ll want to do this very carefully to ensure you don’t scratch the club. Give the club a good cleaning with hot soap and water and you’re ready for a new grip! There are many affordable golf grip replacement kits available online, and countless YouTube tutorials to help guide you through the process.
To add a new grip, you first need to apply new tape to the club shaft. From there, grab your new grip and generously apply grip solvent to the inside of the grip. When applying the grip to the club, you want to do it as smoothly and forcefully as you can. If you stop halfway, you’ll end up with a grip applied midway on the shaft and have to cut it off, wasting your grip (and your time). Many golfers prefer to leave the gripping process to their local golf shop, but learning how to do it yourself is a fun project and will save you money in the long run.
The 8 Best Golf Grips in 2021
Best Overall: Lamkin Sonar Tour Grip
Lamkin has been manufacturing the best golf grips for nearly a century now, and are consistently used by golf pros around the world. (The winners of two PGA tours in 2020 each had their hands on a Lamkin grip.) The Lamkin Sonar Tour grip consists of “Fingerprint Technology micro-textures,” for a lightweight grip that should result in a more fluid swing. Lamkin’s Genesis material is meant to keep its tackiness in all weather conditions, and the grip’s slimmer, reduced tapered shape helps keep your hands in place and reduce tension. This Lamkin Sonar Tour Grip should appease the most seasoned of players, while providing newcomers with a straightforward grip that will help evolve their game without any added fuss.
Best Ultra-grip: Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G
Constructed from Golf Pride’s own rubber compound, the Tour Wrap 2G is made to simulate the look and feel of a classic leather wrap, with the added tackiness found in rubber grips. This is a great option for those who want the secure feel of a rubber grip combined with the more upscale look of a leather wrap. Available in black and white, or an eye-catching fire engine red, this grip looks as great as it performs.
Best Lightweight Choice: Winn Dri-Tac Standard Grip
If a standard rubber grip gets you the best results, you can’t go wrong with the Dri-Tac from Winn. Winn is consistently ranked as one of the best manufacturers of rubber grips, and the Dri-Tac continues that tradition by adding in an extra measure of stickiness to help you secure the perfect grip. These grips work great in all weather conditions, but if you see some clouds heading your way on the course you’ll be glad to have the Dri-Tac on hand — the added tackiness will ensure your hands don’t slip in the rain. In addition to the WinnDry polymer material, the Dri-Tac has a contoured wrap for extra stability. The WinnLite technology also cuts down half of the grip weight of standard grips, giving players the rare treat of extra grip without any added bulk.
Best Pro Feel: Golf Pride MCC Plus4 ALIGN Swing Grip
If you want a grip that will feel like it was made for a golf pro, look no further. Designed with a larger lower hand portion meant to simulate four extra layers of added tape, the MCC Plus4 ALIGN provides a light grip pressure to help you maximize your swing. The Align system provides playability in all weather conditions, with cotton cord moisture-wicking properties to keep your hands dry and tactile no matter what nature decides to throw your way.
Best for Large or Sensitive Hands: Winn Excel 6715W Midsize Grip
Players with larger hands will love the relaxed feel of the Winn Excel 6715W. A midsize grip, this model is lightweight enough to lower the balance point, leading to increased speed and precision. The soft tackiness ensures a tight grip, while still managing to feel soft and light. The added shock absorption also makes this a great choice for those suffering from arthritis or sensitive hands.
Best Putter Grip: Lamkin Sinkfit Square Top Polyurethane
While the rest of this list is focused on swinging grips, there are grips made specifically for your putter, including this unique grip from Lamkin. Made from polyurethane material for increased tackiness while still retaining a lightweight feel, this model features a square top to help align your hands properly while executing your putting stroke. Lamkin’s Sinkfit line is also available in a number of options including a straight grip, rubber grip, and a corded grip (they aren’t putting around).
Best Budget Choice: Karma Velour Grip
Granted, a grip is likely one of the cheaper purchases you’ll make for your golfing kit, but if you want the absolute best value on the market check out the Karma Velour Grip, one of the best golf grips at this price point. Available in affordable packs of 13 pieces (!) you’ll be able to outfit all your clubs for one low price (or have some on-hand when you need to re-grip). Made from a soft rubber compound, these grips are a functional choice if you don’t need anything other than the ability to keep your hands securely on the club. Available in a number of sizes and color options, these Karma grips should be a staple for beginner golfers, or anyone looking for a simple grip without all the added bells and whistles of the competitors.
Best For Tech Geeks: Lamkin Arccos Caddie Smart Grips
The $200-$300 price range (depending on size) means this won’t be for everyone, but golf techies will want to try out the Arccos Caddie Smart Grips at least once. Designed to communicate with the Arccos Caddie app, this “grip” comes packed with smart features including an A.I. Powered Rangefinder that adjusts in real time for wind, temperature, and altitude, allowing for a perfect robotically-assisted shot. Best of all, the grip keeps track of your game and can provide a detailed analysis of every swing you make, making this essentially a high-tech digital golf instructor. And can you really put a price on wowing everyone else out on the course?
Golfing with sweaty hands can be tricky, since the goal is to secure a solid and stable grasp on your club. One of the best golf grips for sweaty hands is the Golf Pride New Decade Multicompound Cord Grip. Made with a combination of rubber and cord, this grip provides the grip and traction you need for a stable swing, without the slippery feel you might get from a purely rubber grip. This combination grip also doesn’t have the rough feel of a standard corded grip, making the New Decade from Golf Pride the best golf grip for sweaty or clammy hands.
Golfers dealing with arthritis should opt for an oversized rubber grip. The goal is to ensure the player’s fingers don’t have to wrap too tightly around the grip, which can be painful and difficult for any player with arthritis. A corded grip should be avoided since the rougher woven pattern can be hard on hands. The Winn Dri-Tac Standard Grip would be a great choice, as the added tackiness will help keep the player’s hands secure without much extra effort.
How often you should replace your golf grips really comes down to how often you play and how much wear and tear you put your clubs through. A general rule of thumb is to replace them every 40 games, or once a year. But keep in mind that replacing your grips isn’t only an aesthetic choice; frayed grips can also affect your swing, so be sure to check how they’re holding up fairly often.