Monday, March 1, 2010
Looking into Golf Grips
I used to be a big fan of the Neumann leather grips. Many won't remember those, but they were leather wrap grips like the ones pictured above (those are not Neumann grips, but GripMaster Grips).
They were excellent to play with as they felt about as good as a grip could feel and were 'all weather' grips because they moisture from sweat or from the rain. Problem was they were not cheap. But if you could afford them, you could use them without wearing a glove. While I like cord grips, they are too rough on my left hand unless I'm wearing a glove.
My personal preference is something durable but not too harsh on the hands and something I can use in all weather conditions. If I had my choice, I would probably go with a standard grip, but durability is a bigger issue since I don't want to keep buying grips...so I go with a cord grip.
As far as the grip manufacturer I go use, I typically use Lamkin grips mainly because their durability is the best IMO. In fact, I have some 10 year old wrap cords from Lamkin that are still in very good condition on some old irons of mine. However, they don't make those grips anymore. So I usually use a crossline cord grip.
I don't care for the Winn grips because I don't like the spongy feeling. I haven't tried the Iomic grips yet, but I've heard they also have a spongy feeling...plus they are expensive (about $18 a grip)
I recently put some of Lamkin's new 3 Gen grips on a set of Hogan irons I have.
Here's a video by Lamkin explaining the technology behind the 3 Gen.
I actually only bought the 3 Gen grips because they were relatively cheap ($4 a grip). I haven't really noticed a difference in vibration, but they have a nice feeling in the hands.
However, what's VERY important to note about grips is that grips can greatly effect your swingweight.
The standard adult grip weighs about 50 grams.
The LESS weight you put in the grip, the HEAVIER the swingweight will be.
The MORE weight you put in the grip, the LIGHTER the swingweight will be.
You can add weight in the grip and make the STATIC weight of the club heavier, but it will have a lighter SWING WEIGHT.
On the flip side, you can take weight off the grip which will make the STATIC weight of the club lighter, but it will have a heavier SWING WEIGHT.
I was surprised a bit by this because when I had standard Lamkin 3 Gen grips installed, my Hogan's went from about a D-1 swingweight to a C-9 swingweight.
Why? Because the 3 Gen *standard grips* weight about 59 grams which is almost 10 grams heavier than your standard grip.
Golf Pride makes a Dual Durometer Lite Grip.
This weighs about 39 grams and they say will add about 2-3 Swingweight Points from a standard grip.
Winn has a Winn Lite grip that only weighs about 26 grams. Therefore it will make the overall weight of the club lighter, but the swingweight heavier. Like I mentioned, I don't use Winn Grips...so I don't know how much heavier it would make the swing weight, but I would imagine it would add about FIVE swingweight points to the club.
Now, I personally like a heavier swingweight. Working with John Erickson (www.advancedballstriking.com) he mentioned that he prefers a heavier OVERALL club AND a heavier SWINGWEIGHT.
I would keep that in mind when looking at grips.
Some people wonder about hand size and whether they should go with a midsize grip or use extra tape to 'build up' the grip.
I think it depends. Midsize grips add about 10 grams of weight which can REDUCE your swingweight by 1-3 points. Tape weighs less than going with a bigger grip, so you may want to go with a standard grip and extra tape so you don't reduce your swingweight so much.
What I plan on doing, and something I think that is a smart idea is to buy a swingweight scale for use at home. Most clubmakers have a swingweight scale that looks something like this:
You can get one of these scales for about $150.
However, there are also some 'economy' swingweight scales which are good for personal use that cost about $50-$60.
I think it's very important to be in-tune with your own equipment. But to understand some basics about the grip outside of what feels good and provides you the tackiness you are looking for. Hopefully this has given you a good idea as to what to look out for.