5 of the Most Popular Golf Grips on Tour
By Bradley Turner Keiser University College of Golf Director of Online Golf Instruction – MBA, PGA
In the world of professional golf, every player is attempting to shave a tenth of a stroke off their average score. Even the seemingly insignificant element of a professional golfer’s equipment can play a pivotal role in their success or failure. The grips used by professionals are the same that are available to the everyday golfer. While it may be easy to overlook the significance of a small rubber handle on your golf clubs, the grip serves as a vital link between the golfer’s hands and the clubface. The clubface determines where the ball will end up on the golf course. Consequently, professional players are meticulous in choosing the right grips for their game.
Professionals understand that the grip serves as a conduit for essential feedback on every golf ball hit. They rely on this feedback to fine-tune their motor skills, and an optimal grip enhances their ability to detect the slightest deviation in an off-center strike. This article will explore the importance of the golf grip and give you a guide to proper grip fitting. Lastly, a quick review of the five most popular golf grips on tour will help you select your next set of golf grips.
Why the Grip is Important
The golf grip’s primary function is to establish a secure and comfortable connection between the golfer’s hands and the golf club. This allows the golfer to maintain control of the club head throughout the swing. The secure connection to the golf club can diminish with worn-out grips and those that are ill-fitted to the individual player. An optimal grip enhances a golfer’s ability to swing the club at their highest rate of speed while still maintaining control of the club face.
Personal Preference Guide to Consider When Choosing a Grip
Selecting your golf grips is similar to picking out your next car. The look of the car is likely the first thing that catches your attention. Grips come in many colors today, so if you want to personalize your grip with your favorite college football team colors, that option is available to you. The personal feel and comfort of the grip in your hands is always the player’s choice. The texture and relative softness of the grip will push some golfers to a softer feel like the Tour Wrap grip, while others want a firm grip material like the Tour Velvet Cord. Weather condition is also a factor, especially if you play most of your golf in wet weather. Some grips perform better with a little moisture, and others will fly right out of your hands the minute it starts to rain. There is no right or wrong on this one, just a player preference.
Performance Guide to Selecting the Right Grip for Your Game
Many golfers overlook the importance of getting their grips fitted properly. Once you have decided on the grip type and material, the next step is to get the size right for you. I would suggest that you find a local professional club fitter to help you identify the right size and taper that works best for you. A tapered grip refers to a slightly different size from the cap end to the bottom of the grip. Some golfers do not like any taper in their grip, so a professional fitter can build up the bottom part of the grip with extra tape to accommodate this preferred feel. Professional fitters will have example grip sizes for you to try. The size of the grip is influenced by the size of the golfer’s hands, but there is no hard rule on this topic. Player preference will still be the primary factor in the final decision on grip size.
Five Popular Grips on Tour
Several golf grip manufacturing brands dominate the market. Golf Pride holds about 75% of the market, followed by Lamkin Grips and Winn Grips. Super Stroke Grips have created a niche market in putting grips but have started to expand to regular full-swing grips as well. Whatever brand you choose, the most common styles of grips are listed below.
Tour Velvet Grips
This is the most commonly used on the PGA Tour. This grip combines state-of-the-art material and a non-slip surface pattern to maximize playability, comfort, and confidence. The rubber-blend compound material performs well under adverse weather conditions. PGA Tour players using this grip include Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, and Jason Day.
The multi-compound grip is a relatively new grip that features a hybrid blended surface material. The lower hand material is a soft compound designed for a soft and enhanced feel. The upper hand material adds a brushed cotton cord woven into the grip. The MCC Plus 4 is a new offering in the multi-compound grip family, with the lower hand built up to minimize the grip taper. PGA Tour players using multi-compound grips include Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Max Homa.
Tour Velvet Cord Grips
Most cord grips are the firmest grip material offered to golfers. The primary purpose of the cotton cord woven into the grip is to provide moisture management. Some golfers produce oil in their hands, and the cord material helps to keep their hands securely on the club. The firm material is designed to give golfers maximum feedback at impact. PGA Tour players who use the cord grip include Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, and Justin Thomas.
Tour Wrap Grips
This grip was very popular 20 years ago but has lost market share to the above grip styles. The Tour Wrap grip features enhanced tackiness and soft material for a great feel. The grip simulates the old leather grips used before the introduction of the modern rubber grip. The soft feel of the grip does not seem to be preferred by high-level and high-club head speed golfers. Daniel Burger is the only PGA Tour player using this type of grip.
The variety of putting techniques combined with a wide variety of putter grip choices make putter grip selection unique to the individual. Personal preference is just that, personal. Whatever you select, make sure to stay with it for the long term. My philosophy is that you marry your putter for better or worse. However, sometimes things don’t work out. If you divorce your putter, don’t make the same mistake the second time. Take your time and find a putter and putter grip that you can use for a lifetime.
The grips you use may appear deceptively simple, but their role in allowing you to perform at your peak is anything but simple. As professionals know, pursuing excellence requires attention to every minute detail. The significance of the golf grip remains an essential variable in a professional’s search for excellence on the golf course. With a little knowledge and support from a professional fitter, the average golfer can take steps toward improving their own game with the right grips on their golf clubs.
Want more tips? If you want to take your game to the next level, contact our team at Keiser University’s College of Golf & Sport Management today. With our dedication and experience, together, we can elevate your game to new heights. Give us a call today at 888-355-4465.