Are Your Grips Costing You Distance?

Did you know that washing your golf grips could improve consistency and distance in your shots?

Poor condition grips will cause the golfer to grip the club tighter to stop it slipping or moving.  This will cause tension in the arms, which will reduce the effectiveness of the golfers levers in their swing and therefore reduce club head speed.  Relaxed arms will allow the golfer to cock and uncock the wrists more effectively during the swing.

Grips are made primarily from rubber, but also have additives combined in the manufacturing process which makes them slightly porous.  Every time you play, the grips collect dust, dirt, sweat and moisture from your hands or inside the golf bag, that is worked into the grip with each swing.  Once embedded into the grip, it will start to set, which causes the grip to become hard, shiny & slippery.

The below picture represents a grip, before washing, that has gone hard, shiny and slippery next to a brand new grip.  You can see clearly in the after picture the old grip has lost it’s shine and been somewhat restored to a soft and tacky surface.

A Before & After of washing an old grip against a new grip

A Before & After of washing an old grip against a new grip

If your grips get to this state then you should wash them first.  Washing the grips with a firm bristle scrubbing brush and warm soapy water is the best way to rejuvenate them.  Scrubbing the grip vigorously for a couple of minutes should see the water start to turn black.  Rubbing them dry with an old towel then checking to see if they feel softer and tackier.  Washing your grips every two to three months will prolong their life. As a last resort, you can also use some fine grade sandpaper to roughen the surface of the grip.

Detergent & a hard bristle brush will do the trick

Detergent & a hard bristle brush will do the trick

If the rejuvenation process fails to make the grips softer and tacky, the grips should then be replaced.  If you are replacing your grips, it is also worth being fitted for the correct size grip.  It is a fairly simple process of taking your grip (glove on if you wear one) then taking your bottom hand off the club and checking to see how close your fingers are to your palm of your top hand.  They should be barely touching your palm.  If you finger tips are dug into your palm the grip is too small, too much gap then the grip is too big.

Perfect Size - Fingers just touching palm

Perfect Size – Fingers just touching palm

Grips are your only contact with the club.  A rejuvenated or new grip will make the club feel new again and restore your confidence in the club.  Have you checked your grips lately??

Kindest Regards

David Williams
AAA Rated – PGA Teaching Professional
Cardinia Beaconhills Golf Links
Upper Beaconsfield, Melbourne, Australia

Ask The Pro – MyGolfOnline
Master Instructor – Medicus Golf Institute
Member – Team Piranha


Director of Golf & Coaching @ Rossdale Golf Club
Director of Golf & Coaching
Rossdale Golf Club
Aspendale, VIC. Australia

P: (03) 9580 4763

PGA Australia - Full Member since 2005
Callaway Golf - Brand Ambassador
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