Pity the poor grip, as important a piece of golf equipment as it is, it is also under appreciated and rarely discussed, especially among recreational players.
And that does not make a lot of sense, for the grip is the only part of the club a golfer actually touches. A grip is also made of materials that age and wear dramatically with use and time.
Heat, dirt and oils from a golfer’s hands cause the grip to degrade, whether it is made of rubber, leather or cord, and that breakdown can cause problems. It is not so easy to properly hold a worn grip, especially if the weather is hot and humid and a player is perspiring. And that can lead to swing issues, because golfers have a tendency to grasp a club with a worn grip more tightly, leading to arm and wrist tension that inhibit swing mechanics and induce losses in power and control.
Of course, the best way for golfers to ensure they do not have such problems is to change grips frequently. Some manufacturers recommend that clubs get re-gripped every 40 rounds or so, and while that may not be a hard and true number, it speaks to a pair of very basic truths: grips break down over time, and golfers need to be sure theirs never get so worn down as to adversely affect performance.
They also need to be aware that there are many different grip options out there, and that grip manufacturers are regularly rolling out new product models utilizing an array of technologies and designs for a wide range of needs. Some grips, for example, are made of rubber but have cords of cotton running through them to absorb moisture. Other are composed entirely of rubber, in an effort to provide greater comfort.
One of the latest grip releases of note is the all-rubber, solid composition VDR from Golf Pride. It employs three depths of a textural design pattern on the surface in an effort to increase traction and moisture management, while maintaining the comfort rubber is so well known for as well as its ability to provide control and shot feedback in any weather condition. In addition, the VDR material boasts a dampening property that minimizes vibration, company officials say, transferring 30 percent less at impact versus the standard rubber grip.
Available since mid-February, the Golf Pride VDR grips come in three sizes – standard, midsize and undersize – and four colors – black, white, red and blue.