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Gripping tale

How new grips can rejuvenate your clubs and your game

John Whitehead
Fri, 19 Oct 2007

Gripping tale

New grips can rejuvenate your feel for a club

Earlier this year an experienced golfing father and his enthusiastic son, walked into my Strike Right Golf workshop near Northampton. Dad was carrying his pride and joy - a new set of Ping G2s - while the 16-year-old son had dad's 'cast-offs' - a forged set of Ben Hogan irons.

Dad wanted to treat himself and had been offered a deal too good to miss, and as has his son was overdue his first full set clubs, he decided his irons could at last be handed down to someone who would really appreciate and treasure them.

I was asked to look over both sets and give an opinion.

I congratulated dad on his purchase and suggested, that as both father and son had larger than average hands, both sets should be re-gripped with grips and under-tape that would be more appropriate to their hands and fingers. We also agreed that a loft and lie adjustment should be done on the Hogan irons and that it might be a good idea to check the Pings at the same time.

Happy with my recommendations the clubs were left with me for re-gripping and I'd their check loft and lie for each golfers when they returned.

At stage two a few days later, we set to work on loft and lie adjustment. And as this process involves hitting golf balls, the opportunity for dad to show his son how it was done was too much for him to resist.

Two hours later and after much deliberation (me and the boy had headed off for cold drink, while he hit balls) the Hogans were firmly placed back in dad's bag and a rather bemused teenager walked off with brand new set of irons gripped and adjusted to his own specification.

A selection of current grips

No clubmaker should bat an eyelid at these events and nor should you. Having the correct grips at the correct size has to be the best investment you can make in your game. Not only do they breath new life into the oldest of club, they can rejuvenate your game.

Ask yourself, 'how often should I change my grips?'

Long before you feel the need for new grips, the deterioration of a grip is very gradual and mainly goes unnoticed. Worn grips will slip in your hands and lead to miss hits. Unintentionally you compensate and grip your clubs tighter to stop your hands slipping and this in turn puts unwanted tension in your swing. The result: Even more miss-hits and loss of distance.

And when's the best time to carry out this upgrade? Now, of course!

Changing your grips to fresher models is best before the bad weather kicks in. Worn-out grips and wet weather is not a good game plan.

Remember, too that it's the carbon in a rubber grip that makes it black and it's the carbon that helps you hold on to the handle and stops it slipping. Multi-coloured, fancy-looking grips are all very well but they're merely cosmetic - my best advice is if you want a rubber compound grip - keep it black.

John Whitehead, took up golf when he was eight and became a professional when he was 16. He is one the country's most experienced club-makers, based at The Golfers Den, Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Northants .

Tell us on the forum when was the last time you changed your grips. Has changing your grips rejuvenated your clubs and your game. Do you do it yourself or get a professional to do it. What kind of job did you or the pro do? How much did you pay? Was it good value?



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