STANDING on the first tee, hands on hips, contemplating life and generally feeling worse for wear from the night before, little did I realise I would be on the verge of carding one of the rounds of my life at St Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany. Perhaps it's telling me something.
A round of 75, my best of the season, featuring two birdies and 12 pars, may have been a fluke, it may have been because I didn't know where I was in fact, but after giving this round more of a post-game analysis I'm more in belief it was down to a grip change with Golf Pride just two days prior.
Now I know what you're thinking... a grip is a grip. Well yes, you're right, but not really.
Standard grips that just get chucked onto clubs aren't anyway near as dense, tacky or as comfortable as ones from a specific golf grip manufacturer. The more complex the weather conditions, particularly apt for a UK golfer, the faster grips degrade and so you therefore need something that's going to stand the test of time.
Sporting the New Decade MultiCompound Platinum grip in scarlet/platinum, one of three new grips in the Golf Pride range for 2014 alongside the CP2 and Tour Velvet Super Tack, I can safely say I've never felt so in control of my bats before. Having never really taken a keen interest in golf grips or at least understood the performance benefits behind re-gripping in the past - I guess I now have to because it is my job - I honestly can't believe what I've been missing out on.
Golf Pride, the #1 grip on Tour with a year-to-date 84% usage on the European Tour and over 80% globally, has already achieved 13 professional wins in 2014 with my newly fitted MultiCompound Platinum grip. It features a grey upper section designed with Golf Pride's BCT cord for all-weather control and high performance rubber in the lower hand for ultimate comfort and responsiveness.
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What I love most about this Golf Pride grip is that it's not only eye-catching to look at, instilling confidence at address, but it's a hybrid grip that essentially offers two grips in one. I like the hybrid technology of two different materials working in tangent. Utilising both cord and rubber, this grip provides an ideal combination of Moisture Management, control and responsiveness. I was also enjoying decent levels of feedback through impact and a high surface texture for superb traction.
Golf Pride obsesses over how a golfer's hand interacts with the grip and this MultiCompound Platinum grip - the #1 Hybrid grip on Tour - specifically fine-tunes performance for each hand and literally combining two grips into one. You have control with the left hand and comfort in the right.
Out on the course I felt like I was able to really go after some shots, even when the palms of my hands were getting a little sweaty in the scorching Frankfurt sunshine - testament to missing just three fairways and five greens in regulation all day. Yes, the ball was running on the baked fairways but my driving distance was certainly the longest I've seen for some time with one drive reaching 296 yards according to the tracking device in the buggy. Okay, I did walk six yards back to play my shot.
I could not be more impressed with my first outing using Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound Platinum grips and would recommend anyone who is contemplating a re-gripping to get involved as soon as possible. The performance benefits, particularly with Golf Pride, are clear for all to see. A new grip such as the MultiCompound will provide great feel on top of making your clubs feel new again and providing you with the confidence to score better.
Re-gripping is an easy and cost effective way of refreshing your set of clubs. Just like Formula 1 drivers with rubber tyres, you need to change them to get the best performance. The golf grip is no different. It's the only contact you have with the golf club so ensuring you don't grip too tightly as a result of using hard, slick grips is vital for overall performance. Grip size plays an important role also because our hands are all different shapes and sizes. Ensuring you have the correctly sized grip, which you can do with the Golf Pride Interactive Grip Selector, will help you.
New Decade MultiCompound Platinum grips are also available in Midnight Blue, White and a Limited Edition Green version.
For more information about Golf Pride grips visit www.golfpride.com