Getting to grips with grips

Doug Holmes of Diamond Golf emphasises the importance of good grip fitting for a confident swing.

It seems obvious to say but any golf club is essentially made up of three components; head, shaft and grip. But the importance of the latter is often underestimated.

Diamond-Golf-Grip_Hand_SizeAny swing coach will agree that a good golf swing starts with a good grip fundamental, with feel and comfort playing a vital role in providing this important starting point. Both accuracy and consistency are affected if grips are fitted incorrectly.

Modern equipment has evolved tremendously in recent years and the grip is no exception to this. The twenty-first century club-maker has a veritable smorgasbord of compounds and materials to choose from, not to mention colours, materials and sizes in both men’s and ladies options – no more so than in the putter grip section.

While this rainbow of choices can sometimes provide confusion it’s important to remember that it is worth spending time with any golfer to educate them on the importance of the grip. From a business perspective it is also vital to understand that the gripping business can provide a vital ‘bread and butter’ income for any pro-shop. A well-stocked grip section in your shop will promote a higher turnover in re-grips and the margins are usually very attractive.

When sizing a golfer for the correct grip there is no hard and fast rule that says you must use this grip or else. The diagram and chart shown are good as a guide only.

What is vital for any serious club-maker is to have a grip sizing selection for the golfer to try. This can be either as range of shaft butts with pre-installed grips at a range of sizes or, better still, the same selection of sizes installed on some demo clubs. By providing the latter option you give your golfer the chance to feel the differing sizes ‘in swing’ and the feedback for both golfer and fitter is far more precise.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.26.05No matter what size, material or texture the golfer chooses the important element is ‘feel’ – what feels good to the golfer instils confidence in the swing and as a teacher you want your pupil to have a tension free grasp of the club wherever possible.

Lastly, golf grips do not last forever and some do not last a season. Every golfer should consider changing their grips on a regular basis, with the amount of golf played and grip material dictating how often they should be changed. A regular golfer (30 to 40 rounds a year) using rubber grips should consider changing every year, and softer compounds may require more frequent change.