The grip is one of the most important parts of a golf club. Think about it — it’s the only part of the club that you touch during your swing. So, in the first place, it lets you properly hold the club. This allows you to have a consistent swing and reduce the possibility of errant shots.
But it goes further than holding the club. Just like a racing driver that finesses his car around a corner at high speed, reacting to the feel through the tires, the grips give you the feel to play a variety of shots. You need this feel whether you let it rip with the driver, or subtly play a 10-foot chip from the side of the green.
Considering this, regripping your golf clubs may be the most cost-effective way to improve your equipment and your game. It sure is cheaper than buying a new set of clubs. So, isn’t it time to give it a try? But how do you regrip a golf club? This guide will show you how and put you on your way to a more consistent swing and improved scores.
- The Right Grip
- Types of Grips
- How to Regrip Your Clubs
- How Often to Regrip Your Golf Clubs
- Hit the Course
The Right Grip
The first step in regripping your golf clubs is deciding on the right type of grip. Now, this will depend on things like your hand size, texture, and firmness. Like shafts should be fitted to your game, so should grips.
Find the Right Size
If you don’t use the right size grips it will lead to inconsistencies in your swing and your game will suffer. For example, with a grip that’s too big you’ll tend to leave the clubface open at impact and you’ll likely hit a push or the dreaded slice. Likewise, a grip that’s too small will cause a closed face at impact, and you’ll be more likely to hit pulls or hooks.
To decide on the right size of grip, you’ll put your hands around the grip. If your fingertips don’t touch the base of your thumb, the grip is too big. If they dig into your thumb too much, the grip is too small. With the right grip, your fingertips should touch the base of your thumb lightly.
It’s also important to remember that the grips on all your clubs should be the same size to promote consistency in your swing.
The next step is to decide how firm the grips should be. Like grip size, the wrong firmness can lead to bad results out on the course. Generally, the higher your swing speed, the firmer your grip needs to be. This is because a soft grip may cause unwanted torque at high swing speeds. In this instance, you’ll grip the grip harder than necessary in an effort to reduce the torque.
Also, the firmness of the club can play a role in the feel the club provides. If the grip is too soft, purely struck shots won’t feel as pure, and, a grip that’s too hard will cause too much stinging on miss-hits. If you don’t get the perfect feel, it’ll leave you in the dark on where to improve.
Choose the Ideal Texture
Next up is grip texture. This is often a balancing act between feel and properly holding the club. You’ll want the texture of the grip to allow you to secure the club without gripping it too strongly.
The right grip pressure should be akin to holding a tube of toothpaste securely without pushing any toothpaste out. If the grip doesn’t allow you to do this, it may be too slippery. And a grip that’s too slippery makes it different to control the clubhead at impact.
Think About What Weather You Play In
The type of weather you normally play in can dictate, to a large extent, the type of grip that you choose. Here, there’s many things to consider. If you play in climates where it’s humid and you tend to sweat a lot, you may want to look for a grip that’s coarser to reduce slippage.
Likewise, if you normally play in dry and arid conditions, a grip that’s too coarse may not be necessary. Remember, you’ll want a grip that gives you the most secure grip with the most feel.
Types of Grips
Once you know what size grip you want, how firm it should be, and how coarse it should be, you must decide on the type of grip you want. Your needs relating to texture and feel will largely affect your choice on the type of grip you need.
Despite being around for ages, genuine leather wrapped grips are still popular with many players. They offer excellent longevity and a properly cared for leather grip can last for 5, 10 or even 15 years.
Keep in mind, though, that leather wrapped grips are more expensive than other grips and that they’re vulnerable to weather extremes. For this reason, many manufacturers offer synthetic materials in a wrapped design.
With these grips, cotton strands are sandwiched between two layers of rubber and then molded into the grip. Once the grip is molded, they sand the surface down to expose the cords underneath.
Exposing the cords makes the grip coarser and, as a result, more secure in your hands. It also helps you grip the club in wet, or hot and humid conditions as the gaps between the cords wick away moisture from your hands.
Rubber grips are the most common grips on golf clubs today, partly because they come pre-installed on most clubs and because they’re the cheapest. But cheap doesn’t necessarily mean inferior quality. High-quality rubber grips can offer excellent stability and feel at a lower price than wrapped or corded grips. As a bonus, they’re also easy to clean and maintain.
These grips offer a dual material design with a firm corded upper part and a soft rubber lower part. This means that each hand has a different feel throughout the golf swing to help you achieve the perfect balance, speed, and accuracy.
How to Regrip Your Clubs
Once you’ve chosen the right grip for your game, next comes the exciting part. Now, you’ll actually fit the grips to your clubs. Before you get started, though, you’ll need some tools.
What Tools You’ll Need
- a hook blade to remove the old grips.
- a utility knife to remove the tape from your shafts.
- a regripping kit that includes solvent, tape, and a rubber vise clamp.
If you’ve got all the tools ready, you can begin the process. It’s worth saying that an efficient way to do this is by doing the same step at once for each club. So, for instance, you can remove all the grips first, then all the tape, and move through the steps until you fit the new grips. This is easier than doing each club separately.
Remove the Old Grips
The first step is to remove the old grips with the hook blade. To do this, simply place the hook underneath the grip and drag it down along the shaft until you’ve cut quite far along the grip. Once you’ve cut far enough along the shaft, the old grip will come off quite easily.
So, why not just use the utility knife here? Well, with the hook blade there’s a smaller chance of damaging your shafts. And remember to always cut away from your body to avoid inflicting some nasty cuts.
Remove the Old Tape
This could be the most time-consuming part of the process. Use the utility knife to score across the old tape up the whole shaft and peel off the old tape until it’s completely gone.
Depending on how long the grips were on the club for, it could really stick to the shaft. If you struggle, and you have a heat gun, you could use that to warm up the tape to make it easier to peel off. Also, be careful not to damage the shaft with the utility knife. With steel shaft this isn’t such a big problem but with graphite shafts it could be quite costly.
Apply the New Tape
Before rushing into applying the new tape, first measure the shaft against the new grips to make sure that no tape will stick out below the shaft. Take the right amount of tape from the roll, tear it off, and place it on the shaft.
Rub the tape onto the shaft until it’s securely stuck and remove the backing. If it’s easier you could first rub one half of the tape onto the shaft and start peeling off the backing before starting with the other.
Fit the Grip
During this last step you want to do everything right. To start off, secure the club in a vise with the rubber vise clamp. The rubber clamp will help you not to damage the shaft while holding them securely to fit the grip.
Start off by applying solvent to the inside of the grip. Place your finger over the hole at the top of the grip and pour solvent into the grip. Remember, it’s almost impossible to use too much solvent, so it’s best to be generous. Once you’ve poured solvent into the grip, place your finger over the bottom end of the grip. With both holes sealed, shake the grip to coat the inside of the grip.
Once you’re done, pour the excess solvent from the grip onto the tape on the shaft. Here, it’s also better to be generous. The more solvent you use, the easier it will be to fit the grip to the shaft.
With the shaft and the inside of the grip covered with solvent, you’re ready to finish off. Put the end of the shaft into the hole of the grip and push it onto the shaft. Here, you’ll want to use enough force to push the grip onto the shaft quickly in one go. If it gets stuck along the way, you’ll probably have to throw the grip away, so make sure you push it all the way to the end in one motion.
Once the grip is on the shaft, you can make some final adjustments before wiping off the excess solvent and letting the grip set on the shaft. Once they’re dry you can hit the course with your freshly gripped clubs.
How Often to Regrip Your Golf Clubs
The question of how often to change the grips on your clubs doesn’t have a cast-in-stone answer. It ultimately depends on how often you play. On average, a set of grips is good for about 40 rounds.
Therefore, tour pros replace their grips every six weeks to two months. For players who play regularly, a yearly replacement will suffice. Likewise, for the occasional player, grips will last longer.
If you don’t keep track of time between regripping your clubs, you can easily spot when it’s necessary to replace them. If there’s significant wear or if there’s a sheen, it may be time to change your grips. Also, if you start noticing that the grip is starting to slip in your hands, it’s time for a fresh set of grips.
Hit the Course
Years ago, a study showed that a set of two-year-old grips can cost a player as much as three to four shots on the course. That’s a lot of strokes to lose during a year. Considering this, you’ll appreciate why your grips need to be in tip-top shape.
Luckily, you’ve now got an easy guide to follow when the time comes to replace yours. So, get to it. Replace them. Your handicap, and your hands, will thank you for it.