Last updated October 26, 2017: we added new products that came out for the 2017 holiday season. We added a special step-by-step process to buy the right golf gloves specifically tailored for you. We have also added more details regarding our testing protocol with a dedicated section on the topic.
Indeed, many golfers feel that golf gloves are not essential for their game, and many professionals play without the aid of a glove. For the average amateur, this is actually a vital accessory that can significantly improve your game.
Your hands, after all, are the only parts of your body touching the club. Helping them by any means, including wearing a proper golf glove, will help in having a better swing. Many amateurs and especially beginners are willing to spend quite a lot of money on golf shoes, hats, and apparels, which are arguably not more important than a glove for performance.
Considering even a premium golf glove is fairly affordable, you shouldn't hold back in getting a good one.
Jordan's 2017 Product Recommendations
If you don't have time to read it all, we'll make it easy for you: the Callaway Opticolor is our best pick.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Jordan's 2017 Product Recommendations
- 2 Bottom Line and Verdict
- 3 Questions & Answers
- 3.1 Guide: How Do I Pick The Best Golf Gloves?
- 3.2 What qualities should I look for?
- 3.3 What is the product recommendation for beginners?
- 3.4 What are the most durable products out there?
- 3.5 What qualities should they have to properly resist sweaty hands?
- 3.6 What characteristics are important for hot and humid weather use?
- 3.7 Can I use golf gloves if I have arthritis?
- 3.8 How can I clean them?
- 3.9 How can I prevent getting blisters when playing golf?
- 3.10 What are the best golf gloves for cold weather?
- 3.11 If I have small hands, what product or brand would you recommend?
First, we divided the evaluation process into five different aspects: comfort, fit, material quality, sweat resistance, and price in conjunction with the included features or qualities.
Some gloves are designed specifically for certain weather conditions (rain, sun or wind), and some will work better with different club grips. So, we have tested the golf gloves under different weather conditions, with different golf clubs, and on different golf courses.
In general, an all-leather glove will always be more comfortable than synthetic ones.
To evaluate this aspect, we tested the gloves by test-swinging with different clubs. Also, we evaluated the comfort level when we are not swinging.
Different manufacturers use different sizing for their products, so we tested the gloves by wearing it on a medium-sized hand as a benchmark.
Synthetic material is generally stronger than leather materials. To test this aspect, we put the gloves on an extreme wear-and-tear test to test the durability.
We tested the breathability of each product, and how they performed in sweat absorption.
We compared the price tags against different products of similar quality or features and against our producr panel.
Callaway Men's Dawn Patrol
Without further ado, let us begin with the first product:
The key highlight of the Callaway Dawn Patrol is the extremely high-quality all-leather material. Leather gloves are known for the excellent comfort and feel, acting as a second skin, and the Callaway Dawn Patrol brought out the very best of those qualities.
The Dawn Patrol is very comfortable to wear, provides excellent grip, and is very responsive. So, if you are looking for a comfortable golf glove with great response, look no further than the Callaway Dawn Patrol.
Another thing that adds to the comfort is the superior ventilation in the form of porous holes on the palm, thumb, and especially the finger areas. It is actually quite a rarity to have ventilation holes in the finger areas, and it actually makes the Dawn Patrol even more comfortable to wear.
The superior breathability makes the Callaway Dawn Patrol an excellent choice for players with sweaty hands, and the Cotton Terry Cuff canvas also helps with absorption. So, the Callaway Dawn Patrol is especially good for hot and humid conditions.
As with other all-leather gloves, we should take an extra care since it won't be very durable if one is not careful. For instance, you should avoid machine washing the Callaway Dawn Patrol, and you need to always air dry it after each use, whenever possible. If it is not properly taken care of, the leather material can crack with extreme heat, or on the other hand, swell when it caught too much water.
To clean the Callaway Dawn Patrol, you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth with a little water and light detergent. Always air dry after cleaning it, and you can use leather conditioner to help maintain the leather material.
Since it is also not water-resistant, you should avoid wearing the Callaway Dawn Patrol during rainy conditions, and it won't provide much help in cold, winter situations.
|Comfort||90 / 100||2nd|
|Fit||80 / 100||2nd|
|Material Quality||70 / 100||4th|
|Sweat Resistance||90 / 100||2nd|
|Price||90 / 100||2nd|
|Total Score||420 / 500||3rd|
So, the Callaway Dawn Patrol is an excellent choice for regular and hot conditions, although the usage is quite limited for other seasons. It is extremely comfortable, very responsive in feel, and provides excellent grip for your swing. The breathability and absorption are excellent for players with sweaty hands, or for hot and humid conditions. A very high-quality golf glove worthy of the Callaway brand.
FootJoy Golf Rain-Ready Rain Grip
The FootJoy Golf Rain Ready is a golf glove specially designed for rainy conditions. For that purpose alone, the FootJoy Golf Rain Ready is definitely one of the best options in the market.
The water resistance feature is excellent, and it will stay comfortable even in the harshest rain.
Even more, it dries up very fast, which helps with its durability after a harsh game in the rain, or after washing it.
Speaking about washing, another good thing about the FootJoy Rain Ready is that it is completely machine washable, although we will still recommend a light washing cycle and light detergent, just to be safe.
When machine washing is not necessary, we will recommend hand washing as a safer option. In all cases, however, remember to always air dry the FootJoy Rain Ready after washing, to prolong its peak condition.
The absorption is also extremely good, the FootJoy Golf Rain stays light and decently comfortable even when it is soaked wet. Of course, this also makes the FootJoy Golf Rain a decent choice for sweaty hands. The breathability is also very good, even when it is soaked wet.
The FootJoy Golf Rain Ready is technically meant to be used under rainy conditions. On the other hand, although it will not be as warm as thermal, winter golf gloves, it is also quite decent for colder conditions.
One issue we found from the FootJoy Golf Rain Ready is that the sizing is relatively bigger compared to other brands we have tested. On extreme cases, you might need to switch to a smaller size. Thus, if trying before buying is not viable, make sure to buy from places with good return policy.
|Comfort||70 / 100||4th|
|Fit||80 / 100||2nd|
|Material Quality||90 / 100||1st|
|Sweat Resistance||90 / 100||2nd|
|Price||85 / 100||4th|
|Total Score||415 / 500||4th|
As a conclusion, the FootJoy Golf Rain Ready Glove is an excellent pick especially for rainy conditions, its specialty. It is also very decent for other weather conditions, so if you are planning to invest on an all-weather golf glove, the Rain Ready is also a decent pick. The key highlights of the Rain Ready Glove are its durability and water resistance, and if you are looking for those qualities, the FootJoy Golf Rain Ready Glove is the right pick.
Under Armour Men's CoolSwitch
The biggest thing differentiating the Under Armour Cool Switch is the material used. It uses an hybrid approach. We have synthetic materials on the inside palm, cuff, and finger joints, which are the parts that are often flexed, and thus, often the first to tear apart.
The thing about the synthetic material is that they are not as comfortable to wear. Therefore, the placement choices for both synthetic and leather parts are very important for a hybrid golf glove.
We felt that the Under Armour CoolSwitch is designed really well. The parts that are often flexed, and thus need more durability, are made with synthetic materials. On the other hand, the parts like fingertip and palm, where you need more comfort, response, and feel are made of all-leather.
The CoolSwitch technology, which is the namesake, is obviously another key highlight of its features. The internal part of the Under Armour CoolSwitch is specially designed to keep your hand cold at all times. Pair that with the ventilation holes, and the Under Armour CoolSwitch is very comfortable to wear during warm conditions.
The downside of the Under Armour CoolSwitch is the downside of all hybrid golf gloves: they attempt to bring the best of both worlds but are masters of none. So, the CoolSwitch is not as comfortable as an all-leather glove, and also not as durable as synthetic gloves.
If you are looking for a hybrid glove, especially for warm and humid conditions, the Under Armour CoolSwitch is definitely an excellent pick.
|Comfort||80 / 100||3rd|
|Fit||90 / 100||2nd|
|Material Quality||90 / 100||2nd|
|Sweat Resistance||90 / 100||1st|
|Price||85 / 100||2nd|
|Total Score||435 / 500||2nd|
Callaway 2017 Opticolor
The Callaway OptiColor will be the second Callaway we will discuss here after the Callaway Dawn Patrol above, which we really liked. Being an also all-leather glove from Callaway, you might expect a lot of similarities between the OptiColor and Dawn Patrol, which is true. Both offer extreme comfort and feel, as expected from Callaway, with excellent grip for performance.
The difference between the two is that the Callaway Dawn Patrol is more geared towards warm conditions, with better absorption and slightly better breathability. On the other hand, the OptiColor is more about style and performance. Besides the wide choices of colors, which are all great-looking, the Opticolor is slightly thicker on the palm, while being very thin in the finger areas. As a result, the Callaway OptiColor is more responsive and comfortable to wear.
The breathability aspect, although not as good as the Callaway Dawn Patrol, is still excellent. The perforated material on the finger areas prevent excessive sweating, which actually makes it good for players with sweaty hands, or playing in warm climates. This makes the Callaway OptiColor extremely comfortable to wear with very consistent performance.
There are several color choices available for the OptiColor, from the usual jet black, red, blue, green, and light blue. For the stylish players, there won't be a shortage of options in choosing the Callaway OptiColor.
Although closure system is often disregarded, the Callaway OptiColor's Optifeel closure system is worth mentioning. It is exceptionally thin and light, yet very flexible and secure. In our opinion, the closure system plays a great part in its comfort and overall feel.
|Comfort||95 / 100||1st|
|Fit||90 / 100||1st|
|Material Quality||90 / 100||1st|
|Sweat Resistance||80 / 100||3rd|
|Price||95 / 100||1st|
|Total Score||450 / 500||1st|
Because the Callaway Opticolor is an all-leather golf glove, there is, as one could expect, an issue with its durability. You should take an extra care of its cleaning. Always air dry the Callaway Opticolor after each use, hang it beside your golf bag, or carry it until it is fully dried up. Avoid washing the Callaway Opticolor, and usage on rainy weather. If you want to clean it, just wipe it lightly with a little water and light soap.
As a conclusion, if you are looking for style and performance, the Callaway Opticolor is simply one of the best options out there. It is very comfortable, provides very responsive feel, and excellent in breathability. Simply one of the best all-leather product out there.
Bottom Line and Verdict
In our opinion, an all-leather golf glove is still the best overall choice, except in extreme conditions like harsh winter or heavy rain, in which most golfers will avoid having a game. Thus, an all-leather glove, bringing the most comfort, response, and grip, is in our opinion, a better investment.
First, the Callaway Opticolor is definitely the most appealing, style-wise, thanks to its modern, professional-looking design and a wide range of color choices. The leather material is also premium quality, with decent breathability and absorption.
For comfort and performance on regular conditions, the Callaway Opticolor is definitely an excellent pick. However, that is not to say the other three products are clear losers, as they also have their own values. The Callaway Dawn Ready is a great choice for players with sweaty hands looking for a leather golf. For rainy and cold conditions, the FootJoy Rain Ready is simply excellent. The Under Armour CoolSwitch is also a great choice for players preferring synthetic gloves.
Questions & Answers
Guide: How Do I Pick The Best Golf Gloves?
The most common mistake golfers make when choosing their golf glove is not picking the right size. Some thought that gloves that are too tight are more comfortable to wear, some others chose gloves that are simply too big for their grips.
Not only choosing the wrong fit can lower your performance, it can also increase the risk of injuries. Different manufacturers have different sizing. So, if possible, try the glove before making a purchase. Make sure the glove is a right fit for both your palm and fingers.
Genuine leather is generally not as durable as synthetic material, especially when exposed to a lot of water. Also, if you have a sensitive skin, leather can be uncomfortable to wear. Look for a balance between comfort and material durability, so you don't have to buy a new glove every few weeks.
Left-Handed VS Right-Handed
If you are a right-handed player, buy a glove for your left hand, and vice versa. Always buy a glove that suits your overall playing style. If necessary, there are gloves designed for ambidextrous usage.
Above all, the purpose of buying and wearing a golf glove is to enhance your swing performance. So, choose a glove that won't slip often during a swing.
What qualities should I look for?
As with any other types of golf equipment, there are several qualities you should look for. They are:
There are several types of materials commonly used to manufacture golf gloves, and they can generally be divided into three types:
Leather Gloves: Generally known for best overall comfort, great grip, and feel.
Synthetic Gloves: Known for its affordability, yet quite durable and flexible.
Hybrid Gloves: Attempt to get the best of both worlds, combining the durability and flexibility of synthetic gloves with the grip and comfort of leather gloves.
The important thing is, whatever the type, the material should be durable and comfortable.
This should be a pretty common knowledge. To avoid misunderstanding, right handed players should wear a left-handed glove. On the other hand, left-handed players should wear the glove on your right hand. There are several products offering pairs for both hands, but they are fairly rare.
This is actually a pretty big problem for golf gloves. In fact, it is estimated that roughly 50% of golfers wear a glove that is actually too big for them. A good way to measure whether the golf is too big or too small is that the velcro fastener should only be closed 75% of the way.
The golf glove should fit perfectly, acting like a second skin without any excess material especially at the end of the fingers and across the palm.
What is the product recommendation for beginners?
Unlike clubs and most other golf equipment, there is no clear distinction for beginners.
As a basic principle, comfort and feel should be the utmost concerns for most beginners. Thus, in general, all-leather golf glove is a better choice due to the comfort, feel and decent flexibility.
Here are some products we will recommend:
What are the most durable products out there?
Leather golf gloves are known for their comfort and feel, as the leather material fits perfectly like a second skin when you wear it.
There is one big issue: leather material is often not very durable, and that is where the synthetic material comes in. The synthetic material is very flexible and extremely lightweight, yet very durable. So, generally synthetic golf gloves are the most durable out of other types.
The durability of synthetic material often compromises the feel and comfort, and that is why there are hybrid leather-synthetic products, attempting to combine the best qualities of both.
What qualities should they have to properly resist sweaty hands?
When your hand is sweaty inside, the glove will not provide a proper grip, and thus won't perform at its peak potential. To tackle this issue, there are generally three features or approaches:
By having more air circulation inside the glove, sweat issues can often be tackled. We have seen this approach in sports apparels and protection masks, and the same principle is applied to the golf glove. Mainly, breathability or ventilation is achieved by having small holes throughout the surface. Material choice can also play a great part in determining breathability. In general, a lighter material provides better ventilation.
Even with all the ventilation, some of us will still sweat a lot, especially during warmer conditions. To tackle this issue, good golf gloves have good absorption especially with their internal material (the part touching your actual palm). This way, you can retain enough comfort and friction even when your hands are sweaty.
If all else fails, the last quality we can have to tackle sweat issue is the grip. A lot of products, especially those all-weather ones designed for wet conditions, actually have better grip performance the more they get wet. This is usually achieved by having the fiber material stands up when it is wet, creating more friction.
So, for players with sweaty hands, you should look for the three above qualities.
What characteristics are important for hot and humid weather use?
There are two issues often associated with the hot and humid weather: comfort and sweat. So, some part of the answer here will be similar to the above question where we discussed sweaty hands.
Water resistant material is extremely useful in a moist, humid condition. This way, you can retain enough grip when your hand is sweaty or the glove catches moisture. Water resistance will also help with comfort, as the glove will stay light even when it gets wet.
For warm conditions, ventilation or breathability is extremely important even for players without sweaty hands. With enough ventilation, you can be comfortable in wearing the golf glove even during extremely hot conditions. As mentioned, ventilation will also help with sweat issues, thus retaining the grip of the glove.
Can I use golf gloves if I have arthritis?
Thus, specialized products designed for arthritis relief have been around for a while. Indeed, it used to be a controversy, since a lot of players thought the specialized gloves were too thick, creating an unnatural advantage for the players.
Since the late 2000s, relief golf gloves are completely legal under the Rules of Golf, so you shouldn't have to worry.
Bionic is a company specializing on relief gloves and the reports surrounding the Bionic ReliefGrip suggest that it can significantly reduce arthritis pain. We have also tested the Bionic Men's RelaxGrip and the Bionic Men's AquaGrip which offer similar qualities at slightly lower price points.
As you can see, there are several options offered by the Bionic Glove brand.
The ReliefGrip focuses more on pain-relief, while the RelaxGrip is better on performance. The AquaGrip is the water-resistant option from Bionic, with water-resistant suede micro fiber material to provide excellent grip in wet conditions.
How can I clean them?
The difficulty for cleaning often comes from the delicate leather material. The porous leather materials can hold moisture and water, often swelling it over time. Thus, we should also be careful when cleaning your gloves, especially when it's time to wash them.
Before we go to the cleaning process, there are several things you can do to help with your golf glove care:
To clean your golf gloves at home, here is what you can do:
How can I prevent getting blisters when playing golf?
People often think the sole reason of using a golf glove is to prevent blisters. A lot of players are also blaming their gloves when they are still getting blisters.
Blisters are often caused by an incorrect grip during your swing, which is often too tight. Even if some products can prevent blisters, using incorrect grip can burn holes through the glove, hindering it useless after quite a short amount of time.
The first thing you can do is to check the grips of your clubs. Most of the time, if you are feeling you have to grip your club really tight, it is because the club grip has caught a lot of dirt and grease. You can try to clean it with soap and water. If the problem persists, it is time to get a new club grip.
What are the best golf gloves for cold weather?
For cold weather, thermal golf gloves, are the best choices. Here are some we will recommend:
Generally, winter or thermal products used thicker materials to make your hand warmer. Usually, the materials used are either knitted or thermal material. The purpose of thermal golf gloves is to maintain heat in your hands, while also retaining enough grip and comfort for your performance.
If I have small hands, what product or brand would you recommend?
To answer this question, we should understand the different sizes offered.
Generally, the sizes offered are Small, Medium, Large, and XL, which are pretty self-explanatory. For men's, there are generally two more sizes offered: the Medium-Large (ML) size, which is offered because many of us men players have hand sizes between medium and large, and Cadet size, for players with shorter fingers and wider palms.
Generally, for players with small hands, the Small (S) size is an excellent fit.
So, if even the small size is too big for you, there are two options you can take: trying the Cadet size, or the Medium women's size. Many of women's products come in natural color choices, so it won't be an issue in style.
You should also note that the size offered often vary with different manufacturers. Just because the small size of one manufacturer is too big for you, it shouldn't always be the case with different manufacturers.