If there’s one area of equipment that most amateur golfers overlook with regularity, it is their grips.
I recommend to all my golfers that they should change out their entire collection of grips on their clubs every 18 months or around 40 rounds of play.
The reason why I suggest this refreshment of your clubs is because the grips are vitally important to maintaining consistency with your swing. Since they are our connection to the club, they must stay fresh and tacky to perform at a high level.
Here’s a list of the best grips available to get your swing started on a new feel to help you drop those scores and elevate your game to the next level.
Last updated on 2020-04-05. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table of Contents
- Featured Recommendations
- Best Golf Grips
- Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
- Questions & Answers
- What are the different types of golf grips available?
- Should I buy a firm or soft grip?
- Should I buy a round or ribbed grip?
- Are grips water resistant?
- When should I be replacing my grips? How long does a typical grip last?
- Should I buy a complete grip set for all of my clubs or individual grips?
- How do I properly maintain my grips to make them last longer?
- How do I change golf grips?
Best Golf Grips
Golf Pride MCC Plus4 Golf Grip
Best All-Around Golf Grip for Low Handicappers
The MCC Plus4 golf grip from Golf Pride is a marvel that blends composite material to craft a feel that works extremely well for both hands.
This grip is an outstanding upgrade for any golfer that needs new grips and are looking for another advantage on the golf course.
click to see more
Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G Golf Grip
Excellent Golf Grip for Mid Handicappers
If there is a grip that Golf Pride is known for it is the Tour Wrap 2G. With the classic look and hybrid construction, the 2G grip also features an alignment marker that makes sure you always are square at address.
If you are seeking a grip that has a pebbled surface that adheres to the skin of the hand, allowing the golfer to feel a synergy that promotes feel and response, then the Golf Pride Tour Wrap certainly checks a lot of boxes for exceptional performance.
click to see more
Winn Excel Wrap Golf Grip
Outstanding, Affordable Grip for Beginning Golfers
The Winn Excel Wrap Golf Grip features the best of the company’s patented woven design that has made their grips popular among amateurs and professionals alike.
What Winn does well is create grips with a cushioned, welcoming feel that allows for the fingers to easily wrap themselves into place without the need for pressure to stabilize the swing.
Great for beginning golfers who want a contoured grip with additional cushion, the Winn Excel Golf Grip is an affordable option that brings a classic upgrade to your clubs.
click to see more
Golf Pride MCC New Decade Golf Grip
Best Hybrid Grip for Mid Handicappers
The Golf Pride MCC New Decade Golf Grip is a magnificent model that utilizes two rubber halves to make a composite grip that offers an extraordinary experience for the golfer.
With a tougher top half that is lined with cord for more grip and a bottom half that is softer and offers more control, this Golf Pride model is one of the best for golfers looking to advance their equipment to a higher level.
click to see more
Winn Dritac Wrap Golf Grip
Versatile Golf Grip for Low Handicappers
The Winn Dritac Golf Grips are a highly versatile grip that excels at reducing the thrashing the hands take over the course of a round and instead, offer shock absorption at a level that is rarely seen in an affordable golf grip.
click to see more
Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 Golf Grip
Durable Golf Grip for High Handicappers
The Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 Golf Grip is a workhorse, perfect for the high handicapper that wants to change their clubs, but needs a grip that is long lasting and highly affordable. The well-balanced grip isn’t flashy or constructed in a way that screams luxury, but it gets the job done and is easy to apply to your clubs’ shafts.
click to see more
Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria #1: Tackiness
When we talk about the tackiness of the golf grip in the review, we are discussing how well it holds and stabilizes in the hand during the swing. A golf grip, by design, is there to improve your ability to create a consistent swing and help with alignment.
Judging the tackiness of a golf grip is not about finding the most sticky grip possible, but rather locating one that performs well when you contrast it to other grips on the market. A high grade for tackiness means that the grip works well and is highly functional on the course.
Criteria #2: Durability
The durability of a golf grip is the understanding of performance versus wear and tear. As a golf grip begins to display signs of degradation, the golfer may notice a drop in performance. The last thing golfers of any skill level want with their golf grips to become slippery.
New grips are softer than previous versions made for the long haul. As a result of the softer material, the grips wear down quickly, and for frequent players, the rule of “change every 40 rounds” may need to be adjusted.
When looking at the durability of a golf grip, we want to see how the grip responds after hundreds of swings and tens of rounds.
Criteria #3: Performance
Out of any of our criteria on this list, the performance of a golf grip is undoubtedly the most subjective of the bunch. Some golfers love a tacky grip where the hands are locked against the material, whereas other golfers who love to swing hard, might want a bit of give to their grip to reduce friction.
Regardless of how you judge the performance of a golf grip, most professionals agree that the material must walk the line of being durable while also bringing reliability on the course.
When our testers gauge the performance of a golf grip, they are noting how the grip works for their game.
Criteria #4: Material Quality
The quality of the material of the grip is essential to gauging performance, durability, and reliability. Golfers want their new golf grip to instill confidence, allowing them to swing freely without concern for slippage or poor response.
When we look at material quality, we are judging the grip over hundreds of hours of play. Golfers of all skill stages need well-made grips because they allow the individual to perform at a maximum level.
Excellent materials will show a resistance to wear and durability that exhibits high performance over an extended period that endures for many rounds.
Criteria #5: Softness
The softness of a golf grip is a tricky thing to judge because it can have both positive and negative connotations. The general rule of thumb is that the softer the grip is, the quicker it will need to be replaced. This general rule is one of the big reasons why beginning golfers should look for durability over performance when improving their golf grips.
Professional golfers replace their grips often, and they prefer softer grips because they enhance feel. Advanced players want to increase the response and feel of a club any way they possibly can. A great way to accomplish this feat is through the replacement of the golf grip since it makes direct contact with the hands.
Questions & Answers
What are the different types of golf grips available?
All golf grips have to conform to a basic set of rules: all grips (except the putter grip) must have a circular cross-section and the same cross-section shape along the entire grip. They must taper from thick to thin and cannot have “waists” — thick sections surrounding thin sections — or bulges.
However, within those rules, there are numerous different styles to choose from.
Virtually all grips nowadays are made of rubber, though some may have additional compounds added to help in various conditions or to provide different feels. After wool grips fell out of fashion, leather grips were the norm for a short time. But upon the founding of Golf Pride in 1949, the rubber grip revolution had become.
The Golf Pride rubber grip is still the most popular grip on tour and amongst amateurs, and they offer numerous different styles within their general product line.
Cord grips are rubber grips with a brushed cotton fiber sticking out of the rubber, giving a coarse texture and offering moisture-wicking characteristics. Cord grips are available in a full-cord style, which has the cotton fibers inserted throughout the entire grip, and half-cord style, wherein the cord is only laid into the back half of the grip, opposite the thumbs.
Cord grips are either loved or hated by most golfers. Some find them unnecessarily abrasive and feel the rough texture of the cords only serves to give blisters and rough hands. Others love the moisture-wicking action of the cords and feel like the extra rough texture allows them to hold the grip more softly without fear of the club slipping.
Whatever your preference, cord grips are typically among the fastest to wear out. The cord material absorbs moisture and oils from your hands. That moisture and those oils travel into the rubber of the grips and accelerates the breakdown of the rubber, and the cords can become smooth and ineffective over time.
If you use cord grips, you should be prepared to replace them more frequently than a basic rubber grip. However, if you tend to have sweaty hands or play golf in a humid environment, you may find cord grips to be a real lifesaver on the course.
Wrap Golf Grips
Historically, wrap golf grips were made of thin strips of leather wrapped tightly around the top of the golf shaft, much like old tennis club grips. This style of golf gripping has fallen out of style, but wrap-style grips are still available from Golf Pride (the Tour Wrap Grip) and Winn (the Winn Excel Wrap Grip).
These “wrap” grips are actually one-piece rubber grips, but they are styled and textured to feel as if they’re the leather-wrapped grips of old.
One advantage of a wrap grip is that you can rotate your hands on the grip and it will still feel the same, as it’s got the same texture around all 360 degrees. If you open the clubface to hit a flop shot, or rotate the shaft to change the loft on your adjustable driver, the grip will still feel the same. It also is easier to install properly as you don’t have to worry about the alignment of the grip as you might need to do with others.
Lightweight Golf Grips
Lightweight golf grips are made of rubber but, as you can probably guess from the name, are lighter than traditional grips. Golfers looking to eke out every little bit of extra swing speed they can find would find lightweight grips right up their alley.
Most players find that the lightweight grips feel a bit awkward as standard weight grips provide just enough counterweight to feel the head properly through the whole swing. Lightweight grips are useful for senior players and players with slow swing speeds who need all the help they can get to generate more distance.
Putter grips differ from regular grips in that they’re typically not simple, round grips that taper in thickness from top to bottom. For a long time, most putter grips had a flat front where the thumbs anchored, and thick tops tapering to thin bottoms. In recent years, the putter grip market has positively exploded.
Korean golfer K.J. Choi, a PGA Tour pro with quite a reputation as a solid ball-striker and constant tinkerer, was the first to use an oversized SuperStroke golf grip. When he quickly saw success with several tour victories while using this grip, other golfers took notice and began to try out the over-sized grips.
As more and more players started using the SuperStroke grips, other manufacturers took notice: now, Golf Pride, Winn, Lamkin, and other manufacturers all offer oversized grips in all sorts of shapes and sizes. SuperStroke has expanded its product line with midsize and “slim” grips that are smaller than the original over-sized grips but still larger than old-school putter grips.
However, there are still many players using the legendary flat topped Ping PP58 style grip (Tiger Woods has notably never deviated from using this grip) and other traditional slim grips. Ultimately, the putter grip for you is one that feels the best in your hands. An over-sized grip may help reduce wrist action and keep the putter face square, but it might reduce the feel for distance that’s also necessary for good putting
Should I buy a firm or soft grip?
The softness of the grips on your club will ultimately come down to personal preference: whatever grip makes you feel confident is the grip you should go with. However, a general rule is that people with a tighter grip should go with a softer grip, whereas people who grip the club very lightly with minimal pressure should go with a firmer grip which will feel more secure.
The climate you play in might make a difference too: if you play in very hot desert weather, soft grips may become too soft and feel overly mushy in your hands. Hot weather players often prefer medium-to-firm grips as they will naturally soften in the oppressive heat.
Should I buy a round or ribbed grip?
Some grips are available with a rib through the spine that’s intended to help you make sure you’re aligning the clubface square to your target line. These are intended for beginners who aren’t sure what a square clubface looks like or any player who has trouble getting the ball started on line.
The great majority of grips, however, are round and don’t contain any sort of ribbing. Most golfers will occasionally want to open or close the clubface slightly to help control spin, curve, and trajectory. Having a spine through the grip can feel very awkward when the grip is rotated and the spine is no longer in the correct place.
You also have to be very careful when installing spined grips to make sure they’re aligned properly and aren’t twisted at all. Unless you’re an experienced grip installer, I’d suggest having a professional install your grips for you if you elect to go with spined grips, as even a slight mis-alignment can cost you strokes on the golf course.
Are grips water resistant?
Generally speaking, the newer the grip, the better it will perform in wet conditions. However, as mentioned above, some grip technologies are specifically designed to perform better in wet environments.
If you play in a lot of humidity or on rainy days, half-cord or full-cord grips will help provide more tackiness when it’s damp.
You can also rub sandpaper on your grips to increase their tackiness and provide a rougher surface that’s easier to hold onto when it’s wet out.
However, all grips are subject to becoming slippery in rainy conditions. Rather than worrying about finding a waterproof grip, I’d suggest investing in some high-quality rain gloves.
These gloves from FootJoy actually perform better once they get wet. Several golfers I know who tend to have sweaty palms use these gloves even when it’s not raining as they’re the best way to ensure a firm grip despite rain or sweaty hands.
When should I be replacing my grips? How long does a typical grip last?
Many golfers go way too long between re-grippings. Since grips lose tackiness slowly over the course of many rounds, you may not notice how much more slippery the grips have become than they were when they were brand new.
Even if your grips feel like they’ve got some tackiness left, you’re probably still tightening your grip just a little bit too much if you’ve gone more than 40 or 50 rounds since your last re-gripping. Most tour players play so much that they re-grip their clubs every 2-3 months!
The general recommendation is to re-grip your clubs every 40 rounds, or every 30 rounds if you also spend a lot of time practicing and hitting balls on the driving range. Even if you only play ten times per year or so, time can age your grips as the oils from your hands penetrates the rubber and the heat of storage in a garage or car trunk will slicken the feel.
I always suggest a new set of grips at the beginning of every year. There are few better moments in golf than heading out for the first round of the year with brand new, great-feeling grips. It sure beats getting to the first tee and having your driver fly out of your hands!
If you’re lucky enough to play several times each week and spend an hour practicing on top of that, it’s a good idea to re-grip your clubs at midseason as well. It’s one of the least expensive ways to refresh your equipment and ensure you stay at top performance throughout the year.
Should I buy a complete grip set for all of my clubs or individual grips?
You can often save a bit of money by buying a complete set of 13 grips for all of your clubs aside from the putter. Is this the right thing to do?
If you’re doing the annual beginning-of-the-year re-gripping on your whole bag, this is a great idea. I always recommend that you find the grip and size that works for you and put it on all your woods and irons. This consistent feel across your whole golf bag will help you feel comfortable no matter what club you’re hitting; every one will feel the same in your hands. This helps you achieve consistent release of the clubhead.
Purchasing individual grips is useful if you tend to practice with just a few clubs. I have many students who spend 90% of their time practicing their short game, so their wedge grips wear out much faster than their less-used 4 irons. For these players, I suggest replacing their wedge grips several times per year and letting the less-used grips go a little bit longer between re-grippings.
You may also find that you use your driver 14 times per round, but you only hit a 3-wood or 4-iron two or three times per round. For this reason, I suggest replacing your driver grip and the grip of any of your go-to clubs that regularly get used the most more often.
The last circumstance in which you may want to purchase individual grips instead of a grip set is if you’re not happy with your current grips but you can’t pinpoint why. You may want to buy several difference sizes, styles, or brands of grips and try them out before committing to a whole set for every club in your bag.
How do I properly maintain my grips to make them last longer?
You can extend the life of your golf grips by keeping them clean and dry, and storing them in a dry, room temperature environment. The top degraders of tackiness in golf grips are oils from your hands and hot, damp environments.
To properly clean your grips, use a soft scrub brush and mild dish soap. Scrub the grip all over with the soapy water and dry them off with a towel. Lay them out to completely dry before using them again.
It’s best to store your golf clubs in a cool, dry environment. So don’t leave them outside in the trunk of your car where they can get overheated and wear out faster!
How do I change golf grips?
The vast majority of golfers have their grips re-gripped by a clubmaking professional, either at a major retailer, a mom-and-pop golf shop, or at their local golf course. However, it’s not too difficult to do it yourself! All you need is a tool to remove the old grips, grip tape, a bit of solvent, and a golf tee.
Use one of these specialty golf grip removal tools to get the old grip off, then scrape off any tape and residue from the top of the shaft. Apply new grip tape in a spiral candy cane shape from the bottom to the top of the shaft, finishing with a bit of tape over the top of the shaft to help in sliding the new grip on.
Next, put a golf tee in the small hole at the end of the new grip, then pour some grip solvent into the new grip, swishing it around to coat the inside. Hold the taped end of the shaft over a sink or pan and pour the excess solvent from the grip over the tape, rotating the shaft to get full coverage of solvent on the tape.
Align the grip properly and squeeze the end so it fits over the fat end of the shaft. Once it’s on, the solvent helps the grip slide right on. Make sure you don’t stretch the grip down the shaft unless you’re actively trying to make it skinnier than it’s designed to be. Slide the grip down the shaft until it’s all the way on and wipe off the excess solvent that’s squeezed out. Make sure the grip is aligned how you want it and isn’t twisted.
You should always allow the grips to rest overnight before using them, as the solvent needs time to cure and dry. They should be ready to go within 2-4 hours, but I like to err on the side of caution.