Golf grip is the most important accessory that connects the golfer to the golf club. Some call it as the lifeline of the game. A good grip gives the golfer complete control over his shot. They do well to appreciate these grips as they directly impact the speed of their swing. Many institutions help their students appreciate the importance of having a custom golf club, but fail to educate that many a problem arises due to improper golf grips.
Many golfers consult the standard industry chart for measuring their grip size. The chart encourages the golfer to measure the distance between his wrist crease and the top of his middle finger and then compares it with the chart to ascertain the grip size. While this certainly benefits the golfer, it is quite apparent that each golfer has a different make-up of his hands and hence it is necessary for each golfer to understand that – what works for one golfer may not work for him. It is all a matter of trial and error.
Factors That Necessitate the Need for Oversize Golf Grips
Oversized golf grips are used due to some basic factors like – the problem with the golfer’s wrists, palms, and the hand size. Many a time, these factors can pose a challenge for the golfer to find the perfect custom fit grip of his size. Similarly, it can also be the club, the type of club and the size of the club that may be the root of the issue. Notwithstanding is the fact that the type of glove a golfer puts on also has a bearing on the type of grips that he decides to use for his club.
Another important factor to remember is that over time, the golfer’s swing and style of playing changes considerably. High handicap players gradually progress towards lower handicap levels – a positive aspect, but at the same time requiring changes to his approach to the game. Once the golfer resets his approach, everything else changes drastically, including the size of his grips.
How does oversized golf grip help the golfer?
Eliminates the Need for Excess Pressure
How is an oversize grip different from the regular sized grip? The speciality of a regular sized grip is that it fits in the player’s finger line. This means that in order to hold it effectively, a golfer needs to put some amount of pressure on it. However, oversize golf grips are almost double in diameter to the standard size and thus rather than just being on your finger line, it fits on your palm line. This greatly reduces the need for excess power to be thrust on it.
The golden rule of a successful game of golf is to have relaxed hands, relaxed wrists, and relaxed shoulders. Excess pressure on the golf club acts conversely. Golfers have misunderstood the impact of their golf grips so much, that rather than changing their grips, they have changed all their golf clubs to improve their game. Rather than just costing money, the wrong sized grips are costing the golfer his winning strokes!
Provides More Comfort
Many professional golfers are of the view that while holding the club, the tip of your fingers should not touch the base of your hand. If it does, then it means that there are chances that the club may rotate in the hand while swinging leading to an imperfect hit. As some pro-golfers say, when improving the game, don’t just concentrate on the head of the club, but also on the butt of the club.
With an oversize grip, the hands feel more comfortable and allow the golfer to have better control of his game. As a golfer said, even though the oversized grip may at times feel like you are holding a tennis racket, it allows the golfer to hit the ball like a golfer and not like a baseball player!
It works in the way an electrician uses his screwdriver. If the screwdriver is just a thin piece of metal without the handle grip, the electrician won’t be able to use it effectively as it increases pressure on this arms and shoulders and doesn’t allow him to rotate or turn the driver effectively. However, with a larger handle to it, he can not only grip the screwdriver, but also turn it around. Same is with the golf club, the thicker the handle, the greater is the swing speed.
Oversize grips also helps senior or older player or golfers with Arthritis who struggle with grip strength. Some in this category also suffer from shaky or weak hand grips. Shaky grips can dramatically impact the ball trajectory, leading to mishits and sometimes a straight flight of the ball towards the sky rather than the hole.
Helps in Improving Ball Trajectory
The trajectory or flight of the ball is completely dependent on how the golfer holds his club. If the positioning of the hands is incorrect, the golfer may end up hooking or slicing the ball. Oversized grips help in getting the firm hold on the club which directly and dramatically improves the ball trajectory.
Oversized golf grips allow for more leverage in the golf swing when the golfer’s hands roll through or if you tend to have what they call yips and get very handsy or wobbly with your shots. They can help the golfer to eliminate that, or in other words, it can help neutralize the excess flip. This helps in getting better impact and more consistent golf shots.
Good custom-made oversize golf grips help absorb the shock and improve the ‘comfort – level’ of the golfer. If a golfer misses the hit, it sometimes leads to discomfort to the wrists and the palms. Oversize grips helps in eliminating this pain and get an overall hold on the club and the game itself.
How do oversized grips help in putting?
The most important part of a successful putt is the golfer’s control of the club. While putting, there are chances that a golfer’s wrists hinge during the stroke, which can be very detrimental to the shot. It is imperative that the hands and the wrists remain stiff and hang from the shoulders as one team, like a pendulum. If a golfer feels that his wrists are hinging, he could better use an oversized grip. How do they help?
While oversized grips helps control the club, it also reduces wrist break and thus reduces instances of ball skidding off the wrong direction. Rather than using the standard reverse overlap grip, the hand can be placed side by side thus reducing the dominance of one hand over the other. The overall result is the reduction of undue wrist action and an increase in putting accuracy.
What do PGA Tour Champions say about the Oversize Grips?
Paul Scott Runyan, one of the world’s best players of the 1930’s said in 1979 that golf clubs with thick grips give a firm stroke. Paul had won the PGA Championship tours in 1934 and 1938.
To keep their wrists from not getting strained, John Daly, the winner of 5 PGA tours and total 18 professional tours, wrapped three or four wraps of tape under the grip, while Bubba Watson, who won 12 PGA tours and total 14 professional tours, also bulked up the size of his putter grip.
In 2007, K.J. Choi, winner of 29 professional tours, was credited for starting a trend of sorts when he used SuperStroke Fatso grip on his putter and went on to win AT&T National in 2007, the Sony Open in 2008 and The Players Championship in 2011. Choi mentioned that using these grips helped his strokes by improving his wrist movement.
Jordan Spieth, the winner of the 2013 John Deere Classic used SuperStroke’s Flatso Ultra grip during the game. He said that when he put the thick grip on his club, he noticed that it allowed him to get both of his thumbs on the grip seamlessly.
More and more professionals are using oversized golf grips to improve their shots. Innovation has advanced to the point that removable oversized golf grips are in use. These grips contain layers of removable grip portions to adjust to the golfer’s needs.
It’s true that technology has certainly changed the way we view the game. Every year, manufacturers spend millions of dollars to design the best golf club with the best technology in the club face. Many golfers immediately disregard a club if it doesn’t fit well into their hands, thus disregarding everything that has gone into designing the club face. While it is true that the club face is important as it is the part of the club that decides the game, however, it would be imperative to pay attention to another equally important part of the club – the grip.