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What Size Golf Grips Do I Need?

by David W. Berner
    Finding the correct size for your grips depends on the size of your hands and what gives you the best feel for comfort and control.

    Finding the correct size for your grips depends on the size of your hands and what gives you the best feel for comfort and control.

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    Standard-size grips for golf clubs are appropriate for most golfers and skill levels. However, some golfers can benefit greatly from oversized or undersized grips. Having grips that are too small or too large can hinder even the best golfer's technique by reducing the ability to control the club when it makes contact with the ball. Determining the correct size grip can be done by considering hand size, swing mechanics and the pattern of your golf shots.

    Grip Sizes

    There are only a few golf grip sizes. The most popular size is the standard grip, for players whose hand measures 7 inches to 8 3/4 inches from the wrist crease to the tip of the middle finger. The undersize or junior grips, for hand measurements of less than 7 inches, are 1/64-inch smaller than standard grips. Midsize, for hand measurements of 8 1/4 inches to 9 1/4 inches, are 1/16-inch larger than standard. Jumbo grips, for hand measurements larger than 9 1/4 inches, are 1/8-inch larger than standard. If desired, tape can be used around the club shaft to increase the grip size.

    Hand Size

    Comparing your grips to your golf glove size is a clear way to determine the appropriate grip size. If your glove size is a men's extra large (XL), it is best to use a midsize or jumbo grip on your clubs. A men's large (L) or medium (M) glove size or a women's large (L) glove size usually requires a standard size grip. A men's small (S) glove size, or a women's medium (M) or small (S) glove size should consider using undersized grips. Youth players also should consider undersized grips.

    Shot Patterns

    If the golf club grip is too small for your hands, the club could twist, forcing you to tighten your grip and squeeze the club at impact with the ball. This will close the face of the club and cause the shot to hook instead of fly straight. If the grip is too large, the club can come loose at the bottom of the swing, opening the club face and creating a slice instead of a shot toward the target. Without the correct size grip, your shots are more likely to go to the left or right of the target instead of on line.

    Swing Mechanics

    If you tend to have an outside to inside swing pattern, you likely will hit a lot of shots that slice or fade away from the target. To help straighten the ball's flight, consider changing to smaller-sized grips for your clubs. This will promote a hook or draw pattern with shots and could counteract the tendency to hit a slice. Conversely, if your swing has an inside to outside pattern, you likely will frequently hit shots that hook away from the target. Increasing the grip size will promote a slice or fade and help to straighten the flight of your shots.

    Grip Styles

    Grips come in a variety of styles, focusing on feel and weight. The main types of grips are rubber and corded. The rubber type comes in stiff and soft styles, allowing for varying degrees of shock absorption and smoothness. Many rubber grips also are very light, adding little weight to the club. Corded grips typically are a mix of real and synthetic rubber, with strands of fabric threading embedded in the grip. The threading adds a degree of friction to the feel, creating a less-smooth surface. Corded grips tend to weigh slightly more than rubber grips.

    Resources

    About the Author

    David W. Berner is an award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster. HIs memoir, "Accidental Lessons," was released in February 2009. His audio documentary, "Pebble Beach Stories," celebrates the ties between golfers and famed California golf links. Berner has covered stories as diverse as the 2008 presidential election to coyote sightings in Chicago's Lincoln Park.

    Photo Credits

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