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When to Use Oversize Golf Grips

by Mike Southern

    This article is one of our editor's top picks this month.

    Although most golfers use regular grips on their clubs, an increasing number find that larger-than-normal grips suit their games very well. Oversize grips have been around for quite awhile, but the newer grips are much larger than in the past. The United States Golf Association allows grips up to 1.75 inches in diameter, nearly twice the normal size. Many players won't care for them, but there are good reasons you might want to try them.

    Arthritis

    Traditionally, golfers who struggle with arthritis have used larger grips. The smaller a grip's diameter, the more strength it takes to hold it securely as you swing. Because the newer oversize grips reduce how tightly your hands need to squeeze the club, they can seriously reduce the pain of arthritis. In fact, oversize grips may determine whether an arthritic golfer is able to play the game at all.

    Relaxed Grip

    Just because you don't have arthritis doesn't mean you can't struggle with grip pressure. If a grip is too small, you may hold your club so tightly your forearm muscles tense up. Tight muscles, for example, can stop you from making a smooth, relaxed putting stroke. If you've got the yips, it's a sign you may benefit from an oversize putter grip. PGA Tour player K.J. Choi's success with an oversize SuperStroke putting grip has caused other players to try it. While most pros aren't using oversize grips on their other clubs, they can help amateurs reduce grip pressure during the full swing.

    Shot Shape

    Many golfers don't realize that grip size can have a big effect on the shape of their shots. If your grips are too small, you may have a tendency to hook the ball. Oversize grips can help you straighten out your shots. However, if you tend to slice the ball, you might want to steer clear of oversize grips, which can make your slice worse.

    Large Hands

    Advances in technology have made it easier for taller golfers to find good clubs. You see this in the professional ranks, where top players taller than 6 feet are more common than 10 years ago. However, it's still hard to make a good swing when a club slips around in your hands. Because tall players usually have big hands, oversize grips can help them hold onto their clubs better and may be more comfortable as well.

    About the Author

    North Carolina native Mike Southern has been writing since 1979. He is the author of the instructional golf book "Ruthless Putting" and edited a collection of swashbuckling novels. Southern was trained in electronics at Forsyth Technical Community College and is also an occasional woodworker.

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