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Choosing correctly sized grips for your golf game will affect your score.
You're probably playing the wrong size grip, and it is costing you five shots a round. That's the conclusion of a study conducted by "Golf Magazine." The study debunks the theory that players with thick hands should use thick grips, and golfers with small hands should use thin grips. Hand size matters in grip choice, but golfers must also consider how they swing and the type of shot they want to produce.
Grip Size Vs. Hand Size
"Golf Magazine" tested two dozen golfers and found that most players had the wrong size grips on their clubs, regardless of whether they had been fitted based on hand size or not. For the study, they matched golfers hand sizes with grip sizes on five irons. After hitting shots, 92 percent of golfers said they preferred a different grip on their clubs than the size for which they were fitted. Only 21 percent of golfers hit their best shots -- as determined by launch monitor data -- with the grips currently on their clubs. Ninety-two percent of the golfers in the study hit their best shots with a different grip than they were measured for and a different the grip than they were currently using.
There are several reasons why you might choose a larger-than-standard grip for your club, according to "Golfweek" equipment editor James Achenbach. He cites large hands as one reason. However, he notes golfers with arthritis or other hand disorders often find grips between one-sixteenth to one-eighths of an inch larger easier to hold because the thickness absorbs the shock of impact. Larger grips can also help prevent hooks by reducing hand action in the impact area. Players who like to choke down on the club may find large grips help them control the club when they position their hands lower on the handle.
Most amateur golfers struggle with a slice at some point in their golfing life. If that describes the current state of your game, thinner grips than the ones you currently use can help correct that flaw. The thinner grips will reduce tension in your fingers, hands and wrists. This will allow you to use more hand action as you swing through the impact area. You will find it easier to rotate the clubface from open to square, or even slightly closed. You may also need to improve your swing technique to benefit from a grip change.
The "Golf Magazine" study concluded that golfers need to hit shots with a variety of grips to find the size that helps produce the best shots. Hitting balls with a launch monitor that measures clubhead speed, ball speed and other impact factors will help you know for sure which grip fits your game. Simply slipping a new grip one the same club may not work, the study found. Larger grips tend to make clubs feel lighter, so you may need to have a PGA professional or experienced club fitter adjust swing weights before you find the best match.