NEW STUDY FROM GOLF PRIDE: WORN GRIPS VS. NEW GRIPS

Introduction

Minimal research and understanding about golf grips has led to many players using worn grips. Golf Pride® provides tips on how to recognize wear and suggests changing your grips every year or after 40 rounds of golf [1]. Professionals within the golf industry have assumptions and observations from individual players on how worn grips influence their game [2, 3]. However, there has not been large quantitative studies conducted to determine performance changes when using worn grips. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate realistic, environmentally worn grip conditions and quantify players performance
and comfort levels.

Methods

Participants used an identical set of 3 standard length (37”) Titleist fitted irons with Project X (F-Flex) shafts and a singular MB fitted iron head. Each shaft had 3 different Golf Pride® tour velvet standard size grips. One new grip, and 2 exposed to ultraviolet (UVA/B) light. The UVA/B exposed grips were placed in a QLab QUV Accelerated Weather Tester chamber [4] for 8hrs (UV1), and 24hrs (UV2). Tests were conducted in the Fitting Studio at Golf Pride® headquarters in Pinehurst, NC, USA. Participants hit 10 shots with each grip into a simulator on an artificial turf surface. TrackMan© 4 launch monitor was used to collect performance data. After every 6 players, a new set of grips were put on the test clubs. Participants were asked to sign a consent form and were given a survey to gather information about their demographic and golf background. After each grip was swung, players were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 4, how secure the grip felt in their hands. Significant difference was demonstrated when p<0.05.

Results and Discussion

Seventeen (17) right-handed male golfers aged 24-40, with handicaps below 5, participated in this study. The new Golf Pride® tour velvet grips had an average coefficient of friction (CoF) of 8.2. The 24hr (UV2) tested grips had an average CoF of 2.5. A new Golf Pride® tour velvet grip was installed on a mandrel and exposed to natural sunlight with an average UV rating of 8.5. After 60hrs of exposure, the CoF measurement matched that of the 24hr (UV2) tested grip (CoF=2.5). When players used a new Golf Pride® tour velvet grip compared to the UV2 grip, their average ball speed (avg: 121.6 mph) increased by 1.3 mph (p=0.04) and the average carry length (avg: 168.6 yards) increased by 2.3 yards (p=0.02). The face impact location of the UV2 grip compared to the new grip showed a dispersion increase of 11% and 10% in the x-axis and y-axis, respectively. This demonstrates the possible slippage or rotation of the UV2 grip in the players hands during their swing. Eighty two percent (82%) of the participants felt the new grip was secure to very secure. Whereas for the UV2 tested grip, only 24% said the grip felt secure to very secure. The main take away from this test is grips exposed to UVA/B light negatively influence players performance and confidence level during their golf swing. Over 80% of players do not regrip their clubs every year. If this
population were to replace their worn grips with new Golf Pride® grips, they would see an increase in consistent face impacts leading to performance gains.

Significance

Many players do not understand the benefits of new grips or when to replace them. This research will benefit players, coaches, and fitters enabling them to recognize when and why players need to regularly change their golf grips. Identifying environmental and physical grip wear will no longer be solely subjective. Research based golf grip performance will influence when a player should change their grips. This will greatly benefit the golf community and provide a new understanding of grip material performance.

Acknowledgments

I would like to acknowledge Greg Cavill (Global Project Engineering and Advanced Concepts), Richard Mcneill (Lab
Technician), Daniel Zucchetto (Software Developer), the Center for Intelligent Power, Eaton Corporation, and Golf Pride®, for their support and providing the necessary equipment to conduct this research.

References

[1] G. Pride, “How to tell if your golf grips are worn,” Eaton Corporation, 22 July 2021. [Online]. Available:
https://www.golfpride.com/blog/how-to-tell-if-your-golf-grips-are-worn/.
[2] M. N. Golf, “Golf Grip Test – Worn Golf Grip VS New Golf Grip,” YouTube, 2019. [Online]. Available:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqiHxb5gQGQ. [Accessed 2022].
[3] J. Savage, “Equipment: How often should you re-grip your golf clubs?,” National Golfer Club.com, 1 March 2016.
[Online]. Available: https://www.nationalclubgolfer.com/news/equipment-how-often-should-you-regrip-your-golf-clubs/. [Accessed 2022].
[4] “QLab,” 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.q-lab.com/. [Accessed 2022].

Contact Info:
Sara F. Bryant
email: sarafbryant@eaton.com