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Review: Lamkin UTx and Wrap-Tech Grips

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Pros: The UTx ($6.99), UTx Wrap ($6.99) and Wrap-Tech ($4.99) grips offer top-shelf performance at an affordable price. The UTx and UTx Wrap are full-cord grips with an impressively soft touch, while the softer Wrap-Tech offers more tack and shock absorption.

Cons: The Wrap-Tech performs nicely in different weather conditions, but don’t expect the traction of firmer, corded grips in extreme humidity or the rain.

Who are they for? The Utx line is for players who want a corded grip that is firm, yet responsive. Wrap-Tech grips are for those seeking maximum comfort with minimum grip pressure from a grip that can handle tour-level swing speeds.

Overview

Golfers are routinely consumed by how their equipment feels — and rightfully so. A purely struck 7-iron that draws on command, lands softly and spins down the slope toward the hole makes us feel in control, if not downright giddy.

The club head, ball and shaft generally get most of the credit for these hallowed events, but what about the grip? It’s the golfers most basic and fundamental connection to the club, and if we’re to have a serious conversation about how our equipment feels maybe this is exactly where we should start.

For this review, I tested three of Lamkin’s newest grips on my driver, mid irons and wedges:

  • The UTx
  • The UTx Wrap
  • The Wrap-Tech

Each grip has a standard size of 0.580 inches (round), and I added 2-3 extra wraps to get it more in line with my preferred size. I subjected the grips to a variety of temperatures, playing conditions and even spilled (unintentionally mind you) my Diet Coke on one. A quick wipe down with a wet towel and it was good as new.

The UTx

 

product-utx-all-red-std

 

Lamkin’s UTx is a fully corded grip with a softer ACE 3GEN base layer and a firmer, yet tacky outer layer. The challenge in creating a firm grip — especially one with cord — is striking a balance of feedback and control, while mitigating any abrasive tendencies. The UTx was extremely comfortable and well-balanced, and offered plenty of feedback without ever feeling hard or inflexible.

Aesthetically, the UTx has a hexagonal texture, which obscures the cord and ranges in color from basic black, red or blue to slightly psychedelic blue or red.

I need a grip to navigate the dry Colorado heat, as well as one versatile enough to play in the rainy spring and colder fall conditions. If it’s too soft, I lose valuable feedback on my shots. If it’s too firm, the tendency is to grip the club too hard, leading to increased tension and inconsistent ball-striking.

It is precisely in this space of comfort where the UTx exists. It’s tacky without being sticky, and it’s sturdy without being squishy. I can’t say the grip is perfect, but the more I played it, the more I struggled to come up with criticisms that didn’t seem a bit contrived. That said, I wouldn’t be sad if the standard UTx had a bit more cord, particularly in the lower hand.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.lamkingrips.com/max-performance/utx” oemtext=”Learn more from Lamkin” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GTIPPIO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00GTIPPIO&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=N2DY2LOX3T4E5ZXC”]

 

The UTx Wrap

 

product-utx-wrap-blue

 

The UTx Wrap delivers the same high-level performance as the UTx, but is molded to resemble a wrap-style grip and is currently available in two colors: blue or black. Essentially, the UTx Wrap is a slight modification on the standard UTx for players desiring the playing attributes of the UTx in a wrap style grip.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.lamkingrips.com/max-performance/utx-wrap” oemtext=”Learn more from Lamkin” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P00SHRS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00P00SHRS&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=A6P7EC7BTJ3GJORO”]

 

The Wrap-Tech

 

product-wrap-tech-blue

 

Lamkin’s Wrap-Tech is quite different from the UTx line, as it is a much softer grip and utilizes dual surface textures to give the player every opportunity to go all Aerosmith and “get a grip.” For players without naturally strong grip pressure, or those who want to be able to play without a glove and maintain maximum tack, the Wrap-Tech is sublime. It’s ridiculously comfortable like super plush couch you can’t help but try it out — and after a couple minutes you’re either thoroughly impressed or convinced it’s a bit too much of a good thing.

With the Wrap-Tech grip, a double-helix pattern features a thin ribbon of white, red or blue that traces the wrap the entire length of the grip. The dual surfaces are marked by juxtaposing smooth and rough surfaces. Overall, the Wrap-Tech has a clean, yet snappy look without trying too hard to get attention.

If there is a knock on this grip, it’s the ability to perform in very humid or wet weather. Granted, rubber grips and rain typically get along like Rory McIlroy and 3 irons at Doral, but when it started to rain, I either needed to keep the Wrap-Tech grips very dry or reach for my rain gloves. On that note, rain gloves stuck to the Wrap-Tech like a dream, so keep them in the bag if you choose to use this grip.

Generally, softer grips tend to show wear more quickly than firm grips, but the Wrap-Tech broke in nicely after a couple rounds and showed very few early signs of wear. The only maintenance required on these is a quick wipe down with a damp towel after each use — or if you’re up for it, try the Lamkin Grip Wipes.

If you’re a player thirsting for maximum tack with minimum grip pressure, the Wrap-Tech is going to be as good, if not better than anything else in the $5-per-grip price range.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.lamkingrips.com/comfortable-performance/wrap-tech” oemtext=”Learn more from Lamkin” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P00SHLO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00P00SHLO&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=3VNBXOAQFASRXAW2″]

 

Odds and Ends

  • If you want the same grip of Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker or Keegan Bradley — or you want to play tour-authentic Lamkin ribbed grips — they can be ordered directly from the Tour Van section of Lamkin’s website.
  • Be sure to get fit for your grips. Most Lamkin standard grips have a core diameter of 0.580 inches, meaning they’ll play slightly larger than grips with a 0.600-inch diameter.
  • Grips don’t last forever. Change your grips each year, or every 30-40 rounds — whichever comes first.
  • If you can make Hamburger Helper, you can re-grip your own clubs. Check out this link to see how easy it is!

The Takeaway

Lamkin claims to have “the perfect grip for every golfer.” The company’s not wrong, and if you haven’t looked their way in the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the current quality, price and selection.

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I didn't grow up playing golf. I wasn't that lucky. But somehow the game found me and I've been smitten ever since. Like many of you, I'm a bit enthusiastic for all things golf and have a spouse which finds this "enthusiasm" borderline ridiculous. I've been told golf requires someone who strives for perfection, but realizes the futility of this approach. You have to love the journey more than the result and relish in frustration and imperfection. As a teacher and coach, I spend my days working with amazing middle school and high school student athletes teaching them to think, dream and hope. And just when they start to feel really good about themselves, I hand them a golf club!

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. webbstar

    May 30, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    I have used the tour wrap bct full cords for years but they were discontinued a few years back. (unless your name is henrik stenson)
    I had been buying up the remaining stock online but my supplier had sold out never to be seen again. Just regripped with the UTx wrap and i could not be happier. Very similar to the bct wrap. I too didn’t care for the multi coumpound grip that would not even last a full season. Thank you lamkin for filling a gap that was missing in the grip market.

  2. jonno

    May 30, 2015 at 1:43 am

    the 2014 version was terrible, wore out super fast, but it feels like they’ve firmed it up for 2015 – taking away some of the “point of difference” they had with the first soft-cord grip last year, but i appreciate the extra wear rate and hope they’ve found a good middle ground.
    i’ve got the blue ones on all 13 clubs – the 2015 ones, so i’ll you know in 6 months if they wear properly instead of two weeks like the 2014 version!

  3. Jeez Utz

    May 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Winn Dri Tac 1/8
    Best grips ever made

    • Chris

      May 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Hard to say anything is the “best ever made” – The Dri Tac is great for someone who wants a super soft/comfy grip and in my experience, doesn’t mind regripping fairly often.

  4. 1973

    May 29, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    So here’s a question for those in the know…Do wrap grips work/fit lefthanders in the same way right handers? As a lefty I always feel as though the spiral wrap runs against the fingers?

    • Chris

      May 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      That’s a great question – and honestly one I’ve never considered as a RH player who rarely uses wrap style grips – I’ll do some digging and see what I can come up with…Thanks for the question!

      • 1973

        May 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

        Thanks Chris appreciate it – excited to see what you find! Perhaps if Lamkin, Golf Pride are watching…

  5. Nolanski

    May 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I have a UTx on a wedge. It feels great. But for some reason I like the full cord Golf prides BCTs better. I sweat a lot…

    • Chris

      May 29, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      If you like more cord – especially a more pronounced cord – the BCT’s are tough to beat – Perhaps it has something to do with moisture management – but at the end of the day, play what works best for ya!

  6. Progolfer

    May 29, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve been playing the UTx grips for the past year, and couldn’t be happier. I used to play Golf Pride’s MultiCompound grips, but they got slick quickly and I had to replace them often. Lamkin’s UTx last a very long time and keep their traction. They’re the best grips out there!

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.

So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.

These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.

Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims

The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. Custom comfort that lasts all day

These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.

Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.

On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.

After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.

Verdict

I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.

 

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII

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Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.

Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.

Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII

First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.

In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.

Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.

Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.

Review

The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.

The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.

Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.

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