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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: Motocaddy M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC electric cart review

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I have been thinking about electric golf push carts, or trollies, ever since I started playing in my league seven years ago.

Motocaddy has been making high-quality electric, and non-electric, carts since 2004 and has a couple of great options for the golfer who loves to walk. Motocaddy was nice enough to get their M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC in my hands to try out on the course for a few weeks.

I have had a lot of people stop me to ask about the carts, and the one thing I keep telling them is that these carts are just flat out fun to use on the course.

Motocaddy M7 Remote

The M7 Remote was very easy to get set up right out of the box. All you have to do is charge the battery, install the wheels, and you are pretty much ready to go. The M7 folds up pretty small, just a little larger than the 3-wheel pushcart that I had been using for years. Getting it to the course should be no problem with just about any trunk space. Now, the one downside to an electric cart is the weight when moving it around, and both carts come in at around 35 pounds each. Even with that extra weight, I didn’t have much trouble lifting them in and out of the back of a pickup.

The M7 unfolds quickly with the flick of two levers and extends the front wheels automatically. Once unfolded, you drop in the battery, plug it in, and secure your bag. If you own a Motocaddy bag, they have developed a really nice system called EasiLock that involves two metal studs that fit into the bottom of the cart. This system also includes a molded base that prevents the bag from rotating at all, even on the roughest terrain. You can still use the M7 with almost any other golf bag as it includes elastic straps that wrap around the top and bottom of the bag.

As soon as you plug in the battery the LCD screen comes to life and you are ready to go. You can use the M7 without the remote by using the dial on the handle to control the starting, stopping, and speed. But the M7 has a remote that is activated by a simple press of the power button to get going. The remote is very simple with just five buttons to control where the M7 goes.

Getting a feel for the M7 takes no time at all and by the time you drive it from your car to the 1st tee you will be in complete, and confident, control of the cart. You simply press the “+” button to start moving forward and the cart takes off gently without any rattling of your clubs, and you can press that same button again to increase the speed. The cart will go from a slow crawl, for bumpy or tight areas, too, as fast as I could run with just a few presses of the button. The big red “stop” button in the center stops the cart immediately, and when stopped it is locked in place, even on steep hills. You don’t have to worry about remembering to set the brakes or anything because it is done automatically.

Steering is just as easy: simply press the right or left button to turn the cart. Small, quick presses will just slightly adjust the cart as it moves down the fairway while a long hold of the button can make it turn on a dime to the right or left.

Almost everyone asked me how stable the cart was and if it would tip over. I can proudly say that it has stayed upright even on some unseen bumps at maximum speed. Side hills, ruts, and even curbs are handled with ease with the help of the small rear wheel.

I really enjoy strolling down the fairway with nothing but the M7’s remote in my hand — it just makes golfing more fun!

Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC

After using the M7 and its fancy remote, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like not having it. But to be honest the M5 was just as fun to use, but for a different reason.

As the name suggests, the M5 has a built-in GPS with 40,000 courses preloaded into it. The screen is a good size, pretty responsive to the touch, and easy to read in direct sunlight. Having the GPS directly on the cart is great, you drive up to your ball and immediately have yardage to the front, back, and center of the green as well as bunkers and hazards. You can easily toggle between screens on the GPS and it offers a couple of different views to help navigate the hole. The M5 can also keep score and let you know shot distances right on the screen. Motocaddy even includes nice little touches like a screen protecter kit to ensure durability.

Driving the M5 is just as easy as the M7 with using the dial on the handle. And speaking of the handle, the grips have a great tacky rubber that grips well even in hot and humid conditions. To start the M5 you just press the dial down and the cart will gently start down the fairway. You can turn the dial to increase or decrease the speed — I found between 5-6 to be the most comfortable for me. But the speed can go up to a very fast pace if you are looking to set a record for fastest round of the day.

As you walk down the fairway, or rough, stopping the cart is as simple as pressing he dial again. When stopped the M5 engages a parking brake automatically so you don’t have to worry about it running down a hill without your approval. The M5 has tons of power to go up just about any hill and the Down Hill Control (DHC) keeps the speed consistent even when going down a steep decent.

Since the M5 has so much power, and it is a little heavy, I thought steering would be a little bit of a challenge. It wasn’t, at all. Guiding the M5 took very little effort and slight adjustments going down the fairway were very easy. Really tight turns took a slight bit more effort as the torque can want to go forward a little more than turn. Again, once you get the M5 from the car to the first tee, you will be a master at driving it.

Overall, Motocaddy has created two great carts that provide additional enjoyment to walking your favorite 9 or 18. Having the ability to walk without carrying or pushing your bag, clubs, and whatever else goes with you. I like them so much that it is going to be hard to get the M7’s remote out of my hands when I go play!

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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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