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To glove or not to glove?

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It is one of golf’s timeless debates—do you need to wear a golf glove?

For many players, it is a make or break piece of equipment, while for others it’s embraced as a fashion accessory as much as a necessity.

One of the best examples of a glove or gloves offering a performance advantage is with rain gloves. Anyone that has traveled to Ireland or Scotland to play golf will attest, not having a pair of rain gloves while trying to play golf in a deluge would be like trying to play golf in bowling shoes—sure it’s “possible,” but the likelihood of success is greatly diminished.

Considering the price for high-quality rain gear, rain gloves pale in comparison and are worth every penny.

Most players on the PGA Tour use a glove with a few exceptions—the modern one being Lucas Glover (I don’t think we need to spell out the irony of that) and the always loveable Freddy Couples. A more historic player well known for beating golf balls and never wearing a glove is Moe Norman—as the Moe stories go, and there are a lot out there, after a certain time he would cut the calluses off the pad in his left hand when they would get too hard and start to bug him.

Factors in selection

The decision to use a glove also relies a lot on a player’s choice of grip. Cord grips are rough and designed to offer maximum traction and all-weather performance, but depending on how often someone plays or hits balls, they can be quite uncomfortable. Now, on the other end of the spectrum are multi-layer grips made with a rubber core and wrapped in some manner with a tacky polyurethane outer layer for soft traction and comfort. For more fairweather golfers, these are the grip of choice, and also provide extra shock absorption on mishits.

It would be negligent not to also point out that one of the most popular grips of the last decade— the MMC from Golf Pride—offers a firm corded top portion for under the glove hand, and a softer lower portion for the bare one, it is the best of both worlds.

So many to choose from

Now when it comes to gloves, the sky is the limit as far as options go, everyone from Costco and its Kirkland Signature brand all the way to luxury designers offer golf gloves. The most premium gloves use thin high-quality leather which is extremely supple and is designed to feel like you are hardly wearing one at all.

Other options like the Claw from Caddy Daddy are designed for both traction and durability and are constructed from synthetic materials designed to outlive the traditional leather glove, they can even be cleaned in a washing machine—for everyone, no, but for many, this is the golden ticket.

When it comes to wearing a glove, I’m solidly on the fence—my hands don’t sweat, and I play just enough golf to keep them blister-free, but for some reason, I enjoy the custom of carrying one around in my back pocket. If it is really humid, then the glove goes on, when it’s cold, I will often wear it too, but for some reason, there is just something about playing fresh cord grips without a glove that I can’t get out of my head.

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Bob Pegram

    Aug 31, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    I used to use full cord grips, but they tore up my hands. I have never used a glove. When I was a beginner a round of golf and a glove cost about the same. I round of golf did my game more good than a glove. I now use mid size rubber grips. My hands usually don’t sweat. I suppose I should get some sort of rain glove before the rainy season arrives since the rubber grips are smoother than the Lamkin Crossline grips I used to use. They wouldn’t slip unless it was raining hard and they got very wet.

  2. Mike

    Aug 31, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I do not wear a glove and the only reason why is it definitely helps me to reduce my grip pressure and just swing. When i wear a glove I seem to grip the club tighter and that creates problems on the course. If i have a blister or cut, I just use some medical tape or no skin to protect during the round.

  3. Bas Kooij

    Aug 31, 2020 at 3:43 am

    I only wear gloves on the driving range to prevent blisters. I will occasionally use one with the driver, but usually I don’t wear one on the course.

  4. Dave

    Aug 30, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Think about this: 98% of pro golfers wear a thin, white, leather glove on their top hand gripping the club. Being different can be cool and can work, but when an overwhelming majority of the world’s best are doing the exact same thing, its probably for good reason. Wear a glove

    • Tim

      Aug 31, 2020 at 10:43 am

      Let me guess – you also buy the exact same equipment setups that the Pros use as well? Just because the Pro’s where one does not mean others should wear one. Do what is RIGHT for YOUR game not just because a Pro is wearing one.

      • Matt Smith

        Aug 31, 2020 at 2:16 pm

        That’s not the same thing. Wearing a glove isn’t like choosing between which driver brand, its like choosing to wear shoes or go barefoot

  5. Rob

    Aug 30, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    I wear a glove for tee shots and occasionally full approach’s. My hands sweat a lot and I can destroy I high quality leather glove in a few rounds. That’s partly why I pretty much only wear it for tee shots. When my hands start sweating badly I have a better grip with no glove than a wet leather one. I like cord grips and don’t find them too rough on my hands at all.

    • JT

      Aug 31, 2020 at 5:54 am

      I have the same issue with leather gloves in general that I ruin them in a couple of rounds or sessions at the range. I found that wearing rain gloves (the FJ one) as a regular glove paired with cord grips works amazingly well. On all shots including the short game!

  6. Acemandrake

    Aug 30, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I never understood the occasional glove wearer. The glove/no glove feels are different.

    Also, it’s difficult to go back to no glove after using one for an extended period.

    I just wear a glove all the time.

  7. Nack Jicklaus

    Aug 30, 2020 at 7:59 am

    I played Lamkin full cord grips with no glove in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. For some reason I switched grips and have never played gloveless again. Might have to go back to the old Lamkin cords now and play gloveless again just for fun…

  8. Rich

    Aug 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Glove or no glove? Glove. Bionic Performance. Best glove ever.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (5/20/22): Mint Cobra LTDx LS 9 degree driver head

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.

It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Mint Cobra LTDx LS 9 degree driver head

From the seller (@Rosco1216): “Mint cobra LTDx LS 9* head. 5g of neutral melt. Weighs 201g. Do not have head cover but will ship fully protected. Can include adapter if needed. Asking $360 obo. I do have a couple shaft options in the 75x range I could put in if interested. DM me if interested.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Mint Cobra LTDx LS 9 degree driver head

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Titleist launches new Tour Soft and Tour Speed balls

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Titleist has today introduced its latest Tour Soft and Tour Speed golf balls.

Tour Soft

At 1.600”, the Tour Soft retains one of the largest core sizes in the Titleist golf ball portfolio and the same soft compression as the current generation. As such a large core requires an extremely thin cover, Titleist developed the thin 4CE grafted cover, which is designed to help generate reliable greenside spin for short game playability.

The Tour Soft golf ball features a new aerodynamic design – the 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple design – that bids to deliver optimized ball flight for longer distances.

Speaking on the new addition, Jeremy Stone, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing. said

“The Tour Soft golfer prioritizes feel and seeks the softest possible, but they are also looking for all around performance. The new Tour Soft has been reengineered for improved performance from tee through green.”

Specs, Price & Availability

  • Color Codes: White and Yellow (#1-4)
  • Price: $35 per dozen
  • Availability: May 20

Tour Speed

The Tour Speed ball features a reformulated 1.550″ core that is designed to deliver high speeds and a proprietary high flex casing layer, uniquely designed for this golf ball to maintain low long game spin.

The reformulated Tour Speed golf ball maintains its proprietary Titleist Performance Urethane (TPU) cover – specifically formulated by Titleist Golf Ball R&D chemists – and 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple design, a combination designed to offer a penetrating, consistent flight and optimized greenside spin for short game control.

Speaking on the Tour Speed ball, Frederick Waddell, Director of Product Management, said

“The key to the development process was successfully reformulating the core and high-flex casing layer to perform in conjunction with the proprietary Titleist Performance Urethane (TPU) cover to our stringent quality tolerances, so the golf ball performs consistently on every shot.”

Specs, Price & Availability

  • Color Codes: White and Yellow (#1-4)
  • Price: $40 per dozen
  • Availability: U.S. on May 20th in White (#1-4) and on June 21st in Yellow (#1-4); Global May 20th

 

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Equipment

Do I need a 5-iron? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the need for a 5-iron. WRXer ‘DarkAirPlane’ is new to the sport and kicks off the thread, saying:

“Beginner here. I would like to purchase a set of 2021 T300 irons. I’m thinking I should order 6-W1 in order to be somewhat close to “traditional” lofts. Do I really need the T300 5 iron (23 degree loft)? 23 degree loft is more like a 4 iron. I don’t think I can generate enough speed to hit 23 degrees longer than the t300 6 iron (26 degrees).”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • PNW: “Nothing wrong with doing that at all, and it might help simplify things as you’re starting out. And you’re right that 23* is more like a modern-traditional 4 iron, so it won’t be easy to hit as a beginner even in a Game Improvement set. I would say save yourself the money and go without the 5 iron. As you get better and you figure out you need a club in that spot there will be options at that point to order a single club, either 5 iron or maybe hybrid.”
  • Vater: “It’s refreshing to hear you be honest and smart in talking about what clubs suit you. T300s, questioning needing a 5 iron, swing speed… I’m certain you’re going to enjoy the game and get pretty good through this kind of outlook – instead of forcing yourself into blades and 2 irons…I have a jacked 5 iron at 24 deg, and I put a Recoil shaft into it. With the stock shaft, it was pretty hit or miss, and I’d just go to my hybrid. Now that I’ve made it fit me, it’s useful for the gap between my new hybrid and my 6 iron.”
  • bellken: “No, you don’t need a 5 iron. You can always order a 5 iron later if you decide you want one. I ditched the 5 iron a while ago.”

Entire Thread: “Do I need a 5-iron? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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