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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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Whats in the Bag

Kevin Kisner WITB 2023 (February)

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kevin kisner witb 2023

Driver: Titleist TSR3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 6 X

Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 6 X

3-wood: Wilson Dynapwr (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 80 S

Irons: Wilson Staff
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro prototype

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10S), Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60-T)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 125 Wedge

Putter: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Seven
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

More photos of Kevin Kisner’s what’s in the bag in the forums.

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VRST Golf unveils new clothing line for 2023

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This week, a new golf clothing line was announced by VRST Golf.

The brand launched in 2021 and is a men’s apparel line that brings style and versatility to both the athlete and everyday man, where pieces can be worn for training to casually getting around town.

With the Golf season right around the corner, their first-ever golf collection brings modern style that can be worn on-course and off. You can find all of the available items here: VRST

VRST Golf offers versatile and trendy golf tops, bottoms, and layering pieces. The line provides styling options for the versatile golfer with gear that goes beyond the course. The collection is now available online and at select DICK’S Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy locations and will be expanding to over 180 store locations by end of February.

Check out VRST’s launch video here:

 

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Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K lineup now includes mallets

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What you need to know: In January 2022, in the name of creating a blades with the MOI of mallets and forward CG, Odyssey threw everything at the wall with the Tri-Hot 5K family of blade putters: stainless steel, tungsten, 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. A year later, the company is bringing the same technology package to mallets with the Rossie and Seven models. The Tri-Hot 5K lineup now stands at seven putters (four with multiple necks).

2023 Odyssey Tri-Hot putters: Features and technology

Engineers applied the “Tri-Hot formula” utilized in blade putters in 2022 to move CG forward and raise MOI for a more forgiving mallet design — and a 5,000 IZZ inertia level (hence “5K”). Golfers will see improved speed and spin control, as well as consistency on off-center hits, according to the company, resulting in golf balls that finish closer to the hole when sub-optimally struck.

Stainless steel front: Odyssey touts the side-spin reducing capabilities of the 303 stainless steel hosel and face area for off-center putts. Tighter dispersion and putts that a more likely to go in results. Acting in a complementary fashion, the rear of the mallets are milled for tighter shape and weight tolerances that allows the CG to remain forward.

Tungsten front weights: Up to 120 grams of tungsten is positioned behind the face in the heel and toe sections of the putter heads. The resulting forward CG improves roll and increases inertia.

Interchangeable front weights: Available in 5, 10, 15 and 20 grams to dial in head weight and performance.

White Hot insert: 2023 Tri-Hot 5K putters add the iconic two-part urethane White Hot insert, which was originally developed using the same material as Callaway’s Rule 35 golf ball. White Hot, with its “firm but soft” properties has been a long-time favorite of Callaway staffers and recreational golfers. According to Callaway, “They’ve been asking for us to bring these technologies back and we’ve listened.” Can’t argue with that.

Stroke Lab shaft: The newest generation of Callaway’s multi-material Stroke Lab shaft features a shortened steel section and reduced weight (seven grams). Additionally it is stiffer. All of this leads to more stability and consistency.

Additional model details

Full lineup details — and who they’re for — including 2022 releases, via Callaway. 

One: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a crank neck hosel creating moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes that have moderate arc and face rotation

Two: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a crank neck hosel creating moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes that have moderate arc and face rotation. Less rounded than the One.

Three: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a flow neck hosel yielding more toe hang making it suitable for strokes with more aggressive swing arc and face rotation

Double Wide (CH, CB): CH: A wide blade with a crank neck hosel yielding moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes with moderate swing arc and face rotation. CS: Face-balanced center shafted wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation

Triple Wide (DB, CS): DB: A face-balanced double bend wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation. CS: A face-balanced center shafted wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation.

Rossie: (DB, S): DB: A face-balanced double bend mallet suitable for strokes with minimal arc and face rotation. S: A mallet with a short slant hosel, suitable for strokes with arc and face rotation.

Seven (DB, S, CH): DB: A face-balanced double bend mallet suitable for strokes with minimal arc and face rotation. S:  mallet with a short slant hosel, suitable for strokes with arc and face rotation. CH: a mallet with a crank hosel, suitable for strokes with moderate arc and face rotation.

Pricing and availability

At retail: March 2, 2022

Price: $399.99

Standard grip: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Pistol

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