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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.

12 Comments

12 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.

    • CT

      Aug 31, 2020 at 1:13 am

      Simple for me, if it’s a full shot wear a glove, if it’s not a “full shot” ie a chip or when putting then no glove

  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

Justin Rose WITB 2021 (October)

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  • Justin Rose what’s in the bag accurate as of the CJ Cup. 

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (9 degrees @7)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 6.5

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (4), TaylorMade P7MC (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F), SM7 (56-08M), SM8 (60-06M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Axis1 Rose Prototype
Grip: Lamkin PistolClaw

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 (2021)

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Titleist launches Pro V1 RCT (Radar Capture Technology) golf balls

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If you’ve hit golf balls indoors on a TrackMan, you’re familiar with the annoyance of orientating a ball’s reflective marker for tracking.

Beyond the inconvenience of tinkering with every ball before hitting, the current “position the sticker” system is far from perfect — if you don’t orientate the ball the right way, the sticker is damaged or has fallen off, spin numbers will be estimated, and thus, less accurate.

And while this phenomenon is bothersome to the golfer beating balls on a TrackMan indoors, it’s even more problematic for indoor fitters who rely heavily on spin numbers and accuracy in peak height, roll out, carry distance, and more to make their club and shaft recommendations.

Fortunately, Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls with Radar Capture Technology (RCT), launched today, offer a solution and provide the most accurate ball flight information possible (more on the 2021 Pro V1 and Pro V1x here).

“Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x RCT golf balls combine the game’s greatest combination of speed, spin, and feel with new technology that more consistently captures precision performance and golf ball data from TrackMan units used in an indoor setting,” said Jeremy Stone, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing. “We have worked closely with TrackMan for more than two years to optimize this embedded radar reflective, patent pending technology. The result is a reliably strong ‘signal’ that enables spin capture on all shots.”

Years in the making, these golf balls have the same performance characteristics of Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. According to Titleist, golfers can play them outside, if they’re so inclined, and they won’t notice a difference in performance, and RCT balls conform with R&A and USGA rules.

It took Titleist and TrackMan engineers years of collaboration to develop a technology that would both stand up to the wear and tear of a golf ball in an indoor environment and return 99-plus percent signal capture.

Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x RCT golf balls will be available through authorized Titleist trade partners in North America and EMEA, as well as Titleist.com beginning Nov. 3, Global distribution will follow in April 2022. $64.99/dozen.

Team Titleist produced this Q&A to answer additional questions regarding the RCT balls. 

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Equipment

‘It’s the perfect club’ – GolfWRXers discuss Callaway’s new Apex UW utility wood

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In our forums, our members have been discussing Callaway’s new Apex UW utility wood. WRXer ‘CopeGolfer’ is interested in hearing from members who have hit the club, and plenty of WRXers have been sharing their very positive early experiences with the UW 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.

  • XanderSingh: “I took mine out for the first time yesterday! I have it shafted with an Atmos Blue 8x. I have a 21 degree to go up against my 7 wood. I really like it so far; it’s much easier to work and flight the ball than my 7 wood. Also should mention that I’ve never gotten along with hybrids. I would equate it to fairway woods that I played as a junior (early 2000’s). Also, I think it’s for everyone really; my friend who is an 18 handicap hit it a few times and really loved it. So much that he picked up a 17 degree on his way home to replace his 4 wood.”
  • PowerCobra98: “I’ve had mine for about a week now. It’s the perfect club. Really the best of both worlds between fairway and hybrid.”
  • mootrail: “Got Mine! Looks fantastic! Easy to hit, centered every one and feels hot and solid (off the mat). I settled for the Project X as I didn’t want to wait but seemed decent at the shop. From address, it reminds me a lot of my Nickent 3DX Utility DC which was exactly this; a cross between their fairway and hybrid. Beyond that, it’s miles different. Mats and launch monitors are meaningless to me; I can’t wait to get it out on the course! I will say it sets up open, launches low and definitely seems anti-left; exactly what I’m looking for.”
  • QuigleyDU: “This club is awesome. I am completely smitten.”

Entire Thread: ‘It’s the perfect club’ – GolfWRXers discuss Callaway’s new Apex UW utility wood

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