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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 part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He 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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Equipment

2021 TaylorMade Spider X, EX, S, and SR putters offer improved roll, feel, and forgiveness

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Building putters is about creating options and incorporating technology. For TaylorMade’s all-new Spider putters for 2021—including the Spider X Hydro Blast, EX, Spider S, and SR—it’s the little details that make big differences.

“With this new class of Spider putters, we focused on removing two of those variables: aim and alignment … While each putter brings something unique to the table, they are bonded by a foundation of forgiveness, stability, and True Path alignment that makes it easier to aim.” – Bill Price, Product Creation, Putters & Wedge

The idea of a “classic” golf club or putter shape won’t generally have people reminiscing about a TaylorMade Spider, but the design has been around for well over a decade—and although it has gone through some design tweaks over the years, the modern Spider is here to stay

Spider X Hydro Blast

This putter is all about small changes to an already great design with the most notable being the Hydro Blast finishing process. The new Spider X also features

  • The classic Spider X head shape, available in both a face-balanced double-bend and a smaller slant neck with 21 degrees of toe hang.
  • Multimaterial construction to offer maximum stability and increased MOI.
  • White True Path for a high-contrast look that is easy to align

Availability and Price

Preorder for the Spider X Hydro Blast starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $279.99.

The new Spider X will be available in stock lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35″ be completed with a KBS Chrome C-Taper Stepless shaft and Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider EX

With the Spider EX, TaylorMade is flexing its putter design capabilities when it comes to face technology to improve roll and feel. The Spider EX features a new co-molded insert made of white TPU urethane and small aluminum beams angled at 45°. This combination of materials gets the ball up and rolling quicker and also creates a soft yet solid feel to improve player feedback.

Speaking of feedback and feel the Spider EX has a newly designed “Fluted feel” shaft with a more flexible portion starting 5″ below the tip to add stability while also maintaining a softer feel through the stroke,  and is slightly larger than the Spider X to increase MOI.

Availability and price

Preorder for the Spider EX starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $349.99 – See chart for full color availability.

The stock options will include lengths of  33″, 34″, and 35″, the TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to top it off a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S and SR

It’s about options and alignment. The Spider S uses geometry and topline sights to help golfers who prefer to use the width of the ball for accurate sighting.

The Spider S also offers the same Fluted Feel shaft and white TPU Pure roll insert to create a soft feel.

The Spider SR is the “Stability Monster” of the 2021 TaylorMade putter lineup and utilizes multiple weights around the head to raise MOI.

While the Spider S’s alignment system is for players who use the front of the putter, the SR places the True path alignment away from the face and between the wings. This allows golfers to use the clean topline and parallel wings to line up to the intended path while still offering a visual aid to behind the ball.

Availability and Price

The Spider S and SR putters will be available for preorder March 2 and will land at retail beginning April 9, with a price of $279.99. The stock configurations will include lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35 and they will be completed with a TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to topped with a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S options

Spider SR options

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Equipment

‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been trying to help out WRXer ‘RkoDavey’, who is struggling to chip with forged wedges. ‘RkoDavey’ kicks off the thread saying:

“For most of my golfing life, I’ve struggled to chip with my sand wedge but usually have no trouble when I use my gap wedge, and I’m starting to wonder if this is related to my equipment. My gap wedge is part of my P790 iron set, but no sand wedge is available, so I play an Adams Tom Watson forged 56-degree wedge (bounce is 13 degrees).

 I can’t tell you how many times I chunk little greenside chips with my Adams wedge, but if I chip with my gap wedge, the club seems to glide right through the turf, and I have much better results. My problems arise when I have little green to work with and need the ball to stop quick–my gap wedge simply isn’t the right tool for that type of shot.”

And he poses two questions for fellow members to help him out:

“First, is there something about forged wedges that makes them radically different from your typical gap wedge that comes with a set of irons? I had this same issue with the previous irons I owned, and I wonder if it’s my equipment or if it’s all in my head.

Second, what recommendations can you give for a 55 or 56-degree sand wedge that will perform similar to my gap wedge?”

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.

  • IPA4me: “Check the bounce. Also, consider cavity back wedges for the added forgiveness.”
  • mootrail: “You’re comparing your super hot face hollow body set wedge to an ancient stamping with zero modern wedge design parameters. They might be perfectly fine for some, but the first thing to do is to toss them out. There are a few hollow body wedges out there, but it’s your swing and conditions first. You need to get to the shop and test them out.”
  • jomatty: “I’d check the leading edge between the two clubs.”

Entire Thread: “‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges'”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: GtiClay

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of GtiClay.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: GtiClay

GtiClay WITB

“I used to do the WITB more often here. It’s been a REALLY long time. Maybe more than 10 years, and I, unfortunately have only 1 year where I played more than 20 rounds in a year since then. I’m gonna play more… a lot more in the coming years as I’m turning 48 this year and want to have a damn good birthday week at Bandon when I turn 50.

My goal is sub 5 handicap by then. I have still been mostly playing i3 blades and TM 300s. But I want to convert to ‘legal grooves’, so I just picked up my first new set of irons in maybe 15 years. The i210’s… so here’s my current WITB.”

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (10.5 degrees turned a bit to “lower” as I like a slightly open face at address)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X @ 44.5″

3-wood: TaylorMade R9 paintbreak TI (15 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X

5-wood: Tour Edge Exotics “ladies edition” (18 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped OG Aerotech SS85 X

Irons: Ping i210 (3-9i)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 46 @ 47*, 54 @ 53*
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Callaway PM grind 60*, shaft TBD

(note – this is cold weather setup.  I plan to drop the 3 wood and add my 2019 PM grind 58* and 64* with S400 when it warms up and I need it.)

Putter: Scotty Cameron JAT, TaylorMade Ghost Marenello 355g, both at 34″.

The JAT is somewhere else and due to Covid I haven’t been able to get it, but as soon as I can, I’ll put it into play.

Grip: Stock Pistol

Golf Ball: I love the Callaway HX balls in the wind, but will play most any premium urethane ball that is on sale.

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord BCT midsize with 2x extra tape.

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

 

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