What we say...
We review the BRD X1 Golf Grips after using a full set of them for 12 rounds
“Technically it’s still a golf grip, but it has nothing to do with all the grips you’ve ever played before.”
That’s the line from BRD Grips, a family business based in Florence, Italy.
BRD released their first grip, the B1, back in 2017. It was a full cord grip made of rubber and cotton. I haven’t tested it, but reviews suggest it was a perfectly good grip, if not particularly ground-breaking.
But it’s BRD’s second offering, the X1-Grip, which is seeking to break new ground in the world of golf grips and that I have tested over the last couple of months.
BRD call it “the number one next-generation golf grip” and say it delivers “the softest feel, tackiness, shock-absorption and torsional stability thanks to its innovative technology featuring a double-layer construction”.
That double-layer construction comprises an external transparent layer on top of an inner polymer core. BRD say the combination is specifically designed and tested for the highest swing speeds, to filter shocks and vibrations in order to guarantee the best feedback throughout the swing.
After all the big build-up, when I first got them out of the packaging, I wasn’t hugely impressed. They felt and looked a bit plasticky and cheap, probably because of the transparent outer layer. But, as soon as I put one on a club, that feeling completely changed.
The BRD X1 grips feel very tacky in the hands, and even just hitting a few pitch shots immediately made me realize how worn my own grips were and how that was making me grip the club tighter than I normally would. I’m someone who likes to use a very light grip pressure and the reassuring feel of the X1 is really helpful for that.
Even when swinging driver, the BRD X1 grips enable me to hold the club very lightly, which I’ve always found beneficial for both speed and accuracy. I’ve never hit my driver as well as I have during the last couple of months, and whilst I can’t put that all down to the new grips, I do feel they have helped. The only downside is that they are so grippy my clubs sometimes get a little stuck on each other when going in or out of my golf bag.
I have only used the X1 grips for 12 rounds and some practice sessions so far, so can’t comment on their long-term durability, but they’re as good now as they were when I first put them on. Golfers who play regularly should consider replacing their grips annually anyway, and there’s nothing yet to suggest the BRD X1 grips won’t comfortably last that long.
The installation process is very easy. They can be installed using air installation, which apparently requires no tape, takes just three seconds and enables you to test and reinstall as many times as you want, but I used the standard solvent and tape process. BRD recommend not using multiple layers of tape as the two-layer construction won’t perform as intended if stretched out over extra layers of tape – something to consider if you normally like lots of tape and a very thick feel.
I’m not in love with the ‘BRD’ branding, and golfers who use their grips to align may find that more difficult with the X1 than some other grips with different visual guides, but it’s not something that bothers me when preparing to hit a shot. If it offends you, you could always install the grips with the logo on the underside.
My only other suggested improvement would be on packaging, as each grip comes individually wrapped in plastic. At a time when golf brands are increasingly seeking to be more environmentally friendly, each full set of BRD grips means 13 extra plastic wrappers, which seems unnecessary and I’d like to see them grouped into one bag or, even better, sent in a more sustainable material.
At $15.99 a piece, The X1 grips aren’t cheap, but the performance is as good as any grips I’ve tried. If the durability does prove to be a match for the feel, the BRD X1 will be a very strong alternative to the best golf grips from the likes of Golf Pride and Lamkin.
– Best Golf Grips