Fresh grips can gain you yards, study shows


Golf Pride study reveals that changing your grips will help you gain distance.

If ‘grip it and rip it’ is your first swing thought every time you pull out your driver like me, then you may want to hang fire, just for a moment.

Novel findings from the first of a series of research studies into grip performance by Golf Pride suggest the more accurate phrase should be ‘re-grip it to rip it’.

High-level players (handicaps below 5) reported increased ball speeds of 1.3 mph (average: 121.6 mph), leading to increased carry lengths of 2.3 yards.

I know what you’re thinking…how are two yards going to make a meaningful difference to my scorecard? And you’re right, it probably won’t on every hole. However, think for a second.

What about those drives where you opt for 3-wood instead of driver, just in case you flush it out the middle and that strategically placed fairway bunker at 250 yards comes into play?

Or how about when you opt to lay up on a par 5 and forfeit a shot at eagle because the stream that runs across the fairway is in play if you wanted to be aggressive?

Small wins I know, but when added together with other marginal gains, such as choosing the best driver, then all of a sudden you could be standing over more birdie putts more often.

At Today’s Golfer, we have long been fans of the obsessive innovation and commitment to optimizing performance at the heart of Golf Pride’s operation.

So much so that we reviewed the best Golf Pride grips so you can decide which grip is best for your game.

Golf Pride Grips

What did Golf Pride say about the study?

Greg Cavill, Global Project Engineering Manager for Eaton Corporation, and leader of the research team behind this study said: “The results of this detailed test demonstrate that there are tangible and defined benefits to re-gripping.

We’re excited to continue exploring the benefits of re-gripping, and further understanding how the connection between the hands and the grip can have an impact on performance”.

Audrey Rodriguez, Head of Global Brand Marketing for Golf Pride, commented: “An extra couple of yards’ carry could be the difference between a birdie and a bogey, so understanding the benefits of new vs worn grips will allow golfers to continually perform at their optimum levels.

This is very much the tip of the iceberg of what we’re doing as an industry leader to drive the importance of the grip category, and highlight grips as a key piece of performance equipment within the game.”

Identify Worn Grips

Were there any other findings?

A further significant finding from this pioneering study was that 82% of the participants reported that the new grip felt ‘secure to very secure’ in their hands.

Conversely, when using warn grips, only 24% reported the same secure sensation.

We can all speak to the influence of psychology when it comes to performing our best on the course. Looking good with a pair of the best golf sunglasses is one thing, but feeling good over the ball is equally important.

New grips have been shown in this study to provide that extra confidence boost at address, a benefit that shouldn’t be downplayed.

Today’s Golfer recommends that if you play golf at least once a week then you should replace your golf grips approximately once a year.

Over 80% of players do not currently do this and miss out on easy performance gains.

What exactly did the study involve?

Participants aged 24-40, hit a total of 30 shots with an identical standard length (37”) Titleist fitted iron with Project X shafts and a singular MB fitted iron head into a simulator on an artificial turf surface. A TrackMan 4 launch monitor was used to collect performance data of interest.

Each player hit ten shots with a brand new grip, ten with a grip exposed to ultraviolet light in an accelerated weather test chamber for eight hours, and the remaining ten shots with a grip exposed in the chamber for 24 hours.

– Best golf grips

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About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Golf Equipment Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Golf Equipment Writer

Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation. He’s also an expert in golf apparel and has a keen interest in sustainability.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

Ross lives in Snowdonia National Park with his wife and 40 kg Bernese Mountain dog! He is a member of Porthmadog Golf Club with a handicap index of 15.4.

Away from golf, Ross enjoys hiking, trail running, and supporting the mighty Bristol Bears.

Ross uses a Cobra King SZ Speedzone driver, Titleist TSi2 3-Wood, TaylorMade Sim2 Rescue, Callaway Apex Pro irons (4-PW), Cleveland 588 RTX wedges (52°, 58°), Odyssey White Hot Pro-1 putter, and a TaylorMade Tour Response golf ball.

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