We Baby Boomers have a love affair with golf, but as we get older aches & pains become more prevalent and can impact our enjoyment of the game. Arthritis is the #1 challenge we all face as we get older and the first place we tend to notice joint pain is in our hands.
Golf grip companies have made huge advancements in grip materials which can help those of us that experience pain hitting golf balls. The term “Arthritic Golf Grip” has been thrown around quite liberally lately by golf grip marketers as a panacea for arthritic hands. The truth is that there is no such thing as an “arthritic grip” that will cure all your pain, rather grip manufactures have developed softer materials that can cushion vibration at impact, and, made larger diameter grips for those with difficulty holding on to their clubs or applying too much grip tension.
When selecting a grip to ease arthritic pain should you choose a softer grip, a larger diameter grip or both? The standard line of thinking is if vibration at impact is causing pain in your hands, elbow and even up to your neck then a softer grip can help. If you have larger hands or rheumatoid arthritis limits your ability to hold on to the club through your finish, then a larger diameter grip maybe warranted.
Let’s first discuss larger diameter grips. Most manufacturers make grips in multiple sizes from junior to jumbo.
If your primary challenge is wrapping your hand around the golf club, and holding on through your finish, stepping up one size grip may help. While the majority of golfers on the PGA Tour play a standard size grip, most of them use masking tape to build up the diameter to give them a more comfortable hold of the club, Bubba Watson is famous for using up to 12 layers of tape to build up grip on his driver! Bryson DeChambeau has preached the benefit of using jumbo grips to help his game and his recent success adds merit to his methods.
Most club manufacturers make oversize grips, but JumboMax grips, the brand played by DeChambeau, are probably the best known oversize grips.
Most golfers currently using a regular size grip should consider moving up to a midsize grip as first step to see how it performs before moving all the way up to a jumbo. We recommend regripping two of your most used clubs (usually your 7-iron & wedge) so you can test them out first before investing in a whole new set of grips.
If reducing pain at impact and vibration are your main concerns then switching to a softer material maybe the best first step for you. There are a number of “cushioning” grips on the market that can help make your golf swing more comfortable. Our most requested cushioned grips are the Winn Excel & the Golf Pride CP2 Wrap and CP2 Pro models.
If you think both, a more cushioned and a larger diameter grip might be right for you, but are hesitant about stepping up to a midsize, the Forward Golf grip may be the right grip for you. Sized directly between a regular & midsize club grip It has a variable cushioned thickness & raised tacky chevron pattern the manufacturer claims minimizes the tension required to hold on to the grip.
Regardless of which direction you choose to go in selecting a golf grip that will make ball striking more comfortable & ultimately golf more enjoyable, the best first step is to speak with your local regripper. They should find the right grip for you and allow you to try them on 1-2 clubs before investing in a full set of grips that may not be right for you long term.
* Golf Gear Box pricing for local customers only, as of 3/17/19. Prices are subject to change at any time.