Off Season Fix

So, it’s the off season. You probably haven’t played as much golf in the last few months as you would have liked and the season is fast approaching. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to practice again is to upgrade your equipment. Everyone loves a new putter or the hottest driver at the golf shop, but there are other ways to upgrade without breaking the bank. Re-gripping is my favorite! Grips cost anywhere from $4-$12 each and the equipment you need is cheap and easy to find. If you are inexperienced the re-gripping process takes about 10-15 minutes per club. Here’s how I prepare for the start of golf season:

You will need a few tools: Hook Knife or Utility Blade, Grip Tape (2″ x 9″), New Grips (check what size grips you need before you order your new ones), Grip Tape Activator or Solvent (Optional C-Clamp and Rubber Shaft Vice Grip). Also make sure you have a bucket or trash can nearby to catch the solvent that drips out of the end of the grip.

Work bench with regripping equipment

You can purchase grip tape or activator solution at any major golf retailer or online (I got mine at GolfTech Warehouse).

Step 1: Remove Old Grip

Begin by using your hook knife or utility blade to slice open the old grip.

Cut open Grip 1

Peel the old grip back to expose the golf club shaft and existing grip tape.

Cut open Grip 2

Remove old grip and use utility knife or putty knife to scrape away old grip tape.

Cut open Grip 3

Step 2: Apply New Grip Tape

Begin this step by removing one side of your double-sided adhesive grip tape and wrapping it around the butt-end of the shaft. Make sure you leave about 1/4″ of tape hanging off the end of the shaft. Use a hard flat surface like a pencil to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Remove the second side of the grip tape so that tape becomes sticky then fold the extra 1/4″ of grip tape over the butt-end of the shaft to seal the hole.

Applying grip tape 1    Applying grip tape 3    Applying grip tape 4

Steps 3 and 4: Installing and Aligning New Grips

Apply a generous amount of activator fluid or solvent to the grip tape and the inside of the grip.

New Grip 1     New Grip 2

Quickly slide the new grip over the grip tape. This must be done quickly!!! If you wait too long to slide the new grip on, it will stick to the adhesive tape before the grip is correctly aligned.

New Grip 3

Immediately after the new grip is installed, align the logo on the grip with the leading edge of the golf club. Most grips have a small notch or white line near the center of the logo that indicates the top of the grip.

Aligning new grip 1

Once the grip is aligned correctly, gently tap the butt-end of the club on the ground and wipe off excess solvent from the grip and shaft of the golf club. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

Aligning new grip 2

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“Teaching” Tip: Grip it Like a Ruler

Ever wonder whether you are gripping the club correctly? Do your hands hurt when you swing?

Here’s the Golf Fix:

One of my favorite ways to demonstrate a good golf grip is to use a common household item: a ruler. If you feel like your grip is a little off, you can easily correct it by picking up a 12-inch ruler and holding it like you would a golf club. Use an interlock, overlap, or even a baseball style grip and align the ruler over your middle knuckles (below).

Ruler tip 1

Wrap the palms and thumbs of your hands over the top of the ruler. Your left thumb should rest on the top right side of the ruler and your right thumb should rest comfortably on the top left side of the ruler (below). Now, grip the golf club with your normal grip pressure. If your hands hurt while gripping the ruler, it’s a pretty good indicator that you grip too tightly! A good way of thinking about grip pressure is to imagine you are holding a tube of toothpaste without the cap on it. If you grip the tube too tightly the toothpaste will squeeze out all over the place. If you grip too loose, the tube will go flying when you take a swing. Grip pressure and technique are the corner stones of a good swing. Harvey Pennick said, “unless you have a reasonably good grip and stance, anything you read about the golf swing is useless.”

Ruler tip 2 Ruler tip 3

If you have gripped the club correctly, the palm of your right hand should cover the thumb of your left hand. Test it!: grip the club the way that I just instructed you to. Take your right hand off of the grip. Now take your last three fingers on your left hand off of the grip as well, leaving only only the first finger on your left hand supporting the entire club. The bottom of your left palm should be resting on the top of the grip, acting like a fulcrum. This will allow your wrists to create the leverage necessary for you to bring the club to the top of the backswing.

Do you want me to discuss a particular part of the golf swing? Comment on this post and let me know what you are interested in!