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Glove RX

Your hands are your only connection to the club, thus making them the primary mover of the shaft and controller of the club face. If you have a poor hold on the grip, you’ll likely find yourself at a disadvantage, requiring compensations throughout your swing. While I like to reinforce key attributes of a sound grip with my students, I can’t always be there to check up on them, so I teach them how to monitor their progress. One simple way is to analyze how their glove wears out. With a proper grip, a player can use the same glove for a very long time. I’ve had various gloves in my bag for a year or longer and the only reason they get discarded is due to losing softness of the synthetic material or leather. It’s never because of a tear or hole worn through. For many golfers, however, a brand new glove can become shredded within a single round, if not after a few holes. My father was a Pro who owned the golf shop at a great club in Pennsylvania. I recall working for my Dad and seeing how many gloves were returned due to what players thought were “defects.” “Hey Pro, you sold me a bad glove!” They would say. My father knew the tears were all due to poor grips and bad technique. Being a good businessman, he’d willingly replace each glove with a brand new one.

So here’s the lesson. If you rip a new glove, it’s probably your fault, so do your Pro a favor and cut he or she a break. If you’re looking to remedy, here are a few tips to decode those wear marks. You’ll play better and never tear your glove again.

Worn-Out Palm

The most common glove-wear pattern, a worn-out palm is caused by holding the club in the palm instead of correctly cradling it between the heel pad and fingers. Gripping the club this way leads to a lack of distance and accuracy, as the ability to produce speed and club face control are diminished.  What’s really amazing about grips like this is that they can wear down a glove after only a few holes! So if this has ever happened to you, and you thought that new glove of yours was defective, think again.

The Fix

Hold a ruler vertically in your glove hand. Cradle it in your fingers and feel the heel pad of your glove hand resting on top. This home remedy is a great way to exaggerate the feeling of a proper grip.

What’s really amazing about grips like this is that they can wear down a glove after only a few holes!

Thumb Tear

If you’ve got a tear here, it’s likely due to poor thumb placement and incorrect grip pressure (too much or too little) applied between the thumb and the handle. This type of connection usually results in a lack of control.

The Fix

Adopt a “short thumb,” where the thumb is cinched up and pinched against the top of the forefinger. To get a feel for this position, try holding a business card in the crease between your thumb and forefinger. Adopt a grip pressure of “3” (out of 10) and you’ll be good to go!

Index-Finger Wear

A tear or wear pattern here indicates a poor connection between a player’s hands and is usually caused by an overlapping grip, where the dominant hand’s pinkie (Right hand for a right handed golfer) digs into the glove hand’s index finger knuckle. What results isn’t just a torn glove but discomfort as well.

The Fix

Extend your pinkie farther into the gap that separates the knuckles on your glove hand. Another option is to adopt an interlocking grip, where your dominant hand’s pinkie and glove hand’s index finger “wrap” around each other.

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