Let's cut to the chase: you wanna know if an oversize golf grip is good for you.
I'm here to tell you... maybe.
Not much of an answer, is it? Sorry, but there's no definitive answer to this.
It's kinda like asking:
Since I wanna help, here are some of the pros and cons of oversize golf grips:
- Oversize golf grips can help if you struggle if your grip pressure's too tight
- They can help correct a swing flaw
- They can help ease any pain in your hands- especially arthritic pain.
Oversize Grips Can Help Stop You From Strangling Your Golf Clubs!
Golfers can tend to develop a "death grip", where they squeeze the ever-loving shit out of the golf club. If you don't know what that means, here's a non-golf interpretation:
Using this stranglehold of a grip can cause a few issues:
- It prevents the face from turning over- closing- through impact.
- You shorten the life of the grip. Kinda like the life of the animal in the picture above.
Not a good time.
Look, the life of a grip is short already. Yeah, there are many affordable grip options... but do you want to make their lifespan even shorter? For someone like me who regrips clubs (among other things), sure! Go right ahead... but for real, don't do this if you don't have to.
Let's address the more important part of all this: the effects it has on your shot outcomes. When you strangle the golf club, you create a lot of tension in your hands, arms, shoulders, and core. All this leads to the inability to close the face through impact. It's an invitation to Slice City.
The hands need to feel loose, relaxed, to get them to release the golf club properly.
If an oversized golf grip can give you that feeling, you may find yourself moving from slices to the more power-friendly draw shots!
Golf Grips: A Common Myth
There was a time when golf club fitters believed that a grip that was too big would lead to a slice. They also thought a grip that was too small lead to a hook. That's not true; a miss- either way- is possible regardless whether the grip's too big or too small.
Does the grip fit properly? That's what matters. A properly-fit grip will be the right size you need to help you release the club through impact.
The arthritic grip is a specialty grip.
It's still an oversized grip, but with nubs running throughout. Like this:
Not everyone is going to need it. Arthritic grips are one "trick" fitters have to help a segment of golfers to keep enjoying the game they love.
Now, for the cons:
- Can hinder how you hold and release the club
- Can cause directional woes
Notice how these are just a reverse-image of the pros?
That's kind of the point: an oversized grip is only a "pro" or a "con" if it isn't a good fit for you.
It's possible that a grip that's too big for you will cause the same "death grip" because you feel as if you have to hold on for dear life or risk throwing the club down the fairway. Or it could make you feel like you don't have to hold on at all, and you still end up throwing the club down the fairway.
The extra girth can also keep you from releasing the club, which can cause a slice. It can also cause you to force the face closed, which can lead to a hook.
See? Like a reverse image.
Let's take a look at some examples. Putter grips are a good way to do it, because of the huge variances that are already built into them. We can use exaggerations to make a point:
As the caption implies, this "normal" sized grip is too small for me, because my ring finger's digging into my thumb pad.
The rule of thumb is that you want about 1/8" of a gap between your ring finger and thumb pad. Now, what does an oversize golf grip look like?
While the oversized grip might not work for me, it might work for you. It's always a "YMMV" kind of thing.
How To Find The Right Grip Size
There's no science behind finding the right golf grip. There are charts, like PING's, that people use.
If you're using my online fitting form (it's free!), this is the chart I use:
If you're curious, go to a local fitter. Many will have a display of grips, all built to different sizes. To find the one that's best for you, feel them. Just... don't make it too weird.
Weird is good, don't get me wrong, but isn't there a limit?
If there isn't a local fitter around, or the big box store would rather push you into a new club (or clubs), get yourself some Gauzetex. It's the same stuff athletic trainers use to wrap ankles and wrists before adding the athletic tape.
Anyway, a wrap of that is equal to a wrap of build-up tape. So, when you're at the range, wrap a wrap of Gauzetex around your grip, and see how it goes. Keep adding or subtracting layers until you're satisfied.
Split Grips- One More Option
Ever hear of a "split grip"? It's where the grip is actually two different diameters.
Personally, this is my preferred grip size. I like to add a wrap to the whole grip, then another two wraps to my "top" hand. I'm a lefty, so my "top" hand is the left hand; if you're a righty, it'd be for your right hand.
There's less taper in the grip, and for me, it's just more comfortable. Have any of you tried this, or currently use this type of grip? What size or how many wraps do you use?
Oversized Grips: Putter Edition
So, we know how the right grip can help you when you're swinging a golf club.
We've seen examples with putter grips:
Now you're probably wondering: what about oversized putter grips? What are the pros and cons there?
Well, it's not too different from "regular" grips. The difference is, you can go much larger since you're not swinging the putter full-tilt.
There's another Rule of Thumb:
If you're a "handsy" putter, one that likes to cock and uncock your wrists in the putting stroke, you might want to consider a smaller putter grip.
If your stroke is more shoulder-driven, a larger grip will help keep your hands quiet.
And please... I'm trying to keep this at a PG, PG-13 rating. If ya know what I mean.
It stands to reason that, if you're a handsy putter but don't want to be, a bigger putter grip will help quiet them, allowing the bigger muscles in the shoulders and torso to do the job, without extra manipulation by the hands.
But, because golf, the pros and cons of oversized golf grips are a YMMV thing. It almost always is... The good news is, grips are the least expensive part of the golf club, so you don't have to invest a lot in experimenting.
How about you? What's you're preferred grip size?
Before I forget: I have this Grip Thickness Tool that'll help you determine what grip size you'll get with different grip and shaft butt diameters. Give it a try!