There was a time when the majority of golfers outside of the professional game would purchase a set of golf clubs off the shelf. Yes, it’d be possible to swing the clubs and get a feel for using them before buying but that would be about it in terms of knowing if the clubs were the right set for you.
But time has moved on.
Even the average amateur golfer now has the opportunity to get fit for a custom set of golf clubs tailored to their height, set up and style of swing.
For the taller or shorter golfer this is fantastic, but why stop there?
Golf clubs can be adapted in many ways, one of which involves the grip. The golf grip is the only bit of contact between the golfer and the club and is therefore crucial in every shot.
So, if it is possible to tailor golf clubs to individuals in terms of height, why not do the same for the grip? There are many sizes of golf grip available including thick golf grips and we will be taking a closer look at.
Why the right size grip is important
Before we take a look at thick golf grips in detail, it is important to understand why having the correct size grip is important.
If you were to compare your hand with that of one of your playing partners, it’s unlikely they are going to match. This begs the question, why would you use the same size grip?
Not all golfers have the same size hands and grips that are too small can have a negative impact on your swing. Basically, a golf club grip that is too small will overwork the muscles in the hands due to them gripping too hard when playing a shot.
The more active the hands are when playing a shot, the more inconsistent the shots will be over time. This can often lead to a hook or pull and leave players wondering why, despite all the work on technique, every shot is inconsistent. This can be extremely frustrating.
On the other hand (no pun intended) grips which are too thick can often result in a block, push or slice shot. The reason for this is because the hands are unable to release effectively at the point of contact. There’s also a reduction in the amount of movement and while you do not want over-movement, like you would see from a grip that is too small, equally you do not want to go too far in the other direction.
Benefits of oversized grips
There are several benefits to using thick golf grips, one of which involves grip pressure.
Too much grip pressure can lead to poor shots and inconsistency. On top of that, if grip pressure is too tight, it will decrease mobility in your swing, so there is a fine balancing act.
Essentially, if the grip is too thin, you will struggle to apply the necessary pressure to feel comfortable swinging the club. Using a thick golf grip can remedy the problem as it will become easier to grip the club and apply grip pressure without it feeling uncomfortable.
You always want to feel as though you are in control of every shot you play on the course. If your grip is too small, you will never have full control of the shot and that is one of the major reasons why inconsistency can creep into your game.
Try picking up a thin object, such as the club head end of a golf club shaft. By holding the shaft of the club where it is thin and swinging the club, you will find it difficult to control. However, if you were to pick up a garden brush or a traditional kitchen mop using the handle, you will notice how much more comfortable it feels in your hands. The reason for this is the bigger diameter of the handle.
Clearly this example is an exaggeration and you will not find the differences are significant as that between two golf grips. However, it helps you to quickly understand how you can fail to fully control a golf shot when using a grip that is too thin.
The more control you have over the club, the more likely you are to make a good impact with the ball and this leads to a better trajectory on your shots. Relaxed hands, wrists, and shoulders are key to playing a great shot and the more control you feel you have over the club, whilst remaining comfortable, the greater the quality on the trajectory of the shot.
If the grip is too thin, it will lead to excess pressure on the club and possibly a hook or slice. Thick golf grips allow for more leverage in the golf swing and this could be an easy solution for players who are too ‘handsy’ and lose control of the trajectory of the ball.
Comfort and pain relief
Imagine having to use a screwdriver with a grip too narrow for your hands. You are building some flat pack furniture and you have to use the same screwdriver again and again over the period of a few hours.
This will lead to considerable pain in your hands and throughout your arms as you are having to try and grip the screwdriver tightly in order to apply the necessary pressure to get the screws into the wood.
Well, the same applies when playing golf.
If you continually use a grip that is too small and you play golf regularly, this can lead to pain and discomfort after the round. In addition, for golfers who suffer from arthritis, using thicker golf grips can act as an easy pain reliever and a way to increase performance levels.
Benefits of thick putter grips
The putter is arguably the most important club in the bag (after all you use it more than any other) and it’s vital you feel comfortable when making your stroke. You can improve all aspects of your game but if you are struggling to perform on the green, it could all go to waste.
If you find you are regularly missing putts having worked hard on your putting game, the grip could be an issue. Perhaps your wrists are moving too much and you need to eliminate this movement from your putting stroke. As highlighted, using a thicker golf grip can help keep the wrists steady during the swing and that applies to the putter as well as any other club in the bag.
There are loads of different types of thick putter grips these days and their popularity is increasing year on year. If you can’t get to a custom fit centre, it’s a simple case of trying a few different ones from your pro shop.
I personally have used a thick putter grip for over 10 years now, from the larger flatter TwoThumb grips to Superstroke mid 3.0 grips. They both have cut out the wrist action in my putting stroke and helped me putt more consistently, especially from short range.
A slightly different shape to traditional grips but super effective in taking the wrists out the stroke
One of the most popular putter grips on the market at the moment, they come as standard on many models
Who should use oversized grips?
Golfers with larger hands
Perhaps the most obvious answer to this question is players with large hands.
The standard grip that comes with most golf clubs is not going to be thick enough for a player with large hands to grip comfortably. We have already discussed the issues that can arise from using a grip that is too thin and players with large hands need to be aware of this when buying a set of golf clubs. If you have larger hands and have already bought a new set, you can have new grips applied that are thicker and provide a more comfortable grip.
Golfers with “wristy” swings
Another reason why you should consider using oversized grips is if you are seeing too much wrist movement in your shots. If you have too much wrist action in your swing, this can lead to poor shot consistency but applying a thicker grip can help. Investing in some thicker golf grips can help to prevent your wrists from moving throughout the swing.
Golfers who feel pain after a round of golf
If you are a golfer who finds you come away from the golf course with pain in your hands, you should consider applying a thicker grip to your clubs.
This will ease the amount of pressure you have to apply to the grip each time you play a shot. If you consider the number of shots you play during 18 holes of golf, you are gripping the club a significant number of times and if your hands are having to work too hard to grip the club, it can lead to pain.
A thicker golf grip can work wonders for those suffering from pain in the hands following a round of golf.