New grips are maybe the most overlooked golf equipment purchase: If you can’t afford to buy new clubs but still want that new club feel, try upgrading your grips – especially if your current ones have lost traction, leave residue on your glove palms, become hardened or shiny, or are showing worn-out spots or cracking (particularly where you place your left thumb, if you’re right-handed, or where the grip meets the shaft). A grip’s lifespan can be abbreviated by weather, playing frequency, your wedding ring, and how tightly you hold the club.

You should wipe down your grips with a moist towel after every round, to help them maintain their tackiness and condition. But most people don’t. At the very least, remember to install fresh grips every 60 rounds — or at the end of golf season. It may well help lower your score and improve your swing. How so? Fresh grips have more traction, causing you to hold them with less grip pressure. That in turn, alleviates tension in your arms and shoulders and allows you to take a more fluid swing, resulting in more crisply hit shots.

So how to buy grips? Pick up a few in a golf shop. Hold them with your normal grip pressure and wear a glove if you do when you play. Pay attention to grip size: If its width is either too small or large, that can cause tension in your hands and negatively influence your ball flight. Also find a material you prefer, whether it be rubber, thermoplastic elastomer, corded, etc. — it needs to be comfortable in your hands.

Ultimately make sure that the same model is on all of your clubs (except the putter grip, which has its own shape), for feel consistency throughout the set. Do-it-yourself regripping kits are available, but a pro can re-grip your entire set quickly and accurately.

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