Do Golf Gloves Really Help – Key Benefits & Advantages
If you watch or play golf regularly you are sure to have seen golfers covering their lead hands in a variety of gloves. You may have asked yourself “do golf gloves help and what are the benefits?” We explore the question to give you a better understanding.
The main reason for wearing a golf glove is to prevent the grip from slipping in your hands. In warm and humid conditions your hands are likely to sweat. Golf gloves are tackier than your skin and create more friction than a bare hand but there are plenty of other reasons as well.
Benefits of a golf glove
You can find golf gloves in the majority of golfers’ equipment bags. Although it is not mandatory, there are many benefits to wearing golf gloves that will enable you to swing better and result in better shots. Furthermore, it will provide protection during high-use situations and aid in securing your grip.
Warmth and dryness
Golf gloves will keep your hands dry and warm when playing in inclement weather. Sadly, the old adage “ It Never Rains On The Golf Course” is not always true.
For a more secure grip, the wearing of golf gloves is highly advisable as it will assist in applying the correct pressure and prevents it from slipping out of your hands.
Blisters and callouses
Spending several hours on the driving range repeating your swing a couple of hundred times or gripping the golf club too tight can result in blisters or callouses.
Wearing a glove will not prevent this from happening but can lessen the occurrence of the blisters and callouses.
Comfort and protection
You want the golf glove to fit snugly on your hand but still be comfortable enough to bend your hand and fingers.
In addition to being comfortable, it will serve as protection for your hands especially if you grip the club too tightly, you plan a high number of shots on the driving range, or multiple rounds on one day.
Ensure that your fingers fit to the end of the glove to avoid extra material from interfering with your swing. If the fingers on the glove are too short, it will be extremely uncomfortable.
The grip on the club
The major advantage of wearing a golf glove is that it improves your grip. The various materials make the outside of the glove tackier enhancing your ability to hang onto the grip.
The additional grip that you exercise on the club often leads to a more relaxed grip and prevents you from holding on too tight. A secure and comfortable grip should also improve your confidence at address.
Gloves come in a variety of materials for different applications. The most versatile materials are leather and synthetic as they can be used in almost any weather conditions.
You will find some manufacturers produce gloves for the various weather conditions including cold or wet weather. Winter gloves aim to ensure that your fingers do not get stiff by keeping your hands warm and dry for a normal grip.
Rain gloves aid in keeping the rain out and enable a normal grip when playing in inclement weather.
Watch Brian Fitzgerald “The Golf Doctor” explain the benefits of wearing a golf glove and a bit about the options available in this video.
Mandatory use of a golf glove
It is not mandatory to wear golf gloves, but it is highly recommended for golfers at every level of the game.
Reasons why professional golfers wear golf gloves
Not all professional golfers wear gloves all the time. Some professional golfers feel that their grips are strong enough to hold onto the club and it is comfortable for them not to wear a glove. They believe that the glove will impact on their feel through the swing.
Professional golfers that do not wear golf gloves
There are not too many golfers that do not wear a glove at any time. Some golfers like Jonathan Byrd may wear a glove occasionally.
Ben Hogan is one of the all-time greats that never wore a glove.
Some of the better golfers on the PGA tour that do not wear gloves are:
- Lucas Glover
- Arron Oberholser
- Fred Couples
Pros Of Wearing two golf gloves
You will rarely see professional golfers wearing a glove on each hand. There are exceptions such as Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey that always wear two gloves.
Gripping too hard causing blisters
When you grip the golf club too hard or repeat the swing an inordinate number of times you are likely to get callouses or blisters. If you protect one hand you are still likely to get it on the other hand. Two gloves will protect both hands.
This is especially useful when playing multiple rounds in a day.
In humid conditions, you are likely to have sweaty hands. Wearing gloves on both hands ensure that both hands grip the club properly.
Inclement weather conditions
In cold or rainy weather, it is beneficial to keep both hands warm and dry to ensure that your hands can grip the club correctly.
Cons Of Two Gloves
Wearing two will affect any action that requires precision using your fingertips such as removing small items from your bag.
If you use the overlap or interlocking grip you will find that your grip feels unusual and uncomfortable with two gloves. This will improve as you get used to the feel.
Golfers require their hands to feel connected to their golf grip, especially with the trailing hand. Covering the trailing hand will reduce the feel.
Wearing a glove on the lead hand only
Right-handed golfers normally wear a glove on the left hand. It is more correct to say that golfers wear a glove on the leading hand as left-handed golfers wear it on their right hand.
Wearing the glove on your leading hand, or top hand, allows you to grip the club correctly and supply the dominant amount of power. Leaving your trailing hand, or bottom hand, bare will enhance the feel of the swing mechanics, especially at impact.
Wearing a golf glove between shots
It is good practice to remove your golf glove between shots to ensure that your hands do not sweat resulting in your hands slip on the grip.
Wearing a golf glove on the green
Putting is the part of golf that requires the most feel. To enhance the accuracy of your tactile sensors putting with bare hands will result in more accurate strokes and holing more putts.
Materials used for making golf gloves
Golf gloves are mostly available in 3 materials:
Generally, synthetic gloves are made of faux leather to produce a similar look and feel. Synthetic materials are more flexible and durable than leather golf gloves and generally, it is less expensive.
- They last longer and tend to be flexible
- Often the most affordable
- They often lack the breathing ability of leather gloves
If you are looking for suppleness and feel, the leather glove is the one for you. Top-quality leather gloves are manufactured from the hide of haired sheep resulting in the glove remaining soft and pliable for an extended time.
- They are extremely moisture resistant and will remain soft and flexible if maintained correctly
- They tend to wear out quicker
- They tend to stretch through continued use
Combining leather and synthetic leather produces a Hybrid golf glove. The hybrid glove comes with leather in the palm and fingers to enhance your grip while synthetics are used in the joints and wear points for more flexibility and durability.
- They tend to be the most durable
- They can be rather expensive
Get the right-sized gloves
It is important that your glove fits snugly and does not move during your swing. It should feel like a second skin on your hand.
There should be no material sticking out at the top of your fingers. If you have short fingers, try a cadet glove since compared to a men’s glove, they are approximately ½ inch shorter and wider around the palm.
Generally, gloves come with Velcro on the top of the hand to connect the two sides. This makes the glove adjustable and enables you to pull it tight without hurting your hand.
Make sure they are tight-fitting golf gloves
Avoid golf gloves that do not fit snugly. The purpose of wearing a glove is for comfort and protection. Wearing a glove that is too tight will cramp your hand and reduce the effectiveness of the glove.
Your fingers should fit comfortably with the material covering your palm being slightly stretched showing no wrinkles as that will affect your grip.
Best choice golf glove for most:
The TaylorMade Preferred golf glove is an ultra-thin glove made from AAA soft tech Cabretta leather providing superior feel, softness, flexibility, and a tremendous amount of breathability and is extremely durable.
The contoured wrist band features antimicrobial moisture-wicking fabric for less sweat retention and a more pleasant smell.
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Best premium golf glove:
Callaway Dawn Patrol Premium Leather
Callaway offers a premium leather glove for enhanced feel and comfort. The perforations on the back of your hand create a reduction in the moisture content and increase the breathability of the glove.
Closing the glove with the Opti-fit adjustable closure provides a secure fit that is light and tight-fitting while the stretch binding cuff offers a secure feeling while absorbing excess moisture.
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Best budget golf glove:
MG Golf DynaGrip
If you are working on a tight budget the MG Golf DynaGrip is ideal for you. It is a high-quality Cabretta leather design and frequently used by professional golfers.
It can be used in nearly any weather condition and it will resist moisture to provide a better grip in the wet. It breathes well and will reduce the amount of sweat on your hands.
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Not so legal golf glove
There are some illegal gloves available such as the Bionic Stable Grip glove. The USGA guidelines do not allow the use of this glove in competitions unless you have a medical condition that requires additional support for your hands.
Did Ben Hogan wear a golf glove?
Golf gloves appeared in golf tournaments in the 1930s and did not catch on quickly. Although Ben Hogan only played through the 1950’s he never took the wearing a glove.
What glove does Tiger Woods use?
Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time and second on the list of all-time major winners. He signed a contract with Nike at the start of his career and has worn a Nike glove for some time.
He signed a new contract with Nike after his Masters victory in 2019 and will continue to represent the brand.
During an interview, Tiger Woods confirmed that he carries 15 or 16 gloves in his bag at any time to ensure that he has a dry glove when required.
How frequently should I replace my golf glove?
There is no fixed rule of how long a glove will last. It all depends on how you look after the glove and the weather conditions that it is used in. Loads of sweat or wet conditions can result in the glove becoming stiff and worn.
Depending on the number of rounds you play and practice you may need regular replacement of your gloves. I generally have 6 or more gloves in my bag and split them between practice and on the course.
Your glove will last longer if you pull them off starting at the tip of your fingers rather than pulling the glove off your hand from the Velcro side.
Golf gloves are not a mandatory item to play your best golf, but it will aid the majority of golfers who do not have the strongest grip.
There are many types and styles to choose from to suit all budgets and preferences. Manufacturers make use of leather, synthetics, or a combination of the two to produce gloves for every application and weather condition.
Selecting the best golf glove for your budget, style of play, and frequency of use is not an easy task. Whatever glove you decide on make sure that it fits like a second skin, does not hang over the top of your fingers, and does not slip during your swing.