Tapered Vs Non-Tapered Golf Grips – Which Are Better?
Selecting a grip that is not comfortable and suitable to your hands can result in spending loads of time searching for your ball in the outer reaches of the golf course.
The golf grip is the only connection between you and the golf club. Finding the correct golf grip is crucial to your golf game. Tapering is a way that manufacturers shape the golf grip from a thicker cap at the top of the grip to a thinner tip at the bottom of the grip. This is done to prevent the club from slipping out of your hands. Some grips do not taper.
A proper fitting golf grip and using the correct way to hold a golf club will increase the probability of you making square contact, shape the ball to your specifications, and allow you to spend more time on the flat land of the fairways. This can lead to a significant saving in strokes per round.
Golf grips, component, and ways to hold a club
The term Golf Grips is rather ambiguous since it could refer to either the way that you grip the club or the grip that you place your hands on. For this article, we will explain both meanings.
The grip on the club comes in a variety of materials and sizes such as Rubber grips, Corded, Wrap golf grips, and Putter grips
In my personal experience, I have found that the grip should fit easily in your hand and that you can close your hand with the fingers only just touching the base of your hand.
The type of grip you use is dependent on personal preference, but I have found that rubber grips work best for me, last longer, and are easier to keep clean, not just looking clean.
Fit the club to your hand size
To determine the right size grip, you must start by measuring your hand length from the crease of your wrist up to the end of the longest finger on your hand, normally the middle finger.
Sizes are determined as follows:
- Oversize / Jumbo is best for hands that are longer than 9 ¼ inches or Extra-Large glove size
- The midsize grip is best for hands that are between 8 ¼ and 9 ¼ inches or Large glove size
- Standard Grip is best for hands that are between 7 and 8 ¾ inches and Medium or Large glove size
- Junior longest finger below 7 inches and Small glove size
The most effective way to lay your hands on the grip
There are 3 basic ways promoted to grip swinging clubs:
Baseball grip / 10 finger grip
In this grip, you place your hands side by side similarly to holding a baseball bat. There is no interlocking between the two hands.
Golfers with less strength or beginners tend to prefer this grip but it results in less control over the clubhead.
In this grip you to interlock the little finger of your trailing hand with the index finger of your leading hand. This keeps the hands together for the duration of the swing.
It is suitable for golfers that lack some strength or have small hands and it provides more control than the baseball grip as the hands are together throughout.
Overlap Grip / Vardon Grip / Vardon Overlap
This grip was made famous by Harry Vardon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In this grip, you rest your little finger of the trailing hand on top of the index finger of the leading hand and your trailing ring finger touches the lead hand index finger. This results in fewer fingers touching the grip during the swing.
Golfers with strong hands will find this to be their best grip.
The putter grip is dependent on your preferences and feel requirements. Although there are certain basics involved in the putter grip you have to feel confident and comfortable when standing over the crucial putt.
You will see a myriad of putting grips used by professional golfers and they may even change depending on the length of the putt.
Ultimately you have to experiment and find the most comfortable grip that inspires confidence that you can hole the putt.
The best way for new golfers to achieve a comfortable and effective grip
Beginners must feel comfortable with the club in their hands and apply the basic rules when deciding on the grip type, size, and way to hold the club.
The focus for the beginner should be on getting the swing correct and a square clubface at contact.
Tapering in the golf grip
The 4 typical ways of tapering the grip are tapered, reduced taper, non-tapered, and more recently reverse taper.
The traditional and standard way grips are tapered from cap to tip and the most frequently used. These grips are tapered from the cap of the grip at the top towards the tip of the grip decreasing by 20% to 25% from the cap to the tip with the cap being the biggest.
Reduced taper grip
Using the reduced taper profile results in the taper being less than the 20% found in the typical taper profile. The cap of the grip remains the same size as in the typically tapered grip, but the tip will be bigger than the tip on the typically tapered grip
The non-tapered golf grip retains the same size from the cap of the grip to the tip of the grip. You will experience less wrist action and grip pressure during your swing.
Reverse tapering grips
Reverse tapering grips have more tapering at the tip of the grip than at the cap of the grip. This makes reverse tapering grips ideal for game improvement irons where the focus is on keeping the trailing hand stable throughout the swing and have more pressure from your leading hand.
This will assist you in optimizing the clubhead speed through impact.
Advantages of tapered golf grips
Golf manufacturers provide tapered grips as a standard option on clubs sold in the retail environment as this is the most commonly used grip type.
- If the tapered grip is comfortable in your hands then sticking with the tapered grips can save you money.
- Tapered grips enable you to swing freely with little chance that the club will slip out of your hands especially when playing in the rain.
- For correct hinging and release the last 3 fingers on your top hand has to grip slightly tighter than the rest of the fingers
Advantages of non-tapered golf grips
A lot of people find that their hands are not equal in size and that gripping a golf club with tapered grips feel uncomfortable in the trailing hand that holds onto the thinner tip of a tapered grip.
- Non-taper grips decrease wrist activity and grip pressure for a smooth pendulum stroke out of your shoulders.
- Golf equipment manufacturers spend millions of dollars in research and development to achieve the optimum weight for a shaft to improve the swing and clubhead speed.
- Non-tapered golf grips will retain the delicate balance that the manufacturers have developed by not adding additional weight, although minimal, to the shaft by attaching grip tape below the surface of the grip.
Advantages of reduced tapered golf grips
- This enhances accuracy and you have more control over the grip and generate less pressure on the bottom end of the grip.
Tapering styles variations per club
For consistency, it is recommended that you use the same grip throughout all the clubs in your bag.
You may find that your woods come with a thinner grip than your irons and it may suit you to have less weight in the driver shaft for more speed.
You want as little movement as possible in your wrist when putting therefor you will find that you get better performance from non-tapering jumbo grips with a flat side.
Tapered grips and the professional golfer
Professional golfers have their individual preferences for the grip that they use but the most frequently taper is a larger front hand (the trailing hand).
The larger outside diameter in the front hand encourages lighter grip pressure, furthering less tension, and creates more smoothness and power throughout the swing.
The most frequently used grip on the professional tours with 140 tour wins in 2019 is the GolfPride Plus4™ Technology extended to the Tour Velvet
Best tapered golf grips
The Golf Pride Tour Velvet is the #1 choice of PGA Tour players and had 140 victories on the professional tours in 2019.
The non-slip traction design provides excellent performance in all weather conditions.
Around the green where you require the softest touch and best feel, you will not be disappointed.
The softness of the grip will not provide the same feedback in the hands as firmer corded grips. However, there is sufficient feedback to balance comfort and sensation
Golfers suffering from arthritis or any other issue impacting on their hands will find the softness of the club to their liking.
The core diameter varies between .580 inch and .600 inch. The grip is available in a round shape or ribbed for better placement in your hand.
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Best non-tapered golf grips
The Tacki Mac Unified Wrap is a soft feeling grip that features the well-loved perforated wrap style in a non-tapered profile.
It is manufactured using high-quality thermoplastic rubber making it extremely durable in all weather conditions.
The larger bottom of the grip can assist you in enhanced control and power.
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Best reduced tapered golf grips
The Lamkin Comfort PLUS is manufactured from Lamkin’s DSX proprietary rubber compound providing excellent softness combined with durability. This manufacturing process combined with the unbuffed finish provides an extremely tacky surface.
The straight reduced-taper profile encourages light grip pressure for enhanced shot control and consistency. The shallow pattern provides sufficient surface traction for golfers who want a soft, comfortable grip.
The proprietary Fingerprint technology creates a shallow surface pattern that provides a comfortable and smoother grip feel.
Visit the video on YouTube where you will find supplementary information to this article on how to select the best grip depending on the conditions that you play in most frequently.
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There are many schools of thought around what the ideal golf grip is for you. Some think that size is important, the way the grip is tapered, and the material used in the construction of the grip.
I have found that the most important thing is that you have to be comfortable and confident in your grip. Maintaining and cleaning the grip will ensure that you have many years of golfing pleasure.
Ensure that the grip on every club provides you with peace of mind that it will produce the best results for you.