Bob Lamkin explains the importance of re-grippingApril, 2013
Lamkin's CEO talks thickness and why black can be more durable than coloured
How much has colour changed the game in grips?
Colour is in. It’s come up from the shaft, then the head and eventually into the grip. Fifty per cent of our after-market sales are colours but there are still a lot of people who prefer black. Colour is here to stay and is going to expand.
Are black grips more durable?
The process is different and we’ve perfected that process so we can make an orange grip as durable as a black one.
The best analogy I can give you is that when you buy tyres on your car they’re black – and they’re black for a reason. Because the materials in the black compound give it durability and resistance. Plus it’s a tougher material to work with through our manufacturing process.
To make the grip in a colour you have to pull out key components to add in the colour pigments. So when coloured grips first came out they got hard fast. With what we’ve done with our new REL line and I line of grips, we can now make the colours and they will be as durable and as tacky as the other black grips.
How did you manage to do that?
We’re working more with synthetic materials and using materials that were not endemic to the golf grip category. They work very well. Traditional materials didn’t work.
What are the key factors in choosing a grip?
There are three variables: first, the dimensions of the grip – to make sure it’s sized properly for the
golfer who’s using it because our hands are all different sizes. The second is the material. And then the third is you marry that material with the surface pattern.
We don’t re-grip often enough, do we?
It’s your only connection to the golf club so you should pay attention to it. I don’t think enough consumers really understand the importance of re-gripping their clubs and in the right size. It will help them play more consistently. The grip has been kind of an afterthought in the consumer’s mind. It’s a key component.
I’ve seen people with grips that are peeling off the shafts and I’m asking them – ‘you’re not regripping this?!’ It should just be part of your maintenance. What about grip pressure?
You want to hold the grip with the lightest pressure but still know it’s secure. That’s what’s going to help you swing freer. Tension is the big killer and when grips are sick or worn or not properly sized then the player will start to squeeze. Then you can’t turn and generate the swing speed.
What grips should we use in the UK?
I’ve been over to Scotland and Ireland and played in some very inclement weather. Cord grips are very popular. People play when it’s inclement – I’ve come off a course soaked to the bone and people are still waiting on the 1st tee.
So you’d better have equipment that’s conducive to that weather. I would choose a cord grip if I
was playing in the UK a lot.
Is the legendary Crossline still your No 1 grip?
It’s still our No 1 seller after 15 years and that’s good and bad! The Crossline technology is 15 years old so we need to show that there is something new and better.
What’s the lifespan of a grip before performance is compromised?
Here’s a rule of thumb: People say that if you’re playing once a week, re-grip once a year. If you’re doing that then you’re probably practising once a week as well and that’s like another round. So I’d say once a year.
I like people to do them all at once because otherwise you’re getting variant feels. Even if your long irons are less worn than say your wedges. I’ve seen people with grips that are peeling off the shafts and I’m asking them – ‘you’re not regripping this?!’ It should just be part of your maintenance.
Does grip thickness influence shot shape?
You can actually change some of your shot shapes with your grips. Hitting it right? Put a smaller grip on and it will help you square the club up.
If you’re hitting it left then maybe a slightly slower hand action would help so in that instance get a bigger grip.
Fancy a re-grip? Check out our guide HERE.