Essential in wet weather, many of us already own a pair, but how do golf rain gloves actually work?
It’s a given for British golfers that some of our time on the course is to be spent in less than favourable weather. If we only played on dry, sunny days, we might struggle to get out more than a dozen times a year…
How do golf rain gloves work?
While traditional leather gloves generally feel great and stick well to the rubber of a grip in dry conditions, they typically struggle to retain their friction when it comes to the slightest drizzle.
Even with synthetic, all-weather gloves, such offerings can also become soggy and slippy when the rain comes down heavier. This is where golf rain gloves come into their own.
Those with a desire to play throughout the year will have probably therefore tried rain gloves, or at the very least, noticed them in the pro shop. But how do they work, and should they be something you look to add to your own bag this season?
Contrary to popular belief, golf rain gloves aren’t designed to keep the player’s hands dry. Instead, their fabric material is designed to react to the rain water, helping to almost stick a golfer’s hand to the inside of the glove, while in turn securing the palm and fingers of the glove to the grip of the club.
As a result of an absorbent and non-woven construction, the wetter a glove is, the more grip will be created – with many regular users of rain grips going out of their way to ensure they’re fully wet before using. The market leading FootJoy RainGlove uses a trademarked ‘autosuede’ material, designed to use rain water to help create traction with the grip, rather than to repel it away.
Rain gloves generally come as a pair, with the ability to fix both hands to the club securely essential in inclement weather.
Dependent on the material of the grips fitted to your clubs, some golfers may prefer to mirror their usual glove-wearing habits, by just using one rain glove on the lead hand. Users of firmer golf grips like the Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G may find this tricky though, as there is likely to be a substantial difference in friction between the strength of the gloved and non-gloved hands, particularly if the grips have started to become worn.
Many rain gloves also work equally well in humid conditions. As a result, some golfers have taken to wearing these as their main glove – notably European Tour winner Aaron Rai. Phil Mickelson has also been a large champion of wet weather gloves since using them at the 2011 Open.
With the goal of keeping a solid unit between player and grip, rain gloves have continued to grow in popularity among golfers, particularly for those with a faster swing speed club.
So why not give golf rain gloves a go next time you’re heading out to play under a dark sky. You’ll be surprised at just how much grip they provide, and how much they might be able to help your scores, even in the worst of conditions.
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