Monday, January 16, 2012

Things to Know About Ribbed and Round Golf Grips

Rounded versus ribbed grips is golf's version of Coke versus Pepsi. It really is a matter of personal taste. Grips are a golfer's only connection with the club, so your grip needs to fit you correctly in terms of size, texture and material. Although ribbed grips are currently out of fashion as the time of publication, you might discover they aid you in properly positioning your hands on the club.
In the 1970s and 1980s, ribbed golf grips held sway in the marketplace. Most clubs were sold with ribbed grips, which feature a distinctive ridge you feel when you hold the club. They also were known as reminder rib grips, because the ridge helped you position your hands correctly on the club. However, in the 1990s, grip manufacturers increasingly turned toward round grips, at least in part because they were easier to install. Many golfers who took up the game in the early 21st century never have held a club with a ribbed grip. Still, according to the Golf Tips website, about 20 percent of golfers still swear by them.
Round vs. Ribbed Design
If you hold an uninstalled grip by the hollow end up to the light, you will notice that the inside of the grip is either entirely smooth or has a straight, raised "rib" that runs down the length of the grip. The rib is designed to be positioned at the 6 o'clock underside of the grip when you hold the club.
Legality and Availability
Even though a ribbed grip might, in theory, be considered a swing aid, it is perfectly legal under the United States Golf Association's Rules of Golf, with one exception -- ribs on putters must be round and not ribbed. Major grip manufacturers, including Winn, Lamkin and Golf Pride, still manufacture and sell ribbed grips, although you might have to specially order them.
There is no right or wrong answer to the ribbed versus round question. Some people don't like the feel of the rib -- it's an irritant or a distraction. Others use the rib as a positioning device for their hands and a method of ascertaining if they are opening or closing the clubface by the feel of the rib at and after impact.

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