Should you wear a golf glove

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Hello Frank,

Why do we wear a golf glove? I have always worn one, because that is what's done. But taking it off (for chipping, putting) and putting it back on is a pain. I am thinking about not wearing a glove from the start of next year. There are some pros and good amateurs that do not wear gloves, but more do than don't.  I look forward to your opinion on this question.

– Rich

Rich,

The reason we wear a glove is so that we can look like a golfer. It is purely a fashion thing.

There are different colored gloves, some with white and black fingers, some green or even orange. Most gloves are white but these get dirty and grubby very quickly.

The real reason we wear gloves is so that we can get a good grip on the club without squeezing the grip so hard that we lose our ability to make a good swing. When the grip is slippery, there tends to be more tension in the hands and arms, which is not a good thing.

If we can be sure that the club is not going to find its way into the next county at the concluding part of the swing, we will be able to focus on things we should be concentrating on, such as a light grip pressure.

Rich, there are some things in life you should not question and one is wearing a glove, as this is not going to hurt your game. The best golfers in the world wear gloves and not many do this for show.

Taking it off after every shot or when you approach the green is up to you, and it may help your putting, but there is no evidence that this is true.

Now to throw you a real curve ball, which is very naughty of me, but you need to know: having a glove on your hand is equivalent to it being part of the grip itself. If I placed this glove on the grip end of a club while measuring its swin weight, I would find I have changed the swingweight by about five points – e.g., a D2 driver will go to a C7.

So wearing a glove will change the swingweight of the system. Because the added weight is close to the axis of rotation during an important part of the swing, it is really not going to make much of a difference. However, the swingweight of the club has changed.

There are a few pros who don’t wear gloves but they do make sure that the grips are in good shape and not slippery. The rules have allowed plain gloves to be worn and carry over a tradition from before gloves were worn by continuing to allow resin, drying or moisturizing agents – or even a towel or handkerchief – to be wrapped around a grip. Imagine what this would do to the swingweight!

Rich, I would not give up your glove unless you are like me and don’t wear one because it's either ‘NOT ME’ or I can’t afford one.

– Frank 

Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf. Thomas is chief technical advisor to GolfChannel.com. He served as technical director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN system and introduced the Stimpmeter. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com

 

Frank Thomas