Everything you think you know about golf gloves and how to wear them, forget it… all of it.
A recent trip to the PGA Show in Florida left us with a new grip on the game. While countless companies were showcasing the latest and greatest in drivers, irons, wedges, balls and gadgets at the mega merchandise exhibition, one of the most profound takeaways of the week came from our friends at FootJoy Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). And it had nothing to do with launch angles or spin rates.
“A properly fit glove is as important to your game as using the right club or golf ball,” says FootJoy ANZ brand manager Andrew Reed. “Your glove is your closest point of contact with your club. If not fit properly, your hand may move within your glove. Any movement could compromise your swing, so correct fit is crucial to your game. You want your glove to fit like a second skin.”
Australia’s 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott concurs: “All the feel in your golf club is coming through your hands. So if you’ve got to have a glove on, you need the one with the best feel.”
Can a properly fit glove really make that much difference to your game? “Absolutely,” Scott says.
Here’s what to look for:
Fits like a second skin
A properly fitting glove should fit tightly across the palm and fingers, with no loose material.
Fingers should be snug
You should not have extra material at the top of your fingers. If you do, you may want to size down or try a Cadet glove in your size.
Room to adjust closure
This is perhaps the biggest misunderstanding in what constitutes a properly fit glove: the tab should only come about 75 percent of the way across the back of your hand (leaving about quarter of an inch of the Velcro uncovered) to allow for adjustment during play.
How to determine your glove size
Reed says upwards of 50 percent of golfers are estimated to be wearing the wrong glove size. Most are wearing a glove that is too big. Your glove is the closest point of contact with your club; it should fit like a second
skin. Any movement between hand and glove could compromise your swing.
What glove wear can tell you about your game
Ideally, your glove won’t show any wear before it is time to replace it, but if it does, then here are a few pointers that could improve your game.
Palm wear: Your hands may be slipping during your swing, or you may be holding your club with your palms rather than your fingers.
Heel wear: You may be re-gripping at the top of your swing, or you may be holding the club too close to the end. Check that you are gripping the clubs about an inch from the
Thumb wear: You may be extending your thumb too far down the shaft. Point your left thumb slightly towards the
right for a more natural, comfortable backswing.
Rotate your gloves: Rotating between multiple gloves extends the life of each glove because it gives them more time to dry out.
How to make your golf gloves last longer
Now is the time of year when golfers find their gloves from the summer crusted over in their bags. Not only that, your glove has probably been stretched beyond the point of being a snug fit, rendering it pretty much useless. Though most golfers won’t get rid of a glove unless it’s ripped, you need to chuck those gloves out and start new, buying two or three that you can use in a rotation, which will make them last longer. Another tip on gloves: if you have hands that tend to perspire in warm weather, consider using a rain glove even when the sun is shining. When the hands get sweaty, leather gloves not only get wet with perspiration, but they’re tough to get on and off your hand for those who feel it is tour-pro cool to take your glove off after every shot. J.B. Holmes uses a rain glove all-year round, starting from when he was 15 years old playing in the humid Kentucky weather. Rain gloves go on and off easy, get tackier when wet and are far more durable. Finally, stop pulling on the cuff of the glove near the wrist. That just stretches it. Smooth the glove out with your non-gloved hand instead.
– E. Michael Johnson