Question: I’m a high-handicap player and was told by a friend that a “reminder grip” might help me. What is it, and what are the benefits?

Answer: Reminder grips have long been used by tour players. Ben Hogan, in fact, was known to place part of a wire hanger under his grips to promote a weak grip to avoid the hook he hated. Manufacturers also make them for the masses. Reminder grips feature a narrow rib on the underside of the grip that fits into the crease of the fingers to “remind” players to grip the club properly. This isn’t a training grip. In fact, it is R&A and USGA-approved for use in competition. Today these grips appear to be an under-utilised tool. According to industry leader Golf Pride, about 15 percent of all grips are ribbed, with the company’s ALIGN grip accounting for about two-thirds of that 15 percent. The numbers are similar on the PGA Tour. That means a lot of golfers are missing out.

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“The level of knowledge about reminder grips is fairly low,” says Greg Cavill, an engineer at Golf Pride. “The diehards know they exist, but even they are not fully aware of the benefits of repeatable hand placement. For the wider audience, it’s low, even with ALIGN, which has a red colour on the reminder area. Most players just thought that was part of the cosmetic of the grip.”

That’s unfortunate. “More players should consider reminder grips, especially higher-handicappers,” says Woody Lashen, a Golf Digest 100 Best Clubfitter at Pete’s Golf in Mineola, New York. “Some of the best players in the world use them, and a lot of middle to high-handicappers would really benefit from positioning their hands on the club the same way all the time.”

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Reminder grips eliminate a variable. If you struggle getting your hands in a comfortable, consistent position, you should give them a try. Plus, the barrier to entry can be as low as one re-grip. Try re-gripping your driver with a reminder grip and see how you like it. You can always go back to what you had, and the cost is about the same as a beer after the round. OK, maybe two beers.

However, don’t assume the reminder should be placed in the six o’clock position. Knowledge of where the reminder needs to be lined up is critical, and if you have a strong or weak grip, you might want to move it off the neutral position. Remember, it’s not about forcing you to change the way you grip the club. It’s about creating consistent hand placement. That consistency can boost confidence, which can result in a more consistent and faster swing. No golfer needs a reminder to know that’s a good thing.

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