Does A Golf Glove Really Make A Difference To Your Game?

Golf GloveI wear a golf glove during every round of golf I play. It never occurred to me not to. As a new player I spent a lot of time watching The Golf Channel—all the pros, both men and women wore a glove. I figured it was just a necessary part of the equipment. It’s not. Designed to protect the golfer’s hand from blisters after repeatedly swinging the golf club and to add a little extra tackiness to the grip, the golf glove is not required. But most people do use one.

Was it always this way? Golf gloves began to appear in golf journals and catalogs around the late 1890’s as a way to add extra protection for a golfer’s hands. The golf glove was easily adopted by amateur golfers who were happy for the protection but not by the golf pros. Professionals refused to wear gloves, preferring the feel of their hands directly on the golf club shaft. In fact they welcomed the inevitable calluses that developed from swinging the club so frequently as their “personal skin protection.” Meanwhile golf club manufacturers were continuing to develop methods for making the golf grips less slippery. It took over three decades till the 1930’s for golf pros to begin to wear golf gloves on a regular basis. Sam Snead was the first major player to use a glove and though players such as Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones never used a glove while playing, by the 1960’s gloveless players were the exception. Today, almost every pro uses a golf glove on tour.

One thing to notice while your watching your favorite pro play – they take the glove off while putting. This is one golf swing that requires a more sensitive touch and the glove just gets in the way. I’ve just recently started removing my glove when I putt and it seems to help.

What types of gloves are available? Does it matter which glove you use? What are some features you should look for?

First, be sure you are buying the right glove for the correct hand. Most golfers who wear a glove only wear one—and it goes on the hand that is the “upper hand” on the golf club shaft. If you are a right handed golfer, then buy a glove for your left hand. If you are a left handed golfer, look for a right hand glove. Sounds pretty obvious, but there are times it can get confusing. Bottom line – you want the glove to go on your NON-DOMINANT HAND.

Second, be sure the glove fits properly. You want it to be comfortable, flexible but not too tight. With a little bit of wear, the glove should easily conform to your hand. Try on the glove before you buy. Even if you know your size, try it on. Different manufacturers have slightly different measurements. You also want to be sure there is nothing pinching or squeezing any part of your hand and that the closure fits snugly but not too tight. With a glove that fits well, your game might improve, but if a glove fits poorly, stretches, pinches, is too loose or too tight, it will almost surely be a distraction and will almost certainly do nothing to help your game.

What material should you choose? Gloves are made of a variety of materials: soft leather that is water-resistant – not for those big rain storms, but resistant to the perspiration on your hands, also gloves are made from nylon, knitted materials and  some synthetics. Your choice depends on climate and weather conditions. I have a pair of rather funky looking gloves that are meant to be used for rainy days. There are two to the set and the material is somewhat tacky. I wear two gloves to ensure that my grip doesn’t slip on the club. I also have a pair of winter gloves. Again, they come as a pair and on those crisp winter mornings (I will play in temps down to about 45 degrees F) they are a very welcome addition to my golf attire.

Lately I’ve been hearing about the Bionic Glove “The only women’s glove designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon. Custom design to fit the anatomy of female hands.” – They say the same thing for the guys’ hands as well. I’ve never tried them. They are a little more expensive than the usual $15 – $18 average priced glove, but they promise to improve distance and accuracy, and they are supposed to last longer. One feature I noticed in their online advertising: they have a special glove “the Silver Series” specially designed for golfers with arthritis! That’s something.

The Bottom Line:
Almost every manufacturer of golf equipment offers golf gloves as part of their product line. I suspect they are all shipping the work overseas and that there is very little difference in the quality of the gloves. So choose the one you like because of fit, features, material. They come in a variety of colors, some with ball marker buttons or magnets built into the closure tab, some with anti-slip pads on the palm. Test and see which you prefer and let us know.

If you have a favorite glove that really has brought success to your game, don’t hesitate to comment below. Which type of glove do you use?

  10 comments for “Does A Golf Glove Really Make A Difference To Your Game?

  1. Mike
    June 17, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I know this post is 7 years old. But to anyone who comes to it via google search , a glove isn’t necessarily vital anymore. Now they make grips such as the Winn DriTac that offers plenty of tackiness if you don’t want to wear a glove.

    I find for me personally as a lead dominant player, no glove is best for me. When I wear one my hand wants to squeeze the death out of the club. I’m also in the minority that not one size glove actually fits me. Not even a cadet. I have a really long middle finger all are either too big or too small.

    That’s when I discovered the DriTac grips (there are other brands, that’s not a sales plug).

    I would suggest trying both ways at the range.

    • June 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Mike, appreciate your feedback on the glove question! I too have discovered Winn DriTac grips and have that grip on all my clubs… but I still have a tendency to grip the clubs too hard… Just discovered that if I wear rain gloves the “regrip” problem goes away. will be writing a post about this soon.

  2. Scot
    February 2, 2017 at 4:25 am

    I wore a glove for years and for the same reasons…(all the pro’s wore them)…A couple years ago I just decided out of the blue to go “au-natural” and found I had much better connection with the club. I don’t necessarily believe that a glove adds that much traction to the grip, but I do see where it protects one’s hands.

  3. Golf Reviewer
    November 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Great post it goes very in depth. Wearing a glove is a great accessory to use.

  4. August 25, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    There is a new golf glove on the market now that is specifically designed for your dominant hand. It’s called the Neurogrip and it feels amazing. This glove was designed for what the dominant hands roll is during your grip. You can check it out at exodusgolf.com.

  5. August 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

    @Bryan… you bring up some good points… Would make a valuable survey question. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll make that happen.

  6. April 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Pat Mullaly
      April 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      I suggest that you do some investigating with YouTube videos… search for “how to start a blog” or “how to set up a wordpress blog” There are lots of helpful sites and videos to guide you. Good luck.

  7. Pat
    October 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Agree with your comment. One thing to watch… sweat tends to break down the material of the glove… it’s a good practice to bring a couple onto the course in hot weather… switch off half way through the round… works for me.

  8. James
    October 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Wearing a glove made a massive difference to my game as I gave me that extra grip when things became a bit to sweaty and tense!

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