Lamkin introduced three new lines of grips for 2008. Following is a personal assessment of each one after spending some quality time field testing them.
Lamkin Stingfree Crossline Tour
So far in 2008, the one grip that gets the most questions is the new Stingfree Crossline Tour. I for one do not suffers from any hand problems and nor encounter a stinging sensation while hitting balls. So I may not be their target audience, but I still wanted to see what the grip had to offer.
According to Lamkin “The innovative 3-layer composite technology absorbs up to 90% more vibration and shock than conventional golf grips. A stabilizing layer of Kevlar® blocks and dissipates vibration energy from impact for maximum shock absorption.”
First of all for clubmakers, do not encourage your customers to hit balls immediately after gripping or re-gripping a club; let them sit overnight to allow the solvent or liquid to thoroughly evaporate. That is a good habit to get into anyway. The combination of the synthetic base layer for shock absorption plus the layer of Kevlar seemed to take longer for the solvent to flash off and for the grip not to twist versus a regular rubber compound grip.
After the grips had time to dry – off to the range. First impression was the grip was soft and squishy (OK, I couldn’t think of a better technical term than that). Normally this would mean that you might be able to feel the grip twist in one’s hands on an off-center impact. I was pleasantly surprised that is felt very stable for a grip with such a cushioned feel. I didn’t experience anymore grip torque than usual. These also had a hand alignment pattern for both RH and LH golfers that places them in a good neutral grip position. These also have the soft outer-layer the new Crossline Tour’s possess.
The only downside may be the cost as these are amongst the highest priced models on the market. But if you have already tried a number of grips and have not found that balance of vibration dampening and traction, these very well might be what you have been waiting for.
The original Crossline is a model I have played on too many clubs to count since they first debuted so I am quite familiar with this family. The new Lamkin Crossline Tour is as advertised as it has a slightly softer surface than the regular Crossline. Grizzled veterans who have used the Crossline in the past should have no qualms of trying at least one of these out on their next club. The non-white paint filled cross pattern on the grip is a nice touch to complement to hand placement guides, especially for higher handicapped players or those new to the game for alignment purposes. I would classify this grip as an upgrade rather than a re-designed model with fresh new graphics.
Lamkin Michelin OCS Tour
Last, but not least may be my surprise pick of the three. This grip is easily identified by the back of the grip as it dons the logo of the Michelin Man (right up there in my books with the Pillsbury Doughboy and perhaps the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man of Ghostbusters fame in terms of lovable icons). This is the firmest of the three new grips, especially if after immediately hitting a club with the Stingfree Crossline Tour.
What makes the Lamkin Michelin OCS Tour unique? It was co-developed with the Michelin tire company who know something or two about traction. The OCS stands for Optimized Cell System featuring an innovative pattern of vertical and horizontal cells. The vertical positioned cells are designed for torque reduction, while the horizontal are designed for traction.
Made of rubber, this grip is very cost effective as an alternative to the more expensive cord models, yet is easy on the hands. For those that have higher swing speeds or simply like the feel of a firmer grip for control, give this grip some strong consideration.
Each of these new grips is offered in multiple sizes for custom fitting. They are also clearly marked on the butt cap the model, core size and whether they are round or ribbed. At Hireko, we make sure that you are getting the lowest price on them too.
Shop Lamkin Michelin OCS Tour $3.26 each.