Sorry to disappoint you my friends, we are not giving away any free grips. But we are introducing you to “orientation- free” grips. You are probably asking what are orientation-free grips and why should I care? Right after the USGA relaxed the Rules of Golf regarding club adjustability in 2007, it opened up a whole new grip category, but it would take several years for these types of grips to come to fruition or at least coin the term.
Take a look at virtually any grip on the market you will see the manufacturer’s or grip’s name engraved somewhere on the outside body of the grip. Typically that name is designed to be in the “up” position or pointing toward the toe of the club at address. This may be in conjunction with some sort of hand placement details to assist with alignment. Occasionally players have preferred to put the name “down” or underneath so it is not visible at address. Of course the latter would not be the case pertaining to ribbed or putter grips.
For grip manufacturers displaying the name is a way of advertising their product which is no different from what club head and shaft manufacturers do. However, there are some grips that have been around for a while which do not have any name on them (except on the end cap). Here is a short list of them:
|Lamkin Arthritic Grip
|Tacki-Mac Arthritic OS||$2.00 ea.|
These grips make it easy for someone to install without worrying about installation as the grips wouldn’t be on crooked, because regardless how they are installed, they would look the same at address. The only telling sign that these grips were not properly aligned is to look at the end cap as the writing should be uniform from club to club. There are probably a lot of golfers out there who have never paid attention there was any writing there at all.
Now getting back to the adjustability part, there are several clubs that have been introduced in the past 3 or 4 years that are equipped with a hosel adapter that can be removed and switched to another position to create a different lie, face angle or effective loft. However, when this occurs the name engraved on the grip will no longer be aligned properly at address. In some cases one might be lucky the engraving on the grip is underneath where you are not able to see if and for others it will be a distraction when it is cocked to one side or another.
This lead grip manufactures upon the request of club head manufacturers to produce grips that didn’t require any sort of orientation. Fitting carts by the major manufacturers were first to have these types of grips and this year Golf Pride and Lamkin both offered one for the aftermarket. After the grips start to wear out and need re-gripped, there was a need for more of these types of grips.
New Orientation-Free grips
Lamkin offers two orientation-free grips in the R.E.L. 3GEN 360º series; one in standard size and another that is midsize. Golf Pride introduced the Tour Velvet 360 which does say Golf Pride on the outside of the grip, but it has been repeated right below the end cap so that orientation is not an issue. These along with the grips mentioned previously will make re-gripping the growing number of clubs which use an adjustable adapter such as TaylorMade, Titleist, Cobra, Nike, Adams Golf and Hireko a breeze.
For professional club fitters, the use of orientation-free grips is a wise investment if you are using a system where you interchange heads and shafts such as Hireko’s QuikFit system. It is one less distraction for your customers to be concerned with so you can fit them to the best of your ability.