Composition golf club grips become worn and damaged after years of heat (clubs left in a car trunk) and water (playing golf in the rain). You can buy new grips at most golf supply centers. Installing the grips on your clubs is a simple job.
Tools: sharp craft knife, vise.
Materials: fine steel wool, double-faced adhesive tape, new grips, mineral spirits, mild detergent, golf club resin.
Time: about 1/2 hour per club.
Preformed golf grips eliminate the process of stretching and winding grips to fit the handle of a golf club. There are several styles and colors available.
With a sharp craft knife, split the old grip lengthwise down the handle of the club. Then peel off the old grip. The old grip will probably be stuck to adhesive tape; peel off the tape to expose the bare metal shaft. The shaft may have a wooden pin stuck in the top of the handle. Do not remove this pin; it may be used to properly weight the club. Remove any adhesive residue from the shaft with fine steel wool and mineral spirits.
Carefully spiral-wrap double-faced tape around the shaft, from the top of the shaft to within about 1/8 inch of the end of the new grip. Make sure the edges of the tape are slightly separated -- not overlapped. If you want to build up the grip, add one or two more layers of tape to the first layer. When the grip is the proper size, the tips of your fingers should just touch the palm of your hand. If there's a gap here, the grip is too large; if your fingers overlap into the palm of your hand, the grip is too small. Your fingers should just comfortably touch the palm of your hand.
Lock the shaft in a vise, padding the jaws of the vise so the jaws don't damage the metal. Then coat the tape with mineral spirits to make it slick. Slide the new grip over the tape, being careful not to rip the tape or the grip. If the tape catches and holds the grip, reslick the tape with more mineral spirits. Grasp the grip by the open end and pull it down over the shaft. On most grips, the top of the grip has a straight line or design embossed in the material. Work the grip around the club so that the line is centered on top of the shaft. Finally, after installing the grip, squeeze the grip with your hand several times so the tape adheres to the inside surface of the grip.
Store your clubs in a cool, dry area. Wash the grips occasionally with mild detergent and water; rinse and dry them thoroughly. After playing golf in wet weather, be sure to dry the grips -- and other parts of the clubs -- before you store the clubs. You can often restore the "tacky" touch to grips by covering them with special golf club resin, sold at many golf outlets.
If the grips on your golf clubs have a special "flat side" or raised ridge for hand position, you may want a professional to change the grips to meet your individual swing/grip specifications.
There's good news for golfers who just can't part with their worn woods: You can make them like new again by refinishing them yourself. We'll show you how on the next page.
For tips on caring for and repairing other types of sports equipment, try the following links:
- Learn how to keep your bicycle in top condition, including how to patch a tire, replace a chain or spoke, and tune up the brakes at How to Repair a Bicycle.
- How to Maintain a Boat has practical tips for making hull repairs, caring for the outboard motor, and making boat accessories.
- If you're a skiier, check out How to Maintain Skis to find out how to extend the life of your skis and ski poles.
- How to Make and Repair Camping Equipment leads you step-by-step through fixing a damaged tent, making a tarp, and more.
- Skateboarders can get valuable information on taking care of their boards at How to Maintain a Skateboard.