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Choosing the ideal grip for your golf clubs can be a challenging process, as there are so many styles, designs, and even materials available. While many golfers opt for synthetic grips, there’s another option that’s well worth considering – leather golf grips.
But what’s the deal with leather golf grips? Are they any good? And how long do they last?
In this article, we run through everything you need to know about them and help you decide if they’re a good option for your golf clubs.
Can You Still Get Leather Golf Grips?
While they’re not as popular as they once were, you can still buy a range of leather golf grips. Some of the leading leather grip brands include The Grip Master and Best Grips, both of which offer an excellent range for you to review.
The best leather grips are those that are handcrafted from high-quality leather, with K-leather (kangaroo leather) often regarded as the best option. While most players opt for synthetic grips in today’s game, there are undoubtedly benefits to playing with a leather type of grip.
Primarily, these grips are known to be durable, highly resistant, and super comfortable for those that choose to play them. Still, they’re not as prevalent in today’s market as they once were.
So, if you’re looking for something slightly different to add to your golf clubs this season, we explain what you need to know about them and how they can potentially help you to improve your game.
Are Leather Golf Grips Better?
The answer to this question depends on various factors. If you regularly play golf in the wet weather, leather grips offer a good alternative to synthetic grips, as they’re less prone to slipping and require less maintenance.
What’s more, leather golf grips typically have less torque than plastic grips, which means they offer slightly more control over golf shots than their synthetic counterparts.* Due to the low torque, some players who are keen to maximize their distance turn to leather grips.
One reason why players opt for synthetic grips over leather ones is that they’re more widely available and they’re cheaper to buy. Most leather grips are handcrafted from the finest leather, which makes them expensive.
Synthetic grips, on the other hand, tend to be mass-produced and manufactured using widely available materials. As a result, they’re easier to produce and come with a lower price point than leather grips.
What Type of Leather Works Best for Golf Grips?
One of the best types of leather for golf grips is kangaroo leather. K-leather grips, as they are often called, are super durable, weather resistant, and extremely comfortable, making them a great choice for leather grips.
K-leather** is widely used in different sports due to its premium features and the fact that it’s so durable, which makes it a viable option for golf grips, which receive a lot of friction and need to put up with wear and tear throughout the season.
Perhaps the only downside of k-leather is that it’s fairly expensive, particularly when compared to some of the cheaper leather products on the market. Still, you get what you pay for, and it’s best to pay for a durable grip that will last rather than the cheapest option available.
The good news is that lots of the leading brands of golf grip manufacturers use k-leather as their material of choice, highlighting the fact that they’re an excellent choice for anyone looking for a leather option this season.
How Long Do Leather Golf Grips Last?
Leather golf grips will last for several years if you take care of them correctly. The durability of golf grips also depends on how frequently you play golf. If you hit the range 3-4 times a week and play a couple of rounds a week, your grips will wear out more quickly.
It’s also really important to look after leather grips, as storing them in the wrong conditions can cause them to deteriorate.
Specifically, you should always ensure your grips have the opportunity to dry naturally before storing them in your locker or garage.
When you’ve played a round of golf, you should wipe your golf grips with a wet towel to remove any debris before drying them off.
You can also use a leather care product like dubbin if you wish to keep your grips in pristine condition.
But ultimately, leather grips are durable and long-lasting, so they should last you several golf seasons if you look after them properly.
Are Leather Golf Grips More Expensive?
In most instances, leather golf grips are more expensive than their synthetic counterparts.
This is primarily due to the fact that leather is more expensive to source than the plastics used in synthetic leather grips and also because most leather grips are handcrafted as opposed to mass-produced.
To give you an idea of the price, the leather golf grips available from Best Grips retail for between $20 and $35 per grip.*** Conversely, you can buy Golf Pride grips for your clubs for anywhere between $5 and $15 per grip, highlighting the significant difference in price.
Some people think that the added expense of leather golf grips is justified, as they can last longer and they look great from an aesthetic standpoint.
They can also help you if you regularly play golf in wet weather.
But the bottom line is that if you want to add leather grips to your golf clubs, you will need to pay more than the typical price associated with most synthetic grips that are widely available on the market.
How Do You Make Leather Grips Tacky?
Tacky grips typically offer better control over your ball striking, which is a characteristic that many golfers look for when adding new grips to their clubs. Fortunately, there are some things you can try to make your leather grip tackier.
One insider trick is to apply a few drops of castor oil to your grips to make them tackier.
This is a trick used by some club fitters when seeking to enhance the grips of their clients, and it can have the desired effect on certain leather grips.
However, due to their natural composition, leather grips aren’t particularly tacky, so they’re not a great option if you’re looking for a tacky grip.
You can look to other manufacturers for sticky grips, as there are lots of synthetic choices available that are tacky, offering excellent control.
This is a better option if you don’t want to risk the castor oil trick with your new leather golf grips!
How Do You Recondition a Leather Golf Grip?
This depends on how long you’ve had your grips and the condition that they’re currently in. For instance, if your grips are ripped or torn down the seams, it’s probably best to get them regrouped, as they’re likely beyond the point of reasonable repair.
However, if your leather grips have just lost a touch of their tackiness and feel, you can apply the castor oil trick as introduced above.
If you do this, you will need to begin by cleaning your grips thoroughly, as you don’t want any dirt or debris to cause any issues with the grip once it has been reconditioned.
Another option available to you is to take your leather grips to a custom club fitter, as they have the skills and know-how necessary to restore old golf grips to their former glory.
They will also be in a good position to advise you on whether or not your leather grips need to be replaced.
But as mentioned earlier in this article, it’s really important to look after your leather golf grips from the outset, and doing so will mean that you don’t need to worry too much about restoration.
Leather golf grips are an excellent option for golfers looking for a viable alternative to the number of synthetic grips that are widely available online today.
While there’s nothing wrong with synthetic grips, these old-style grips offer a stylish and durable alternative that is worth considering.
Provided that you look after the grips that you add to your golf clubs, you will find that they will last you for several years, making them a good investment for enhancing the quality of the golf clubs that you carry in your bag.