When it comes to grips, are you into traction or tacky?
Did you know there’s a difference?
Tacky means the grip has a relatively light texture pattern and the grip, while not exactly sticky, does sort of grab your hand. These work great in dry conditions with dry hands.
Traction grips, on the other hand, have comparatively rougher surfaces with more texture to help shed moisture and are great for humid conditions and sweaty hands.
It’s the difference between your SUV’s treaded tires and NASCAR racing slicks.
Why is this important? Well, Golf Pride has just given its tackiest grip a dose of traction. If you like wrap-style grips but play anywhere outside of the desert, it may matter to you.
Tacky to Tracky
Gold Pride has plenty of traction grips, such as the Tour Velvet, the MCC, and the full cord Z-Grip, but none of those are wrap-style. To remedy that, Gold Pride has put its popular Tour Wrap grip to a buffing wheel and come up with what it’s calling the Tour Wrap MicroSuede.
You’re either a wrap player or you’re not, and it’s rare for someone who’s played wraps since they first started to all of a sudden switch to a full cord or something similar.
“Our Tour Wrap grip was launched in 1991, and people like it because of its tackiness,” Bruce Miller, Product Manager for Golf Pride, tells MyGolfSpy. “If they have a glove on, literally the glove will try to stick on to the material.”
But the knock on the Tour Wrap has always been since there’s no real texture – or traction – there’s no place for moisture to go if it gets even a little wet. The tackiness goes away and since there’s no traction, well…
Miller says the new grip is basically a Tour Wrap, but with a secondary buffing to give it some surface texture for better traction when conditions aren’t so dry.
“The standard Tour Wrap comes out of the mold very glossy, shiny and tacky,” he says. “When you put it on a buffing wheel, you rough up the surface. It gives it a softer, more velvety feel.”
If you were to put a new Tour Wrap MicroSuede under a microscope, you’d be able to see tons of little fibers from the surface being roughed up by the buffing wheel.
“The wheel we use has a specific media on there to give it that velvety, MicroSuede feel,” says Miller. “The original Tour Wrap would come out of the mold and wouldn’t be touched, other than a little paint. We touch up the MicroSuede version just enough to give it that feel.”
The Tour Wrap is Golf Pride’s third best-selling grip, trailing Tour Velvet, and leading seller MCC. Does simply buffing up your third leading seller grip count as innovation? Well, it depends on how you define innovation.
There’s no game-changing technological breakthrough here, but the Tour Wrap MicroSuede does fill a hole in the Golf Pride lineup. In terms of moisture control, it’s better than the tackier CP2 models and the standard Tour Wrap, but not as good at the Tour Velvet line. In terms of relative firmness, it’s the second softest grip in Golf Pride’s lineup, behind only the CP2.
“There are players that like the wrap style and like the softness of the Tour Wrap, but want something with at least some wet weather playability,” he says. “So we buffed a few up and went wow, this has a very unique feel we think consumers would like.”
While the Tour Wrap MicroSuede gives you more traction than the standard Tour Wrap, it won’t compare to a full cord or Multi-Material Compound type grip for moisture management.
The Tour Wrap MicroSuede is available now, priced at $5.99 for standard size and $6.49 for midsize. They’re available in gunmetal grey initially, and while Miller says there are no plans for more colors at this time, that could change if the grip proves to be popular.
Pro Only Putter Grips
Golf Pride is also adding to its putter grip lineup with its new Pro Only series. Golf Pride says the new models are based on Tour player testing, and come in three distinct shapes and – because you’ve been good boys and girls – with a color-coded star on the cap.
The Red Star model is the smallest and lightest of the group, coming in at 72cc and 74.5 grams. It’s also the roundest, with a modest pistol kick in the back and a flat paddle front that’s arched outward for thumb placement.
The Pro Only Blue Star is a little bigger and heavier (81cc, 82 grams) and is more v-shaped with an angled back and a flat front. There’s no forward arch to the front.
The Green Star is the largest of the group (88cc, 86.5 grams), and has a more pronounced pistol kick than the Red Star. It’s a little more oval-shaped front to back than the Red Star with a different upper hand feel. Like the Red Star, the flat paddle front arches outward.
Golf Pride says that despite the craze for oversized putter grips, 21 of the Tour’s top 30 putters prefer smaller putter grips for feel, feedback, and control. Like the Tour Wrap MicroSuede, the PRO ONLY grips fill a hole in Gold Pride’s lineup – they’re noticeably larger and softer than Tour Classic, Tour Tradition and Players Wrap pistol grips, and smaller and considerably less colorful than the SNSR lineup.
The Pro Only lineup will be in stores September 1st, and will retail for $12.99.