OUR JOB IS YOUR GAME
In golf, there are many key accessories, perhaps none greater than the glove. It’s not only a fashion statement. It’s a key performance ingredient.
Or so we’ve always believed.
At our headquarters, Most Wanted Testing takes precedence. However, throughout the year, impactful ideas come to life via our testing facility.
Today, we dive into the unknown: Are there any performance differentials when wearing a golf glove?
HOW WE TEST
Per usual, every test we conduct utilizes two key components: Foresight GCQuad and Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. Data is collected using the GCQuad. By using Pro V1 golf balls, we are able to eliminate variables.
For this test, shots were hit with pitching wedge, 7-iron and driver. Fifteen testers hit shots with and without a glove for each of the club conditions.
Furthermore, there were a few parameters put in place:
- Each tester used a new glove of his or her choice.
- Every tester was right-handed.
- All shots were hit with his or her current pitching wedge, 7-iron and driver.
- Testing conditions were indoors with a room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
GLOVE VERSUS NO GLOVE – KEY TAKEAWAYS
1. Dispersion Results
Without question, the most staggering discovery throughout this test is dispersion.
- Overall, testers were more right-biased when hitting without a glove compared to hitting with a glove.
- When using a driver, dispersion to the right increased by 7.66 yards without a glove. Eighty-six percent of the testers were right-biased without a glove when hitting a driver.
- For 7-iron and pitching wedge, 66 and 73 percent of the testers were more right-biased, respectively.
2. Ball Speed Results
Clubs hit with a glove hold the edge. This is true for pitching wedge, 7-iron and driver.
- With a glove, pitching wedges see a 1.63-mph faster ball speed than without a glove.
- For 7-irons, there is a 2.2-mph faster ball speed than without a glove.
- Lastly, driver ball speed has the smallest differential—.97 mph faster with a glove.
3. Carry Distance Results
Additionally, carry distances for each club were better with a glove than without a glove.
- Pitching-wedge carry distance is 124.74 yards versus 122.02. With a 2.72-yard difference, shots hit with a glove boast the better carry distance.
- With a 7-iron, carry distance is 162.73 yards versus 158.46, a 4.27-yard differential with a glove versus without.
- Driver carry distance is 248.80 yards compared to 245.28, a 3.52-yard differential in favor of shots hit with a glove.
GLOVE VERSUS NO GLOVE FEEDBACK
With this type of lab, capturing tester feedback is paramount. While brainstorming this lab, we truly didn’t know what to expect from a performance standpoint. But we, along with most of our testing pool, didn’t expect to see anything monumental. Here are a few comments from testers:
- “Using a golf glove gives me security.”
- “I have much more comfort with a glove. Even if I gained more yards, more spin and more accuracy without a glove on, I still wouldn’t play without a glove. There is that much comfort and security with a glove.”
- “I didn’t see much discomfort when hitting a pitching wedge or 7-iron without the glove. However, with a driver, I felt extremely uncomfortable. I couldn’t feel the club and lost confidence in my control.”
- “The test is intriguing. There is an element of how you subconsciously react to hitting shots without a glove on when you are so used to it.”
As you can see, comfort is a main talking point for the testing pool. There is definitely a level of comfort for golfers when a golf glove is present. Not only does the feedback highlight this but, as you can see in the data above, it plays a role in performance.
Much like any other experiment, you go in with an open mind. Well, this lab raises a few eyebrows, to say the least. Seeing the minimal performance difference in ball speed and carry aren’t necessarily surprising. However, they are interesting nuggets. Perhaps they attest to the level of comfort hitting with a glove provides.
The biggest takeaway for us is the dispersion differences between hitting with a glove versus without a glove. For 86 percent of the testers to be right-side biased with a driver is quite eye-opening. As to why, maybe it’s subconscious. The testers felt less secure without a glove. In turn, they were more reactive and felt the need to be in more control, holding on to the club longer instead of releasing it naturally. Again, a hunch, but it makes decent sense.
Most golfers prefer wearing a golf glove. There are those who don’t. Furthermore, there are those who only do so in hot conditions for more control. Whichever you prefer, give wearing a glove some more thought. It might help you more than you think.
Let us know what you think and drop a comment below.
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