Gripping Reality

Throughout my time playing golf I have gripped over 100 golf clubs.I have done $1000 iron sets and have done 3 dollar fairway woods. I have used multiple hundred dollar gripping stations and at my current place, I don’t have a table or a vice to do it. I am able to get the grip on without a vice, no problem. Aligning the logo is more difficult, which is why I cheat and put the logo down so you really can’t tell. It’s not ideal but the grip is on. Thats what makes this story incredible.

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A few months ago, I bought the Cleveland 588 CB irons. The set I bought had midsize New Decade Multi-Compound Grips. Those grips are awful for me. The weight is weird and they don’t feel comfortable. I decided to get my Red Pure Pro’s. I bought a set and brought them home ready to go. My wife was home that night and we decided to watch a movie about the super evangelical movement, so I set up in the kitchen to remove the old grips and tape. Removing each grip was the easy part. Normally at this point, with the grips off, I would hit it with either my heat gun or my propane torch.When using these tools, the tape separates from the sticky part and it comes right off. It really is a simple hack for anyone wanting to do their own grips.But, I was inside. My wife would kill me if I used the torch in the living room, so instead, I decided to pick off the tape by hand, adding half an hour to my routine. After four clubs, my fingers ached. I realized I still had three to go and I cried out in desperation.

When I grip my clubs I add 2 extra wraps. That makes my grip slightly larger than standard but not quite a midsize. When I size my hand for a grip I usually fit into a midsize. Through trial and error I have found out that a midsize is a little to large but 2 wraps is perfect. So, I added on the extra layers, then the grip tape. Then it was time for solvent.

For the sake of my pride, I want to remind you I have done this over 100 times. When working on this set of grips this time around, I used plenty of solvent and worked the grip on quickly. I got to my first grip and filled it up with plenty of solvent, then poured it over the tape. The grip starts to go on perfectly, but then I get it halfway onto the club, and I hit a roadblock. The grip refused to go down any further. I began to panic and started to pour solvent onto the exposed tape in the hopes it will keep going. It didn’t. In an effort to minimize the damage, I started to try and pull the grip off. I even enlisted the help of my poor wife, having her hold one end while I attempted to pull the grip off. Finally,  I set the club to the side. I moved on to the next club and decided to drench it like i have never drenched a club before. The club starts down and…gets stuck. At this point I am saying words that would make a sailor blush. Luckily, I worked fast enough on this one and was able to get the grip off. I look over my shoulder and Grip 1 is mocking me.

I figured now was the time to move this operation into the safety of my man cave. I started the process all over again and managed to get on the next four, successfully completing 5 of my 7 grips. I get the last iron grip on, and I think I’m done. Until I looked at the grip and it had a bulge in it. It looked like a tumor. I’m furious, but at this point, I’ll just handle it in the morning. Its time for my new putter grip. This is an oversize putter grip, so it’s necessary to use a ridiculous amount of solvent. I poured almost a quarter of my solvent onto the grip. The grip goes on smoothly at first, and then like before, it stutters to a stop. I start my sailor words again and actually get so upset I smack my wall and storm out of the house, which required an apology to my wife. I decided just to go to PGA Superstore and pay them to fix it the next day.

After church, where I sought forgiveness for my words the night before, I trekked over to the store. I swallowed my pride and asked them if they could save my grip and reapply it. The club tech looked at it and laughed. He asked, “Who the hell put these on?” I wracked my brain to determine who I could blame this massive screw up on. “I did,” I said, as I hung my head in shame. He looked at it and said, “Man, its only 2 bucks a club for us to do it for you.” I reply, “I know but I usually don’t have a problem doing it.” He laughed and I watched him work his magic. About 2 minutes and 5 dollars later, I was holding expertly gripped clubs, tumor free.

That was truly  a humbling experience. I have never had problem doing this, until that fateful night. I think now I may just pay the 2 bucks and swallow my pride. Once I get a table outside, I will be able to set up a vice and won’t make an idiot of myself. At least while regripping clubs.