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How To Change The Grip On A Golf Club

Using old worn out grips can have some serious negative effects on your swing.

It forces you to grip tighter, preventing you from having control of the club and signifincantly slowing down your swing speed.

I’ve seen people gain 5+ mph on their swing speed just from having new grips!

For years, I took my clubs to my local clubmaker to have the grips replaced.

He was a nice guy and did a great job. But he charged $3-5 per club and up-charged the price of the grips too. Nothing negative about the clubmaker, but it got pretty expensive to replace them regularly.

Learning how to change the grip on a golf club yourself can save you hundreds of dollars if you replace your grips often.

I’m not a golf pro or a clubmaker, but I learned to change the grips on my clubs myself.

It’s really not that difficult.

This guide will show you everything you need to know so you too can change your golf grips on your own.

What You Need

There are some things you need in order to be able to change the drips on your clubs (and some additional items that are not totally necessary but that can help make changing your grips easier.

New Grips

File this one under the obvious category. If you want to replace your grips, you need new ones. I avoid buying them in the popular stores because you can find great prices on Amazon usually.

My personal favorite grips are the Golf Pride Tour Velvet. They are simple, effective, and less expensive than most. You can usually buy them in sets to save some money.

Just don’t buy them years ahead of time to stock up. The rubber hardens after a while.

Grip Tape

Grip tape is specially designed for affixing grips to golf shafts. It is double sided and designed to become slippery when covered with grip solution and then sticky again when it dries.

You can’t just use regular double sided masking tape. It won’t hold and is much more difficult to remove.

There are generally two sizes of tape…1 inch and 2 inch. Get the 2 inch wide tape. With that width, you just have to put one strip vertically up the shaft. The 1 inch tape needs to be wrapped around in a spiral pattern and that makes is much more difficult.

Grip Solution

This is the magic potion of golf grips.

When you pour it on the drip tape, the tape becomes quite slippery, allowing you to slide the grip on easily. It is also designed to dry quite quickly.

If you can’t find solution and you need to replace some grips quickly, you can get mineral spirits at a hardware store and it works almost as well. It just takes longer to dry. I have also used WD-40 to get a grip on and it works just fine, expect it take a few days to dry to the point where you can use the club. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Hook Blade Knife

This is a very useful tool to remove the old grip. It lets you cut the old grip without risking damage to the shaft. That is less of a concern with steel shafts but can cause problems for graphite shafts.

You can also use a regular utility knife, but you need to be careful of the club shaft.

Helpful Tools

Vise

I debated putting this in the “needed” list but you can get the job done without one but it takes longer and is a lot more difficult. If it is your first time trying this, do yourself a favor and use a vise.

Rubber Vise Clamp

I wouldn’t use a vise without one of these. Doing so can cause damage to the shaft of your club resulting in reduction of performance or just completely breaking it.

Grip Tape Scraper

This, along with the next item, can be very useful if you have a lot of older clubs to re-grip or if you don’t re-grip your clubs regularly. Scraping off old brittle grip tape is a nightmare. This can help a lot.

Heat Gun

Along with the scraper, this is a huge help in removing difficult tape. Once you heat up the tape, it will come off much easier. You can use a blow dryer too…it just takes a lot longer. A heat gun is also useful if you plan on learning to replace club shafts as well.


Step By Step Process

1. Secure The Club (preferably in a vise)

This step is not 100% necessary but it is highly recommended.

I have certainly been able to change a golf club grip without securing the club in a vise, but it was always much more difficult and never turns out as well as when you have the club secured.

If you are using a vise, you need something soft between the vise and the club. If you don’t, then you may end up causing a slight crimp in the club shaft (if it’s metal) or a crack in the shaft (if it’s graphite).

The best, and quite inexpensive way to accomplish this is with a rubber vise clamp designed specifically to hold a golf club in a vise. This little thing can save you hundreds in shaft replacements.

2. Remove The Old Grip

This can be the most frustrating part of regripping a golf club.
If it has been a long time since you replaced the grip, it will be more difficult.

If you have a hook blade knife then you can simply stick it under the grip at the open end and pull up towards the butt end of the club. If the knife is sharp enough, it should easily slice right up the side of the grip.

If you are using a regular utility knife, you want to cut in the same direction, but don’t press very hard. It may take a couple passes over the same spot to cut all the way through. If I am using a regular knife, I try to cut about 90-95% of the way through the grip and then just pull it from there so that I don’t run the risk of damaging the shaft. This is especially important with graphite shafts where small cuts in the shaft, especially if you add more over time, can affect the performance of the shaft.

3. Scrape Off The Old Tape

This is my least favorite part.

It is especially difficult if you haven’t changed grips in a while.
Ideally, you should be able to pull the old tape off in one piece. Of course that is rare and worthy of celebration. If it does not come off easily then try pouring some grip solvent on the tape to try and deactivate the stickiness. If the tape has been on a while this won’t work as well.

You may have to resort to scraping it off. This is where a dedicated tape scraper really comes in handy.

If you used any grip solvent, use a towel to completely dry the shaft before placing the new tape on or it won’t stick to the shaft.

4. Place The New Tape On The Shaft

This part is easy, you simply cover the area of the shaft where the grip will be placed.

Leave the backing on the tape until you are ready to use the grip solution and place the grip on.

It also helps to measure how far down the grip will reach and make a small mark on the shaft with a sharpie or other marker. Before I started doing that, I would end up with a little tape showing below the grip all the time. Then you have to cut it and peel it off, which can be difficult to do without mucking up the rest of the tape.

5. Use Grip Solution To Prep The Surfaces

Right before you do this, peel the backing off of the tape that is on the shaft. If you do this carefully, you can get it all off pretty easily.

You also want to loosen the vice so that you can rotate the shaft.
At this point, you want to make sure the inside of the new grip and the entirety of the tape.

The best way I’ve found to do it is to cover the small hole on the butt end of the new grip and carefully fill the grip with solution, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Cover the other end with your finger and lightly shake it to make sure the entire inside of the grip is coated.

Then you can lift your finger off of the butt end of the new grip and the solution should slowly flow out through the small hole. Using this solution, coat the entire suface of the tape on the shaft, rotating as necessary. You also want to make sure that you have something to catch the solution as you let it pour out onto the shaft.

6. Slide The Grip Onto The Club

Now you should secure the club in the vise again.

If you did everything right up to now, you should be able to easily slide the grip onto the shaft.

It helps to hold your hand on the grip near the opening and wiggle it around until it works its way onto the shaft.

Then its easy to slide it the rest of the way on. Once it seems like it’s on, pull from the bottom a little to make sure it isn’t bunched up at all.

7. Position The Grip How You Want It

Before the grip dries you should position it how you want it.

Most grips have guides on them which help you place your hands. The problem with these is that they require that you position them perfectly every time you replace the grips.

If you do want to use the guide lines on the grip, I would suggest taking the club out of the vise and hold it as if you were taking a shot, placing the sole of the club on the ground. With many clubs having varying degrees of offset, trying to line up the grip while it’s in the vise is very difficult and getting it wrong (or worse having it inconsistent from club to club) can affect your shotmaking significantly.

I prefer to avoid that issue altogether.

I turn the grips upside down so that I cannot see the lines or logo on the grip at all. I think this has two beneficial effects.

  1. It prevents any concerns about grip misalignment from affecting my game.
  2. It has helped me learn to use the clubhead to line up my grip rather than using lines on the grip. For me, that has been much more consistent.

But everyone is different, and if you are re-gripping clubs yourself, you can try anything you want.

8. Let the Grips Dry

If you use grip tape and the proper solvent, then this should only take a couple hours. I like to wait a day if I have the time, but I have regripped clubs right before putting the bag in the car to leave for the course. I didn’t pull that club until the 6th hole and it worked perfectly.

So if you followed all the steps, you should now know how to change the grip on a golf club and save yourself a ton of money over the years as well as help your game.


Conclusion

I tried to cover everything I have learned over the years about changing your grips, but I’m sure there are things I may have missed.

If you want to add your own experiences or think I should add something, leave a comment below and let me know! Thanks.

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