Get a grip


It’s been pretty hot here in Malaysia over the last couple of weeks. The humidity is one thing but once it’s joined by clear blue skies the temperature really rockets and it’s something of a battle to be outside in it for hours at a time. I know, I know, I could be stuck in an office or digging for coal down a mine or something. I’m not complaining as such, just painting the picture for those of you that live in less tropical sauna like conditions.

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My day usually starts with my morning ritual of sun screen application. Since living here in Asia I’ve gradually worked my way up through various levels and brands of sun cream. I’m now up to a whacking 130spf cream that I use on my face and neck each day with an easier spray on 80spf used on any other exposed areas. Combined with a cap and sunglasses it’s a wonder I manage to catch any sun at all but that’s fine by me. The lobster look is one I try very hard to avoid these days. A number of local golfers actually play golf in long sleeves, usually separate items to the actual shirt itself. The theory being that keeping the sun off your skin actually keeps you cooler. I’m probably going to give this a try if I can find some in ‘super skinny pipe cleaner arms’ size!

One of the other main concerns on the golf course is taking on enough liquid. It varies from day to day depending on how hot it feels but I always make sure I have a flask of water with me. Topped up with ice to keep cool today I drank, refilled and drank again taking on a total of 3 liters of water in a single round. Without being gross it’s amazing that despite consuming that amount of liquid it’s rare to need to visit the toilet whilst being out on the course for up to 5 hours. It just seems to sweat out of my body instead! :-0

Another difficulty of playing in the humidity is keeping my golf glove dry. Usually after no more than a couple of shots the glove can be getting pretty sweaty. I try to tackle this problem by having 2 or more gloves in play at once and rotating their use. It’s not uncommon to have 5 gloves either lined up on the golf buggy or attached to various straps on the outside of my golf bag to dry off in the sun before being used again later in the round. After watching Ian Poulter put some talcum powder into his glove at the hot and steamy 2009 Singapore Open I tried the same. I’ve probably gone through a fair amount of the stuff now and it really helps to keep hands dry and my grip on the club secure.

One of the downsides to having talc all over my hands during a round of golf is it obviously ends up on the golf clubs themselves. The grips tend to get a bit dry and talcy by the end of a round which finally brings me onto the actual purpose of this latest blog. The title up until this point probably had no resemblance to the content. I waffle like this from time to time. Hey ho. So, my grips. I’ve got white Tour Wrap 2G grips fitted throughout the bag. They feel really tacky and sticky when clean which definitely helps to keep hold of the club when it’s being flung around at speeds of up to 100mph (yup, that’s about all I can muster these days, I’m getting on a bit you know!)

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To keep the grips in tip top condition I try to wash them after almost every round of golf, certainly after I’ve been practicing for a while out in the sunshine. It’s really quite easy, a simple scrub with a nail brush and some everyday washing up liquid brings them back to life and definitely extends their life. It often amazes me when I grab hold of a fellow golfers club to feel just how slimy and sweaty it feels. Usually when I ask when the last time the grip was cleaned the answer is never! For those of you reading this that are trying to think back to the last time your grips were treated to a bit of a clean, get them in the sink and get scrubbing! The clubs will feel like new again and as it’s the only contact you have with the golf club it’s pretty important to keep them as clean as possible. If the cleaning doesn’t bring them back to life, get down to your nearest Pro shop and have them replaced ASAP.

It costs far less to regrip a set of clubs than most people think. Especially if you do a couple at a time. Considering the average price of some of the new fandangled drivers out there, a few extra quid / dollars / ringgits to replace the grip every now and again seems like a good investment to me. Happy scrubbing.

Nick

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