Hard to write a 3000 word review on golf grips, so this will be a lightning review. 497 words.
I’m not a fan of hard or coarse golf grips like cords. I’ve fought golfer’s elbow / tennis elbow for a few years and the hard grips make it worse. And how about the feel of hard grips when you’re playing blades or player’s clubs and you hit a 3-iron thin? Not fun.
UST Mamiya Soft Touch
I like the soft feel of grips like the new UST Mamiya Soft Touch golf grips. The grips are made from advanced technology polyurethane materials, resulting in soft feel but tight control in dry or wet conditions. I’ve had these grips on my irons, wedges, hybrids and fairways for quite a few rounds now. I like how my hand seems to blend in with the club. It is like the grip and hand become one. A good analogy would be that “smart” mattress material in those $5,000 beds which mold to your body. Despite the softness I still have great feel and feedback from the clubs. I can still tell where on the club face I’m making contact.
Short game is really great with the Soft Touch grips. Gentle pitches and chips are very easy to feel and execute.
It is winter here and not many rounds being played right now. I can’t yet comment about the durability of these grips. I need a couple more dozen rounds with them to really be able to comment. So I’ll do a followup post in a month or two with my findings on the durability.
I have to extend some thanks to the folks at UST Mamiya for their help. I had a problem with the first install of many of the grips. The installer (yes I should have done them myself) left the old tape on the clubs and used a ton of solvent. Since there wasn’t any new tape, he literally trashed five of the grips in attempting to put them on. See the pic on the right. I was heartbroken!
With the extra solvent and not using new tape, another four of the grips ended up bad. I’m talking really bad. I’m talking two inches long on the 6-iron, 1 inch long on the PW. The lob grip was folded over onto itself on the inside. It was a disaster. Thanks to UST Mamiya for understanding and sending in replacements. The next install was done perfectly with new tape and not too much solvent.
During install make sure that the cut edge of the shaft is not sharp and is properly covered with tape. Doing so will avoid the above mentioned damage to the lob wedge, and make putting them on much easier. And be sure to replace the old tape. Glad to help. That’s why I’m here.
Standard – 0.600 – 43 grams
Midsize – 0.600 – 47 grams
Undersized – 0.580 – 37 grams
I’m loving the feel and control of the Soft Touch grips. They’re also really sharp looking. If you like softer grips, try out the UST Mamiya Soft Touch golf grips.
UST Mamiya website
HOG UST Mamiya image gallery
9 P Hanson vs 5 B Snedeker
10 M Wilson vs 3 D Johnson
1 R McIlroy vs 13 M Jimenez
10 J Senden vs 11 S Bae
1 M Kaymer vs 4 M Kuchar
2 S Stricker vs 6 H Mahan
1 L Westwood vs 4 N Watney
10 M Laird vs 11 P Lawrie
Round one of the WGC Accenture Match Play yesterday was fun to watch. There were some very surprising outcomes.
1 And Done
The biggest surprise of the day was that world #1 ranked Luke Donald, defending WGC Accenture Match Play champion, lost to the lowest seed, Ernie Els. It just goes to show that in match play anything can happen. That’s why they play the game.
That wasn’t the only upset. In fact, 15 of the 32 matches were won by the underdog. New record for the tournament. #3 seed Graeme McDowell lost, which was also surprising, unless you remember how much of a stud Y.E. Yang is. That’s why they play the game.
I watched all of Tiger Woods’s match with Gonzalo Fdez-Castano. Hands down the ugliest match of the day, excluding the one extra hole in the Mahan/Johnson match.
Castano went up two after two holes and Tiger looked awful. I thought perhaps Tiger might be dormy after nine holes. The winner of this match would end up being the player who played the “least bad.” Tiger would eventually come out with the ugliest and most disappointing victory he may have ever had.
“We both made our share of mistakes, there’s no doubt about that. But somehow I was able to move on.” ~Tiger Woods
I think if there was one day to beat Tiger Woods, this was it. I didn’t take the opportunity. I missed a few shots. And, of course, you can’t miss shots if you want to beat one of the greatest in history.” ~Gonzalo Fdez-Castano
Rory McIlroy seemed to have things under control in his match with South Africa’s George Coetzee, 3-up with 3 to play. But then he lost the 16th and 17th holes, just to make it interesting. He did manage to win the 18th and the match 2up.
Based on the final round play at Riviera of Dustin Johnson, I figured the mechanic Jim Furyk would win this match. Johnson’s short game was bad last week. Apparently he worked on that, since he seemed to be chipping in from everywhere. I think the only place he didn’t chip in from was the outhouse. Johnson won in 20 holes.
Battle of the Spaniards
I’m a big Miguel Angel Jimenez fan. How do you not love a guy who does sexy dancing in his warmups? In the battle of the Spaniards, Jimenez defeated the very hot Sergio Garcia 2 and 1.
Y.E. Yang “yanged” Graeme McDowell for the 2nd year in a row. 14 seed beats a 3 seed.
GARY PLAYER BRACKET
1 Rory McIlroy vs. 9 Anders Hansen
5 Keegan Bradley vs. 13 Miguel Angel Jimenez
2 Jason Day vs. 10 John Senden
3 Charl Schwartzel vs. 11 Sang-Moon Bae
SAM SNEAD BRACKET
1 Lee Westwood vs. 8 Robert Karlsson
4 Nick Watney vs. 5 Tiger Woods
15 Matteo Manassero vs. 10 Martin Laird
14 Ryo Ishikawa vs. 11 Paul Lawrie
BOBBY JONES BRACKET
16 Ernie Els vs. No.9 Peter Hanson
13 Kyle Stanley vs. 5 Brandt Snedeker
15 Robert Rock vs. 10 Mark Wilson
3 Dustin Johnson vs. 11 Francesco Molinari
BEN HOGAN BRACKET
1 Martin Kaymer vs. 8 David Toms
4 Matt Kuchar vs. 5 Bubba Watson
2 Steve Stricker vs. 7 Louis Oosthuizen
14 Y.E. Yang vs. 6 Hunter Mahan
I had the chance to participate in a conference call with David Feherty and Hank Haney (Tiger Woods’s former coach) yesterday, hosted by Golf Channel. Next week marks the beginning of new seasons for both of their shows. Haney will premier at 9pm ET and Feherty at 10pm ET on Monday the 27th of February.
I asked Feherty about his upcoming show of course, but as “any question” was welcomed in this format I slipped in a couple of other questions as well. Hope you enjoy. Please note: spelling or word mistakes are from the transcript service, not my typing. For instance, Feherty called 10 at Riviera a “crap” hole, not a “crab” hole! I like crab hole though…
TONY KOROLOGOS: David (Feherty), your show has been extended by a half an hour, so what are you going to be doing to fill up the extra time? Are there any new wrinkles, formats, changes, surprises that we can watch for in that extra 30 minutes?
DAVID FEHERTY: Well, we found that the interviews and the subjects of the interview were often so compelling that it was extremely difficult to get the essence of what they said into 22 minutes of programming and a half hour show.
Leading up to the new season we extended the Tom Watson and Johnny Miller interviews, the Lee Trevino one was already an hour, and there were several more that should have been an hour. Greg Norman was an hour. We just felt it’s a better format, and that we can get more out of it.
Having said that, there will be other elements that we can use, some characters that I hope to introduce to the show, correspondents. Not unlike what John Stewart has done at the Daily Show. I’ve got a character called Dr. Phyll, that is searching for a drug that will help you play golf. And if he finds it, I’ll be really pissed off, because I looked for it for 20 years.
Hamish McGregor is my rules expert who will be answering rules questions. Things like that.
TONY KOROLOGOS: Hank, in working with the pros, do you feel like the new groove rules for the wedges really changed any part of their game or has really affected the game right now? Did you have to change any techniques or did anybody have to make adjustments at that point is this?
HANK HANEY: I don’t feel that it’s changed anything, to be honest with you. I don’t see any difference in the way players are playing the game. I think maybe we’ve seen players increase a little loft on their most lofted wedge. You were kind of seeing that already with some players using 64° wedges.
But that would have been the only probably minor adjustment that you might have seen a few players make to add a degree or two extra to their most lofted wedge to stop the ball a little quicker. But I don’t see that it’s done anything at all to be honest with you.
TONY KOROLOGOS: This past weekend the playoff hole 10 at Rivera is a short little par-4 and barely 300 yards, 310 or something like that. We saw three of the very best TOUR players try to play that hole and only one guy actually hit the green in regulation. Another great short hole I think of is 12 at Augusta. Do those holes show us something? We talked about how the ball is too long and length is such a problem and all of this. Is there something to be learned from those short holes like that which could help the game rather than worrying about scaling the ball back or making golf courses longer?
HANK HANEY: Well, I think one thing you’ve seen a certain trend in golf courses in the last year, and particularly the way they set up tournaments is everyone is intrigued by the short par4. You see the USGA is doing it with their tournaments, trying to make a hole, if it’s possible, a drivable hole. It does go to show you that a golf course doesn’t have to be long to be difficult.
By the same token, to be a real test of golf, you want to have to hit ball of the shots. In order to do that, you have to have length, and you have to have the ability to stretch the course out, because the ball does go so far now.
DAVID FEHERTY: You get holes like number 10 at Rivera, and continually I sort of disagree with my colleagues when it’s considered to be one of the finest short par4s in the world. It’s not. It’s a crab hole. But what it does, it brings out the best and the worst in the best players in the world. But it doesn’t have to be any good to do so.
The 17th at Scottsdale, or the 15th at Hartford, it’s drivable, but it’s just so fiddly and tricky. There is no real way to play it properly.
For instance, yesterday, if one of the players I mean, I said that I felt that four could win having watched the 18th, which might be the toughest hole on the golf course. Two of them birdied it to get into a playoff.
The tenth hole, even though it’s a 5iron and a sand wedge, you can’t hit the sand wedge on the green. It’s such a steep pitch and it’s so narrow. Everything about it is just so wrong, that it turns out right for television, because it makes the best players in the world look like idiots at times. I think that’s what makes it so attractive to the viewer because they think to themselves, I could do that. Where the reality is, no, they couldn’t. They’d make 11 there.