Golf Gloves Buying Guide
Golf gloves. We’ve all seen them. But no one seems to talk about them. It’s one of those gears that have become so normalized that no one notices them anymore. But a good golf player always does. The proper glove can improve your scores more than you would think. The key is to find the right glove for the right situation.
To tackle this problem, we’ve created this hands-on buying guide. You can use it to know all there is about golf gloves and figure out what you need based on your requirements.
Why Wear a Golf Glove?
It’s a very good question to ask. If you are familiar with tutorials on the internet, you’ll notice that most instructors don’t wear them. Also, when you pick up a club and feel the grip, you may feel that the club grip is already providing enough comfort and grip.
So, what’s the point of an additional glove? And why do you wear it on one hand only?
To understand it, you need to scale up your vision of golf. When it comes to filming one or two strikes by the instructors, for TV or social media, the weather is always good. They are showing you how to play the shot. They are not actually playing.
But when you play for longer sessions, for example, all 18 holes, you’re going to need more than your hands. Human skin is quite delicate and it tends to blister and develop callouses. Neither of the two phenomenon’s is desirable to any player.
That’s where a glove comes in. In our opinion, the primary reason behind wearing a glove is to protect your hands and skin from injury.
Another very important reason would be the grip. To prevent the golf club from flying out of your hands, a glove is necessary. It’s especially true when we consider abnormal weather conditions like rain, snow, or humidity.
Then why do players wear the glove in one hand only? If they were so important, you’re supposed to wear them on both hands, right? Well, technically you’ll be right. But the thing is that wearing a glove usually takes away the feeling from your shots.
If you’re a fan of the precision play, you’ll want to keep the feel of each of your shots as high as possible. Keeping the other hand open is the best way to do it. You get enough grip with your lead hand and use the other one to direct your shots.
What Hand Should You Wear the Gloves On?
The universal rule is to wear the glove on your lead hand. If you’re a right-handed player, your left hand is your lead hand. The opposite is true for left-handed players.
Another way to look at this is that the players wear the glove on their weak hands. It’s normal that a right-handed player won’t be able to generate as much force and grip with their non-dominant hand. So, they seek help from the glove to strengthen their grip.
However, it’s not universal that all players wear gloves on one hand. There are plenty of professional players who wear them on both hands. And there are players who don’t wear them at all. They have their reasons. There are no regulations out there as well to force you to wear a glove. It all comes down to conventional practice and personal preference.
How to Determine the Right Sizes of Your Golf Glove?
Size is probably the most important factor when you’re choosing your glove. It’s even more important than the material you go for. The wrong fitment will not only hurt your range of motion but also makes you vulnerable to injuries.
If you get a glove that’s too tight for your hands, you won’t be able to move your wrists and fingers as easily. It’ll also disrupt the blood flow which may cause fatigue to your hands long before you’re actually tired.
On the contrary, when you get a glove that’s too loose, you lose one fundamental benefit, the grip. Loose gloves may also wrinkle and get damage soon.
So, how do you find the right size for your gloves? It’s actually fairly easy nowadays.
Manufacturers out there are more careful about the size regulations and they offer all kinds of sizes for men, women, kids, cadets, seniors, and so on. Your task is to browse through the catalog and try out different sizes to figure out which one fits you the best.
If you want to go absolutely accurate, you can measure your hands to come up with the right size. Just measure the circumference of your weak hand around the knuckles. Also, take a look at how long your hands are from the crease of your wrist to the top point of your middle finger.
Combining the two measurements and comparing them with the available options will give you a very good idea about what size you need. Lucky for you, many manufacturers now offer in-between sizes like medium large (ML), medium small (MS), etc. sizes to cover a wider demographic.
What Material Should You Choose for Your Glove?
The next most important aspect of getting the best golf gloves is the material. You need to choose the right material for the right weather condition. Otherwise, you’re going to hurt your handicap score.
Here are the most common materials you’ll find on the market while getting your golf gloves.
For the majority of the professional players out there, leather is the material of choice. It’s the most commonly found one as well. The texture makes them very comfortable to wear. And in dry conditions, leather golf gloves offer spectacular grip.
Another huge reason why leather gloves are more popular than the others is the feel. It almost feels like you have another layer of skin on top of your hands. So, you get to essentially kill two birds with one stone. You can protect your skin as well as get a higher feel for your shots.
Leather is also naturally moisture resistant. It means that they’ll remain soft for years to come if you know how to take care of them. We’re going to include a separate section on how you can clean your gloves near the end of this post.
After the leather, synthetic is probably the way to go for most players. They’re more cost-effective and offer nearly similar benefits. They’re usually breathable, lightweight, and easier to maintain.
Sometimes, you may see synthetic infusions with leather gloves to improve the flexibility around the knuckles and other joints.
When you opt for completely synthetic materials, you get more durability out of them. Overall, synthetic provides more value for money if you’re a budget-oriented golf player.
All Weather Materials
If you’re willing to compromise a little comfort for more durability and more versatility, you may want to look at the all-weather material gloves. Just as the name suggests, these are perfect pairings for any weather conditions.
They are designed to provide the necessary grip during the rain, keep your hands warm during the winter, and absorb as much humidity as possible to keep things nice and dry.
Rain Fit Gloves
These are made from synthetic material and they’re specifically designed for rainy conditions. You can expect these to work better in rain than any other material type.
The thing with rain fit gloves is that you can’t use them in dry conditions. They just won’t feel right. They won’t grip the clubs as well. You may even get blisters if you use them in dry conditions. These gloves are for wet conditions. So, keep a pair in your bag if you often encounter rain.
If you’re a resident of a winter-heavy region, playing golf must be hard for you. It’s even harder if you try to play with your bare hands! If this is the case for you, then you may want to look at winter gloves.
They are often crafted from thermal materials. They usually aren’t breathable because that would compromise the whole purpose of keeping your fingers and hand warm from the sharp winter winds.
A drawback of such gloves is that the feel is reduced significantly. As the material would be quite thick and confined, you won’t be able to feel the feedback from your club as much.
Keeping Your Gloves in Good Shape
If you want to unlock the maximum potential from your golf gloves, you better keep them in good shape. Depending on what type of material you’re using, you need to perform maintenance activities on your gloves.
Another big reason to clean and protect your gloves frequently is that they tend to catch dirt very easily. As all of the elements at a golf club are natural, so you might accumulate dirt, dust, sand, grass, etc. into your gloves. These natural elements can damage the core material of the glove and degrade it faster.
So, how do you keep your golf gloves clean?
For leather gloves, you should always use cold water. As a matter of fact, you should be using cold water for all of your gloves just to be on the safe side. Put a squirt of dish soap in a bucket and fill it up with cold water. Then, place your gloves in the bucket and let them soak for a few minutes.
After the glove is properly soaked, take it out and scrub the dirt out with your hands. It’s ideal to not use any harsh brushes or chemicals on the gloves. Make sure to keep scrubbing until you get all the dirt and grime out of the glove.
After you’re done, rinse and wash the glove with clean cold water. Repeat the rinsing process a few times because you would want to get all the soap out of the material. If any soap residue is left behind, it can damage the glove after it’s dry.
Let the glove dry for at least two to three hours. It’s best if you can manage to put it under direct sunlight. The UV ray from the sun will kill the remaining bacteria.
Once the glove is dry, put it on to form the ideal shape of your hand. Because water can cause many materials to shrink. Wear the glove and mimic the grip to keep the shape sustained.
Should You Always Wear the Glove When You’re at the Course?
Not necessarily. It’s ideal that you take it off from time to time as you’re walking between your shots. It’ll give your hands a moment to breathe as well as improve the longevity of the gloves. If you want to squeeze the maximum lifespan of each of your gloves, you should carry more than one in your bag and change them in between the sessions.
Also, you may have noticed that many players take off their gloves during putting. It’s mostly because putting requires more feel than any other shot. You need to feel the feedback from your club to do the micro-adjustments on your shots. It’s just not possible with gloves on.
Increasing the lifespan of your glove is not the only reason you should carry more than one glove in your bag. No one can predict the future. You may have arrived at the course on a sunny morning but it can start raining out of nowhere at noon. Having a backup rain fitment glove can help you in these situations.
It’s especially true if you’re playing at a professional level. You should be carrying multiple sets of different gloves so that you’re prepared for any situation and weather condition that comes your way.
Golf gloves are not as appreciated as they should be. They’ve become so obvious that it doesn’t cross our minds to give them a second thought. However, if you’re after absolute perfection with your game, you should be focusing on choosing the best golf glove for you.