Most golfers buy clubs off the shelf, with specifications set up for the mythical average person, and so find themselves going out on the course to play with stock lofts, lies, shaft lengths, flex ….. and grips. And for most golfers I’m guessing that’s absolutely fine because I rarely, if ever, hear anyone complain about those things (they complain about plenty of other things, mind you). I, on the other hand, have never felt happy about the last in that list, the grips. Until now, that is.
Pictured above on the left is the Golf Pride MCC Plus4, a development of the very popular New Decade Multi-Compound grip, which incorporates a reduced taper (simulating four extra layers of tape on the lower section) and features a softer rubber compound than the classic MCC grip. The thinking behind this new grip, introduced for the 2015 season, is set out in the video below.
On the right in the picture is the Golf Pride CP2 Pro, an all-rubber grip introduced around the same time, also with a reduced taper profile and with a particularly soft feel to the compound. The lowdown on the CP2 Pro and its sibling, the CP2 Wrap, may be gleaned from this short video.
My experimenting with these two grips started with an MCC Plus4 on my 3 hybrid and a CP2 Pro on my 9 iron, both in midsize (I had previously been playing standard MCC grips with two layers of tape). My initial findings were that midsize was just a tad too big and that, although I loved the soft, slightly tacky feel of the CP2 Pro, I had reservations about its ability to cope in wet conditions. To cut what turned out to be rather long story short (just don’t ask Chris, the pro at Chilworth tasked with fitting – and re-fitting – my grips!), I now have the MCC Plus4 on my mini-driver, 3 wood, hybrids and 5 to 9 irons, and the CP2 Pro on all four wedges. The grips are standard size with four layers of tape underneath, a set-up which I find works for me.
The combination of a perfectly sized grip (at last! I have never felt comfortable with that before) and the reduced taper I find allows me to adopt a more relaxed grip than has been possible in the past. It hasn’t revolutionised my game – at least, not yet – but it has certainly made me feel a lot more comfortable in my set up, and that can only be a good thing. And choking down on a club – think punch shots or around the green – is now a significantly better experience, thanks to the reduced taper profile.
I can’t praise these grips highly enough. Indeed, I can’t think why standard tapered grips have been pretty much the only option for so long (the pros have always just put more tape under the lower portion, but the manufacturers have been slow to catch up). And, in light of my own experience, I don’t know why more ordinary golfers put up with the grips that came with their clubs. It’s astonishing how much difference 1/32nd of an inch can make!