Grip It to Rip It

New grips for 2011
Schecter Lee

Your grips are probably the mostoverlooked part of your equipment, which is surprising when you consider they're the only part of your clubs that you touch. So it makes sense to pay attention to what grips you're getting when you buy new clubs or re-gripping your old ones. It's also another reason to get custom-fit, too, as you'll have your pick of what material (rubber, cord or synthetic), size, style and brand of grip you want.

Here's a look at several new grips for 2011 from major brands that should be available in your local golf stores and pro shops. (All prices listed are per grip)

GOLF PRIDE, golfpride.com
Variable Depth Rubber (VDR)
The VDR features three depths of surface texture to provide solid traction and comfort in all weather conditions. The material minimizes vibrations (30 percent less than standard rubber grips, according to one study) to allow for more comfort. Available in three sizes—standard, midsize and undersize—and four colors—black, red, blue and white. $5

New Decade MultiCompound
This hybrid is the fastest growing grip on the PGA Tour, according to Golf Pride. It fuses together two different materials—black velvet cord in the upper hand (typically the gloved hand) and a soft, high-performance rubber in the lower—to deliver a combination of firm traction, comfort and responsiveness. Available in eight different colors. $8.50

IOMIC iomicusa.com
X-Fusion Diarrow 2.3
The Japanese manufacturer's first cord offering in the U.S. is composed of five thin layers of rubber and fiber to deliver a very soft feel and excellent traction. The outer layer is made of soft rubber and the inner layers microfiber and firm rubber. The microfiber layers help to reduce torque while the firm rubber inner core works as an adhesive to limit twisting. $15

Sticky Opus 2
The Sticky series grip is made with a specially formulated dense elastomer material which is white, so that allows IOMIC to color it easily into a vast array of options. The Opus 2 uses a marble coloring process to add a little flair to its Sticky 1.8 grips, the lightest and softest in IOMIC's product line. $19

LAMKIN, lamkingrips.com
R.E.L. with 3GEN
A revised surface area patterned after Lamkin's most popular grip on Tour (the Crossline), exposes more of the company's proprietary 3GEN synthetic rubber compound to your hands to produce an unparalleled tacky, soft feel. The 3GEN material does not absorb any moisture and thus maintains a high level of tackiness; it also mutes vibration to reduce stinging on impact, without compromising feel. R.E.L. are the initials for former Lamkin president Robert E. Lamkin. Its minimal surface pattern design creates the maximum grip surface area for your hands, making the grip easy to hold and control. Available in black with a white butt cap. $7.99

PURE, puregrips.com
Colored Rubber Grips
Available in white, red, blue, lime green and other colors, these 100-percent rubber grips are said to maintain their tackiness for up to 12 months (most lose theirs after 3-6 months). PURE guarantees this or they will replace them for free. PURE's proprietary rubber formula does not include any fillers or plasticizers, making their grips more resistant to rain, humidity and sweaty palms than others that use these non-rubber elements. In the most wet or humid conditions, a quick wipe with a dry towel is all you need to get your grips ready for play. $8

WINN, winngrips.com
Hero Grips
These camouflage green and khaki-colored grips (right) honor our country's brave men and women in the Armed Forces: A portion of all sales proceeds go to the Troops First Foundation. Available in firm and soft stiffness, the Hero line uses an advanced injection molding process to lighten the grip's weight (only 25 grams) and promote faster clubhead speeds. $8.49

WinnLiteSoft White and Black Grips
These grips are even lighter (20 grams) and feature the familiar pink ribbon symbol synonymous with breast cancer: A portion of sales proceeds go toward finding a cure for this dreaded disease. The outer layer is made of V17 soft polymer material to provide ultimate comfort and shock absorption. $6.49

SUPER STROKE, tigersharkgolf.com
Slim Lite
The lightest jumbo putting grip on the market at 55 grams, the Slim Lite made its debut on the PGA Tour last fall, making its way into the bags of David Toms and Mark Calcavecchia. The non-tapered grip allows you to place your finger tips on opposite sides of the shaft, which promotes a square stroke and straighter rolling putts. $10.99

Ultra Slim
The thinnest of SuperStroke putters at 1 inch in diameter (compared to 1.67" in the Fatso and 1.3" in the Slim), the ultra-light (85 grams) UltraSlim was the fastest growing oversized grip on the PGA Tour late last season. Like the Slim Lite, the grip is constructed of a proprietary polyurethane material and patented foam underlisting for increased shock absorption and durability. $10.99

Black Widow, bwgrips.com
Widow Maker
From the same folks who make Softspikes cleats, the new Black Widow grips are rapidly turning heads. The Widow Maker in particular features a cord top area for increased grip and a softer bottom area for improved feel. It's a best-of-both-worlds design that really works. $8

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