Old, worn-out grips can really short-circuit your game, and not just in the obvious way.
The obvious way being that worn grips are slick and susceptible to slipping during your swing. This usually happens on the transition from backswing to downswing, or as your hands near the impact position. In any case, it’s virtually impossible to make good contact once the club has shifted in your hands.
The trouble starts before that, though. Worn grips are naturally thinner than fresh ones, and even a small difference in thickness can lead to overactive hands and big hooks. Even worse, slick grips cause you – consciously or not – to hold the club tighter. That’s a big no-no, as it creates tension in the wrists, arms and shoulders.
If your grips show a visible shine (or worse yet, cracking), it’s definitely time to replace them. If they’ve still got a little roughness on the surface, dip them with dishwashing soap and water, then scrub with a plastic-bristled brush or a towel. Next, rinse the grips in hot water and dry them thoroughly. This will remove dirt and oil, restoring a nice, tacky feel.
While there’s no formula for how often grips should be replaced, anyone who plays every week should re-grip yearly. Pay attention to the condition of your grips and wash them every 8-10 rounds, more often if you play in hot, sticky weather.
You’ll be amazed at the difference new or clean grips can make.