Are your once-pristine golf clubs beginning to feel a little worn and shabby? Is the rubber or grips around the clubs beginning to feel loose, tatty, unstable or uncomfortably slick? If so and if this wear and tear is beginning to become a problem when holding or swinging the various clubs in your bag—it may be time to re-grip your clubs, a process that can make even the oldest clubs feel and respond like new.
Fortunately, the process of re-gripping your golf clubs is not a very difficult one, and it is easy to do right from the comfort of your own home. Instead of shelling out the big bucks to send your clubs out for re-gripping, which predictably can take a lot of time, money and keep you from your clubs for longer than you desire, you can systematically handle this task yourself with just a few materials and a bit of time and patience.
In the following article we have laid out a helpful strategy that will enable you to re-grip your golf clubs from home—a step-by-step strategy that is very easy to follow. Keep in mind, though, that this process does involve the use of some sharp objects and potentially toxic chemicals (when handled irresponsibly), so it is ultra-important that you observe all the best safety practices when performing this task (such as wearing gloves), as these safety precautions will drastically reduce the chance of injury and accidents.
Step 1: Gathering the Materials/Supplies
Before you undertake the gratifying chore of re-gripping your golf clubs you will first need to assemble and lay out all of the materials and supplies you will need to successfully complete the job. Having all of the required materials and tools nearby and at the ready will ensure you can work straight through, without any unnecessary interruptions or stoppages. This will, in turn, lead to a more complete and professional end product of which you can be proud.
In addition to gathering the tools and supplies you will need, make sure you select an appropriate work location in which the total space is ample and abundant, giving you more than enough room to work comfortably and sufficient space to lay the clubs down after they have been successfully re-gripped.
Here are the materials, tools and supplies you need:
- New Grips. Of course, you will need to purchase the new grips you plan to put on your golf clubs. New grips can be purchased at most golf supply stores; some pro shops; and are widely available online and at golf repair shops. Currently, I am using the new Golf Pride CP2 Grips and I love them. They are the most comfortable grips I have ever used, and I have better control of my clubs than ever before. Check them out, you will not be disappointed.
- A Tee. Although this may seem odd, you will need a standard wooden or plastic golf tee when applying the grip solvent.
- Bench Vise. A bench vise will help you properly secure the club as you remove the old grip and install the new one.
- Shaft Holder. A rubber shaft holder will help protect the shaft of the club when it is clamped in the bench vise.
- Double-Sided Tape. Two-sided tape is always necessary when installing new grips.
- Scissors. Scissors may be needed to cut and remove the old grips.
- Scraper. You will need either a dedicated golf club scraper or another type of dull scraping tool to safely remove the old tape and solvent residue.
- Utility Knife. The utility knife you select for this job should have a hooked blade, as a sharp pointed blade can cause damage to graphite and fiberglass shafts.
- Solvent. For best results, we recommend you purchase some type of specialized grip solvent for adhering the new grips to the golf club shaft.
- Catch Basin. A bowl or some other type of collection container is needed to catch any run-off solvent.
- Rag. An old rag or piece of cloth is a must when re-gripping your golf clubs.
Although this list may look extensive, many of these items can be purchased at the corner drug store (if you don’t have them already). The remainder of the items can be found at golf supply and golf club repair outlets, or even online at a discounted rate.
Step 2: Removing the Old Grips
When removing the old grips, you will need to hold the golf club underneath your arm with the grip end out in front. You can also use the bench vise to hold the golf club as you work. Cutting away from your body, use the hooked utility knife to slice through the grip lengthwise, making sure it is completely cut from top to bottom. Once you do this, it should be very easy to merely peel off the old grips by hand. If this doesn’t work, use the scissors to cut away the old grips.
When using the utility knife, always cut away from the body to avoid injury, and make certain that nobody is standing in front or to the side of you as you work.
Step 3: Removing the Old Grip Tape and Tape Residue
Although in some cases the double-sided tape used to secure the old grips will easily peel off in long strips, this is not always case. On some clubs, you may need to use the scraper to completely remove any leftover tape.
Once all of the old tape has been successfully removed from the grip area of the club, you will see that the shaft is coated with a sticky and often rough residue. This is from the old tape and solvent that was on the club and any adhesive that was used to apply the old grips. This will need to come off. To accomplish this, squeeze a generous amount of the solvent onto your old towel and rag and scrub the shaft clean as the solvent loosens the adhesive. When all of the residue has been removed, dry the club thoroughly before moving on to the next step. The grip area of the club should now look and feel just like the rest of the shaft.
Step 4: Applying New Grip Tape
Place the club into the rubber shaft holder and then secure the club with the bench vice clamped over that protected area. When finished doing this, the club face should be perpendicular to the ground with plenty of room to work on the grip. You do not have to—and shouldn’t—over-tighten the club, as this can damage the shaft. Just make sure it is secure and immobilized.
Using the double-sided tape, cover the entire grip area of the shaft, leaving about a half-inch of the tape hanging over the butt end of the club. To accomplish this, you can apply the tape around the club in a parallel path, or use a candy cane-type striping. Just make sure there are no areas of the grip that are left untapped.
Now that the club has been wrapped, remove the backing off of the double-sided tape, and fold the overhanging portion neatly inside the end of the shaft.
Step 5: Applying Solvent over the Grip Tape
Prior to applying the solvent over the grip tape, place the bowl or catch basin directly under the work area to catch any runoff solvent.
Using a golf tee, push firmly into the vent hole of your new grip and carefully pour the solvent into the exposed end. Once you have completed this step, you will also want to cover the grip tape entirely with solvent from the new grip—this will help you to easily slide the grip over the tape. Once you finish that step, remove the tee from the vent hole and quickly move onto the next step (before the solvent has a chance to dry).
Step 6: Sliding on the New Grip
Once you have poured the solvent over the new grip tape, align the new grip at the top of the shaft with the logo facing upwards.
Once the grip has been properly aligned, gently squeeze the open end of the new grip and slide it onto the shaft in the proper position. You will need to push the grip all the way down until you feel the butt end of the shaft pressing against the grip cap.
Step 7: Checking Your Work
After you complete each club you intend to re-grip, you will want to check your work before moving on to the next club—and before the solvent has a chance to dry. To check for the proper alignment, remove the club from the bench vise and hold it in its proper position—the same way you will hold it while playing. Look down the shaft to make sure the logo is properly aligned.
Step 8: Repeat Steps 2-7 for Each of Your Clubs
As you can see, re-gripping your clubs can be a very laborious and time-consuming process, but it is also an affordable and satisfying way to bring back the luster and proper feel of your clubs, making them look and feel like new.