Clean Grips Are Happy Grips

Gripes are cheap, easy-to-use wipes that can only help your game

By: James A. Frank

High on the list of simple things golfers could do to improve their games but don’t is taking care of their grips. The normal wear-and-tear of golf makes grips dirty and slick, reducing that nice tackiness we want, which leads to clubs turning in our hands as well as splits and tears.

As I remember it, the rule of thumb is to replace grips once a year. For less than $50 it’s almost like getting a new set of clubs. But what to do during the season?

Try Gripes, new grip-cleaning wipes made by Lamkin, a leading manufacturer of grips. For $6, you get a resealable package of 15 7x9-inch wipes saturated with a quick-drying cleaning solution. Lamkin says each Gripe will clean up to five clubs so one pack should more than see you through between regrippings.

I recently gave Gripes a quick test and they work as advertised, cleaning the surface and enhancing the feel. The cleaning took only a few minutes and the grips were dry and ready to use in minutes. I’m not sure how much credit they get for any improvement in my play, but don’t discount the psychological benefit to knowing one’s equipment is in good shape.

Gripes—intended for rubber and synthetic materials, especially new white and light-colored grips—are good but can’t completely restore that new-grip feel. Still, as with so many other things in life, when it comes to golf, cleanliness is next to good-shot-liness.


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