Arthritis sufferers can still play golf but rarely without some concessions to the affliction. There are two main types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. Both cause swelling in the joints along with pain and stiffness.
Arthritis causes the cartilage that protect your bones to break down. There is no cure, only treatments to reduce the symptoms.
The pain, swelling, and redness caused by arthritis can make it difficult to play golf. This is especially true if arthritis strikes your hands. And arthritis in the hands and fingers can make gripping the club more difficult.
Change Your Actual Hand Grip
Changing the way you grip the club could make a difference. Traditionally, golf instructors have preferred the overlapping grip (sometimes called the Vardon Grip for Harry Vardon, who popularized it). In the overlapping grip, the pinky of your top hand overlaps the bottom hand.
Perhaps the two greatest players ever, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, used the interlocking grip. In this grip, the bottom finger of the top hand interlocks with the top finger of the bottom hand.
Arthritis sufferers might find some relief with the ten-finger, or baseball grip. All ten fingers are on the club in this grip. Since arthritis can affect your ability to grip the club, this choice could help with that.
Golf Grips For Arthritis
Aside from the way your grip the club and medical treatments, a piece of golf equipment might also help arthritis sufferers. That piece of equipment is the grip material of a club.
Golf club grips come in a variety of styles. Each of these could affect golfers with arthritis in the hands in different ways.
Regularly changing the grips on your clubs is something that should be done every year or so. If you need to make a change due to arthritis, chances are decent that change was due anyway.
There are five main aspects of arthritic golf grips you need to consider. Let’s take a look at each and how they might affect your game.
You may find that oversize grips will help you with arthritis, as it offers the chance to apply less pressure when swinging the club. There is always a tradeoff, as oversize grips can lead to a slice. It is entirely possible you will have to adjust your swing anyway to alleviate the pain from arthritis, so be aware.
Other grip sizes are standard, undersize, and midsize. You may be able to find something in between by adding extra layers of the tape that goes between the shaft and the grip.
Choosing the correct grip size can play a surprisingly large role in your score. It may be the most overlooked part of any player’s equipment choices.
There are any number of different textures you can get in a grip. While the textures may vary they all are intended for the same purpose, to keep the club from slipping in your hands. This will be discussed further later in this article, but arthritic golfers may do better with a heavily textured surface.
Many professional golfers use firmer grips, as dictated by their higher swing speeds and the stability they produce. Even if you are an excellent golfer, arthritis will likely mean you will do better with softer grips.
Some golf grips are made with a round or symmetrical design. Many players prefer the “ripped” design, which is a ridge that runs in a line down the grip. This ridge is there to assist you in gripping the club correctly. As for arthritic golfers, this will likely come down to personal preference.
This will likely be the most important decision you will make as far as your grips are concerned. This decision is so crucial, it seems wise to go more in-depth on each of the materials available to golfers.
This used to be a common material used for golf grips. You rarely see it any longer. Leather grips were wrapped around the shaft instead of the one-piece slide-on grips you see today. You can still find leather grips but they have become a specialty item. Believe it or not, some professionals have taken to using kangaroo leather grips.
These grips are super soft and provide great feel. They may not have the stickiness you need if you have arthritis.
In place of leather are certain composite grips. These might be made of some combination of synthetic materials that, like leather, are very soft. They have a similar drawback to leather grips in that wet weather or sweaty hands can make them very slippery. For that reason, these may not be the best choice for golfers with arthritic hands and fingers.
Rubber grips are easier to manufacture and offers a great feel as if it contains an adhesive. These properties make rubber grips the most common material you will find. This could be the best choice for arthritic hands as they provide a decent combination of feel and stability. They may not be the No. 1 choice.
Corded grips have a cord of varying material threaded through the grip. Even in humid or rainy weather, corded grips retain their tremendous traction, more so than any other type of grip. There is a downside.
Corded grips are also notoriously abrasive on your hands. Unlike the super-soft leather grips where some players don’t even wear a glove, you may want to wear gloves on both hands when playing corded grips.
You could find these grips to be too abrasive, even when wearing gloves. If so, find another style that suits you best, whether that be rubber or other material.
At A Glance: Top 3 Arthritic Golf Grips
Here are some of the best grips on the market for arthritic golfers.
Top Product Overview
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Best Budget Option
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Best Corded Grip
(Video) Top 5 tips for golfers with arthritis
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Best Arthritic Golf Grips
Lamkin is a well-known name in golf grips. This is Lamkin’s entry specifically designed for arthritic hands.
These arthritic golf grips have what the company calls a “nibbed” texture and comes in midsize only. They say this allows the golfer to comfortably grip the club with lighter pressure.
Reviewers online seem to agree.
- Rubber “nibbed” grips create confidence
- Come from a well-known name in golf grips
- Synthetic rubber is softer than corded grips
- Only comes in set of nine
- Only one size available
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Best Budget Option
As the name suggests, this is an oversized grip. They are a 1/8-inch grips, larger than most oversize grips, earning the “jumbo” designation. Made from a rubber blend compound engineered at UCLA, these grips are designed using a computer to produce a non-slip surface.
- A full 13-grip set
- Large grips help stabilize your grip on the club
- You may need to alter your swing to avoid a slice
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These grips retain the larger size of the Majek set above but at a lighter weight. The rubber grip has a textured surface to help prevent slippage.
Some golfers may find a need to add tape to increase the size of the grips.
- Textured grip helps with stability
- Great Price
- Not too heavy
- Not as large as some would like
- Set does not come with tape or solvent
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Best Corded Grip
While not made specifically for arthritic golfers, these grips are corded and come in five different colors. These are high quality grips, with the corded material being cotton. That could mean less wear and tear on your hands than some corded grips.
These grips combine the corded grip for the upper hand with a rubber surface for the lower hand, a great combination of control and feel.
Being corded grips, they are great for all weather conditions. The only downside is that only come in standard size. If you want a larger size, you will need to add layers of tape.
- Corded for all-weather use
- Pattern and textured for superior control
- High-quality construction
- Only comes in standard size
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Another oversize grip made specifically for arthritic golfers. The name tells you what they want you to know about these grips. Made from a sticky rubber compound, these are an affordable option containing grips for all the clubs in your bag aside from the putter.
- Designed specifically for arthritic golfers
- Serrated design for greater control
- May not be highest quality
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Golf Pride is the industry leader in grips and you will be hard-pressed to find better quality than the MCC Plus4. Tour players love these grips but that does not mean the average player cannot benefit from them.
The Plus4 in the name refers to the hybrid design, with the bottom half of the grip containing an extra four layers of tape. This gives both a soft feel and lighter grip pressure that arthritic golfers may find appealing.
- Highest quality
- Hybrid design good for arthritic golfers
- Soft rubber material
- You pay a higher price for the quality
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As you can see, you have a large variety of grips to choose from. As for a recommendation, that depends on your needs.
For those on a budget, the Majek Jumbo Pro Velvet could be the right choice.
If you want a corded grip, Wedge Guys MM is the grip for you.
If price is no object, then Golf Pride’s MCC Plus4 is the clear winner.
Header image courtesy of WikiCommons
A soft or super-soft rubber grip, absorbs shock, increases comfort and reduces exertion on your hands when gripping the club. Oversize golf grips reduce pain and are recommended for players who have arthritis or experience hand strain because the bigger the grip, the less pressure your hands need to apply.
Build up the grip size on your clubs with athletic tape or a custom grip to help you hold them easier and to reduce stress and pain on your finger joints. If you have arthritis in your hands, try wearing wrist braces and gloves on both hands to stabilize your joints.
If you tend to slice the ball a lot, and you're running out of options—a smaller grip might help you. And if you naturally tend to swing too much with the hands and fingers causing you to hook, a thicker grip can help mitigate your handsy action through impact.
If you're a golfer with larger hands, hand arthritis, or a player who tends to grip the club too tight, Midsize or Jumbo golf grips could provide a huge boost to your golf game. As a general rule, if you wear a golf glove size of Large / Cadet Large or bigger, a Midsize or Jumbo grip is the proper fit for you.
- Use your hands and wrists. ...
- Close your stance. ...
- Turn early. ...
- Turn your hips, too. ...
- Make the club lighter on your backswing. ...
- Lighter clubs. ...
- Use more loft. ...
- Proper ball position.
- Golf Pride MCC Align. A fantastic all rounder, ideal for all weather conditions. ...
- SuperStroke Legacy Fatso 5.0. Ideal if you find you twist your wrist on the putting green. ...
- Lamkin Flat Cat Big Boy. ...
- Golf Pride CP2. ...
- Odyssey Jumbo. ...
- Winn DriTac.
- Golf Pride MCC Plus4 Golf Grips (Best Overall)
- Lamkin Crossline Golf Grips (Runner-Up)
- SuperStroke Cross Comfort Golf Grips (Best Value)
- Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align Golf Grips (Best for Alignment)
- Karma Standard Velvet Golf Grips (Best Budget)
- SuperStroke S-Tech Cord Golf Grips (Best Control)
American Golf recommends graphite shafts for golfers with arthritis. Graphite shafts are lightweight and can help reduce vibrations in the arms and shoulders. If you have arthritis in your hands, you may also want to opt for an oversize grip to reduce pressure and tension on the hands.
For arthritis in your hands, you'll benefit from a looser grip on your clubs. Try using an oversized grip on one club to get a better feel for this 'open' grip style. Lamkin also designed their Arthritic golf grip to help promote a looser, open hand position.
- Play with the foot turned out to account for the loss of motion.
- Decrease the swing plane in the direction of the affected side to minimize pressure on the joint.
Comparing your grips to your golf glove size is a clear way to determine the appropriate grip size. If your glove size is a men's extra large (XL), it is best to use a midsize or jumbo grip on your clubs. A men's large (L) or medium (M) glove size or a women's large (L) glove size usually requires a standard size grip.
Consider Your Hands
Selecting a golf grip starts with your hands. Beginning with size, a custom fitting for golf grips assesses whether an undersize, midsize, or oversize grip is best for your clubs. Grips should be proportionate to hand size to accommodate for hand movement in your swing.
Overall, the physical grip choice is quite important and something that should be considered from the driver to iron. Most great players will tell you that choosing a grip that is the same across all of your clubs is the best decision that you could make. However, most players don't do this.
A standard grip with 3 wraps of tape is as close to midsize as you get.
Anything around that 8 to 9-inch size is best suited for a midsize golf grip. Midsize golf grips are noticeably thicker than a standard grip. Midsize grips come standard on some putters and some golf clubs specifically designed for senior players.
Breakdown of Golf Grips Used by Top 100 PGA Tour Players
What is this? Tony Finau meanwhile opts for 4 wraps under the left and 3 wraps under the right hand of his Lamkin UTX Midsize Full Cord grips.
Golf Pride Tour Velvet
The most popular grip on the PGA Tour also happens to be the most classic design in the industry. The Tour Velvet combines a rubber-blend compound with a computer-designed, non-slip surface pattern that maximizes playability and comfort.
As a general rule, it's recommended that you change your grips once a year, though if you play more than 40 rounds a year or hit the range a few times a week, you may need to replace grips more often. The most obvious sign of worn grips is a slick, glossy feel and appearance.
|FULL HAND LENGTH||LONGEST FINGER LENGTH||GRIP SIZE|
|7" to 7 3/4"||Under 3"||Standard|
|3" to 4"||Midsize|
|4" and over||Midsize|
|7 3/4" to 8 1/4"||Under 3"||Standard|
A 70-year-old man should be hitting a driver anywhere from 180 to 190 yards. This number has grown a bit in the last few years with the introduction of improved driver and shaft technology. At 70 years old, some golfers are having no trouble getting the ball to fly 200 yards or more.
What is the average swing speed of a senior golfer? Anyone over 50 belongs to the senior golfer category. Unlike women, who, on average, have a maximum 60 mph swing speed, men usually have a minimum 75 mph swing speed, with 90 mph being their average.
Average Driver Distance By Age.
|Age Range||Average Driver Distance|
|All Golfers||219 yards|
The most popular version on TOUR is Golf Pride's Tour Velvet, which combines a rubber-blend compound with a computer-designed, non-slip surface pattern to maximize playability and comfort. It's also known as the grip model upon which many club manufacturers base their designs.
Generally, beginners and/or those with large hands select the overlapping golf grip. But then if your hands are comparatively smaller, irrespective of whether you're a beginner or pro, always pick the interlock grip.
- Winn Dritac Standard Golf Grips (Best Tacky Golf Grips)
- SuperStroke Cross Comfort Golf Grips (Runner Up 1)
- Golf Pride CP2 Wrap Golf Grips (Runner Up 2)
- SAPLIZE PU Material Golf Grips (Best Tacky Golf Grips for the Price)
The midsize grip is ultimately designed to help your hand bend less and you don't have to close quite as much in the grip. The primary benefit of the midsize grip is the ability to help arthritis but also to relieve pressure from the grip if your hands are small.
Measuring For The Correct Grip Size
Measure from the crease in your wrist to the tip of your middle finger for grip size selection. The easiest way to determine the best place to start with grip size is by measuring your hands. You take the measurement from the crease of your wrist to the tip of your middle finger.
The midsize grip is 1/16” bigger than a standard golf grip. This may not seem like that much of a difference in size, but if you hold a standard and a midsize grip in your hands, you can absolutely tell which is the larger one.
Graphite shafts are often used by golfers with slower swing speeds (less than 75 mph), like women, senior men golfers or juniors.
Are graphite shafts better for seniors in golf? Yes, graphite shafts are the best choice for most seniors. As I mentioned, the shaft plays a major role in ball striking, consistency, and distance. The overwhelming majority of senior players would benefit from using a graphite shaft.
It may seem intuitive that golfers with knee osteoarthritis should stay off their feet and ride in a golf cart. But new research has found, for the first time, that walking the course provides significantly higher health benefits and is not associated with increased pain, cartilage breakdown or inflammation.
Cortisone will probably reduce the pain for a few months but may not change the length of time it takes the injury to heal. After receiving a cortisone injection, you should not play sports or use the arm forcefully for about two weeks.
Don't cross your legs at the knees for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Don't bring your knee up higher than your hip. Don't lean forward while sitting or as you sit down. Don't try to pick up something on the floor while you are sitting.
What Size Grips Should You Have On Your Clubs? - YouTube
Standard is usually defined as the diameter of the grip (at the butt end) being around 1". This isn't a hard and fast rule. But most grip manufacturers generally follow this sizing for Standard grips.
There are three basic types of golf grips: the overlapping, interlocking and 10-finger grips. Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all grip when learning how to hold a golf club, but it helps to know the differences.
What benefits will players get from a fresh set of grips? “The benefits are endless. Increased traction, more tackiness, better performance in wet weather, comfort, less tension in your hands resulting in smoother swings. And ultimately all these benefits lead to lower scores and more enjoyable golf.
TIP FOR YOUR GRIP: Set your left thumb on the back side of the grip and your right one on top. If you hit a lot of slices, you should "strengthen" your left-hand position on the club. All you have to do is grip it more in the fingers, as opposed to the palm.
While most pros aren't using oversize grips on their other clubs, they can help amateurs reduce grip pressure during the full swing.
A weak grip means the 'V' shapes are pointed to the left of your head. This type of grip would promote a less closed club face through impact as well as a more out-to-in swing. A weaker grip can help players who struggle with hooked shots by promoting a club face that closes less rapidly through impact.
Ever since he came on TOUR, DeChambeau used JumboMax grips on his clubs that measured about 125 grams per grip.
Oversize (or "Jumbo") Golf Grips promotes lighter grip pressure and can help relieve hand and wrist strain from overgripping. Lighter grip pressure increases control and swing consistency for target-focused accuracy.