5 Factors that Influence Grip Sizing
Looking to regrip your golf clubs? Before you rush to order all the golf grips and supplies for your project, you will need to do some homework first starting with knowing what grip size you need.
What size golf grip do I need?
Don't assume if you are a man that you automatically need a men's standard grip or if you are or regripping a club for a woman, a lady's standard grip size is required. This is the reason grip manufacturers make several grip sizes. There are some men that have small hands and prefer ladies, or the more PC term is an undersize golf grip. Then there are women with longer fingernails or prefer to hold the grip in their palms. They may very well prefer men's grip sizing.
To help you know what the proper grip size you may need based on your hand size, finger length and preferred way of holding the grip, we have created the Karma grip sizing calculator.
Shaft Butt Diameter
The first factor you will need to know is what the butt diameter of all the clubs you are going to grip. It is common today that the driver shaft may be different from fairway wood and hybrid, which may be different material from those in your irons or wedges. As a result, the shafts may have different butt diameters and you will need to measure them accurately with calipers.
The most common size shaft butt diameters for men's steel shafts are 0.600" and 0.580". However, looking at graphite shafts for men, you might find 0.586", 0.618" or 0.642" as just a small sampling of what you might find. If you are installing the same grip on a set of irons with a 0.600" butt and a few hybrids with a 0.615" butt diameter, the final grip sizing will be noticeably different unless you can make adjustments as we will explain later.
Grip Core Size
The inside of the golf grip is known as the core. It is the core to which the grip tape adheres holding the grip onto the shaft. The core size corresponds to a specific shaft diameter for which it is designed to fit and make a standard size grip. The three most common grip core sizes are 56, 58, and 60. These correspond to shaft butt diameters of 0.560", 0.580" and 0.600" respectively.
For example, a 58 core grip is designed to fit over a 0.580" shaft and create it's stated size, while a 60 core grip is designed to fit over a 0.600" shaft. Yes, it is possible to interchange these different core size golf club grips. A 58 core grip will have to stretch over a larger 0.600" diameter shaft, thus resulting in a slightly oversized grip. Conversely, a 60 core grip will fit loose over a 0.580" butt diameter shaft requiring it to be stretched down (making it smaller), or requiring build up tape underneath to bring the diameter up to 0.600".
Common Core sizes
Starting Grip Size
Grips manufactured in both a men’s and ladies' versions of the same grip will have a separate letter designation, such as M (for Men), L (for Ladies) and J (for Junior) in front of the core size. This is done to differentiate the grip size. The grip may have a M58 or L58 inside the mouth. On the exterior, both grips look identical, but the lady's or undersize version has a smaller outside diameter, even though both have an inside core of .580”. If you look inside the mouth of the grip and see a M58X or M60R, don't panic. The X will refer to a ribbed grip and the R will be for a round grip.
Basic Grip Sizes
Aside from the basic grip sizes Men's Standard and Undersize, there are many other grip sizes available. The smallest of all are junior grips which are commonly designed for butt diameters of 0.500" to 0.540".
What is an oversized golf grip?
Golf grips are also available in midsize, oversize and jumbo and their sizes may not all created equally. The words "oversize" or "oversized" are generic terms and refers to any grip larger than men's standard. A midsize grip is larger than men's standard, but it could be +1/32" (like offerings from Karma or Star Grip) or +1/16" larger than men's standard (Golf Pride, Lamkin and Winn). For the record, men's standard size is 0.900" measuring 2" down from the edge of the grip cap. Ladies is 0.850". A jumbo grip for some manufacturer's product lines might be + 1/16" or +1/8", so it is possible a jumbo golf grip may be the same size as a midsize golf grip in another brand or even series of grips by the same manufacturer.
Oversize Golf Grip Sizes:
- Men's +1/32"
- Men's +1/16"
- Men's +3/32"
- Men's +1/8"
- Men's +5/32"
- Men's +1/4"
- Men's +5/16"
- Men's +11/32"
- Men's +3/8"
Build Up Tape
To create custom grip sizing, sometimes it is necessary to build up the shaft diameter with additional layers of tape. Or in the case of using a 60 core grip on a 0.580" shaft, we would build up the difference with additional layers of tape to achieve a standard grip size. Here are tips on how to build up a golf grip.
Limitations of build-up tape with certain grips
There are certain types of grips that do not stretch like cord, multi-density or synthetic grips such as those made by Winn or SuperStroke. You will be limited to added 4 wraps of build-up tape or less. With putter grips, simply find an appropriately sized model rather than building up with tape.
Common types of golf club build-up tape
Most club makers use regular masking tape, painter's tape or a heavy-duty masking tape. Others might use their doubled-sided grip tape, but that is more costly. Do not use duct tape for building up grips. Believe me, if you ever need to regrip these clubs again, you will wish you had used another type of golf grip build-up tape.
Golf Grip Tape Thickness
Before we go further, it should be noted that standard grip sizing already accounts for a single layer of double-sided grip tape. However, not all grip tape or build up tape is of the same thickness. When using any sort of grip sizing chart, they will assume a certain thickness to achieve the results. In our Modern Guide to Clubmaking book, we use a tape thickness of 0.0035". But if you a different thickness build up tape, you will have to calculate your own table for how much build up tape you will need.
How to calculate build up tape thickness
Start out by measuring the shaft butt diameter with calipers before installing any tape. For example, let’s say it is 0.600". Next install 1 layer of your build-up tape and re-measure the shaft diameter in the previous position. Let’s say it now measures 0.607" or 0.007" larger. Lastly, you will need to divide by two to indicate the tape thickness since the tape wraps around the whole shaft.
An Easy Solution to Grip Sizing
Hireko created a Grip Sizing Calculator to assist you for determining how to achieve a certain size for you or your customer. In only a few simple steps, the calculator can show you what the final grip size will be. All you need to do is enter the grip core size, shaft butt diameter, starting grip size and how many wraps and thickness of build-up tape you may want to add (if any). Click the Calculate button and presto...you instantly have your answer!