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The JumboMax MX Zen Lite grips marry a traditional look and feel with their quintessential “jumbo” grips. The potential for extra speed and comfort is a bonus that makes it a worthwhile experiment for those who haven’t tried it yet.
I have seen the benefits of golfers switching to JumboMax grips, but I have never tried them myself. I certainly was excited as I’ve seen some friends and associates gain noticeably more club speed. I’ve also seen JumboMax grips cause players to be more comfortable. Now with JumboMax releasing their new MX Zen Lite grips I wanted to test them for myself.
The JumboMax MX Zen Lite Grips are about as plain as they come when it comes to grips. They are black with minimal white detailing at the butt of the grip that denotes the model and size. A small white dash mark can be utilized as an alignment when installing the grips. The only color present is a neon green at the tip of the grip that reads “JMX Zen Lite.”
The people that would like the visuals of this grip aren’t looking for frills, so the simple color scheme is not a bad thing. In fact, when installed logo-side down, they become even simpler, with no branding visible at all. The Zen Lite’s primary texture is repeating crosses going up and down the length of the grip.
If you’re familiar with the “industry standard” type of grips like the Golf Pride Tour Velvet (review HERE) or the Lamkin Crossline, you’ll know what these grips feel like. The repeating crosses are the most textured surface of any JumboMax grip and feel remarkably similar to those two classic grip models. They are made of what they call their “Pro-preferred rubber surface.”
While JumboMax’s website lists the Zen Lite as their “firmest feel” they are not uncomfortably firm. At the same time though, they’re not going to be mistaken for soft grips either. They can be described as middling in feel and not particularly tacky. One strange observation I had was that use this grip made the club feel shorter, despite not cutting down the club.
With that being said, feel will be affected depending on the size of the grips. While JumboMax grips are noticeably larger than standard grips, just how much larger can vary. The JumboMax MX Zen Lite Grips comes in seven sizes: standard oversize, standard jumbo, x-small, small, medium, large, and x-large.
Want a bigger, lighter putter grip? Check out the JumboMax pistol grips HERE
The Zen Lite model is an extremely balanced grip that held up equally well in sweat, rain, and dry conditions. As someone who has the tendency to over-draw the golf ball with standard-sized grips, I found these to steer my shots straighter. The extra mass in the grips was able to keep my hands from getting too active, which I loved.
While ultimately your own feel and preference play a role in what grips feel and perform best for you, I will remind people of the importance of a good fitting. While I’ll always recommend going to Club Champion, there is a short quiz on the JumboMax website to help suggest the appropriate size when looking to transition into JumboMax grips. After answering those few questions I was recommended to go with their size small.
JumboMax often says in their marketing that their grips allow you to swing faster. With this grip being slightly lighter than my preferred midsize grips, it stands to reason that if something is lighter, you’d be able to move it faster. However, when Matt, Plugged In Golf’s editor, tried JumboMax Ultralite (review HERE) he didn’t see speed increases.
Like Matt, unfortunately, I didn’t see any speed increases either. However, when trying the same grips, some of my friends did. I had a handful of friends try the grips on the same driver and found a few of them did gain 2-4 mph of clubhead speed in back-to-back tests. I found it to worked best for those who struggled with fades or even worse, slices. One said the grip gave him the confidence to “throw his hands” at the swing and not be afraid of a low left miss. Any time you can increase your swing speed, especially without straining, it gives you the potential for more distance.
JumboMax MX Zen Lite Grips are the latest iteration in a series of grips trying to offer something different. While changing the formula on size, these grips have kept a classic feel and performance that a majority of golfers enjoy. While they don’t produce speed more for all, the prospect of a potential gain in speed makes these a worthwhile experiment.