50 Words or Less
Star Grip backs all their grips with a 3 year warranty. Solid performance, weight consistency, and several styles to choose from.
For several decades, U.S. manufacturing moved overseas for cost cutting purposes. Quality often suffered, but hey, the goods were cheaper. These days manufacturing is returning to the U.S. for quality control and civic pride. Star Grip is one of those products. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but their story sure rings true.
There are two facts about Star Grip that are worthy of consideration. First, Star Grip offers a 3 year warranty that their grips “will not get hard, slick, crack or unravel”. Second, Star Grip manufactures to a weight tolerance of +/- 1 gram. I checked the website of the #1 grip on tour and their published number is +/- 3.5 grams.
In the pictures above and below, the Star Grip products are as follows top to bottom: Classic Wrap, Smoothee, Sidewinder, Tour Star, and Mid Size.
If you are a fan of simple black grips, you just hit the jackpot with Star Grip. Four of the five grips have the classic leather wrap look, with varying depths of dimples. The odd grip out is the Sidewinder, which incorporates surface engraving to emulate the rattlesnakes found near the factory in Phoenix, Arizona.
All the Star Grip grips are made from the same formulation of high performance rubber and share a similar tacky feel. The Smoothee provides maximum surface contact and a supple feel. With the addition of dimples the Classic Wrap has a much more secure feel. In between those two, the Tour Star has subtle dimples but less taper, simulating the extra wraps of tape in the lower hand. This is similar to the MCC Plus4 design and allowed me to feel like I could grip with less pressure in my lower hand. For my cadet medium large hands, the Mid Size grip felt too much like I was holding a baseball bat. I did like the secure feeling the cut lines on the bottom side provided. With the most texture, the Sidewinder gave me the most confident feel.
I’ve been as guilty as the next person of picking grips based solely on how they feel on a display stand. Testing with an actual swing is a whole different thing. Size, texture, and how you grip the club can all impact swing performance.
All the Star Grip grips performed well in maintaining the club securely in my hands during the swing. Two grips stood out for me on overall performance: Sidewinder and Tour Star. That wasn’t surprising to me as they are the closest to the composite grips I’ve been using for several years.
All five grips from Star Grip are in the $5 – $6 range which is very comparable to other brands in the rubber category. Most golfers wait too long to change grips to the detriment of performance. So, not having to change grips for 3 years is very intriguing from that standpoint, and from an annualized cost perspective.
The consistency in weight seems relatively impressive, but what does it mean to the average golfer? According to master fitter Rob Stumpf of Club Champion, variations in grip weight “will without question affect the swing weight through the set, which even average golfers will notice. At Club Champion we actually put grips on shafts before we glue the heads as a way to make sure the swing weights come out perfect in spite of varying grip weights.” Think about that next time you are only changing grips.
For more on swing weight check out this Golf Myths Unplugged.