For years I have relied on my friends to help (complete) minor golf club maintenance. It is not that I did not have the skill, but more the knowledge to do simple things like change my grips. Well, I decided that relying on my friends is okay, it was time I took responsibility for my own equipment. Having said that, I took a small step forward and changed three of my grips last week and hope to test run my efforts on Sunday.
It really is not difficult, but the thing to remember (as with all small jobs) is to have the correct tools on hand. In this case, I have purchased the right stuff last year and was waiting for the time I needed to put them to use. In case you are wondering, the kit I bought came with:
- rubber clamps for holding the club
- solvent to slide the grip on the end of the shaft
- 15 pieces of double sided tape
- a grip measuring tool
The process of changing a grip is very simple as you can see from the stages in the picture below:
I started by setting up my 20 year old work mate stand and secured the club between the boards using the two rubber clamps. The trick, especially with graphite shafts, is not to over tighten the clamps. There is a crushing of the shaft possibility and it is something that I wanted to avoid.
Next, I cut the old grip off with a sharp utility knife. I wore leather gloves during the cutting because there is a safety factor here. Be careful because if we apply too my pressure, the knife has a tendency to slide off the grip. After cutting a four inch slit in the grip, I was able to peel off the grip very easily. Take note at this point is that graphite shafts are more delicate than steel, so making the original cut should be attempted very gently as to not scare the graphite.
Next, I took off the old tape and replaced it with the new double-sided tape. If the grips are very old, there is a chance that the double-sided tape will be dried out and some scraping will be required. Additionally, if there is any sticky tape residue left after scraping, I use Goo Gone Cleaner to clean the shaft completely.
Now it is time for the solvent. This helps slide the grip over the two sided tape and set in place before evaporating. The trick here (thanks Blair for saving me a great deal of time and effort) is to spray some solvent in the grip as well as on the tape. It takes a bit longer to dry, but helps simplify the pushing on of the grip. One of the major issues at this stage is stretching the grip too far on the shaft. I actually marked where the old grip stopped and pushed the new grip to that point to prevent this application error. Lastly, you can still rotate the grips to the position you want; for example to show or hide the grip label.
The final step is to let the solvent completely evaporate before using the clubs. I let mine sit for 24 hours. This way the grips will not slide in my hands when hitting the club for the first time.
Changing grips was very simple with the right tools. It also helps that my friend Blair has the course on golf club repair and is a great resource. This is something I should have started years ago, but it is never too late to start. Now, I need some warmer dry weather to actually hit the links to try my new grips.
Do you do your own maintenance on your golf clubs?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!