The golf glove is for most players as essential as their golf clubs, golf balls, and tees. Many players find it challenging to play without one, and while it may seem obvious to wear it on your strong hand, this isn’t the case.
You wear a golf glove on your weakest hand to better grip the golf club and protect your hand and fingers during the swing. A right-handed golfer would wear the glove on their left hand, while the left-handed player would wear the golf glove on their right hand.
Almost every golfer on the planet wears a golf glove, and some people simply wear one because everyone else they play with is wearing one too. There are a few good reasons to use a golf glove.
Why Should You Wear A Golf Glove On Your Weakest Hand?
While the left hand is the weaker hand for a right-handed player, it is the lead hand for the golf swing, and it sits on top of the golf club grip and needs to have a consistent grip through the swing.
There are two main reasons for wearing the glove on your weakest hand. Firstly, it gives that hand more grip on the club without increasing the grip force level on that hand.
Gripping the club too tightly can have the opposite effect as you surrender control and feel due to the excessive grip pressure. This will affect your swing fluidity as tension prevents the body from moving correctly in the swing.
It’s one of the most common problems that golfers struggle with as the grip quality and pressure affect the whole swing, so getting this aspect of the swing correct is critical to improvement.
The other reason for wearing the glove is that it protects the hands from the frictional forces generated during the swing. Holding the club in your fingers and having the glove on will reduce the effect of blistering and fatigue in your left hand.
This means that tension in your arm and shoulder is also less, allowing the upper body and arms to move less rigidly in execution.
Because it is your weaker hand, the natural tendency is to want to grip the club harder when this is counter-intuitive, as gripping harder will increase the chances of blistering and fatigue in the weaker hand.
Do You Wear The Golf Glove For Every Shot?
When it comes to the full swing shots like driving and approach shots, then yes, you should wear your glove.
Some pro golfers wear the glove for bunker shots, but when it comes to the more delicate ‘touch’ shots from around the green and putting, wearing the glove can reduce your sensitivity and make those shots more challenging.
The short game in golf – putting and chipping – is very much a game of ‘feel.’ If you can’t feel the club in your fingers, you will struggle to play the right strength shots because of it.
The golf glove is a barrier between the fingers and hand and the golf club, and while this is ok for the full swing shots, where control of the club is paramount when playing ‘feel’ shots, you need less barrier and more touch.
Feeling the club in your fingers when putting or chipping gives you more control over the strength of the swing or stroke, and to get the ball closer to the hole, you need this extra little ‘feel’ in your hands and fingers.
This is why you rarely see pros and scratch players putting or chipping with the glove on, even at the practice range, as they have less sense of ‘feel’ with the glove than without it.
Can You Wear Two Golf Gloves?
There is nothing to stop you from wearing two gloves when playing golf, but most players don’t because, ironically, this may cause the opposite effect with the hands, loosening the grip on the club.
The grip pressure in golf is very important to achieve the proper swing and movement of the club in your hands, and if the grip is too loose, the club won’t perform and could even fly out of your hands.
The opposite will happen if the grip is too tight, and too much tension in the hands and arms will lead to a very stiff swing and inconsistent and poor ball striking. So wearing the glove is all about the balance between grip pressure in the hands.
Read More: Why Do Golfers Only Wear One Glove?
Nonetheless, emerging Englishman Aaron Rai is a great exponent of wearing gloves on both hands. However, you have to go with what feels best for you. I always wear two gloves when playing golf in the rain as this seems to work for me.
What Your Glove Condition Can Tell You About Your Grip
The condition of your glove (and how many you use) tell a great deal about how you grip the golf club, and this can be a very useful tool when seeking to improve your game.
Your hands are the sole point of contact between you and the golf club, and having the correct grip and grip pressure can make this game a lot easier. If you find you are ‘chainsawing’ through your golf gloves, whether at the range or on the course, this is a sure indication that your grip pressure is too strong.
The golf glove material is designed to increase friction between the grip of the club and your hand, and this helps to maintain control without the need for excessive grip pressure.
The rule for grip pressure in golf is to hold the club like you would hold a live bird. It is just enough to stop it from flying away but not enough to cause harm.
Check your gloves. Do you have big swathes of it wearing away on the palm where the thumb is or on the fingers? If so, you need to lighten your grip a little. Your club won’t fly away as the golf glove will maintain its grip while you swing.
If you want to see whether your glove affects your swing, try swinging without one and see if your shot results change and how your mindset changes as well. Do you suddenly worry that you will lose the club and grip it harder?
Using the golf glove correctly will give you a greater sense of confidence in your swing, as you won’t feel like you have no control over the club during the action. Remember not to grip it too hard, just enough to keep it in your hands.
Remember 1992 Masters winner and five-time Ryder Cup winner Fred Couples never wore a glove, and it did him no harm with that record!