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Why Do Golfers Only Wear One Glove?

Golf gloves are an essential accessory for the game, and very seldom would you see either professionals or amateurs playing golf without using a glove. Either made from leather or synthetic leather, the golf glove is there to help players improve their grip on the club. But why do golfers only wear one glove?

Golfers wear one glove on their weakest hand, providing a better grip on the club during the swing. Since the weakest hand works the hardest to grip the club, the glove adds some additional friction, and it also helps protect that hand from damage done while playing or practicing.

Aside from the protective and grip aspects, golf gloves may have another and rather unexpected function for players during a round. So let’s look at why golfers wear a glove, why only on the one hand, and what other role the glove plays.

A golfer wearing a glove. Why Do Golfers Only Wear One Glove?

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The Role Of The Hands In Golf

To understand why golfers only wear one glove, you need to know how the hands work when gripping and swinging the golf club. We will use right-handed players as the example, but the same would apply to left-handers.

For a right-handed player, the left hand is naturally the weaker hand, and in the golf swing, it is the left hand that pulls the club through during the swing. This is part of the swing mechanics, and as a result, there is a lot of force placed on the left hand during the execution.

The more consistent the contact between the weaker hand and the club, the more consistently the club will move during the swing with less risk of losing control of it.

Using the glove on only the weaker hand also protects the hand and fingers from the friction that occurs during the swing and uses less force to grip the club as the glove provides extra grip and prevents the hand and arm from muscular fatigue.

Read More: Which Hand Do You Wear a Golf Glove On?

Wearing The Golf Glove Can Help Reduce Excessive Grip Pressure

Your hands are the sole point of contact between you and the club, and aside from the correct hand and finger positions on the club, the strength of the grip is also a critical element in swing mechanics.

For all golfers, regardless of ability, grip pressure plays a vital role in the successful execution of the swing. When you are gripping the club too tightly, you will end up ‘chainsawing’ through your glove and end up with blisters on your hands.

‘Chainsawing’ through a golf glove is where the grip is so tight that the glove surface starts to wear through quicker than usual, and players that have this problem can go through a golf glove in a few practice sessions.

This is one of the most common problems with high handicap players, and the glove can often help reduce the grip pressure and allow the arms and shoulders to relax more during the swing, which will produce more consistent ball striking.

Conversely, when you grip the club too lightly, you may lose control of it during the swing, which will also lead to erratic and inconsistent ball striking, and the same will apply where the grip is too loose.

Wearing the golf glove helps balance the grip pressure to achieve greater grip consistency.

Golfer about to hit a ball.

Why Don’t Golfers Wear A Golf Glove For Every Shot?

Most pros will wear their gloves for full swing shots like off the tee, on approach, or even with pitch shots from 30 yards out. But, many pros will take off their gloves for chip shots around the green and putting.

This is because there is no need for any sense of ‘feel’ during full swing shots as the focus is on executing a full power swing.

When it comes to the more delicate shots, players need to have that sense of ‘feel’ to get the ball closer to the hole, and wearing the glove reduces the feeling sensation in the left hand.

With putting, very few (if any) golfers – pro and amateur alike – will wear a glove as putting is the quintessential ‘feel’ stroke and wearing the glove reduces the perception of feel and contact with the putter and the ball during the stroke.

Why Don’t Golfers Wear Two Gloves?

Unlike baseball, where the focus is on swing and bat speed, wearing two gloves in golf will remove the sensation of contact between the hands and the golf club, and this can lead to erratic shots as well as the player may not feel if the club is slipping or if they are gripping it too hard.

Another reason is that wearing a glove and then reaching into your pocket for a tee or a ball can be tough as the glove generates friction between itself and the material of your clothing – if you have done this, you know what I mean!

So with the glove on the one hand, your other ‘non-gloved’ hand can perform other tasks easily – otherwise, you’d be forever putting on and taking gloves off during the round, which would become annoying.

Female Golfer Wearing a Glove

Must You Wear A Golf Glove When You Play Golf?

No, you don’t need to wear a golf glove when playing. Some golfers like to feel the club in their hands without a glove, and aside from some initial blisters or calluses when starting, over time, your hands will toughen up, and you shouldn’t have blisters unless you grip the club too tightly.

Feeling the club in both hands works for some people to lighten their grip pressure, so you can try this for a few shots and see how it feels.

Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion and five-time Ryder Cup winner, never wore a glove, and it didn’t hurt his record!

Also, sometimes it can be a mindset thing.

Many times, after a couple of wayward shots early in my round, I’ve chosen to play without a glove for the next few holes to refocus my attention.

As every coach knows, the grip is the start of everything, so I believe that I subconsciously go back to my early days when I was learning the basics of the game and hadn’t yet purchased a glove.

The Golf Glove’s Unexpected Function

After every swing, most players remove the glove, place it in the back pocket, and start walking to their ball to play the next shot. The removal of the glove is an indicator that the shot is now complete.

This is an important action, as it signifies the end of that shot process, and for those players that utilize this concept, it allows them to move on when a poor shot has been hit without carrying that negative reaction to the next shot.

If you don’t do this, try it, it’s a great and simple way to leave bad shots behind and approach the next one with a positive mindset!

Final Thoughts

Golfers only wear one glove to balance the grip and ‘feel’ of their hands on the golf club, which allows them to control the club during the swing action. While it doesn’t guarantee great shots every time, it does improve the consistency of control.

When gripping the golf club properly, with or without a glove, always remember that the grip pressure exerted should be the same as holding a live bird in your hands, just enough to stop it from flying away but not enough to hurt it.

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