PLAYING WITH … GOLF PRIDE ALIGN GRIPS

Cost: $26.99 (stan­dard, fit­ted); $28.99 (mid­size, fit­ted). Tested by: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Writer (GA Hand­i­cap 9.4)

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS -

Jimmy Emanuel equipped his clubs for a round with the new Align Grips from Golf Pride. And he still hasn’t taken them off …

MOD­ELS PLAYED: Golf Pride MCC Plus4 ALIGN and MCC ALIGN FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The MCC de­sign of­fers a nice blend of feel, per­for­mance and looks. The ad­di­tion of the new Align red rib didn’t look or feel like much be­fore the grip was in­stalled but once on the club it was no­tice­ably raised and eas­ily felt when grip­ping the club. HOW IT PERFORMED: As a round grip user I was sur­prised to learn that one in three Golf Pride users on Tour favoured a ribbed grip. While ribbed grips were good enough for Ben Ho­gan and the offer of grip con­sis­tency should ap­peal to ev­ery golfer, my ex­pe­ri­ence fit­ting grips for over 10 years is that round ver­sions are far more pop­u­lar with average play­ers. My time with the Align grips leads me to be­lieve that more play­ers, par­tic­u­larly be­gin­ners, would ben­e­fit greatly us­ing these grips.

Golf Pride devel­oped Align tech­nol­ogy to offer ribbed grip users a more pro­nounced ridge. Hav­ing ex­per­i­mented with other ribbed grips in the past the Align does just that with­out feel­ing too firm or un­com­fort­able.

The large re­minder in­creased my abil­ity to grip the club con­sis­tently and even im­proved my grip, as it was in­stantly ob­vi­ous if the grip was too far in the fin­gers or palms. And the added point of ref­er­ence when set­ting up un­ques­tion­ably im­proved my abil­ity to square the club­face to my tar­get at ad­dress. This was most no­tice­able with my irons, where I felt I hit more shots on line than I have in some time.

The down­side of ribbed grips for me, and with the Align, was in the shorter clubs when open­ing the club­face around the green. While I strug­gled per­son­ally I could see this in re­verse for other play­ers, of­fer­ing a sim­ple guide when set­ting up to a bunker shot for ex­am­ple.

The Align’s other dis­ad­van­tage is the rib will be out of place when an ad­justable wood is changed. But Golf Pride of­fers the same grips with­out Align tech­nol­ogy mean­ing play­ers can blend re­minders with non-re­minders in the ex­act same tex­ture and even colour.

The MCC’s gen­eral per­for­mance was as ex­pected of such a pop­u­lar grip, of­fer­ing a mix of soft com­fort and sta­bil­ity. While the ben­e­fits of the Align tech­nol­ogy mean the grips aren’t com­ing off my clubs just yet with the Plus4 my pre­ferred op­tion over the stan­dard MCC Align ver­sion.

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