Leather… you see it everywhere and almost always, its used to convey a term of luxury and boost your opinion of the intended. A walk through the furniture store or around the car dealership will see countless uses of the term “leather.” Even in the golf business you will see the term “leather” pop up in an item’s description or features. Unfortunately, their use of the term “leather” isn’t always describing what you think is leather.
Believe it or not, an item doesn’t have to be cowhide to use the term leather. Often, vinyls and faux leathers are referred to as “leather.” While this certainly attracts customers to your products, it’s misleading and frankly shouldn’t be allowed. That is an argument for another day, though.
When you’re purchasing leather products in the future, be mindful that the label could be intentionally be trying to fool you into assuming the product is higher quality. BestGrips continues to inform the consumer about the disparage between leathers and conitnues to use the finest leathers to make our grips and covers.
Cabretta leather, a material found in “premium” golf gloves and even some golf grips utilizes the “leather” name to boost its assumed quality. However, its truly sheepskin, a material that pales in comparison to cowhide in all areas except price. Sheepskin is less durable, courser, and lower quality than cowhide. Despite marketing campaigns, non-bovine hides, like cabretta, goat and kangaroo, remain inferior to cowhide.
The Unpleasant Truth
I wish there was a clear cut way to seperate legitimate leather from the fakes less honorable companies sell. Believe me, on a weekly basis I meet customers who hold false conceptions on leather derived from the products of these guys. It’s not uncommon for me to see “leather” headcovers that are clearly vinyl on inspection and “leather” grips stamped to appear like cowhide. Since 2003 we’ve faced competitors using fake leathers to compete with us and continue to plead with them to tell the truth.
BestGrips is taking steps to improve the way leather is sold in golf. We’re currently creating some go-to guides to help you determine what is legit and what is not. Until we finish, you’ll have to trust your nose. The sniff test, a test BestGrips always passes with flying colors, never fails in weeding out pretenders. When in doubt, ask the seller and confront them if the are knowingly misleading you.
I'm Zach, the owner of BestGrips, and the creator of the Grip Life. I'm an avid club gear-head and course rater for the Dallas Morning News. Sometimes, I play to my 2.1 handicap. You can also find me on GolfWRX, NLU's Refuge, and X as SewillZ.