Long before the slip on grips of today, leather was wrapped directly onto the shaft of the club. These wraps started at the butt of the club, wound down the shaft and were finished with whipping. Wrapping each club with leather was a tedious, hands on and costly method of gripping clubs that fell out of favor when the mass production of clubs required a grip that could be quickly installed. As the slip on replaced, the wrap, the feel continued on in pseudo "wrapped" rubber grips that had the feel of a wrap but could still be easily slipped on.
The Issue with Modern Wrapped Leather Golf Grips
To combine the classic feel of wrapped leather with today's demand for shape, size, and ease of installation, the leather is wrapped onto an underlast that can be slipped on like a rubber grip. However, instead of the leather being wrapped from the butt of the club down the shaft, it's now wrapped up the shaft towards the butt of the club and secured by a foldable cap. The look and feel are the same, but there's a huge difference. Now the seams can be peeled up by your fingers while in use. Our Wrapped Leather Golf Grip uses a larger strap width to provide a sturdier seam that is less easy to peel. While it's still possible to peel the grip, paying attention to wear your thumb rests on the wrap and moving the grip accordingly can prolong or even prevent the peeling.
Comparing Wrapped Golf Grips and Stitched Golf Grips
The biggest difference in the two styles comes from the leather. The wraps feature a long leather strap, while the stitched uses a solid piece. Because of this, the stitched are tackier and more consistent across the set. While the stitched have a seam, that acts as a subtle reminder that runs straight down the grip, the wrapped have a slight seam that winds up the grip. Due to tensioning, the wrapped will be slightly more difficult to install.
While Harry and I are strong believers in the influence of the spine and oscillation of the shaft having more affect on club performance than what adjustable heads can provide, the wrapped grip will provide more flexibility for adjustably if the hosel does not act separately from the head. Using the air installation method allows to quickly rotate the grip and allow the stitched to be use, if you're against using a wrap.
Wrapped and Stitched
While Wrapped Leather Golf Grips bridge the gap between today and the leather of yesteryear, don't discount the stitched grip. The stitched grip has the same heritage, but blends the best of the new and the old. The stitched seam may take some time to get acquainted with, but the extra tack and performance is worth the switch. You may see an occasional Wrapped Leather Golf Grip on one of my wedges, but in the clubs where performance counts, like my driver or long irons, I'll always opt for our hand stitched Leather Golf Grips.
About the Author
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.