Why Don’t Golfers Wear Two Golf Gloves?

Did it ever occur to you that golf is one of the only sports in which you wear just one glove? Baseball, football, extreme sports, mountain biking — you wear two gloves in any other sports. I played baseball as an early kid before I started golfing, and it was well-known that you should wear two gloves. But when you learn the game of golf, they tell you to use one glove. I had to find out why.

Why don’t golfers wear two golf gloves? Most golfers don’t wear two gloves because it can cause you to loosen your grip on the clubs, and make it hard to realize when the club is slipping in your hand. This can lead to unpredictable golf shots. Wearing one glove provides enough grip and the right feel to hit a great golf shot.

Most of us wear one glove because that’s just the way we were taught. It’s the way everyone plays the game. In fact, if you showed up on the tee-box with two gloves on, chances are that your buddies will be asking questions and throwing jabs. Then again, you do see people wearing two gloves from time to time. Plus, if a baseball player uses two gloves, then why not a golfer? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. 

Should you wear two golf gloves?

In most cases, for most of us, we only need one golf glove for our lead hand (left-hand glove for a right-handed golfer). A golf glove’s primary purpose is to prevent the club from slipping out of your hand as you swing. It also does an excellent job at preventing blisters — although sports tape or bandages can accomplish the same thing. 

The trailing (or top) hand doesn’t typically require a glove. Unlike a vicious baseball swing, which focuses purely on hand-eye coordination and bat speed, a golf swing requires much more finesse and feel. Not to mention, having one bare-hand makes it so much easier to reach into your pocket for a tee or ball mark.

Having that top hand free to feel the club has a lot of advantages.

  • It provides a better feel of your grip on the golf club
  • Gives better feedback after a shot, increasing your awareness around how solid your impact was

When it makes sense to wear two golf gloves

If it’s cold or rainy, it can make logical sense to play with two golf gloves. The last thing you want is your golf club slipping out of your hand on a follow-through during a rain game. And a round in New England at the end of March can get pretty cold. When it’s cold, it’s cold. And having two gloves to heat your hands can easily trump the need to feel the golf swing.

The importance of one hand being bare

Wearing one glove is the most common trait for a golfer. Your gloveless hand provides more grip and better consistency. It gives a better feel and offers good feedback on how your grip is. Being able to see how your fingers grip the club is also critical to your golf swing. With a better, firmer grip, typically, your shots will be more accurate if you’re not wearing a second glove. 

A golf swing is all about the feel, and having one bare hand will provide the best results.

Having that one hand bare will definitely cause blisters — at first. As you play more, you’ll build calluses on your palm. Your grip will be more substantial due to the calluses, and blistering will be less likely.

RELATED: 9 Best Golf Gloves in 2021

Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey 

Tommy Gainey won over $6 million on the PGA Tour playing with two gloves. He rightly earned himself the nickname Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey. Tommy was questioned numerous times about his two gloves. He never took them off. Tommy would just wear his two gloves on every shot. He would even put with both gloves on. Many golfers remove their gloves when they’re on the green for many reasons such as: letting their non-dominant hand get some sun, dry off, or allowing the glove dry up. Just so happens that “Two Gloves” wanted to keep them on.

“When I played baseball, I used two gloves when I batted, and I just took it into golf,”

Tommy Gainey

Wearing no gloves

One of Gainey’s oldest rivals, Jonathan Byrd, rivaled each other since their teenage years. Byrd would also change gloves very often. Byrd once said in this debate, “I can play with one glove, but I know I can’t play with two” (Crouse, 2020). Byrd would very often take his gloves off, put them on, and take them back off. “Then I went back to wearing a glove, and last year, I wasn’t playing well and decided I needed to make a change. I have a little more feel in my hands without the glove. I like the kind of feedback I have in my hands. I kind of like the feel of no glove” (Crouse, 2020).

The great Fred Couples also played with no golf gloves. He was once asked in an interview with PGATour.com why he never wears any gloves. “I don’t have any feel with ’em at all,” he responded. Freddy went on to win 3 majors in his career and 64 professional tournaments. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Choosing the right glove size

Be aware of your hand size. Correctly choosing an appropriate glove requires a little extra room (in length) for each finger. You can check for the room by pinching each finger’s end to make sure you are accounting for the extra room. Also, stray away from the “caddie” sizes unless your fingers are shorter than average.

Blistering

If you are new to the sport, you will probably worry about your hands if they are sensitive. If you do have delicate hands, then that may be a reason for you to follow the steps of “Two Gloves.” However, there is another trick to avoiding blisters if you prefer one hand to be bare. 

Purchase finger tape to enhance the grip on your hands as well as to protect if blistering is easy to occur on your hands.

In conclusion

All in all, what is the most critical factor in all of golf? Being relaxed and comfortable with your golf swing. The feeling is different between two gloves, one glove, and no gloves. Start with one glove if you’re a new golfer. Then debate if your hands are comfortable with one glove or will be with two or none.

If you’re like most golfers, you only need one glove. You will play better and gain a better awareness of your golf grip. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra glove for your top hand on rainy or cold days. Get out there, and just swing the golf club. The rest will follow.

Joe Morelli

Joe's been playing golf for 25 years, starting as a junior golfer in his early teens. He loves getting out on the links with his dad and friends -- whether an early weekend foursome or his weekday, afternoon league.

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