I’ve always been intrigued by the unique and sometimes odd quirks of the golfing world, and one thing that particularly piqued my curiosity is why most golfers only wear one golf glove. It might seem like a simple question, but it led me down a fascinating rabbit hole. So, let me share my findings with you, and together we’ll unravel the mystery of the single golf glove.
Why Don’t Golfers Wear Two Golf Gloves?
Golfers generally don’t wear two gloves because the lead hand (higher on the club) requires more grip and control, while the trailing hand benefits from enhanced feel and touch for finesse shots. Wearing two gloves could reduce this sensitivity and connection to the club.
Why Do Golfers Typically Only Wear One Glove?
Golfers wear one glove, typically on their lead hand, to enhance grip and control during swings, protect against blisters and calluses, and manage moisture from sweat or rain. The single glove provides the necessary grip without sacrificing the feel and touch needed for the trailing hand.
Most of us wear one glove because that’s how we were taught. It’s the way everyone plays the game. 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 occasionally. Plus, if a baseball player uses two gloves, why not a golfer? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
The Role of Golf Gloves in Golf
There are three primary reasons why golfers wear gloves.
Enhancing Grip and Control
The essential function of a golf glove is to enhance grip and control. When I first started playing golf, I quickly realized how slippery the club could get, especially when my hands were sweaty. Golf gloves provide that extra layer of grip, making it easier to hold onto the club securely and comfortably. This is crucial for generating power and accuracy in your swing.
Protection Against Blisters and Calluses
When I was a newbie golfer, I experienced my fair share of blisters and calluses from the countless hours spent practicing my swing. Golf gloves provide a protective barrier between your hand and the club, helping to prevent these painful annoyances.
As someone who has played golf in the sweltering summer heat and the occasional drizzle, I can attest to the importance of moisture management. Golf gloves are designed to absorb sweat and provide better traction in wet conditions, making maintaining a solid grip on the club easier.
The Benefits of Wearing Only One Golf Glove
Now that we understand the role of golf gloves, let’s explore why most golfers wear just one.
The Lead Hand’s Crucial Role in Maintaining Grip
In golf, the term “lead hand” refers to the hand higher on the club when gripping it. This would be their left hand for right-handed golfers, and for left-handed golfers, their right hand. The lead hand plays a critical role in maintaining grip and control during the golf swing, as it bears the brunt of the pressure and stress.
I’ve noticed that when I swing, my lead hand is the one that’s working the hardest to keep the club secure. This is the primary reason golfers wear a glove on their lead hand – it provides that extra grip needed to keep the club in place throughout the swing.
Enhanced Feel and Touch for the Trailing Hand
The trailing hand, on the other hand (pun intended!), plays a significant role in controlling the clubface and generating finesse shots. Therefore, having a glove on the trailing hand might reduce the golfer’s ability to feel the club and make those delicate adjustments needed for precise shots.
I’ve personally found that when I remove the glove from my trailing hand, I feel more connected to the club and can better control the clubface, particularly when chipping or putting. This improved feel and touch are key reasons why golfers choose to go gloveless on their trailing hand.
Let’s face it – golf can be an expensive sport. From clubs and bags to shoes and greens fees, the costs can add up quickly. By using only one glove, golfers can save some money and extend the life of their gloves. Plus, since the lead hand does most of the work, it makes sense to focus on protecting that hand.
Should You Wear Two Golf Gloves?
In most cases, 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. However, 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
- It gives better feedback after a shot, increasing your awareness of how solid your impact was
When Wearing Two Golf Gloves Might Be Appropriate
Although wearing one glove is the norm, there are certain situations where wearing two gloves might be beneficial:
Extreme Weather Conditions
- Cold temperatures: When playing in cold weather, wearing two gloves can help keep your hands warm and maintain flexibility. As someone who has played in chilly conditions, I can attest to the benefits of having a little extra insulation.
- Heavy rain: In rainy conditions, wearing two gloves can provide better grip as both hands are equally protected from the wetness, which can improve overall club control.
- Skin conditions: Golfers who suffer from skin conditions or allergies might find that wearing two gloves helps protect their hands and minimize irritation.
- Joint support and pain relief: Some golfers with joint issues or arthritis wear two gloves to provide extra support and reduce pain during their swing.
Personal Preference and Comfort
As I mentioned earlier, personal preference and comfort play a significant role in deciding whether to wear one or two gloves. If you find that wearing two gloves improves your game or simply makes you feel more at ease, then go for it!
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: Best Golf Gloves
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.
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.
Why do pro golfers remove their glove after every shot?
Pro golfers remove their glove after every shot to maintain its longevity and avoid excessive sweating, ensuring a comfortable and dry grip on the next shot. It also allows them to relax their hand and maintain dexterity between shots.
Why do golfers not wear gloves when putting?
Golfers don’t wear gloves when putting because the touch and feel are crucial for controlling the putter’s face and speed. Removing the glove enhances the golfer’s connection to the club, allowing for more precise adjustments and accuracy in their putt.
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.