A golf training grip is a fantastic aid that can be used to teach players, especially beginners, where their hands should sit on the club.
All you need to do is slip the attachment onto the handle of your golf club, and slide your fingers into the specially-moulded grooves that have been designed to ensure your hands are in the correct position when gripping the club.
This will help you form a grip that is as close to neutral as possible – and neither too strong or too weak – to give you the best possible chance of hitting straight, consistent shots.
But can you go one step farther and use a golf grip trainer during a round, and not just in practice? Is it legal to do so?
Sadly, it is illegal to use a golf grip trainer during competitions or tournaments. USGA rules state that the grip must be fixed to the shaft, must be straight and plain in form, must extend to the end of the shaft and must not be moulded for any part of the hands. Golf grip trainers are non-complying by this definition.
It makes sense that golf grip trainers are outlawed for competition rounds, as they make it easier for golfers to hold the club correctly every time – instead of having to try and remember how to do it under tournament pressure.
That being said, they are still extremely helpful during practice sessions – either on the range or the course – as regularly using them will groove the correct feelings that will, hopefully, translate successfully into competition.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about golf grip trainers; when you can/can’t use them; along with recommend my top picks that are available on the market today.
What is a golf training grip?
A golf training grip is an aid that attaches to the handle of the club, and has specially-moulded grooves designed to ensure your hands clasp the club correctly. This device is perfect for encouraging a neutral grip, rather than an overly strong or weak one.
For a visual idea of what a golf training grip looks like, check out the SKLZ Golf Grip Trainer, which is one of the best on the market.
As mentioned above, it’s illegal to use a golf grip trainer during competition, with these devices perfect for practicing – either on the range, or course.
And let me tell you, they work wonders.
Getting your grip right is so important, yet it can be difficult for many players, especially beginners, who may not know what a correct grip ‘feels’ like.
Using an attachment, like the SKLZ trainer, removes all the guesswork – simply place your hands into the ready-made grooves, and voila! You have a perfect grip position.
Can you play golf with a training grip?
You can play golf with a training grip during practice, but not during official competition as it is illegal to do so, according to USGA rules. Using a golf training grip during social or practice rounds is a great way to groove your correct grip out on the course.
As most golfers know, hitting balls on the driving range is very different to hitting balls out on the course.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had a fantastic range session before a round, only to then step onto the first tee and stink it up.
The golf course brings with it so many added pressures that the range doesn’t – including tighter landing areas, uneven surfaces and sloping greens – which is why it’s a great place to use your grip trainer, and groove the correct feelings in a match-like environment.
If you can get used to using your grip trainer during on-course practice rounds, it won’t feel as strange or foreign when you have to remove it from the handle of your club when you play a proper competition.
Hopefully, this will prevent you falling back into old, bad habits under pressure and lead to more consistent progress and scores as a result.
What are the best golf training grips?
The SKLZ Golf Grip Trainer is the best golf training grip on the market and has been widely used by many, many golfers worldwide. It is also the most widely reviewed grip trainer online. The GripIT Rite aid is another widely-reviewed grip trainer alternative that may appeal to players.
I’ve explained a little more about each of these grip trainers below, to help you decide which one is best for you (however, personally, I believe the SKLZ model is by far the standout).
Option 1: SKLZ Golf Grip Trainer
The SKLZ Golf Grip Trainer is easily my top recommendation when it comes to golf grip trainers, as the SKLZ brand is quite reputable for making quality aids (check out the SKLZ Gold Flex Swing Trainer, for example).
This grip trainer is designed to create muscle memory for proper hand positioning and grip, and attaches to most clubs from wedge through to driver.
It’s also nice and small, meaning it can easily be stored in your bag without taking up too much room.
The only downside, and it is one that shouldn’t be understated, is that it is built for right-handed players only.
Option 2: GripIt Rite Golf Grip Trainer
The biggest advantages the GripIt Rite Golf Grip Trainer has over the SKLZ model is that it’s available for both right and left-handed players.
Developed by Canadian Henry Brunton, a PGA Master Professional and Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, the GripIt Rite is ideal for practice or play and fits all standard grips (from wedge through to driver).
It comes widely reviewed, with many players stating how much it has helped improve their swing (especially for lefties, who weren’t able to use the SKLZ attachment due to it being exclusively targeted at right handers).
Are oversized golf grips legal?
Yes, oversized golf grips are legal to use. USGA rules state: for clubs other than putters, the grip must be circular in cross-section, except that a continuous, straight, slightly raised rib may be incorporated along the full length of the grip, and a slightly indented spiral is permitted on a wrapped grip or a replica of one. So long as the grip is circular, it can be as oversized as the player wishes.
Bryson DeChambeau famously uses thicker golf grips, which he believes removes excessive wrist action from his swing, allowing him to hit straighter shots more consistently.
He has won multiple times using this grip set-up, including the 2020 US Open, so clearly it is legal.
Is it legal to put a putter grip on a driver or iron?
Yes, it is illegal to put a putter grip on a driver or iron. USGA rules state: the grip may be tapered but must not have any bulge or waist. Its cross‑sectional dimensions measured in any direction must not exceed 1.75 inches (44.45 mm). The grip must be fixed to the shaft, must be straight and plain in form, must extend to the end of the shaft.
Typically, putting grips like the SuperStroke grip – which is a popular, oversized design – exceed the 44.45mm maximum as outlined in the USGA rules, rendering them illegal when placed on any club other than a putter.
Where putting grips aren’t oversized, they are often contoured in ways that make them not completely round, which also violates USGA rules.
Can you use any training aids during a round of golf?
Under USGA rule 4.3, players are not permitted to use any type of golf training or swing aid (such as an alignment rod or a weighted headcover or “donut”) or a non-conforming club to make a practice swing or in any other way that creates a potential advantage by helping the player in preparing for or making a stroke (such as help with swing plane, grip, alignment, ball position or posture).
By this definition, grip trainers are forbidden during tournament or competition play as they would create an advantage by assisting players with their grip.
Golf grip trainers are a brilliant way to groove the correct grip position, but unfortunately you can’t use them during competition under USGA rules.
That being said, grip trainers are excellent to use during practice – either on the course, or at the range – and can be a way for you to check your grip doesn’t become overly strong or weak.
If you’re keen to try one out, I’d recommend the SKLZ Golf Grip Trainer for right handers, and the GripIt Rite Golf Trainer for left handers.