A Guide to the Rules on Clubs and Balls

Definition

Appendix II, 3 begins by stating that:

 The grip consists of material added to the shaft to enable the player to obtain a firm hold. 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. If no material is added, that portion of the shaft designed to be held by the player must be considered the grip.

The grip is primarily for the purpose of assisting the player in obtaining a firm hold – so that the club does not slip or twist out of the player’s hands. However, the installation of a grip onto the shaft is optional.

When no material is added to the part of the shaft designed to be held by the player, the Rules relating to the grip take precedence over the Rules relating to the shaft. Therefore, the dimensions and cross-section of that area of the shaft could change and equal bending in any direction would not be required (see Section 6 - Bending and Twisting Properties).

In order to accommodate both hands, the grip must be at least 7 inches (177.8mm) in length. This also applies to clubs which have been designed to be used one-handed. For putters which have two grips, see Section 7 - Two Grips.

Due to the nature of grips and the grip Rules, it is sometimes very difficult to make a ruling without examining and comparing examples of other grips which are known to either conform or not conform. However, this is not something which would normally be possible in the field. It may help to remember that the overall consideration is that a grip “must not be moulded for any part of the hands”. If a certain feature on the grip enables the player to place his hands in exactly the same position every time, solely by feel, then it must be determined whether that feature renders the grip “moulded for the hands”. An extreme example of a grip which would be ruled “moulded for the hands” is the type of ‘training grip’ often used to help beginners. However, a grip which has subtle changes in surface texture would usually be considered conforming. Likewise, printed markings which assist with the correct placement of the hands visually would normally be considered conforming. Most of the details contained in the remainder of Section 7 serve to clarify and expand on this basic principle.