The Rules governing grips

The gripQ. Is it permissible to cut off the end of the grips on my clubs and reverse them on the shaft so that the thicker ends are towards the clubhead? I can’t see anything in the Rules to prohibit this, although the images in Appendix II only show the grip in the usual orientation. Can you confirm if a reversed grip is conforming?

A. Despite the fact that it is the only contact point between golfer and equipment, a link often blamed for poorly struck shots (especially on wet days!), the grip is one area of the equipment Rules which avoids attention. However, there are many specifications governing the grip, all of which are contained in Appendix 11, 3 of the Rules of Golf.

A grip mounted onto the shaft upside down is perfectly acceptable within the Rules, as long as the grip itself is conforming. In fact, as long as the grip itself conforms, it can be mounted onto the shaft in any orientation, so, if you thought it would help, a putter grip could be mounted back-to-front, or even sideways!

The putter gripThe primary grip Rule is that they must not be moulded for the hands or have any waists or bulges. They can have small-scale lines or indentations, but these must not be so big that the player could use them to position his hands in exactly the same place every time. Multiple colours and other markings are permitted. Dimensionally, the cross-section must not exceed 1.75 inches in any direction – the two-thumb grips, which some elite pros prefer to use these days, make maximum use of those cross-sectional allowances.

Grips on irons or woods must be circular in cross-section, though they are permitted to have a slightly raised reminder rib running the full length of the grip. Putters, meanwhile, may have a grip with a non-circular cross-section, but where a putter has two grips, they must both be circular in cross-section, have a separation of at least 1.5 inches with the upper grip at least five inches long.

There are no specific Rules on what material a grip can be made out of – as long as the grip itself conforms to the Rules. However, whilst a grip covered in ‘loop’ Velcro might be conforming in itself, it could not be used in conjunction with a glove made out of ‘hook’ Velcro! A glove and grip combination designed to adhere would not be permissible.