The effect the commercial golf glove has on golf performance variables

Graeme Sorbie, Paul Darroch, Fergal Grace, Yaodong Gu, Julien S. Baker, Ukadike Chris Ugbolue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


INTRODUCTIONMany factors that are related to improving golf performance are directed towards increasing the distance and accuracy of the golf shot within the long game. The key components that affect distance and accuracy are club head speed (CHS), ball velocity and club face angle at impact. In a study by Fletcher & Hartwell (2004), the researchers reported CHS of up to 191 km/h when using a driver. Due to these high levels of reported CHS, a significant grip force is required in order to allow the golfer to keep their hands attached to golf grip/club.Golf gloves are not required when playing golf; however, leading manufacturers claim the golf glove has several advantages to the golfer. It is claimed that the main benefit of the golf glove is that it helps to create friction between the gloved hand and the golf grip, therefore potentially increasing the performance of the golfer. However, to our knowledge,there is no published research to support these claims from leading manufacturers.Since there is research available for other sports that supports the idea that friction is required between the athlete and sports equipment, the purpose of the present study was to determine how the golf glove grip influences performance.
METHODSFifteen right-handed male golfers participated in this cross-sectional,parallel and randomised designed laboratory based study (height: 183.2 ± 8.7 cm, weight: 79.2 ± 11.8 kg, age:24.9 ± 4.2 years).The experimental set-up included: an artificial golf mat; an enclosed golf net; the Voice Caddie Swing Launch Monitor SC 100 GPS was used to calculate CHS. For the golf shots, a Taylormade Speed Blade stiff shaft 7-iron, with a shaft length of 37 inches and a Taylormade SLDR stiff shaft driver, with a shaft length of 45.5 inches. Taylormade ST synthetic gloves were also used as part of the experiment.Prior to collecting golf swing data, participants were asked to perform a dynamic warm-up routine targeting the full body.Participants were then asked to hit 8 shots with either the driver or 7 iron with or without the golf glove in a randomised order. Participants rested for 15 minutes between each testing process.A paired t-test was also used to investigate the difference, if any, between the CHS, BV and absolute carry distance with and without the golf glove. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant for all paired t-tests.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONParticipants displayed significantly greater CHS (P = 0.010)(Figure 1), ball velocity (P = 0.014) and carry distance (P =0.014) with the driver when using the golf glove compared to when they were not using the glove. Participants displayed no significant difference in CHS, ball velocity and carry distance whilst using the 7 iron with the golf glove versus no golf glove.The present study is in agreement with previously published research in sports where friction between the athlete and the sports equipment is required. Research by Lutgendorf (2009) showed the use of a glove in wheelchair rugby significantly increased acceleration. The results of the present study also supports the claim made by leading golf manufacturers that the golf glove increases friction between the golfers hand and club, thereby increasing the performance of the golfer. However, this is only displayed for the driver and not the 7 iron. It could be suggested that the contrasting results between the driver and 7 iron could be due to the driver generating a significantly greater CHS than the 7 iron (P <0.05). Therefore, when the CHS is increased the friction between the glove and golf club enables the golfer to swing with increased speed. However, this could also be due to the driver and 7 iron being used for different shots in the golf game. The driver is used to hit the ball as far as possible,whereas the irons are mainly used for accuracy and precision.
CONCLUSIONSThe results of this study showed that there is a significant difference in CHS, ball velocity and absolute carry distance when using a driver with a glove compared to not wearing a glove but no change was displayed when using the 7 iron. The data in the present study may assist golfers to increase performance when using the golf driver.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe authors will like to thank the staff at the University for their assistance during data collection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Sixth Asian Society of Sport Biomechanics (ASSB 2016)
Subtitle of host publicationAsian Sport Biomechanics Research Trend Ningbo, China, October. 13-16, 2016
EditorsJianshe Li, Yaodong Gu
PublisherIACSIT Press
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)978-981-09-9584-3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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