Golf gloves are one of the most important pieces of golf gear, but often overlooked.
Your grip is the only connection to the club so it's vital your glove provides you the confidence, grip and protection you need.
There are a lot of golf gloves on the market, but which one is the best for you? What should you be concerned about when choosing a golf glove?
This golf glove guide will give you a better understanding of golf gloves and answer some common questions.
Why do golfers wear golf gloves?
Golf gloves are designed to provide a more secure grip on the club. Gloves are tackier than human skin and prevent the club from slipping or twisting during the swing. This provides a more confident and consistent ball strike.
Golf gloves also provide protection for your hands. They prevent blisters and sores from forming on the golfer's hands. When a blister or sore forms it can be very painful to swing a golf club to the point you will not want to play.
How to choose a golf glove
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a golf glove including: price, breathability, fit, durability and material.
Price can vary greatly in golf gloves. Most premium Cabretta gloves are going to cost $20 or more.
Synthetic gloves tend to be cheaper and typically are priced $10-$15 per a glove.
You can also purchase a combination of the two... A good synthetic golf glove for practice and the range. Along with your a nice Cabretta glove for the course.
The best golf gloves to give you the best performance are those that are breathable. This is important because sweat and heat can build up, leading to discomfort. This can make the glove get a "crusty" feel. This will lead to a slicker and less secure grip.
Some golf gloves are made with breathable materials, which allows sweat and heat to escape. This keeps the hand cooler and more comfortable, which can lead to a better grip.
The grip is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a golf glove. You want a glove that will give you a confident grip.
Leather gloves are going to give you a better grip. Synthetic gloves are not as tacky and tend to be a bit slicker when holding a golf club.
Material & Construction:
An important factor to consider when purchasing a golf glove is its material and construction. Golf gloves are typically made from various materials, including leather, synthetics and other fabrics.
Leather is going to provide you the best grip and feel. While there are some other leathers like Kangaroo for golf gloves. The preferred and most widely used is Cabretta leather which is made from sheep.
Synthetic gloves are usually a type of plastic leather, aka "pleather." Synthetics may be cheaper, but you will sacrifice grip and feel. More on synthetic gloves later in this guide.
Many lower tier glove providers will have issues with their construction. This has to do with quality control to ensure a consistent product. Make sure to choose a glove company that has respected reviews so the construction of the glove including sizing is consistent.
Golf gloves should fit snugly without being too tight. They should also conform to the shape of the hand, allowing for comfort.
Different golf gloves are designed to fit different hand sizes. It is important to make sure you understand each manufacturer's golf glove size chart. You should always review their size chart prior to purchasing.
Each size chart may have a different method in determining the fit and size of their golf gloves.
- The golf glove should not be loose or too tight. It should fit snug with minimal excess across the hand or in the fingers. Some material may flex so adjust your strap accordingly.
Some gloves offer a flexible backing for added comfort. Typically these gloves are made of Lycra (spandex) or Mesh. This allows some wiggle room in sizing while providing additional airflow to reduce sweaty hands.
Golf gloves should last for several rounds of golf, if not more. They should be made from durable materials that do not tear or rip easily.
Some synthetic golf gloves can last longer than soft leather gloves. However, synthetic gloves lack the grip and feel of premium leather gloves.
Just remember, typically thinner and softer leather gloves will be higher priced and not as durable as thicker leather or synthetic gloves. Golfers prefer the thinner leather gloves because of the feel and grip while still lasting 5 to 10 rounds.
Types of Golf Gloves
The 2 most common types of golf gloves are Cabretta leather and synthetic.
There is also a Hybrid golf glove which combines Cabretta and synthetic.
Lastly, rain gloves use synthetic materials to help in moist conditions.
Let's take a closer and understand the pros and cons of each...
When it comes to golf gloves Cabretta leather is king. Cabretta leather comes from sheep. This type of leather is very soft yet durable.
Almost every PGA Tour or LPGA player wear and prefer a Cabretta leather golf glove. They provide the tackiest grip and have the best feel.
Additionally, natural or real leather will breathe better than synthetic leather.
Not all Cabretta gloves are equal. Some are thick/low grade and lose their tackiness quicker than top-grade Cabretta gloves.
Cabretta gloves generally costs more than synthetic gloves as well.
Pros and Cons of Cabretta Golf Gloves
- Confident grip
- Better feel
- Better performance
- Typically more expensive
- Not as durable as good synthetics
- Not all Cabretta is top-grade
Synthetic golf gloves have improved over the years, but still do not provide the same feel and gripping ability as Cabretta gloves.
Synthetic leather is made using a fabric like polyester and then coated with plastic. Hence, the name "pleather" which is short for plastic leather.
Synthetic golf gloves tend to be more durable and should last longer than natural leather gloves.
They do not breathe as well and can be uncomfortable especially in humid conditions.
Pros and Cons of Synthetic Golf Gloves
- More durable
- Slicker grip
- Not as breathable
- Not as supple/soft
Hybrid golf gloves tend to use a full or partial Cabretta leather palm along with synthetic or other fabrics.
Hybrid gloves can offer the feel and gripping ability of Cabretta, but also add better breathability and comfort. They can use a stretch fabric to conform to your hand.
For example, a mesh or spandex backing can breathe better to reduce sweaty hands. Additionally, if your hands sweat a lot the more leather you have the more likely that the glove will get a crusty feel.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Golf Gloves
- Same grip as Cabretta leather
- Can be cheaper
- Flexible fit
- Can be softer
- Breathes better
- Fit may be slightly different
- Some material can attract dirt
Rain golf gloves are typically made of a synthetic/microfiber suede for the palm. The backing could be other fabric or synthetic material.
Rain gloves do not keep your hands dry, in fact they will feel wet.
Rain gloves work best when wet. If dry you could feel the club wiggle. Once wet the glove should mold to your hand and feel as one.
Sometimes rain gloves come in pairs, like Footjoy Rain Gloves.
Pros and Cons of Rain Golf Gloves
- Grip is better when wet
- Some are very durable
- Can come in pairs
- Slick grip when dry
- Lacks feel
- Not as soft as Cabretta
What hand should a golf glove go on?
For right-handed golfers, a glove should be worn on your left hand. For left-handed golfers the glove would be worn on your right.
The reason is your lead hand on the club has more surface interaction with the grip. This exposes the hand to additional friction which can lead to blisters.
Additionally, since your lead hand has more contact with the grip the glove helps secure a confident grip when swinging the club.
Wearing two gloves can reduce feel and generally is not needed unless you play in cold weather.
What are Cadet golf gloves?
Cadet golf gloves are a type of size for golf gloves.
Cadet sizes have shorter fingers and wider palms compared to regular size golf gloves.
Do not confuse with Junior/kids gloves.
How many rounds should a golf glove last?
Typically, a soft Cabretta golf glove should last you at least a handful of rounds. I think the majority of golfers will get closer to 8-12 rounds. However, even if the glove can still be used be weary of the grip getting slick. This can impact your course performance.
Synthetic gloves should last longer and you should expect at least 10 rounds.
Material will have a big impact on durability. Soft, thin leather gloves cost more, but do not last as long as cheaper synthetic gloves. Thicker leather gloves will also last longer, but you will sacrifice grip, feel and comfort.
Grips, weather and how you grip the club can all play a role on how long your glove will last.
How can I make my golf glove last longer?
Golf gloves can be used for a few rounds before they need to be replaced, but there are a few tips that can help them last even longer.
- Avoid storing in direct sunlight and heat.
- Second, avoid excessive stretching or bending of the glove when it is being worn.
- Rotate gloves during your rounds and practice so they can dry out.
- Buy an affordable glove for the range. Don't waste your good glove on range work.
- After your round let your glove air dry and then put in a protective glove pouch to store your glove. Putting your glove in a protective pouch will help retain the necessary moisture to have it remain tacky.
- Have a good grip and avoid re-gripping during your swing.
- Make sure your hand is about a 1/2 inch down the club so the butt of the club does not twist in your swing. This is one of the biggest reasons Cabretta gloves rip.
If you take these necessary steps your glove will surely last longer and you will get full use of your golf glove.
FAQ's on golf gloves...
Almost every touring pro either male or female wear a soft Cabretta palm glove. Some may wear an all leather glove or a hybrid glove for additional comfort/fit.
For Cabretta gloves you should be careful on washing them. You can take a moist towel (use cold water) and wipe them down, preferably while still on your hand. I would not recommend you use any detergent.
Some synthetic gloves you may be able to use a light detergent as the material is more durable. I would stay away from the washing machine and stick to handwashing.
Yes. There are some people who do not need a golf glove, but this is very rare. Gloves provide the necessary grip to swing the club at high speeds and protect your hand from blisters.
Typically golfers wear one glove on their lead hand. Occasionally, some golfers will wear two gloves, but this rare.
Most glove companies have very similar sizing, however it's always best to check their golf glove size chart. Additionally, some sizing charts use different types of measurement.
Never assume your size with one glove company will be the same with another.
Follow their sizing chart instructions and pick the closest size.
Recommendation for golf gloves...
I think the best thing for the majority of golfers is to buy a range glove and playing glove.
For your playing glove get a soft Cabretta glove. You can get an UpGlove which is a Hybrid glove with a full soft top-grade Cabretta palm for less than $10. This will be more affordable than most synthetics. The feel and gripping ability of a Cabretta glove will help you achieve maximum performance on the course.
For your range glove get a good synthetic glove, this way you don't have to waste your Cabretta glove beating balls. If you take care of your synthetic glove it can last you quite a long time and add to the life span of your gaming/Cabretta glove.
Final thoughts on golf gloves...
Golf gloves are key component of giving you the confidence to play well. A big part of playing good golf is being a confident. You cannot be confident if you do not have a secure grip on the club.
Imagine you notice the club slipping just a little bit with each shot. Are you going to feel confident over each shot? Are you going to worry about the club slipping?
So make sure to get a good glove with a tacky grip.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.