Hello MGS community and thanks to all of you for taking the time to read through this review and an especially big thanks to the MGS staff/mods for all they do in getting these set up. I am pretty excited to have the opportunity to review Golf Pride SNSR 140 grip and to see what differences I can find moving forward.
Golf has been in an out of my life for the last 15+ years. Through my formative years, I never got very good at it though and ultimately quit the game fully for a few years during high school as I simply wasn't enjoying it. Since that time I would play maybe 2 - 4 times per year over the next 10 years through college, starting a job, and then moving into working and working on my Masters degree simultaneously. You would think that living in Orlando for the last 7 years, a place where I could golf all year would have encouraged me, but I still didn’t get back into the game until I finished my Master’s degree about a year ago. With newly freed up weekends when my wife works, I decided it was time to get back on the wagon. I pulled my old hand-me-down clubs out of the crawl space, dusted off more spiders than I would ever like to remember, and realized just how long it had been. I mean, I still had these irons:
(honestly just needed a medium to post how old these things were)
I knew needed new clubs if I had any hope of enjoying myself so like any good millenial I started doing my online research. Thank god I found MGS! I do research for a living, so researching golf clubs was a natural extension for me. And then BOOM I found a website that was actually presenting their results as data and not just awarding every club they get for free 4 -5 stars or giving every club a gold or silver just for being produced by a major manufacture. Not that other review sites aren’t objective...
Ultimately having been back on the golf course for a year I’ve spent a lot of time honing and tweaking my game trying to find what works consistently and I’ve found one of the things I love about golf is that there isn’t a right and wrong way to do something. I love that you can make it as cerebral as you want like Bryson’s science experiments or just grip it and rip it like Brooks. I play as a 17 – 18 handicap, i.e. I’m your everyman. If my front nine is off to a rough start, I’m going to grab a few beers for the back to hopefully lube up the swing. At this level I don’t think there is a truly consistent part of my game and feel I’m in a constant state of flux with my tee-to-green game. My approach/around the green definitely holds me back which leads to long lags and lengthy attempts at par saves – or as I like to call them – bogeys. Putting may actually be the most consistent part of my game. I can typically be confident that I’ll two putt most anything and I can be pretty good inside 10 ft. Honestly though that is purely hubris as I have definitely four-putted recently. A good round for me could be 36 putts if my approach game was horrible but I typically try to target 30 putts/rd. With luck maybe a grip change can drop that.
I currently game Odyssey O-Works Marxman S putter. I loved the feel/sound of the face, the high MOI, and my stroke favors a putter with some toe hang. It’s a real love it or hate it style, and as much as I might love the classic Anser shape, this is a more reliable putter for me.
The Marxman came standard with a Super Stroke 2.0 counterweighted grip. It’s my first oversized grip and I like the way it helps minimize wrist flip. The grip isn’t as big as the giant 5.0 and I have smaller hands, so a grip that size is a nice compromise. When it comes to my ideal putter grip, I’m looking for something that keeps from squeezing too hard, limits my wrist motion and feels natural. I’m not particularly picky about the tack or squish of the grip itself but like something that transmits impact feel well enough that I can tell how I hit a putt. I use a pretty traditional grip but I know that everyone is different and there are as many different putting hand positions as there are grip styles to account for them. I like my putting stroke to be a shorter backswing with some acceleration through the ball especially on putts 10' and below. I find that this keeps me from trying to take speed off during the stroke which leads to mishits and poor distance control.
The still frame here shows my typical grip and set up. I play a shorter 33" putter as I tend to lean over the ball a fair amount which to me encourages a more natural pendulum putting motion I also tend to grip down toward the bottom of my grip which can be seen as I hook my right index finger over the lower edge of the grip. I'm interested to see if the shaping of the new grip changes how I hold it.
The Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro 140 cc is the heavier, wider version of their Contour Pro grips. The grip weighs in at 124 g, so just slightly heavier than the 114 g Superstroke (including 50 g counter weight) which should be a simple transition and prevent my putter from feeling like a completely new device. All Tour SNSR grips feature a flat paddle front while the Contour models have a pistol contour in the upper hand. The Contour Pro has a frontside offset in the upper hand while the Contour (non-Pro) is flat across entire front. Golf Pride’s other SNSR offering is the Tour Straight which is more like a SuperStroke Flatso grip.
The grip diameters are similar and the SNSR has a slightly softer rubber which may have an effect on feedback. Here’s a quick shot that shows this grip vs. the Non-pro SNSR vs. the SS 2.0 vs. the SS 5.0.
As you can see the non-Tour SNSR has a more pronounced pistol back than the Tour SNSR and no front offset. Both the SNSR grips have a tapered bottom hand section in comparison to the taper-less super stroke grips. At first feel, I like the top hand contouring and the tapered lower section as I I feel it allows my hands to fall more naturally which should hopefully help keep them moving in a natural stroke. Golf Pride is priding itself on its new rubber formulation which should provide "Precise ball feedback" and "Optimal grip pressure".The grip is undoubtedly softer than the Super Stroke offerings so I'm interested to see how I feel about it after a few rounds.
Before getting into the testing the actual product I felt I should lay out a testing plan. Putting is probably the easiest portion of the game to record a significant amount of shots and results without needing access to a Trackman or similar shot tracker.
To me there are 3 aspects to comparing these grips: accuracy, consistency, and on course performance. To test the accuracy, I’ve taken my putter out to a couple different putting greens (both fast and slow) and taken 20 – 30 putts from 3’, 10’, and 25’ and recorded how far from the hole the ball ends up (see data below). For consistency, I'm using the Ping Putting Cradle to compare the consistency of my stroke before and after the grip change. And finally for on course performance I am recording strokes gained data using 18 Birdies (with NO GIMMES!) which should hopefully correlate with the practice data. Pins will be in for all testing, because that’s what MGS says is the most effective; definitely not because I’m lazy. As a little appetizer I’ve included the baseline putting results for the SuperStroke grip.
I just changed the grip on the putter so beginning this week I’ll start testing the new grip in the same manner . I’ll obviously include my observations throughout but I know I love seeing fresh data and I think that will help back up my final conclusions on the SNSR grip. I’ll continue to post updates on any early findings I have.