Jump to content
Matt Saternus

IOMIC Grips - (Gadget Review)

Recommended Posts

Iomic Grip Review

 

 

Iomic (1).JPG

 

 

Intro

 

When I bought my first Byron Morgan putter a few years ago, it came with an Iomic grip. Ever since then, Iomic has been the only putter grip that has received any serious bag time. I love the feel, the size, and the fact that they last forever. They are a bit more expensive than an average putter grip, but given the durability I was happy to pay the price, especially for the most important club in the bag.

 

When it comes to gripping the other 13 clubs, I've always been a loyal Golf Pride player. My first “real” set of irons came with a set of midsized Tour Velvets which I've been playing up until this winter when I decided to try the New Decade Multi-Compound. I've always been interested in the Iomic grips for the rest of my set, but couldn't justify the price. Read on to see if that has changed.

 

Iomic (5).JPG

 

From the Manufacturer

 

Sticky 2.3

 

-It is made by IOMAX (specifically and exclusively formulated elastomer for IOMIC grips)

 

-The grip is close to the US standard size

 

-The name of 2.3 came from the outer diameter of 22.3mm (measurement taken 5cm from the grip end)

 

X-Fusion Diarrow 2.3

 

-The name of Diarrow came from combined words of Diamond and Arrow

 

-2.3 is from the outer diameter of 22.3mm

 

-The grip is unique in its Five Layer Construction: the top layer is a soft rubber, followed by a layer of microfiber, a layer of firm rubber, another layer of microfiber, and a final layer of firm rubber. The theory behind this is that the soft rubber provides soft feel while the firm rubber creates maximum adhesion to the shaft, hence, less twisting. The microfiber layers adds increased strength to the construction and reduces torque.

 

 

 

First Impression

 

Iomic sent to me a box of grips that included five of the Sticky 2.3 grips and four of the new X-Fusion Diarrow 2.3 grips. First of all, I love the wide variety of colors of Iomic grips. As anyone who has seen my custom paintfills and ferrules knows, I like to personalize my clubs, and I enjoy the fact that my clubs don't look like anyone else's. I like the idea of my grips being an extension of that. After pulling them out of the bags, I immediately liked the feel, but wanted to withhold any judgment until they were installed.

 

 

 

Technical Information

 

Before any testing began, I weighed and measured the grips. I weighed 3 of each grip and then measured the circumference of the grips, once installed. For reference, I also weighed and measured a Golf Pride Tour Velvet Midsized grip and a Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound Midsized grip.

 

Weight, in grams

 

Sticky 2.3 50 50 50

 

Diarrow 54 53 53

 

Tour Velvet 54 53 54

 

New Decade 60 58 59

 

 

 

Circumference, in inches. The first measurement is at the butt, just below the cap, then at the middle of the grip, and finally at the tip.

 

Sticky 2.3 3 6/16 2 11/16 2 ½

 

Diarrow 3 7/16 2 25/32 2 6/16

 

Tour Velvet 3 5/8 2 3/4 2 7/16

 

New Decade 3 13/16 3 2 ½

 

 

 

I have fairly large hands, and I prefer a midsized grip, so I built up the Iomics significantly for testing.

 

Iomic (8).JPG

 

 

 

 

Iomic (9).JPG

 

 

Feel and Performance

 

To me, the feel and performance of the grip breaks down into three categories: the way the grip feels in my hand, stability during the swing, and feedback. I'll touch on each of these three points for each grip.

 

Sticky 2.3: As soon as the Sticky was installed, I loved the feel. It's soft without being mushy and it has the perfect amount of tack. I've never much cared for tacky grips in the past, but this felt just right. I think a big portion of the great feel comes from the larger “grooves” in the grip. I'm not sure if grooves is the right term, you could call them dimples, holes, etc., but I will use the term groove for this review. The grooves appear shallower than those on a Tour Velvet, but they are larger in terms of area.

 

With regard to stability during the swing, the Sticky performed very well. The grip held firm, even on toe shots, and did not twist unnecessarily.

 

Feedback is where the Sticky shines. Having played Tour Velvets for so long, I never thought about the grip's impact on feedback. After trying the Multi-Compound, and now the Iomics, I realized that the Tour Velvet was really soaking up a lot of the feedback and making good and bad shots feel very similar. This is not the case with the Sticky. After I hit a shot, there was little doubt as to where on the club face I struck the ball. The Sticky manages to walk a very fine line in that it also absorbs some of the harshness of a bad mishit, unlike a thin, full cord grip.

 

Diarrow 2.3: My first reaction to the Diarrow was, “Hmmm…interesting.” I was not alone in being a little thrown by the feel of this grip, as you will read later. For one thing, the grip is significantly softer than any other cord grip that I've tried. The cord itself is also very soft. Another interesting thing about the design of the grip is that your hand won't actually touch any of the non-corded part of the grip (unless you put your right thumb on top of the grip). This is in stark contrast to the Multi-Compound where most of your right hand is holding rubber, not cord. I can't say that this design is better or worse than the Multi-Compound, it's just different and it make me wonder why they did not simply create a full cord grip. It is possible to have your right hand on rubber if the grip was installed logo-sideways, but that would be too odd, visually, for me.

 

Stability during shots was excellent. The Five Layer Construction that Iomic uses to create this grip is definitely a winner.

 

I was a little disappointed with the feedback on the Diarrows. Generally, I associate cord grips with more feedback, but I actually found that it provided less feedback than the Sticky grip. The difference between the two is not huge, but it is noticeable if you are looking for it. The Diarrow did still provide significantly more feedback than the Tour Velvet.

 

SCORE

 

Sticky 2.3 50/50

 

Diarrow 2.3 44/50

 

 

Iomic (10).JPG

 

 

 

 

Iomic (11).JPG

 

 

Durability

 

Durability is definitely one of the key selling points of the Iomic grip. As I mentioned, it's one of my favorite things about their putter grips, and I have friends who claim that their year-old Iomics still feel like new. To be fair to Iomic, I did not want to wait a year to write my review, so I have done my best to simulate the wear and tear of a golf season in two weeks. I have hit at least 50 shots each day with each grip and handled each grip for 1-4 hours per day.

 

Sticky 2.3: For the first week, the Sticky felt awesome. The grip retained its softness and tack perfectly. After about it week, it was still soft and it was far from slick (thanks to the larger grooves), but it didn't feel tacky anymore. After about 10 seconds with a wet towel, it was like I had just unwrapped the grip from the packaging. The tack was back!

 

Also, I intentionally picked a white grip to test because I wanted to see how well it cleaned up. After a week, the grip was starting to look pretty grim. That quick cleaning brought it back to about 85% of the like-new look, and I suspect that a little more effort and some soap could have gotten it sparkling.

 

My only complaint about durability was that one of the grooves, under my left thumb, did start to wear by the end of the test.

 

Diarrow 2.3: After two weeks of intense wear, the grip feels exactly like it did when it came out of the box. The rubber portion had a small dirt smudge on it, but it wiped away with a bit of water. With regard to durability, this grip is outstanding.

 

SCORE

 

Sticky 2.3 16/20

 

Diarrow 2.3 20/20

 

 

 

 

 

Value

 

This portion is probably every bit as subjective as the Performance review. To some $18-20 for a grip is outlandish, but other wouldn't bat an eyelash at spending a couple hundred dollars to regrip their clubs. I fall somewhere in between. Given the durability, I think that the grips do provide a fair value. That does assume, however, that you can leave the grip on for two years and not be tempted to try something new. Because of the greater durability of the Diarrow, I rated it slightly higher for value.

 

SCORE

 

Sticky 2.3 8/10

 

Diarrow 2.3 9/10

 

 

 

 

 

The Peanut Gallery

 

Here are a few of The Peanut Gallery's thoughts on the Iomic grips:

 

To a man, our PGA pros liked the Sticky 2.3, but did not care for the Diarrow. One said that he would have preferred a rougher, more pronounced feel to the cord. Another said that he liked the Sticky well enough to play them if they made a ribbed grip (which I recently learned, they do). Our third pro, who plays Multi-Compounds, said that the cord on the Diarrow felt “slick,” and that he could not play it without a glove.

 

Reactions from other members of the gallery followed along the same lines. The Sticky 2.3 was well received, though no one was in love with it, and almost everyone said they could not see themselves paying for them. The Diarrow received reactions ranging from neutral to negative with the exception of one player who liked the Diarrow so much that he has already purchased an entire set. He really loved the feel of the cord, saying that it was much better than his current Golf Pride BCT grips, and he liked that the design of the Diarrow makes it, in essence, a full cord grip rather than a compound.

 

SCORE

 

Sticky 2.3 18/20

 

Diarrow 2.3 12/20

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of the Iomic grips that I tested. Ignoring price, I think they are two of the three best grips I have ever used, with Golf Pride Multi-Compounds being the third. Of course, price cannot be ignored. Are the Diarrows twice as good as Multi-Compounds? Are the Stickys four times as good as Tour Velvets? That judgment must be left up to the individual paying for them. I am inclined to say that the Sticky is, in fact, four times better than the Tour Velvet, in large part because I have been very disappointed with the durability of my last two sets of Tour Velvets. As to whether or not the Diarrow is better than the Multi-Compound, I think that the grips are so different that it's not fair to say one is objectively better, just that they are different.

 

My only true complaint about the grips is the size. If Iomic made a true midsized grip they would have one more customer…me. As it stands, I plan to play my midsized Multi-Compounds this season and then reevaluate. Hopefully, in the time between now and then, Iomic will release a Sticky 3.0 or 2.8 for those of us with large paws.

 

FINAL SCORE

 

Sticky 2.3 92/100

 

Diarrow 2.3 85/100

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have lime green Iomic sticky grips on my Miuras. I've been almost exclusively a Lamkin Crossline guy for quite a while, but the Iomics are absolutely fantastic. Love the feel, and the wet traction is pretty damn good as well. My only gripe is that they're impossible to keep clean. They definitely put the dirt and grime on display.

 

If anybody is wondering, I've also tried the Premio grips. I find the tackiness to be similar. The premios are softer, but I feel like the iomics are more stable (less twisting).

 

We looked at a lot of grips at the PGA show. GolfSpy X loves the Elite grips. I like the feel of the NO1 (a tad softer than the Iomics, just as stable). Of course, never actually having put one on a real golf club, it's hard to say for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been wanting to try the STICKY ICKY's (iomics)but they are just too high priced for my wallet. I'll stay with Golf Pride Dual Durometer as I get those for less then 2.50-3.00 a grip when I catch a good sale, maybe even less. I never see the IOMICS for less then 15.00 a grip thats just ridiculous IMO. They can't be that much better that even if I had to re=grip twice a season I'd still save money with golf Pride. Until a win a free set they will have to wait to find a slot in my bag! :unsure:

 

PS: Sorry Matt probably should have started off with NICE REVIEW, which your review is thorough and well written. But I had to add my feelings on some of these prices on products like a grip! I've always been wondering what makes someone who makes a grip feel they need to charge customers that much per grip. It can't cost that much to manufacture chemical compounds!No Way. Maybe initial set up and development but by now if they sold these at 1/2 the price their sales would be tripled in my opinion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, thank you.

 

To your point, I don't disagree at all. If you can find grips that you like for $2-3, then you can regrip twice a year and still spend a fraction of what Iomics would cost. Additionally, if you ho clubs at all, you don't even get the benefit of the longevity of the IOMICs. That said, it's a fantastic grip. I think if they came down into the $10 range, you would see TONS of people playing them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, thank you.

 

To your point, I don't disagree at all. If you can find grips that you like for $2-3, then you can regrip twice a year and still spend a fraction of what Iomics would cost. Additionally, if you ho clubs at all, you don't even get the benefit of the longevity of the IOMICs. That said, it's a fantastic grip. I think if they came down into the $10 range, you would see TONS of people playing them.

 

 

That's really my main gripe is their prices. I can't really say how their product performs, hopefully someday I'll get a set of the Iomic Stickys so I can compare them to my personal favorites. I'll keep trying to find a deal and when I do I'll be sure to give my honest opinion on their product! Great job on your format for your review Matt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review!

 

I'm with TWshoot though, the cost for these is very off putting in compairison to other grips out there. I also tried a couple of the Diarrow while going through a new iron fitting and I couldn't play those without using two gloves. They got very slick on me very quickly and didn't seem to like to be used in the slightest bit of rain at all. Living on the west coast means the grip needs to perform in wet conditions or it's off the list from the start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you.

 

A quick note to all: I've seen a couple of "review request" threads recently. If you have any non-club items that you'd like reviewed, please feel free to PM your suggestions to me and I will do my best to get a review for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tried the sticky 2.3 and Diarrow. Thoughts as follows.

 

To me, the 2.3 felt a tad slick, even when new. Must've been the compound or something. It also felt absolutely tiny, almost like a junior or women's grip. I've had a few Iomics before but never this model. Glad I didn't buy 13 on a whim, I'd have been disappointed.

 

The Diarrow was a decent grip. It's kind of puny still, but much better than the 2.3. The cord, however, was great. It's one of the more coarse cords I've tried in a while. I like cords to feel like sissal rope. These were better than any of the other new soft cords out. That said I wished they offered midsize. I maybe could justify the price if it was the right size, and being as it was kind of firm/stiff, I was afraid I'd never be able to stretch it over enough build up tape.

 

I blew both grips back off and moved them on to some folks that use these grips and evidently have small hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got on put on my Scratch putter. Not quite sure how I like it yet, but it's better than the stock grip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got on put on my Scratch putter. Not quite sure how I like it yet, but it's better than the stock grip.

 

I just put the mid-size on a putter as well. I thought it would be bigger, but I definitely like it. Got to find out how it would performs in the rain too. I'm probably stuck with Iomic for life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put the mid-size on a putter as well. I thought it would be bigger, but I definitely like it. Today I got to find out how it performs in the rain. I'm probably stuck with Iomic for life.

 

Mine is midsize as well. I just played with it in some pouring rain last friday, and it was as good or better than you can expect from any grip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...