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MyGolfSpy.com Review – NO1 Golf Grips

http://www.no1grip.com/

 

A Grip of a Different Color

Over the past few years, golf has really become a colorful sport. Granted, golf has always had colorful characters like Walter Hagen, John Daly, David Feherty, and etc. Golf also has a great history of colorful fashion, including hats that come with free bowls of soup. Even with this lineage though, it seems like color is more important in the realm of golf than ever before. What made the R11 driver different? What comes to mind when you think of Ricky Fowler? Like it or not, color matters in the golf market.

 

One of the newly polychromatic areas that I was immediately drawn to was the modern golf grip. Long gone are the days of boring black grips. These days you can grip your clubs in a wide array of colors and materials. Some of the putter grips are so colorful that they would cause Timothy Leary to freak out. “You ARE freaking out, man...”

 

 

Seriously, I love the colored grips that are available. I have tried out a number of them from various companies like Iomic, TakiMac, Lamkin, Winn, Premio, and others. The pattern that I seem to have fallen into is an initial visual attraction drives me to regrip with the bold colored grip, and then the performance of the grip drives me to continue using it, or to move on. So far, with the notable exception of the Iomic putter grips, there has been quite a bit of moving on...

 

After scouring the photos from this year's PGA show, I immediately became smitten with the looks of NO1 grips. Here is the photo from Golfspy T's post so you don't have to go searching.

 

pga2011NO1.jpg

 

If you go to the NO1 website, you will see that the orange and purple grips in the above photo are just the tip of the iceberg in NO1's color offerings. Looking beyond the colors on the site also turns up some promising information about NO1 grips:

• The grips are used by tour pros including K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang

• Sticky and soft feel

• Manufactured from elastomer so they should stay soft in all weather conditions.

• Soft feel promotes loosening grip pressure and enhances grip longevity.

 

With these great claims in mind, I took my bag to my trusty club repairman and exchanged my Golf Pride New Decades for thirteen red and white NO1 model 48 grips.

 

LOOK AND FEEL (20 Points)

I really liked the look of the grips right out of the package. While there are many options available, I went with the red with white accents to match the other colors on my Callaway RAZR X irons. It's a touch silly to care about that color matching, but I enjoy having a bag that sports some style. The red color of the grips is very bright and sturdy. Strange adjective for a color, but it just looks like the color has some heft to it. I did contemplate going the Y.E. Yang route with each grip being a different color, but in the end that was too much flash, even for me.

 

IMG_1877.jpg

 

The grips are definitely soft and tacky as advertised. The softness was definitely a change from the New Decades that I had on before. I would describe the feel as soft, but responsive. Although there is some definite give to the grip, they are not super squishy or marshmallow-like. Definitely comfortable to hold. My concern though was that they would be too soft to give me the feel that I like for some shots, like short wedges.

 

IMG_1810.jpg

 

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For reference sake, the grips were installed with +2 wraps underneath.

 

LOOK AND FEEL SCORE: 24/25

 

PERFORMANCE (50 Points)

So although I like having a sweet looking set of sticks, I really like playing good golf with those sticks even better. The NO1 grips make such a bold “look at me” statement that there had better be some game to back them up.

 

Now you know from reading my other Pebble Project thread that my game is in no way like K.J. Choi's, except maybe that we both carry hybrids. That being said, my first round with the NO1 grips produced my then lowest round of the summer. I love these grips on the course. The feel is great. They don't collect excess dirt or grass as some grips are prone to do. They remain tacky, even during hot and sweaty rounds. Basically, I can attest that they live up to their performance claims.

 

One area of play in particular improved dramatically, driving the ball. Now my swing is anything but grooved and repeatable. I work on the driver constantly, but improvements are typically incremental and transient. Now according to my Golfshot statistics, my fairways hit increased 20% after exchanging the firm New Decade for the NO1 grip. While I cannot contribute this 100% to the grip swap, nothing else really changed, as all of my lessons have been focused on short game and putting. Perhaps the softer grip promotes softer grip pressure and allows me to make better contact.

 

My only complaint about the performance of the grips is that they to tend to fight going into and out of the bag more than the Decades did. There are times when I have to do a bit of shuffling to get all of the clubs to set into the bag correctly. It is irritating, but not as much when the ball is in the fairway...

 

PERFORMANCE SCORE: 49/50

 

 

VALUE AND LONGEVITY

The model 48 NO1 grips cost $16 each. This definitely puts them at the high end of the grip market. I truly enjoy playing with these grips but that price puts a set of these grips about $80 above a set of New Decades and about $150 above Tour Velvets. That being said, the NO1 grips are not made of the same materials as the other grips and that likely is the main source of price differential. As much as I like these grips, the price is rough when you think that you could buy four sets of Tour Velvets for the price of one set of NO1's.

 

A saving grace for the price could come in the form of grip longevity. If these grips last longer than some of the other grips then the price becomes more reasonable and competitive. Sadly, I collected some troubling data in the longevity department. Here are some photos of the wear on my driver grip after about a month or so of play (5-6 rounds and range sessions).

 

IMG_1874.jpg

 

IMG_1875.jpg

 

The small tear is right at the spot where my right index finger contacts the grip. This corresponds to a spot on that same finger where I have a callus and where the New Decade grips would often leave my skin sore and a bit raw. I'll spare you the photo of my finger. :blink:

 

Here are some shots of wear at the butt end of the grip.

 

IMG_1876.jpg

 

IMG_1873.jpg

 

The packaging on the grips does carry a warning that excessive grip pressure can accelerate the wear of the grips; much like the weaker pressure can extend the life of the grip. I guess I am the Royce Gracie of golf gripping. My contact at NO1 said that the increased grip pressure can speed up wear, but should not cause tearing. Maybe this grip had a slight flaw, or maybe something went wrong in the install. The other twelve grips are in great shape, some showing just the slightest wear like that of the butt end photos.

 

Even with this tear, the NO1 grip is still on my driver and will continue to be there until the wear gets so significant that it is unplayable. The improvement off the tee is worth it to me. Still, I am not feeling very confident in the longevity of that grip. Once it does wear out, then I will have to make a decision about replacing it.

 

The high price point and the issues with the driver grip definitely impact the value score for these grips. Perhaps the driver grip is a fluke, as the others seem to be wearing better. Although, being that the driver is hit more frequently than the other clubs, the wear on the driver grip may be a harbinger of wear to come on the others.

 

VALUE AND LONGEVITY SCORE: 10/25

 

TOTAL SCORE: 83/100

 

SUMMARY

I think that the NO1 grips may be my favorite grips that I have played with to date. They are soft, but responsive. They have great tackiness. Their colors are outstanding. I truly wish that the overall score was higher, but I can't ignore the wear and tear on the driver grip. NO1 definitely makes a great grip for playing golf with, but if you are a tight-gripper like me, you may find yourself having to regrip before you would want to.

 

IMG_1812.jpg

  • Like 1

Volvo Intorqueo

 

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Great wright up. Thanks

:cobra-small: Driver F9 
:cobra-small: 3W F9

:cobra-small: 5W F9

:taylormade-small: P790 5i / 7i  LZ 6.5  

:taylormade-small: P7MC 8i / PW LZ 6.5   
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:taylormade-small: FCG #7 

:srixon-small: Z Star #6

 

 

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I tried those grips this past Spring at that huge Hagin Oaks demo. The big sales pitch from the reps were the tackiness once they wiped them dry after placing them in a bowl of water. I don't know how that translate to rainy weather since rain can be constant. They also had a new model that is thinner and harder for a more "player" feel.

 

Personally I like fresh cord grips that cut into my skin on warm days and once I heard the price of these I walked away.

I spy with my little eye something...

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Thanks for the review! :)

 

Seems like Premio have the NO1 easily beat at $6 per club grip. And they still have their "try a free grip for $3.95 shipping only" promo going on. B)

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Thanks for the review! :)

 

Seems like Premio have the NO1 easily beat at $6 per club grip. And they still have their "try a free grip for $3.95 shipping only" promo going on. B)

I have used the Premio grips in the past and while their price is definitely better, I like the NO1 grip a lot more.

Maybe it is time to try another Premio to be sure though :)

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

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I have used the Premio grips in the past and while their price is definitely better, I like the NO1 grip a lot more.

Maybe it is time to try another Premio to be sure though :)

 

I've been curious about the NO1s for a while now. I checked them out at the PGA show back in January, but that's a far cry from actually testing them on a golf course. I've been using Iomic as my go to replacement grip for over a year now (although I generally leave the stock grip on new clubs unless it really sucks). I can't speak to the NO1s, but having used both, my opinion is that Premio makes a nice enough grip, but it's not in the same league as Iomic.

 

The wear and tear in the pics is a bit discouraging. I've had Iomics on my irons for over a year now (getting on 100 rounds of I'd guess), and they're still in excellent condition. Yes, they do cost more, but when you factor in durability, feel, and for those who care...color choice, Iomic actually offers good value.

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how bout itomics by tacki mac if u like soft grips

Taylormade RBZ2 TP 9.5 Fuel 60

Ping i20 3 wood Aldila Nv

Adams Dhy 18*

Mizuno Mp59 4-p KBS Tour S

Vokey 50* 55* 60*

Scotty Cameron Select Newport 1.5

Ball - Z star XV

Oakley Stand Bag

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how bout itomics by tacki mac if u like soft grips

I have used those as well. I found that they didn't stay as sticky as the NO1's and they wore fast as well.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got a sample of pink/lime green Series 48 from PGA Show this year. I really liked the grip but I didn't see the wear like you did with these. I wanted to do a little more testing before I bought a whole set. I think $16 is high for a grip but I liked the colors and tact. However, the worse part was when I went to order another to match my other wedge they wanted almost $18 to ship 1 grip UPS GROUND!!! I've emailed them and said they can't control shipping costs but I won't be buying any.

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I got a sample of pink/lime green Series 48 from PGA Show this year. I really liked the grip but I didn't see the wear like you did with these. I wanted to do a little more testing before I bought a whole set. I think $16 is high for a grip but I liked the colors and tact. However, the worse part was when I went to order another to match my other wedge they wanted almost $18 to ship 1 grip UPS GROUND!!! I've emailed them and said they can't control shipping costs but I won't be buying any.

 

Have you looked into IOmics? Their sticky grip is probably only slightly firmer than the NO1. Color options are similar, and for what it's worth, durability is off the charts. I've had IOmics on my Miura CB-501s for over a year now and when clean, they're still in outstanding condition.

 

Regripit.com offers fantastic pricing (with their coupons), and reasonable shipping costs.

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I looked into them some but it was just the lime/pink combo that caught my attention from NO1. Bright colored grips,shafts, and clothes just appeal to me for some reason. MC Decades are my favorite grips but when I saw the bright colors I just had to try them.

 

There are definitely some color combos I wish I could get in IOmic, but if I bought a set of NO1s, I'd be wishing I could get a couple of the IOmic combos. Neither lineup has everything I'd want from a color perspective, but I think it does illustrate how far behind the American grip companies are falling when it comes to providing a little bit of flair.

 

I've been saying for the better part of the last year that there's not a whole lot more equipment manufacturers can really do to improve performance, which means there's going to be less and less incentive to swap out your clubs every year or two. To that end, I believe customization is the next great frontier. The complexities involved may be more than Big OEMs want to get involved with, but smaller operations (John Letters Golf, Miura (dealers, fitters, builders), and Scratch) offer customization options you can't get from bigger golf companies. Grips are obviously a large part of that, but colored ferrules (cell-parts, vibrant) are gaining in popularity as well.

 

My point is that it's only a matter of time before Japanese grips come down in price, and alternatives like Premio become better known. If the American grip companies (golf pride, lamkin, etc.) don't start making a product that directly competes, they're going to suffer for it.

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Pure Grips should have their colored rubber grips coming out soon. The prototype pictures on their FB page look very promising.

Plus, you can customize color combinations with a minimum order requirement. Though I don't know that number or current pricing.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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