Unlike most putter grips, the Sense R1 delivers customizations designed to let you decide how your putter should feel by letting you decide how heavy your grip should be and where that weight should be. After a little experimentation with the weight kit, the Sense R1 could provide you with a more ideal, personal feeling putter. With more mainstream adoption, the days of one-weight-fits-all putter grips might be gone.
Sense R1 Putter Grip
Putter technology is evolving and getting a lot of attention these days, but the question you should ask yourself is this: is your grip keeping up? Sense Golf Grips wants to make sure your grip doesn’t lag behind and wants to give you the feel that you want, not just any feel. In for review is Sense’s R1 Kit that is looking to change the golf grip market from a one-weight-fits-most to something more by providing easily individualized options that don’t require a trip to the pro shop or special materials.
The issue is straightforward – modern putter heads are heavy and offsetting this weight to find a personalized feel can be difficult. Most putter grips have a set, stock weight that isn’t going to change unless you take it into the pro shop and get some work done hoping that your change feels better. Additionally, the grips on the market that do allow for weight addition without the pro shop limit you to a single weight addition and in one location, typically only in the butt of the club. Those limitations don’t exist with the Sense R1.
Weight: Where youwant it and how much youwant
The Sense R1 grip comes stock at roughly 88 grams out of the package, which is within the typical range of putter grips of a similar size. Where the Sense R1 separates itself is the ability to add up to 60 grams of additional weight through the patent pending Sense SAW System, or the “Sliding Adjustable Weight” System.
At its core, the SAW System comprises a carbon fiber rod that drops into the grip (like a dipstick in a car) that holds the stainless steel weights at precise locations within the grip. With an easy turn of the “Sense Key” you can add 10g, 20g, 30g, or you can mix and match the weights to find the right feel up to 60g.
Once you find a weight combination you like between 10g and 60g, you can place it precisely where you want. The SAW System carbon fiber rod comes with ruler markings that allow you to easily calculate where the weight will be inside the grip. Simply use a ruler on the outside of the grip, for example, to correspond to your right-hand placement and place the weights at that location on the SAW System rod. Boom – the amount of weight you want and where you want it.
Does it work? Absolutely, but your happiness level with the Sense R1 will depend on your expectations. The ability to change the grip weight from 88 grams to nearly 150 with a few turns of the “Sense Key” is noticeable and changes the feel of the putter. Once you find a grip weight that you like, you can fine tune the feel by moving the weight around on the SAW System. Of course, because the weight is only moving a few inches this change is far more subtle.
I installed the Sense R1 on the Odyssey Red Ball, which has a 360 gram head. After testing nearly every possible weight combination, I settled on 50 grams placed under my right hand (low on the SAW System rod) as the best feeling. The ability to control and change the weight resulted in a better feeling putter than simply using the stock grip, that is for sure.
Another feature I absolutely love is the rectangular shape of the Sense R1 and its flat front side that is perfectly aligned with the putter face. The rectangular shape is 1.08” deep and 0.8” wide, and if you struggle with face control through the stroke or use a claw grip, this might be perfect for you. If you have been following along in the discussion thread on the THP Forum, you know I had a bit of a love affair after my first few days based solely on that shape. The flat front side and the ability to move weight around has given the Sense R1 a fighting chance to stay in the bag long term.
Getting started – What’s in the box?
When you first get the Sense grips, make sure you get the kit. It comes with a grip, three weights (10g, 20g, 30g), the “Sense Key” to install the weights, and a level to aid in the install. The Sense R1 has a quality, dense rubber feel that is mostly smooth, with very little texture at all. Before you install, as Sense recommends, make sure to watch the quick video they provide to ensure your new grip is lined up properly rather than just eyeballing it.
The Sense R1 design does have a few drawbacks that you should consider before you dive in. First, because the SAW System is designed to go through the grip and into the putter shaft, it isn’t fully compatible with shafts that have weighted plugs in the shaft. Second, you should consider the inner diameter of the shaft you will be using with the Sense R1. If the fit is too tight, the front cap or weights could become lodged and stuck in the shaft, which actually occurred when I was trying various weight combinations. Of course, this was nothing some pliers couldn’t fix, but it is something to consider. Finally, you should use extra care in the installation to minimize the amount of grip tape that could interfere with the bushings and make the fit tighter than it otherwise needs to be.
Putting is all about confidence, control, and precision. We have all picked up a putter and it just felt right; the perfect shape and the perfect feel throughout the stroke. But there is no one-size-fits-all weight or feel – everyone prefers something different and it is unbelievably difficult to find the right feel. Many go through countless putters and grips just trying to find what feels right. The Sense R1 gives you a fighting chance at finding that ideal feel if what you are missing is more weight in the grip. You can learn more about the Sense R1 or the Sense S1 at: https://sensegolfgrips.com.
Availability: On sale now
Cost: $50.00 for the Sense R1 kit; $20.00 for the Sense R1 grip only
Options: The Sense S1 Grip is also available