When we choose equipment, it seems as though the way most golfers go about it is to try as many products that they can and choose which one best works for them. Yet for some reason when choosing grips, many of us today seem to let the equipment companies decide what grips we should be playing and then do not think about it until there is a need for a change. Through proper trials and some fitting measures, most golfers will be able to find a grip that perfectly fits their hands and their needs and it will make all the difference on the golf course.
Back in January at the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL THP got a chance to take a look at a new line of grips being launched by a company that many are familiar with.
From the Company
After 15 years of innovating and dominating the golf cleat and tee market, Softspikes, the #1 Cleat on TOUR, today enhanced its position as the game’s premier accessory brand by entering the golf grip market and debuting BLACK WIDOW Grips. Branded alongside the game’s all-time best selling cleat model, BLACK WIDOW Grips are born off Softspikes’ heritage for advanced technology and developing products that offer best-in-class traction and feel.
The new BLACK WIDOW Grips line, which was created to meet the demands of players at all levels, offers five distinct models, each one complete with bold colors and excellent performance features to improve any golfer’s game:
• Tour Silk – Tour Silk features a Softspikes inspired horizontal “S” traction pattern embedded in a specialized rubber compound for the ultimate performance. Available in black or white and round or ribbed models.
• Widow Maker – Widow Maker features a multi-compound hybrid feel and a two-color design that features a corded top for traction in all conditions and a firm responsive bottom for performance and feedback. Available in round and ribbed models with black/white and black/red color patterns. In the future, it will also be available in a putter grip model.
• Signature – Signature features a firm two-compound composition that delivers enhanced feel in the finger tip contact points, as well as Web Traction Technology on the backside for greater control, resulting in an unmatched combination of an aggressive design, superior feel and performance. Available in round and ribbed models with black/white, black/red and white/black color patterns. A junior model with a black/white color pattern is also available, as well as a putter grip model.
• Fusion – Fusion features a firm and highly textured surface for enhanced feel and control. The two-compound, multi-color material controls vibration and delivers two distinct feels plus Web Traction Technology for greater control. Available in black round and ribbed models.
• Edge – Edge features a soft performance wrap design with a high tack feel. The Web Traction Technology design pattern provides greater grip confidence and control. Available in black round, ribbed and oversized models.
The company sent over a grip each in each of the models that are listed above. We gripped up 5 different wedges and went to work on the course. What we found was that the quality lived up to the hype in many ways. No issues with any durability in our month long testing at all and there really is something for every golfer in their line. We experienced very little loss of tackiness as well over that same month long testing. The Widow Maker was a favorite among most that tried them out, especially in the humidity we deal with down in FL. The hybrid compound of a corded top for traction and a soft feel at the bottom lived up to the hype in a big way.
Each time a THP tester picked up the wedges, they were able to find one that suited their needs in both feel and traction, something we rarely see in todays market with one line and certainly not the norm when dealing with a new product launch. Only one negative in the entire testing and it really was not a negative at all, and that is the aesthetics. The Black Widow grip line was definitely polarizing in terms of what people thought of the looks of the grips. It seemed as though out of the 12 or so people that tried them out, THP got no complaints in terms of performance or feel, but when it came to how they looked we had a few that just did not care for them at all. Golfers seemed to either love them or hate them. If you ask this reviewer, I really like the look of them, and the performance backed it up.
THP was fairly delighted with the new line of grips. Black Widow Grips are sold at golf and sporting goods retail shops nationwide with a suggested retail price from $3.99 to $9.39 depending on the type that is chosen. For more information on these or any other products that the company makes, check out their website at www.softspikes.com.
Till Next Time