Lamkin has expanded their lineup in 2018 with a number of intriguing options for golfers seeking a variety of textures, feedback, and visual cues. The company boasts over 90 years of experience in the business of grips, more than five hundred million grips sold to equipment manufacturers, and greater than three hundred million dollars amassed in tour winnings with Lamkin in play. As someone who has entrusted Lamkin grips for many years, the idea of innovation is very pleasing. It is a welcomed opportunity to spotlight the Lamkin TS1 grip.
While visual presentation plays a large factor in any product, appropriate categorization is equally important to understand what the grip is intended to accomplish. Unlike the new Sonar and Comfort PLUS grips from Lamkin, the TS1 has been categorized in their “Maximum Performance” profile, accompanied by the ever popular Crossline, Z5, and UTx grips. It is an interesting place to be located, considering much of the initial feedback and experience with TS1 is actually that of a softer rubber. In hand, it is surprisingly receptive to the touch unlike Crossline/UTx/Z5, and provides quite a lot of controlled comfort on the club. If anything, TS1 seems to align more in the hybrid profile between functionality and comfort.
Much of the comfort in hand comes from hybrid compounds, but also in their proprietary Micro-Texture Technology. Traveling down the grip, you can certainly see the variance. In the upper hand along with the lower thumb, vertical and diagonal “V” shaped waves are present. Outside of these areas, a cross hatch profile exists. The lower hand has a dual compound construction with what Lamkin is calling “Control Zone” which is intended to enhance the confidence a golfer has with their grip.
Overall, the grip visualization is quite interesting. The upper portion has what appears to be a spine that runs down the central position, broken up in three places to potentially support the grip height of a shot, but also eliminating the wave pattern that is built into the grip. Where many golfers may be inclined to expect uniformity, the lower portion of the grip is highlighted with a red band in the horizontal wave pattern, where the bottom thumb would likely be present. It did not take much time if any to get comfortable with the look of the profile, but it certainly is unique.
One of the most obvious variants of TS1 to a traditional grip once on a club and in hand is the straighter reduced taper profile. Golfers will feel a notable build up in the lower hand, which Lamkin (and others) claim will reduce grip tension that is unneeded in a grip, along with better marrying the two hands together. I would be hard pressed to speak with absolution, but this seems to be more of a personal preference for those who experience proper gripping techniques. While it does feel a bit excessive after playing a traditional grip with preferred build up applied, it did not take long to feel comfortable using on the golf club.
One of the components Lamkin boasts about TS1 is the superior torsion control, with the intent of ensuring greater shot consistency and control. It would be pretty hard to measure this in any amount of testing, but during my time with Lamkin TS1, I was very satisfied with the control I had in my hands, the engagement with the club that was produced due to the slightly softer hybrid material, and the feedback my hands were provided on all types of shots. The grips never felt anything other than connected and of great quality.
As an aside, unfortunately the weather never turned enough to battle wet conditions, however some isolated testing when wetting the TS1 proved quite interesting. The tack remained present after a solid wipe down, however the micro grooves of the patterns seemed to retain some of the water longer than traditional crossline expectations (as a long time user of Lamkin’s iLine, this may be one of my preferred design features). The extra wetness was present and noted, but it seemed like much of the grip was dry which would allow for performance quality to continue despite the presence of water. Continued wiping proved beneficial, clearing the extra wetness off the TS1 while continuing to increase the feeling of ‘tack’ from the grip.
Overall, a very impressive grip from Lamkin, and an excellent departure in the “Maximum Performance” category from the more abrasive or aggressive cord profiles. Golfers are really going to enjoy the comfort that is provided while maintaining durability and consistency throughout the TS1 profile. For more information on Lamkin or the TS1, visit www.Lamkin.com.