How to Regrip Golf Clubs

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Before You Start

Warning: Toxic Chemicals and Sharp Tools Required. RTCNCA, Wikipedia Creative Commons

Have you noticed that your old golf clubs don't quite feel right anymore — perhaps the rubber around the handle (the grip) is loose and slides when you attempt to swing your driver? If you're experiencing difficulty using your irons, the best course of action may be to regrip your clubs at home.

Rather than paying to have someone else regrip your old clubs, if you follow the simple steps laid out by European Clubfitter of the Year Kevin Redfern, you're sure to have a set of clubs that looks and feels like brand new in no time.

A word of caution, though: the following guide features a do-it-yourself method that involves working with some sharp tools and toxic chemicals, so take all necessary safety steps like wearing gloves while working on regripping to ensure no injuries or accidents occur. 

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Tools and Materials You'll Need to Install New Grips

Gather materials needed to regrip a golf club
The first step to installing new grips on your golf clubs is to gather the necessary tools and supplies. Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

Before you begin regripping your clubs, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies to ensure an uninterrupted workflow and, as a result, a cohesive and professional end result. Also, as always when undertaking a major project — make sure you have enough room to work on the entire project and a space to leave the clubs after you're finished regripping.  

To regrip golf clubs, you'll need the following materials:

  1. The new grips you'll be installing
  2. A tee
  3. A bench vise to grip the club
  4. A rubber shaft holder to cradle the shaft while it's clamped in the vise
  5. Double-sided grip tape
  6. Scissors
  7. A grip tape scraper
  8. A utility knife with a hooked blade — a pointed blade could damage the granite shaft
  9. Grip solvent placed into a squeeze bottle
  10. A container to catch the solvent
  11. A cloth or old rag

That may sound like a lot, but some of these are household items, and the specialized items can be purchased from most clubmakers or repair shops or ordered from many component companies.

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Step One: Remove the Old Grip

Removing an old golf grip
Cut away from your body when removing an old golf grip (and make sure nobody is in front of you or to the side). Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

In order to remove the grip, first hold one end of the golf club securely under your arm with the grip end in front of you, then use the hooked blade utility knife to cut along the length of the old grip, making sure to cut away from yourself; then, peel off the old grip.

Important: For safety's sake, be certain that no part of your body is in the way in case the knife slips — especially the hand with which you are holding the shaft — and that nobody is in front of you or to your side, and always cut away from your body.

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Step Two: Remove the Grip Tape and Clean Off Any Grip Residue

Use grip solvent to remove residue from the old grip
Use grip solvent to remove residue from the old grip. Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

Remove all the old grip tape that's glued onto the shaft. Although one would hope the tape would just pull right off in a long stripe, this step may involve some scraping and scratching to get all the tape off.

Once you've made sure all the tape is clear of the surface, you should notice that the shaft has a rough, sticky texture. This is the residual grip solvent used last time the grips were installed on this club.

To remove the residue, use the squeeze bottle to apply a generous amount of solvent to a clean cloth, then rub it across all the residue from the old grip tape. This should loosen and dissolve the sticky substance, but when the residue is gone, make sure the shaft is completely dry before progressing to the next step.

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Step Three: Apply New Grip Tape

Using double-sided grip tape
You must apply double-sided grip tape to the shaft before fitting the new grip. Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

Place the golf club into the rubber shaft holder (also called a rubber vise) then secure the shaft into the bench vise, but be careful not to overtighten, especially when working with graphite shafts — just make sure the shaft is secure and does not move.

Position the clubface perpendicular to the floor, then apply the double-sided grip tape the length of the grip, wrapping around the shaft with a half-inch overhanging the butt end. Although some like to candy-cane stripe the tape in diagonal lines, you can also wrap it in lines that run parallel to the floor down the shaft. 

Once you've fully wrapped the shaft, remove the backing from the double-sided tape; then twist the overhanging half-inch of tape and push it inside of the shaft.

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Step Four: Apply Solvent to New Grip and Grip Tape

Pour solvent into new grip and over grip tape
Use the new grip itself to pour solvent over the grip tape on the golf shaft. Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

Before you begin this step, make sure that there's a large plastic container underneath where you'll be working to catch the solvent drip. 

Push a golf tee into the vent hole of your new grip and pour grip solvent into the open end; then pour the solvent from the grip over the entire length of the new grip tape. After it's fully covered, remove the tee from the grip hole and proceed without delay to the next step.

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Step Five: Push New Grip Over Grip Tape

Sliding and pushing the new grip over the grip tape
Sliding and pushing the new grip over the grip tape. Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

You'll want to complete this step as quickly as possible to ensure that none of the solvent dries before it seals to the new grip. Immediately after pouring solvent over the new grip tape, position the opening of the new grip at the shaft butt with alignment decor facing up. 

Now that you've ensured proper alignment, squeeze the open end of the grip and slide the grip onto the shaft. Continue sliding and pushing until you feel the end of the shaft against the grip cap, then quickly move on to the next step.

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Final Step: Check the Alignment

Check alignment of new golf grips
Make sure your new grip is properly aligned. Courtesy of Kevin Redfern; used with permission

Now the hard part's over, but you should quickly check your work to make sure the alignment is just right before the solvent sets. In order to do this, you'll first need to remove your regripped club from the bench vise, then set the club in its normal playing position and check to make sure your new grip is on straight.

If adjustments need to be made, twist the grip to achieve the desired alignments. Inspect the surface and edges of the grip for dripping solvent and wipe it clean with another clean cloth.

You'll need to let the regripped club sit for a couple hours to ensure sufficient drying time, but you can easily move on to regrip another club during that time — just go back to step one and repeat until all your clubs are gripped like new!