If you are reading this, you may fall into one of the following categories:
Wherever you find yourself, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of wearing a golf glove.
Whether you are wondering if golf gloves are the right choice for you, or are searching for the best golf glove for your game, you have come to the right place.
We have organized some of the top points in favor of a golf glove alongside some corresponding flaws.
Pro to Wearing a Golf Glove: Increased grip
Let’s start with the basics: the ultimate function of a golf glove is to increase the wearer’s grip. Golf grip is key—without the proper handle on your club, your swing will change each time.
Improving your swing is a science, and science doesn’t like variables. Buying gloves help eliminate the variable of proper grip. You will always have a reliable handle on your club, enabling you to focus on your golf swing.
For those of you lost in all the mentions of science—here’s the simple version: better grip equals better game.
Con to Wearing a Golf Glove: Additional expenses
For those of you who are already struggling to see the need for more than a dozen clubs (for a breakdown of this list, see “What Clubs Should I Have in My Golf Bag?”), I’m sure you’re leery to put more items on your to-buy list.
Thankfully, gloves are among the lesser expenses you’ll face, and if you get a decent pair, they should hold up over time.
Pro: Extra hand protection
We understand the understated role that hands play in golf. Golf gloves protect you from sun, blisters, and insects—but a golf glove can do more than just protect your hand. It can also prevent one of the most common golf injuries—wrist damage.
Know this—your hand will thank you.
Con: Cannot reverse damage
Gloves are preventative, not necessarily restorative. If you already have blisters when you put on a new pair of gloves, don’t inspect them to go away. Instead, consider some light mini golfing while you wait for that hand to heal.
Pro: Improved comfort
While the golf course is a vacation for some, playing multiple rounds of golf each week may lead to treacherous blisters.
There are two ways to avoid this:
- Play less golf (obviously an inferior choice)
- Wear a golf glove (clearly the better option)
As an extra barrier between you and your club, gloves protect you from blisters.
Con: May take time to break in
We have all heard the phrase fits like a glove. When it comes to leather, this process is far from instant.
Similar to shoes, it takes time for a good glove to become the great glove—masterfully crafted to your hand to the point where you can hardly remember you have a glove on.
If you need a quick pair of gloves for a big round, consider flexible synthetic gloves to adapt to your hand the quickest.
Pro: Improved golf swing
We do not need to restate the obvious, but golf gloves will improve your swing. A better grip on your golf club creates optimal grip pressure, which we stated above as an integral part of your game.
Con: Not always ideal for short game
Put aside that desire to combat blisters—when it comes to chipping and putting, some golfers want to eliminate all the barriers between hand and club.
This “con” could easily be fixed, however, by removing your gloves. Some sunday golf bags make it easy to attach your glove.
Pro: Versatile designs
Remember when we said that gloves don’t need to only be for fashion? That doesn’t mean it’s off limits!
For those of you who desire to make a fashion statement on the course—golf gloves are the perfect expressive medium. To see some humorous designs, check out our hysterical curation of funny golf gloves. I’ve included one of my favorites below.
If you want something more timeless, a leather golf glove is right up your alley. Some brands even offer a vintage look to compliment your style.
Con: Distracting designs
If you’re like us, you’ve memorized every line of every USGA rule…right? So you would be familiar with the regulations regarding gloves.
If not—check Equipment Rule 4.3, which requires “plain” gloves (boring!). While this refers to plain materials (not necessarily designs), be sure that your gloves are permitted in your league, especially if your eyes are set on the PGA tour.
With friends, though, feel free to be extra distracting.
For those of you like me, who are part of a long line of poor-circulation genes, warmth of our extremities is crucial. When our fingers are cold, so is the rest of our body.
Even though most golfers just wear a single glove, in winter months it may make sense to wear a glove on both hands.
Golf gloves provide an extra layer of protection in those cooler golfing months, enabling our season to last even longer.
No—this is not a mistake—the warmth that gloves bring you is a double-edged sword. In those warmer months, golf gloves are just an added layer of sweat that prohibit you from perfecting your game.
There are solutions to sweaty hands, however—including gloves catered to warmer seasons.
Pros and Cons of a Golf Glove (In Table Form)
|Increased grip||Another golf accessory you need to buy|
|Hand protection||Takes time to break in|
|Improved comfort||Can be annoying for short game swings and putts|
|Warmth (great in cold weather)||Warmth (sweaty hands in hot weather)|
|Waterproof options available|
More Golf Glove Insights:
Finding the right glove for your game may seem overwhelming, so it’s best to understand the fundamentals of gloves. Like any other apparel, you have to know the basic materials and understand what you desire in your golf glove.
Just as fabric diversity in clothes has come a long way since sport fashion’s dark ages, gloves are no longer the same leather that you see in the history books.
Yes, leather golf gloves do still exist—but not in the way you might expect.
Today, the two most popular golf gloves are Cabretta leather and synthetic golf gloves.
- Cabretta gloves: Typically made of sheepskin, best known to combine feel, durability, and breathability.
- Synthetic leather: Look for perforation, or small holes, in the glove. Synthetic fabric offers the best durability—these will typically last longer than a leather glove.
Some other types of gloves include:
- Rain glove / winter glove: Designed to wear on both hands, sold in pairs, polyester blend.
- Hybrid gloves: A blend between leather and synthetic, typically has the divisive “tacky” grip.
- Golf mitts: Not intended for swinging, keep hands cool between rounds.
Generally, consider what you value in a golf glove. If you prefer a softer feel, try Cabretta leather. If you want something that will last you a while, go for synthetic gloves, and if you want a tight grip, hybrid gloves may be just right for you.
Many of the pros keep different pairs of gloves around depending on the weather. Don’t be afraid to pack an extra rain glove in case the weather turns quickly.
Choosing the right size:
We’ve all fallen into the one size fits all pit—and though it may be true for certain accessories, golf gloves should be tailored to each golfer.
No, we don’t literally ask you to have your gloves hemmed—just pay attention to the following details and you will be set.
A few notes on choosing the right size golf glove:
- Cadet gloves feature shorter fit for your fingers and a wider fit for your palm.
- Many golf gloves are sold as singles—see below for what side to purchase.
- Look for sizing charts to better understand your fit. Follow the manufacturer’s advice.
What hand should a golf glove go on?
A golf glove should go on your non-dominant hand. That is, right-handed golfers should wear a glove on their left hand, and left-handed golfers should don their right hand.
Taking care of golf gloves:
The truth is, there isn’t a universal way to clean golf gloves, but you want to make sure you keep them clean. Different materials should be cleaned differently.
Leather gloves tend to lose their grip as you wash them. Wash sparingly.
Polyester and synthetic fabrics are more durable and forgiving, but you want to avoid constant washing with these, too.
Golf Glove or Not?
The case can be made for or against wearing a golf glove. If you took the time to examine all of our pros and cons to wearing a golf glove, and you think that golf gloves are the next step in evolving your game, we hope you gained a fuller picture of what to expect.
The best way to find your pair? Try out multiple types of gloves—hit a golf ball or two with each kind, play a few rounds, and let us know what you think!
Poison reminds us that every rose has its thorn, but one thing is certain—a good golf glove will protect you from the rose-bush rough.