Why do golfers wear one glove only? Golfers share one interesting habit with former pop singer Michael Jackson by wearing only one glove. Jackson reportedly wore one glove to hide a skin condition while golfers wear gloves to keep their club from slipping out of their hand when making a golf shot.
Why do golfers wear one glove? One glove on your lead hand gives you enough grip to hit a great shot while leaving your trailing hand bare gives you a better feel for your grip on the club. Plus, it’s a lot easier to dig a tee, pencil or divot repair tool out of your pocket without a glove.
Your friends may help you through a tough patch in life by telling you to “get a grip,” and your golf pro will likely you give you similarly good advice to improve your game. The PGA professional, though, can give you specifics about your clubs, your stance and your swing to make you a better golfer.
A big part of getting a good golf swing is seeing how your fingers grip the club but it’s also very important to be able to feel your swing and both of those ingredients work better with a bare hand. Your shot accuracy will be better without a second glove because the combination of a gloved hand and a bare hand will give you a better, firmer grip.
For most golfers, the left (non dominant) hand provides your club’s speed and power so you grip the club a lot tighter with that hand, which can cause painful blisters if you’re not wearing a glove.
Your dominant hand (the right) is used to guide the club head to the ball at the proper angle to hit the sweet spot and having a bare hand gives a better feel of the club swing. Obviously, if you’re a left-handed golfer, you grip tighter with your right hand so you’ll wear a glove on that hand.
What About Blisters?
If you go from playing very little to playing every day, you will most likely get even more blisters if you don’t wear a glove. A glove on your dominant hand limits any blistering to the trailing hand without a glove. Blisters are not only painful, they will turn your game into the proverbial good walk spoiled.
If you play the game often, you will carry these blisters into your round and the pain can be uncomfortable at best and disturbingly painful at worst.
Because only the left hand grips the club so tightly, it is the one that usually suffers from irritation and blisters so most golfers will cover the left hand.
For left handed golfers, their right hand will be gripping the club with more pressure and the glove will be worn on this hand.
Wearing a 2nd Golf Glove
Wearing just one glove is all well and good if you always golf in warm places like Florida, Arizona or North Carolina but what about when you play at northern courses during cold weather? Wear a second glove, if you have it. I’ve played in snow and sleet and freezing rain and can tell you from personal experience you will care more about keeping your other hand warm than worrying about how your swing feels.
People with sweaty hands may want to wear a second glove to keep your grip dry so your hand doesn’t slip while addressing the ball. And, the second glove may help all golfers keep a rain-slickened club from slipping out of their hand on their follow-through.
You don’t want to be the person that yells “Eight!” — Fore, to watch out for your errant ball, and another fore to warn them to duck so they don’t get hit by your club that is sailing right behind your Titleist.
Some people will also wear a second glove when they practice at the driving range to cut down on the chance of getting blisters on the trailing hand while practicing that will make the upcoming round painful to play.
Removing the Glove Altogether
Almost all golfers wear the glove for tee and fairway shots but remove it when their ball is on the green. Some golfers say they get a better feel for the more delicate putt without a glove so they take it off because they aren’t worrying about the putter slipping out of their hands. Other golfers take it off to:
- Let their gloved hand dry off
- Get some sun on the hand that wears the glove
- Give the glove a chance to dry out
- Help the glove last longer
Choosing the right sized glove requires having a little extra room at the tip of each finger. Pinch each finger’s end to verify you are accounting for the extra room. If you don’t have enough glove to pinch, you need a bigger size. The “caddie” sizes are probably not a good bet unless your fingers are shorter than average.
Look, Ma, No Gloves!
Of course, some golfers don’t wear a glove at all. Fred Couples, who won 64 pro tournaments (including 3 majors) told pgatour.com he’d never worn a glove because he didn’t have any feel at all with them, in a 2011 interview.
“When I was nine, ten, 11 up in Seattle on days like this. But then you would try and dry your gloves out, but my mom would not give me — I think it was like seven bucks for glove every other week in the wintertime,” Couples said. “So finally I just stopped wearing them.”– Fred Couples