GlovesMag Logo Header

Reason Why Do Golfers Wear Gloves? – Full Story

5/5
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin
keynotes
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Okay so you’ve been playing golf awhile, or you’re just starting out. In a game with so many nuances and variables you have one question pressing you above all others. Why do golf players wear glove? Many of you wear a glove already while playing, some of you are wondering if you should, but the common denominator is all of you want to know why golfers wear them in the first place.

    read this :
    An 18th Century painting of a golfer and his caddy-artist unknown, public domain.

    Why Do Golfers Wear Gloves? Inquiring Golf Minds Want To Know

    Read on and join us in the quest for answers to the much asked question. Learn more about the history of the game, some of the notable people who loved to play, and the inventors who changed the playing field.

    The Earliest Forms Of Golf

    Mary Queen of Scots. The mother of golf public domain

    Before we delve right away into “why” let’s begin our journey of discovery about the devilish solo glove with “when.” Though accounts vary as to the very first appearance of the earliest golf glove, we know for sure that by 1885 the Rawlings company, founded by two St Louis brothers George and Alfred Rawlings, received a patent for their design of a golf glove.

    Logic would dictate that this was not the first golf glove ever used however because golf has been around, at least some form of it, for centuries. Some references to the game are found as early as February 26th, 1297, in Loenen aan de Vecht, a former municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. By Kronenburg castle, the goal of the players enjoying the game of “Colf,” as they called it then, was to hit the castle’s door with the ball in as few strokes as they could using a stick.
    Despite King James II of Scotland King James II of Scotland banning the game of “gowf” in 1457, followed later by King James IV of Scotland in 1502, the common people still skirted the laws to enjoy golfing.
    The Royal Blackheath Golf Club’s origins can be traced back to 1603 when Henry Frederick, the Prince of Wales and his courtiers are said to have played golf there. In 1567 when reprobates murdered her husband Henry Stuart the Lord of Darnley, Mary Queen of Scots received criticism for being seen playing a game of golf. In 1568 after fleeing Scotland, Mary was brought up on murder charges. The fact that she had been seen playing golf, instead of traditionally mourning, was used against her by her accusers. She is incidentally the first female golfer of record, believed to have coined the term caddy, and is known as the Mother of golf.

    Royal’s were glove obsessed like most of polite society. In fact at the inauguration ceremonies of monarchs they would receive a glove blessed by  the archbishop with prayer and holy water. It was symbolic of their tenure to their country. It’s hard to imagine them golfing without a glove when etiquette alone dictated their wearing of them on most every occasion.

    The Earliest Golf Gloves

    The earliest gloves were a no frill no thrill design. They weren’t meant to be on the cutting edge of technology, but utilitarian in purpose. They were solely created to protect the golfer’s hands from blisters and callouses from the unforgiving form of the handles on the clubs of the day. Kidskin and leather were a common material used. No distinct feature or style set them apart for decades.

    While some amateur players had begun to use golf gloves by the early 20th century, professionals did not readily wear them until they gained more popularity around 1940 or so. Sam Snead is recognized as one of the first key pro players to use a glove. Up until he publicly wore them many pro players scoffed at wearing them, dismissing their usefulness. The basic purpose of glove design at that time was to create a barrier of protection against the leather grip of the handle and the golfer’s hand from creating friction blisters from repeated swings at the ball.

    Years later however, designers started thinking about functionality beyond just protection purposes. On January 28th, 1948, the U.S. Patent office received a new golf glove design from inventor Edward H. Patterson. His improved design, pictured here, featured new concepts such as perforated holes to promote not just airflow for relief from sweaty hands, but vacuum-like suction to create a better grip for players.

    In Patterson’s words: “In the patents aforesaid I have disclosed golf gloves having perforated palms which are designed to enable the wearer to obtain a firmer grip on a golf club than gloves of the ordinary type. The perforations in the palm are disposed so that at least some of them, are sealed on the outside by the handle of the club and on the inside by the hand of the wearer as the glove is compressed between the handle of the club and the hand. Thus, air is initially forced out of the spaces within the perforations, and partial vacua are created within these spaces when either the hand is drawn away from the glove or the glove is drawn away from the handle of the club. Thus, the glove is designed to provide what may be termed a vacuum grip with the handle of the club.

    In order properly to function in this way, the outside of the glove immediately surrounding the perforations, should be in intimate contact with the handle of the club and the inside of the glove immediately around the perforations should be in intimate contact with the hand of the wearer. If there are wrinkles in the glove which extend across the perforations, its vacuum gripping characteristics are impaired.”

     

    Why Golf Glove Popularity Soared and Designs Changed?

    Inventor of the rubber golf grip, Thomas Fawick

    While these are now the gold standard basics for most modern gloves, back then these were cutting edge. In 1949, an inventor from Cleveland, Ohio, who had previously invented the pneumatic clutch and brake, stumbled onto the use of rubber in golf grips. Thomas Fawick, the inventor, discovered that rubber grips were lighter than leather, gave more adherence to the golfer’s palm, and absorbed shock far better.

    By mid-1950’s many of the major golf club manufacturers had switched to his company, Golf Pride’s® grips. Golf gloves rode the wave that the surge of popularity in the rubber material grips provided. With the introduction of rubber handles on the golf club grips, this design became imperative because the rubber material increased perspiration in the player’s hands, leading to gripping problems.

    Fawik’s foresight greatly shaped the direction and design of golf clubs in the long term. Today nearly every golf club, used at every level of play, from recreational to professional utilizes his grips. In fact, his company represents over 80% of the market. As the club grips popularity steadily climbed to the top, so to did the gloves best suited to their use.

    When the “Big Three” pro golfers Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player entered the golf scene in the 1960’s they popularized the sport significantly, and the use of gloves. The T.V. helped to push the commercialized aspect of the game, and sales on equipment, including the golf glove, rose. People wanted to emulate what they were seeing their favorite pro player doing. Whether it was drinking his wild concoction of iced tea lemonade, or ritualistically peeling off their glove to putt on the green. Palmer did for the golf glove what John Wayne did for the cowboy hat. He gave it an iconic presence that remains today.

     

    Why Golfers Usually Wear Only One Glove

    Golf gloves are meant to be worn on only one hand, though some players wear one on each, it is uncommon. Professional golfer Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey is credited with starting the trend of wearing two gloves. Gainey typically wears black, damp-weather gloves while playing golf. When asked about why he wears two gloves, he stated that he picked up the habit from his father who played with two gloves as well. For the vast majority of players who wear gloves, they wear only one, on the hand that is not dominant.

    Why do most golfers only wear one glove? Because when a player grips the club, the top hand is the leading hand. It’s the hand that maintains full contact the entire time with the grip of the club, while the bottom hand only partly grasps the grip because it’s also grasping part of the lead hand. If a player were to wear the glove on their dominate hand and that hand was to perspire, then the player could lose grip causing the club to slip, and the swing to suffer.

    Science comes into play a bit as well in the decision to wear gloves. Holocrine, a mode of secretion of the exocrine glands, specifically the sebaceous, creates an oily lubricant on the sides of the fingers. Couple this with perspiration of the palms and you have a recipe for golf grip disaster. The gloves act as an even, tacky, consistent surface of adherence to the golf club grip. If the player doesn’t get a solid grip on the club, tension is created. The added pressure leads to bad form, pain in the forearms, wrists, and hands, and in some instances, injury while playing.

    Golf Glove Sizing: Ultimate Guide

    regular vs cadet golf gloves guide

    Glove sizing comes in two types, standard or cadet. Standard sizes are meant for hands that are proportionately average. Cadet sizes are intended to be worn by golfers with short hands, wide palms and fingers. As is the case for most gloves, there is a size, scheme, fit, and utility use for nearly every person out there. When sizing, make sure the glove is tight yet not restrictive. You want the glove to allow you a full range of motion for ideal comfort. You also want to pick a glove that is not too large a fit or it will bunch up on your hand causing a problem with loose grip, tension, and ultimately a bad swing.

    Modern gloves come in too many varieties to name, for both men and women. Nearly any color, variance, and design theme you can imagine exists. Some even have open tips to allow for women’s fingernails

    Don’t know where to start your search for the glove that will best match your needs and personal style? Check out online marketplaces . There you can compare brands, their features, and read user reviews. The top current top sellers are the Mens FootJoy RainGrip and NIKE Women’s Tech Extreme. One of the new releases getting a lot of buzz is the Ladies Copper Tech Glove. It’s an interesting design, the first of its kind with copper infused technology to decrease fatigue. It soothes arthritis as well, which is a nice feature for players who find the game aggravates their condition.

    We hope this article has helped in your query as to why most golfers wear a golf glove. Our final and perhaps best answer is from the late and great Arnold Palmer:

    Share on facebook
    Share on pinterest
    Share on twitter
    Share on reddit
    Share on linkedin
    Sagi Shiffer

    Sagi Shiffer

    He lives an active lifestyle and wearing gloves are part of his daily routine. This drive his passion for sports gear and accessories to share his ideas through this blog.

    More articles from Sagi Shiffer

    POPULAR REVIEWS
    winter gloves

    10 Warmest Winter Gloves Best for Extreme Cold

    First let me ask you a question: “Don’t you think that frozen hands are the most annoying thing in winters? They certainly are.” Warmest Winter Gloves Best for Extreme Cold are always the first thing you think of after fall season to warm your hands. …

    Best Goalkeeper Gloves for Soccer Goalie our Top 10

    Best Soccer Goalie Gloves for Goalkeeper in 2021

    Unquestionably, a need for the 2021 Best Soccer Goalie Gloves for Goalkeeper is important. Because the goalie is the most difficult position played in soccer. To be a goalie requires mental and physical agility, confidence and superior hand-eye coordination. A sports gloves with grip is …

    Venom Steel Gloves Nitrile and Latex on Amazon

    Venom Steel Gloves Nitrile and Latex on Amazon

    Industrial Nitrile and Latex Venom Steel Gloves Splash Protection are 200 percent thicker than the standard medical and disposable glove. For your heavy-duty work, like car maintenance, painting, household cleaning and hospital clinic work. These premium gloves are ideal and same price that you buy …

    best heated gloves for men and women review

    2021 Best Heated Gloves for Men and Women Review

    Pick one from the Best Heated Gloves for Men and Women Review in 2021 on Amazon. USB Rechargeable Battery warm glove are a big investment during winter for work or skiing! Like for winter during the cold weather in parts of Canada for Calgary, Edmonton …

    complete review raynauds gloves before buying

    10 Best Heated Raynaud’s Gloves for Typing from Amazon

    I hope you’ll agree with me when I say: “Finding the Best Heated Raynaud’s Gloves for Typing on Amazon or mittens is hard enough as it is, but it is even harder if you suffer from Raynauds disease syndrome.” Read our best gloves for Raynaud’s …

    thick wool gloves for work or hunting

    10 Best Wool Gloves 100% Waterproof Merino

    When you go to the market to buy best wool gloves 100% waterproof merino. It is good if you also take into account your personal style, the protection and the function. read this : How to Choose the Best ATV Gloves for Kids? Wool has …

    tactical gloves for military and competition

    10 Best Tactical Gloves for Shooting

    If you’re military or a police officer the best tactical gloves for shooting and combat are a must have. Heat resistant for cold weather should be its features. Also appicable for operator, reservist, a survivalist, or even just an outdoor enthusiast then you know the …

    Best Heated Motorcycle Gloves Waterproof Leather

    10 Heated Best Motorcycle Gloves Waterproof Leather

    We say that Heated Best Motorcycle Gloves Waterproof Leather are a big investment! Especially for winter during the cold weather in parts of Canada like in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. read this : Ankle Injuries: Treatment, Recovery Time & Rehabilitation Review of Summer and Winter …

    heated mittens

    10 Best Heated Mittens for Ski Outdoors (Electric Warm Mitts)

    I hope you’ll agree with me when I say: “Surviving the winter is impossible without invested in high-quality warm clothes.” Every winter, I check the best heated mittens for ski outdoors electric warm mitts on Amazon top products. Recharegeable mitts are great for skiing and fits …

    compression gloves

    10 Best Compression Gloves for Arthritis on Amazon

    Shop for the Best Compression Gloves for Arthritis on Amazon that gives a solution for computer users, typists, drivers, knitters. And all those whose hobbies or professions require a skilled movement of the hand like typing, knitting or gaming. read this : IMAK Arthritis Gloves …

    top