Now that I had an old set of clubs to play with it was time to take off the old crusty grips and begin my “tape it like Bubba” experiment. These grips are obviously factory and never been replaced. I’m curious if there is any tape underneath them at all. Did previous owner “Old Guy” even know? Were these the right size grips for him or did he, like a lot of golfers do, take what was already on them because they were new? Did he suck at golfing because of it and thus the clubs ended up in his closet? If his old score cards I found were any indication…
I grab a club and lock it in place. I slide the curved blade down the shaft and find no tape. The grips seemed to be adhered only in one spot almost midway down and they are dried and cracked making removing the grip as a whole impossible but not horrible to get off. Tiny bits of scraping and I have my first club ready to tape.
Jay surprises me out in our shop “I thought you were going to do my clubs?” Nervously I tell him I have no clue if I can really get a grip over mounds tape without messing up the grip itself but he’s convinced I got this. My interest in this tape nonsense has him intrigued. I’m finding he’s not so set in his ways that he won’t try something new with enthusiasm. This attitude alone gives me confidence to go ahead.
We decide on using a few of his irons from Callaway. On his 8 iron I put one piece of Double sided tape then add another 6 layers of regular masking tape on top for what I am calling 7 layers. I only use solvent around the opening to get the grip in place then with the help of my air compressor the Mint grip slid right on over it all! Next was his 7 iron. I did the same with the tape except added 8 layers on top of one double sided for what I am calling 9 layers.
Filled with pride that I could do it I handed them off to Jay for a test swing. He could tell they felt different immediately but was it good or bad was yet to be determined.
Never one to let me coast through life, Jay turned to me and said, “Now take these off and put Star grips on.”
Star grips are made with some seriously strong rubber. They come with a three-year guarantee not to do anything bad except be a grip. Mints have a much softer rubber. Still a good grip but not near as intimidating to play with. Jay knew that was a hurdle I had no choice but to get over if I wanted to really do an experiment like this.
With the help of my compressor, the Mint grip slid right back off. Tape still in place. I just needed to slide a new Star Grip on. I felt my chest tighten. This wasn’t going to be that easy.
I add a little solvent to the opening and slide the grip into position. The compressor’s blasts of air opening up the grip, pushing back at me as I guide it along, squealing over 7 layers of tape!
It didn’t rip! It didn’t blow me back into the wall!
Ok…time to try 9 pieces. The same. With an air compressor and a little solvent, I was able to slide the grips on. The feel obviously different. Star Grips with their strong rubber made the shaft feel like a baseball bat in my hands! But what will it do for Jays swing? His overall game? Will my game improve?