Tape it Like Bubba Round Three Grip Rippin’


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.IMG_8917

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.IMG_8925.JPG

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? IMG_8941.JPG

Tape it like Bubba Round Two “Go Old School”

I’m at a local yard sale and see a set of golf clubs leaning against the wall. Nothing fancy, certainly not new, but looked as though rarely used. I bee line over to them but can see out of the corner of my eye Jay lightly shaking his head and rolling his eyes at me. I ignore him. I know what I want this set for if I can get it cheap enough.

“Spalding Futuras” Old guy says. They been sitting in his closet for years. It showed. The faux leather brown on brown bag was still looking cool, old school style, but with rusty zippers. Bulging pouches full of golf balls plus God only knows what else. A few extra woods not part of the set thrown in for good measure along with a ball retriever and metal cart.

Jay has now positioned himself next to our car like he’s ready to leave in a half- hearted attempt to stop whatever deal I am trying to make, but, says nothing. I smile at him like the Cheshire cat.

Old guy likes me so much he gives me all of it. Clubs, bag, all his nonsense. Insists I take everything including the old rolling cart. I didn’t tell him what I had planned for these clubs, just that I was excited to take ‘em off his hands and clean ‘em up. I think he was under the impression I was very new to golf. Wonder where he got that idea from? (Insert Cheshire cat smile here)

Using free clubs also makes it easier for me to justify ripping off grips and wasting supplies just to see if I can put new grips over excessive amounts of tape like Bubba Watson. It’s my math logic. Paying for newer expensive clubs to try this seems silly. I’m not trying to impress, I’m trying to grip.

The book “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella talks a lot about the thoughts you have as you play your game. Positive thoughts tend to produce positive outcomes. Its part of the puzzle that creates a winner. Practice and natural ability of course are huge parts of the equation as well. So, my positive outlook on old clubs is this: when these clubs were made they were considered good to play with. Yes, we have better materials now blah blah blah but honestly, I refuse to make the excuse that my bad shot was my clubs fault. If I were to hand one of these “old clubs” to a scratch golfer I’m going to bet tons of money he could hit the ball with it.

I’m more than happy to try my “tape it like Bubba” experiment out on a set of older clubs. I want a set of clubs that I can put different layers of tape on random clubs of my choice. I do not want all the same thickness otherwise I won’t be able to tell. Again, my logic.

I took the bag home and dumped its contents all over the floor. Some really old, crispy golf balls came tumbling out along with nasty cigarette butts, matches, tobacco unused, score cards, tees…the usual suspects.

Warm soapy water and some scrubbing gave me a shiny set ready to be regripped. Now all I needed was to decide what tape, how much and on which clubs?