One of the great things about working for a golf company and living in Japan on a golf course is the opportunity to not only try lots of gear, but to discover new products that people have never heard of. Today I received a sample grip from Masda Golf called Slick Fit. At first the name did not inspire much confidence as the last thing a golfer wants is a slick grip. However, Japanese naming anomalies aside, I was curious about this grip especially after being told that Ernie Els ordered the same grips after he tried them at a Pro Am in Korea. It was raining the day of the Pro Am and Ernie's partner had the grips and and was able to swing with no stress or effort even in the wet conditions.
So it turns out these Slick Fit Grips are made in Japan under the Masda brand. Most grips these days have all kinds of patterns and grooves all designed to help enhance the tackiness and gripping power of the grip. Grips are made to be tacky and sticky so that golfers do not have to use as much grip pressure thus are able to relax and swing more stress free. So I was rather surprised looking at the Slick Fit grip for the first time. It pretty much had no patterns and was pretty much FLAT and SMOOTH. Interesting. I never ever use the flash on my camera when I take pictures for the blog but this picture below was taken with a flash so it could more clearly slow the smoothness of the grip.
As you can see the grip is pretty smooth and only a few notches or groove marks are present on the grip. So what is so special about this grip? Most companies these days make a fuss about the materials it uses for their grips from all kinds of rubber to elastomer but this grip may top them all. The Slick Fit grip is made from Car Racing Tires or more frequently called Racing Slicks. In the car racing and drag racing world, slicks have no grooves and give up to 18% more contact with the track than regular tires. The softer the slick the more grip it provides. This is the concept that Slick Fit emulates as well, believing that the smooth surface actually creates more contact and less stress on the swing as well as better shock absorption qualities. Upon closer inspection of the grip using a 1cm Macro zoom you can see the smooth grip in fact does have texture to it that allows for the glove to adhere to the club for maximum grip. The grooves you see are actually on the bottom side of the grip that also aid in finger placement.
I have not installed the grip yet though I decided to write up this post mostly out of excitement and intrigue for something new. However my initial impressions on grip comparing it to 4 other grips I have here, an Iomic Square Sticky, Nowon No.1 50 Series, Golf Pride Tour Velvet and Golf Pride Dual Durometer, are that the Slick Fit feels as tacky if not tackier than the Nowon and Iomic which I consider very tacky feeling. With a glove on I think is where the Slick Fits excel. Leather or artificial leather on the Slick Fit feels very stable. Wearing a glove and holding the grip with minimal pressure I asked my wife to pull the grip out of my hand and she could not. She's pretty strong too. So I decided to run the Slick Fit under the water tap and try the same thing. Without a glove, the Slick Fit seemed to lose some grip (bare hands add to the slipperiness) however with my glove on the Slick Fit gripped just as well as it did dry.
So while the verdict is not out yet on these new grips from Masda, it's definitely very promising. Less grip pressure and stress equals relaxed swings and added distance. We're going to be adding them to the pro shop for those who are interested in trying them out. The Slick Fits are available in Round Black, Red and Blue in standard M60 size . Ribbed (with back line) are available in Black, Red, Blue, Green, White and are also M60 standard size. The grip weight is 51g with a tolerance of plus or minus 1g. Check them out.