Why do some golfers take off their golf glove to putt?

jack putts

“I’m certainly not a saint out there on the golf course. In fact, far from it. Like when you make a three-putt and become upset. I take one step back and remember there are more important things going on in the world than golf.”  – Bernhard Langer

By Ian Hardie

As I was finishing up a golf lesson the other day, the golfer I had been helping to improve their game asked a question which had obviously been on their mind for a while

‘Why do some golfers take off their golf glove to putt?’

I thought that was a pretty good question and apart from the odd comments I’d heard about various golfers over the years – as to whether they did or didn’t

I’m pretty sure that’s the first time a golfer has actually asked me that question

Like a lot of the questions I get about the game of golf – I was unable to give the golfer a simple answer – purely because whether or not a golfer keeps their golf glove on to putt

Is an extremely personal choice that almost every golfer makes and in my experience actually depends on a number of different factors

So to build an answer, I’m firstly going to take a look at why a golfer would actually keep their golf glove on to putt because

That is exactly what the best golfer that has ever played the game did

I haven’t been able to find much information as to why Jack Nicklaus (that’s him putting with his glove on in the image at the start of this post – if you weren’t aware) kept his glove on while putting

The only thing that seems to remotely answer it is that he once suggested that “he kept it on as he was too lazy to take it on and off all the time”

I’d suggest that would be about as far from the truth as it’s possible to get and in fact that was probably just a throw-away line designed to stop people asking so that

He didn’t have to divulge the real reasons that he kept his golf glove on while putting

My guess is that Jack Nicklaus kept his golf glove on while putting because of something that I wrote about in the post Why wear a golf glove – part two

“One of the reasons that golfers wear a golf glove is that it allows them to get a good connection between hands and the club – without excessive grip pressure”

That post of course was looking at the reason that a golfer would wear a golf glove while playing all of their full shots but it doesn’t take much effort

To reason that by keeping the golf glove on putting, Jack Nicklaus would be able to putt with what he would have considered to be less grip pressure – which would have either felt better to him or would have seemed beneficial to him in some way

Let’s take a minute here to consider what that means though, as oddly enough

Less grip pressure or a lighter feeling in their hands – is exactly the reason that virtually all the golfers who take their golf gloves off before putting – will tell you that they are doing it for

That’s an interesting thought – isn’t it?

I’ll come back to that point soon but in the meantime let’s look at the other reason I would assume that Jack Nicklaus kept his golf glove on while putting

My guess is that he was looking to have the exact same feeling in his hands as he did with all of his other shots

To give an aspect of consistency to his entire game

Putting the golf glove on prior to teeing off and leaving it on until the conclusion of the round can actually make some sense when you think about it

You may have personally had an experience of how that could be beneficial

Think back to a game where part way through the round, you may have had to take one of your shoes off to remove a small stone or some sand that found its way into your shoe

After you take your shoe off and get rid of the foreign object, it takes a little while for the foot that has had the shoe removed and replaced – to feel the same as the foot that didn’t

That inconsistency in feeling is exactly what the golfer that takes their golf glove off while putting is going to experience during the round

A feeling of stability and grip when hitting shots with their golf glove on

Then once the golfer reaches the putting green – that would change to a feeling of lightness and an increase in sensitivity in the hands when the golf glove comes off

That constant variation of feel on every hole that the golfer plays – isn’t sounding as beneficial as I once thought it was and in actual fact

I’m starting to think that Jack Nicklaus had a darn good reason or two

When it came to keeping his golf glove on for his entire round

Which is something I’m going to explore some more in the post ‘Why do some golfers take off their golf glove to putt – part two?’

Until then

Play well


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