Field Test: Dealing With Sweaty Hands, Plus Playing Golf at Yale

Art-type shot of Shep, Josh, and Tony on the eighteenth tee at Yale, plus a padlocked water pump, July 23, 2013.

Art-type shot of Shep, Josh, and Tony on the eighteenth tee at Yale, plus a padlocked water pump, July 23, 2013.

Not long ago, I wrote about using rain gloves as sweat gloves—a good thing, I said, because in hot, humid weather leather gloves become slimy and disgusting, while rain gloves continue to work even if they’re soaked with perspiration. A reader suggested trying Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer, which is endorsed by Tiger Woods’s ex-coach Hank Haney. And, because I do what I’m told, I bought some.

On Tuesday, Tony, Shep, Josh, and I played Yale University’s terrific golf course, which was designed by C. B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor. (Incidentally, if you want to use the GHIN website to enter your score from Yale, you have to look under “T,” for “The Course at Yale.” How dumb is that?) The day was extremely humid, and after a couple of holes I decided to try Gorilla Gold. Here’s what it looks like:

IMG_2180

The package contains a sticky cloth, which you wipe on your hands, your glove, your grips, whatever. And it works as advertised, I would say, because it’s extremely sticky, and everything it touches becomes extremely sticky, too, even if it’s also wet. But after about five minutes I was cursing, because once you’ve got the sticky stuff on your hands you also get it on your ball, and that turns your ball into a magnet for dirt and pocket lint. And that, in addition to being a nuisance, almost certainly costs you distance, by altering the ball’s aerodynamics—like coating an airplane’s wings with ice.

Golf ball coated with Gorilla  Gold and pocket crud.

Golf ball coated with Gorilla Gold and pocket crud.

Long, repeated scrubbing in a ball washer did not remove all the sticky stuff: the next afternoon, the same ball was still picking up dirt from putting greens. And when I tried to use a towel to wipe the sticky stuff off the grip of my driver, the grip became covered with towel fuzz, which I’m still trying to remove. In fact, all the clubs I touched with sticky hands now feel like they need to be re-gripped, because the sticky stuff stops feeling sticky and starts feeling slick as soon as it’s coated with dirt or lint or towel fuzz. So I won’t be a repeat customer.

Tony and Shep at Yale.

Tony and Shep at Yale.

Shep, who doesn’t like rain gloves, has another anti-wet technique: he saves all his old leather golf gloves in a Ziploc bag, and on rainy or humid days he works his way through the bag, swapping wet gloves for dry. All the wet gloves go into another Ziploc bag, and by the time he needs them again they’ve magically refreshed themselves.

24 thoughts on “Field Test: Dealing With Sweaty Hands, Plus Playing Golf at Yale

    • As for the brish tees – I like them but for a different reason. I don’t buy that they give you extra yards. However, they do give you an easy way to make sure you tee the ball at the same height EVERY time.

    • Try rain gloves. And if you click the Facebook button you can “like” to your heart’s content–although a few months ago I decided never to look at Facebook or Twitter ever again, and since then I have enjoyed an increase in my Life Satisfaction Index roughly equivalent to a three-stroke improvement in my handicap. Reading the stuff people Tweet about and put on Facebook is like listening to people recount their golf rounds hole by hole.

      • Hi David, thanks for your comments. I have tried rain gloves, hated them. So I just keep changing gloves, or better still don’t tee off in the rain. I agree about Facebook and Twitter, but keep using it, from time to time. My LSI is pretty good, but without the three shot improvement.
        Pete

  1. I don’t wear gloves while playing (initially because I wanted to be as cool as Freddy Couples but for the last 8 years because it is better for my game– feel!). In the summer heat of NC, I use a product called “Dry Hands”. It is not sticky at all. It is an odd sensation as you apply it because it goes from liquid to slightly powdery (just clap your hands a couple of times 5 seconds after applying and before picking up your clubs) but the stuff works without any of the side effects you mentioned with Gorilla Glue.

    • I think somebody is sending me some of this stuff, and when it gets here I will try it and report. I do like stuff!

      • David, you’re hilarious. Here’s a question? Why is there not a rain glove in white? Scoured the internet and this is really the only discussion within range of my question. Any thoughts? I think I’ve identified a gap in the market. Golf in Atlanta July is no joke. Hope you might have something on this elusive white glove. Thanks

        • I’ve been thinking exactly this same thought all week, because the weather here has been almost Atlanta-level humid, and I’ve been wearing nothing but rain gloves. I keep extra pairs velcroed to the carpet-like liner of the trunk of my car, and the trunk gets so hot it kind of dry-cleans them. All golf gloves should be made of whatever they’re made of–and, as you say, there’s no reason for them not to be white. Half the spam I get is from athletic-glove manufacturers in Pakistan. If they’re monitoring this exchange maybe they’ll come up with a product.

  2. David….David, sounds like an over application to me. You wouldn’t
    just pour the Brut on before going out on the town. It would
    stink up the joint. Try round 2, and just lightly pat it on your
    glove, if you weren’t too traumatized. Loved the North Berwick stuff.

    • I didn’t put on a lot, but even if it had worked exactly as advertised it wouldn’t have solved a big part of my particular problem, which is the way wet/sweaty leather gloves feel from the INSIDE. But, then, I actually like rain gloves.

  3. Can vouch for the ziploc bag glove rotation.

    We have two seasons in New Orleans, hot and heavenly, and we won’t see heavenly for another 3 months. I pick up a half dozen or so FJ blem gloves for about $5 each and keep them in the original packaging between rounds during the winter, and in their small plastic bags inside a lg ziploc in the summer. The bags keep the gloves from drying out completely, keeping them soft and useful without getting slick through summers in the swamp.

    Played in New England during this heat wave and the ziploc method was adopted by all my playing partners.

    Hope this helps. A ziploc bag isn’t as exciting, but you get Swamp Yankee points for a DIY solution.

  4. Somewhat unrelated question: What is the deal with Yale? I’d love to play it, but I am confused as to whether it’s open to the public or not…

    • No daily-fee play, but they sell a fifteen-round membership to non-alumni for $900, and if you have one you can count guests who play with you against your fifteen rounds (or let your guests pay their own fees). The conditioning goes up and down, but even when things are a little ragged it’s a wonderful course.

  5. I use the ziplock method year round because it keeps the gloves fresh and soft but in the hot summer even with a rotation of 3-4 gloves they develop a funky stink, kinda like a high school locker room.

  6. I also have very sweaty hands and have used rain or other non-leather gloves for a few years. But I’m doing a lot better with them now by remembering to take the globe OFF! I know it sounds obvious but it’s wearing the glove when I’m not actually hitting that causes most of the sweat. Now I put the glove on to take my selected club out of the bag then take off the glove when reinserting the club in the bag. Two gloves in rotation and no problems. Great blog.

    • Worry no longer about the stinging from your eyes or the sweaty face because I’ve found the absolute perfect solution for sweat inducing activities, its called the Sweat Towel Buddy. This towel has improved my game while the competition tries to keep up. I use it everytime Im in the field. Its the best solution to keep you goin! Don’t take my word for it visit facebook.com/sweattowelbuddy.

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