Grip Month: Golf Pride's green Victory set the bar
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Golf Pride’s green Victory grip, arguably, is the most famous grip in the modern history of golf.
The company developed the slip-on grip in the 1950s, and soon after the green Victory emerged as Golf Pride’s flagship grip. It became standard issue for many golf clubs.
In the beginning, while some players stuck with wrap-on leather, it was clear to most observers that the slip-on grip was the future of golf. Today, Golf Pride is the world’s largest manufacturer of slip-on grips. Because it has developed many new styles and colors of grips over the decades – including its latest, the Niion – Golf Pride retired the green Victory in 2006. The grip can no longer be purchased at retail.
However, as bifurcation sympathizers like to point out, the green Victory is one of those equipment items still available to touring pros – even if amateurs no longer have access to it.
Vijay Singh and Bo Van Pelt, among others, still use the green Victory full-cord grip. Golf Pride doesn’t have a storage room full of old green Victory grips, but it does have a manufacturing plant that occasionally is devoted to making new ones.
The original green Victory was made with natural rubber and small pieces of cork mixed into the grip compound. Pros and amateurs alike grew accustomed to the feel and the look.
At one point in the history of the green Victory, Golf Pride decided to make the grip without the stars at the bottom of the grip. After all, they were purely cosmetic. PGA Tour players raised a strenuous objection. The original had stars, and they wanted stars. So Golf Pride replaced them in the same location.
The Victory pattern on the front of the green Victory is familiar to many veteran golfers, and that pattern was transferred to a few other grips over the years, most notably the Velvet Victory Cord in the Tour Velvet family.
Victory remains a familiar name, but Golf Pride has developed other products to accommodate the needs of the world’s best players. Old style or new, official statistics from the Darrell Survey show that Golf Pride grips are used by approximately 80 percent of the players on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods uses a Golf Pride Tour Velvet full-cord grip. In the jargon of the trade, its size is 58 round, meaning the grip is round rather than ribbed and has a diameter of .58 of an inch (which is a normal size).
Rory McIlroy plays with a Golf Pride Multicompound grip. It is a 58 ribbed model (Golf Pride says 30 percent of the players on the PGA Tour use ribbed grips). With his switch to Nike equipment, McIlroy is now using a black and white Multicompound grip.
“Golfers tend to be very particular about their grips,” said Bruce Miller, Golf Pride’s vice president of marketing. “They pay close attention to every detail. The grip has to feel a certain way. That describes what we do – we’re in the feel business.”