British Open: How do rain gloves work

Rickie Fowler Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

British Open: How do rain gloves work

Equipment

British Open: How do rain gloves work

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Rain and wind lashed Royal Portrush on Wednesday, and more rain is forecasted to fall during the 148th British Open this week. Staying dry will be a challenge for players, and caddies will do everything they can to keep the clubs and grips as dry as possible.

Golfers usually wear a glove on their non-dominant hand, which is their top hand as they hold the club, to reduce grip pressure. The added traction ensures players can maintain control without holding on too tightly.

Grips are typically made from either natural leather or synthetic leather, and most are capable of performing well if a player’s hand get sweaty. However, when forced to play in a steady rain for hours, many golfers opt for rain gloves. Plenty of the professionals surely will use them this week at Royal Portrush.

There is a common misconception about rain gloves. People assume they are supposed to keep a player’s hands dry, but that’s not true. If you play in the rain and wear rain gloves, your hands are going to feel wet.

“Rain gloves have a non-woven, synthetic material in the palm,” said Maria Bonzagni, FootJoy’s senior director of marketing for gloves and accessories. “It allows moisture to be taken into the fiber structure. It adheres to your hand, and it adheres to the grip, so they act as one without any movement. It literally sticks to the palm of your hand.”

FootJoy RainGrip gloves have a suede-like feel in the palm. (FootJoy)

The glove’s ability to bond to your hand and the club’s grip when both are wet is the key. Worn dry, rain gloves wiggle a bit in your hand as you play; when they get wet, the material expands and molds to your hands.

Rain gloves such as FootJoy’s RainGrip, TaylorMade’s Rain Control and Callaway’s Opti Grip are sold in pairs, and wearing a glove on each hand definitely helps create a sense of security in wet conditions. Players who have never worn rain gloves will be surprised at how confidently they can swing a driver or an iron with wet hands.

When the bonding effect starts to deteriorate, Bonzagni said players should take the gloves off, ring them out like a sponge and then put them back on.

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