This is something that I always noticed as a kid. It looked quite odd to me that a golfer wears a glove on one hand and not on the other. It naturally looks unbalanced. It’s not just the golfers but the pro pool players also wear just one glove on bridge hand as well. But that seems quite logical because the pool stick slides of the glove hand. It has to be smooth for a good shot. But what about the golfers, why do golfers only wear one glove but not two? I have dug this topic in detail and come up with science to justify why wearing one glove is enough.
How Both Hands Contribute To The Shot
Let’s assume that you are a right-handed golfer. The left hand will curl around the grip with fingers and the palm. The right hand will have a little portion touching the shaft in comparison to the left hand. So left hand naturally grips more than the right hand. But what is the role of both hands?
The left hand is the power hand. It is responsible for generating the acceleration and force onto the ball. The right-hand shapes the shot. By that, it means that it will set the direction where the ball will go. A good technique allows hitting the ball with the full face of the club head. It allows increasing the distance of the ball, especially off the tee.
The right hand gives the feedback and feel of the shot. Right at the moment of impact, it is the feel of the right hand which tells you if the shot was right or if something went wrong. This hand does not go through what the left-hand experiences as detailed below. The feel is the second most important thing after the shot trajectory alignment that is why golfers do not wear the glove on the right hand.
Why Golfers Wear One Glove?
So now that we understand how both hands determine the shot success lets look how gloves help a player.
a) Helps Grip The Club
The left hand is the power source for the shot but at the same time, it is the weaker hand. Unless you are an ambidextrous (individuals with equal strength in both hands) you would know that there is a dominant and a weaker hand. Now imagine that you are swinging the club with maximum power from your left hand and then all of a sudden because of natural weakness the club can slip from the left-hand palm because of high speed.
If there is a glove on the left hand then it offers more friction between the hand and the grip. At high-speed club will not slip out from the glove grip. It is very unlikely to have a mishit with a glove in the left hand.
So with a firm grip, the left-hand does its job of generating the power and right hand can set the trajectory of the shot right.
b) Saves From Frictional Blisters
With a bare left hand as the club swings with full power, the grip can twist. Because there is maximum power on the hand at that moment heat will be generated on the palm and fingers. As the grip twists, the friction between the grip and hand further increases the heat. This increases the probability of burns on the palm. If you especially practice a lot the drive shot with bare hands then you may have experienced the blisters on your palm.
A glove sinks in the momentarily heat generated during the swing and at the moment of contact. It can save you from the unnecessary skin burns. They can be pretty annoying, turn you back to your home than going to the next hole.
c) Absorbs the Sweat
Some people naturally sweat more than others. Fluids help in lowering the friction between two surfaces. Sweat as fluid can decrease the grip between the club and hand. So a hand which is naturally weak, at full swing power with sweat as a friction decreaser can be an agent to slip the club right at the moment of contact. Gloves can come handy, they will absorb the sweat and give more control.
d) Friend for Different Weathers
If you managed to read the above points then it must be very clear by now that grip is very important to play an accurate shot. Warm weather can make trigger sweating and a nervous palm can play a wrong shot. Similarly, winter can make the palm go dry and add in more friction between hand and shaft. It can burn out the skin a lot faster. Rainy weather can be disastrous it will reduce the shot accuracy more than a sweaty palm.
A glove can help you continue playing the game irrespective of the weather conditions. Companies are producing specialized gloves for all kind of weathers. Pro golfers carry a rain glove just in case it rains.
e) It gives the confidence
Majority of the pro golfers play the game with a single glove. If you have the same gear as them it will help you give confidence in your game. Self-confidence can do wonders and a complete golfing gear can give the golfers confidence that they are prepared to play the game professionally.
f) Part Of Routine
Believe it or not, back in mind golfers have in mind that they have to wear a glove to play the game. If the glove is missing it can impact them psychologically. It has become the part of the routine to chat with a partner, approach a par 4 hole, take the driver out from the bag, wear a glove and the smash the ball. If anything goes missing in this routine it can make them feel something is missing and can have a negative effect on the game.
Why Do Golfers Take Off Glove For The Putt Shots
Putt shots require close range shots. They do not require as much power as the drive. Also, low power means that there should be less friction in the shot. So why wear a glove? when the major reasons for wearing it are gone. This is why golfers take off the glove for the putting shots.
BOTTOM LINE: Why Do Golfers Only Wear One Glove
If I am, to sum up, everything into one reason then it would be increased control on the shot. It is actually better to wear a glove in one hand than not to wear or wear on both hands. Scientific reasons are stated in the above post are quite logical to stress that those who wear gloves on one hand though may look odd but they are actually right and understand the technicalities of the game. So next time anyone in your friend circle laughs at golfers for wearing just one glove then refer them to this post.