One of the most-often overlooked issues that plagues golfers of all skill levels is tightness of the hands. Those that suffer from this affliction will see a variety of issues when it comes to the full swing. A loss of clubhead speed, a tendency to “flip” at impact resulting in a thin strike and more. Tight hands are an awful thing to have and to combat. Tight hands as bad as they are with the full swing is actually as bad if not worse when it comes to the putting stroke. Tight hands lead to a “handsy” stroke or worse. A tendency to inadvertently steer a putt may result. In my experience with this area of the affliction I’ve noticed putts are often pulled and miss on the high side of the hole. Not to mention that tight hands make it tough to release the putter through impact.
Rosemark Grips is a company in the golf industry that has sought out a solution to solving the issue of tension in the putting stroke. Mark Cokewell the CEO and Founder of Rosemark Grips wanted to develop a putter grip that simply fit better in golfers hands. A grip that would allow golfers to be “more consistently squared set up, more control, and less tension”. So Mr. Cokewell sought out experts in biomechanics and starting mapping out the hand and its various nerves, pressure and contact points. As more research data was gathered from other sports where a squared, consistent grip were required the development of prototype grips was started. The grips from Rosemark all feature a “patented and premium design of a beautifully textured, tapered shape in several sizes with multiple angles in a hexagon shape around the grip, which completely conform to the shape of a hand”.
I first came to learn of Rosemark Grips while watching action on the LPGA Tour. At the time Lydia Ko was ranked the #1 player in women’s golf and with all of the television time that she was receiving it was hard not to notice the name of the branding on her putter grip with the close-ups. I started following the brand on Twitter (@Rosemark_Grips) and would eventually see one for the first time in person at the SeeMore Putters booth at the 2017 PGA Show. My immediate impression as I held the SeeMore Putters Giant FGP was that this grip had a “distinctive feel” and that from a tactile standpoint was the best feeling putter grip that I have experienced. During this past summer I wrote the company with hopes of getting a sample to test and review. So here we are a few months later.
Through discussions with Mr. Cokewell and Director of Customer Service for SeeMore Putters and Rosemark Grips Zach Sisk the arrangements were made for me to test two of the NexGen Thorn Grips. Grips in this product range come in three different sizes. The first is a smaller standard model called the NexGen 1.25. Next in line is a NexGen 1.38 model while the largest grip in the stable is the NexGen 1.52. For testing purposes I would go with a black and white NexGen 1.25 which ended up on my SeeMore Putters Corona Del Mar while the larger NexGen 1.52 would be installed onto my putter. Before continuing on I’ll briefly go over some of the specs. Both grips feature a length of 11 inches. The weight of the 1.25 is approximately 68 grams while the larger 1.52 weighs approximately 57 grams. Personally speaking I prefer the lighter weight of the 1.52 simply because it allows me to feel the head better through impact. I actually wish that I had installed the 1.52 on the lighter SeeMore to allow the head feel. The inner core material of the 1.25 is made of TPE Rubber while the outer cover is constructed from a Micro Fiber Silicon Bead material. Conversely, the NexGen 1.52 has the same outer wrap while the inner core is constructed from a lightweight EVA foam. This explains the weight difference between the two models.
When I unboxed the grips and had them in my hand it triggered my memory from the PGA Show. Feel is a big part of what I look for in a product or more importantly a product that I would “game” and just from a feel standpoint the marks are high for these two grips. The feel is unlike any other that I’ve experienced with any other putter grips. I installed them myself onto the respective putters and as soon as he grips set I headed out to the first putting green that I could find to put them to the test. The rallying call of the Rosemark brand is “tension free putting”. It didn’t take long for me to notice that maintaining a light grip was nearly automatic and the longer that my testing went on the light grip became automatic. It really felt like I was putting on a smoother stroke with the Rosemark Grips and getting real nice rolls. However, it didn’t translate into more putts being holed. It wasn’t because of these grips that I wasn’t holing putts. It was just me having every possible issue with my putting at the time… namely confidence or a lack thereof.
Slowly but surely I started to gain confidence in my putting stroke and now the NexGen grips started to really shine. Having no tension in my mind, arms and hands the magic of these grips really became apparent. Much can be said of the R&D that Mr. Cokewell put into the mapping of the hands but I just wanted to say that it really paid off. As great as the feel of the grip itself is its the actual design of the grip. I love the way that these NexGen grips fit and sit in the hands. Honestly, I think it’s the taper or “side angles” in its design that is the real stroke of genius. The design does in fact allow your hands and arms to be tension-free while the putter remains square through impact. These are two key points that can lead to better putting… and it has!
There’s a reason why a former number one golfer went back to Rosemark Grips after leaving them for a while. In my opinion, she went back to them because these grips are quite simply “that good”! These NexGen grips from Rosemark Grips offer all of the performance and characteristics essential to putting. Believe me when I say that the NexGen 1.25 and 1.52 grips are definitely worth your golf consumer dollars. Rosemark Grips offers these models in a variety of colors so give them a look and be “tension free”.