Pros: Rubber Cord Hybrid, Moisture Management, Shot Control, Feel
From Golf Pride and the successful New Decade Multi-Compound line comes the latest color choice, classic black on black. The design has been around for a few years and is an upper rubber/cord mix (Velvet Cord) while the lower is rubber. I was hesitant to try these because I don't wear a glove and have never cared for cord. They are very popular on tour (Rory, Phil, etc) and have great reviews on line, so I decided to give them a shot. I cut off the old grips, cleaned the shafts, but on an extra wrap and put them on 2 clubs to start and hit a few balls. My first impression was that they were a little firmer than what I had been playing with, but they were very easy on my hands, not what I expected out of a cord grip. I went home and took the plunge and put them on the set.
I took them to the course next and while I wanted to write this review based on one round of golf, I couldn't. During that first round, they felt so good from the first tee shot, I simply forgot I was playing them (a very good sign). Usually equipment changes take a while to get used to, but the Decades felt like I had played them forever. Back at the range and a few rounds later I really concentrated on the new grips. Here is what I found:
They give you an incredible sense of control. The cord is in the top, pulling hand and is brilliantly mixed with rubber. Softer than a traditional cord, it was the right amount allowing for light grip pressure. This is the strongest part of the grip. The right hand is on the rubber portion and as rubber goes, it is suitable for feel.
The grips allow for feedback as they tell you when you hit a great shot. Immediately you get a sense of how you hit the ball and they do not mask miss hits. As a result, I concentrated more on hitting the ball in the sweet spot and knew it when I did.
Moisture control is a big part of the left hand. Even with my gloveless game, these grips stayed true and I never lost my grip in the hundreds of swings that I took. If the grip felt a little suspect, just a quick wipe brought back instant confidence.
There is a wide variation of colors to be found. While the black/black suited my taste and matched my bag, I went ahead an purchased a couple to put on my wedges. My custom Vokies are done up in red and blue, so each got a red and blue grip for easy identification. I also re-installed the green OEM grip on my Cally Tour Authentic (the Green Goblin).
The only negative to this review is the price. I see this as the big detractor for the casual golfer. The grips can be found at the big box stores for $9.50 per, and when you tack on labor you can be looking at around $13 per club. You pay for quality and for the Golf Pride name.
Overall, I give these grips a 4.5 out of 5. They are a top tier product and the only thing holding them back is the price point. Since I could not rate them on durability, I will come back to this review in the future. If they score high on durability, then I can possibly upgrade this product to a 5 if they would last longer than a typical grip. Stay tuned!
8/3 update: After giving the Decades 2 months, I decided the grips aren't for me. They are a little to firm for my taste. I also had an issue when choking down on my club with my thumb being off the cord and on the rubber. This is picky, but I prefer the grip to be the same material throughout for consistency of feel. The grips started to show wear in the rubber part, but not in the corded area. Again, these are a great looking premium product, but they are not suited to my game as I have decided I have more of a Tour Wrap/Dual Durometer profile.