Pros: Feel, Tackiness, Bold Colors
Cons: Only Bold Colors
This new offering from Golf Pride is the Niion all-weather, high performance grip, and is billed as its "most advance design yet." At the same time, it is quite simple, in that it is an all rubber grip. No cord, no velvet, no multi-compound ... just rubber. I received a set of these grips a couple of weeks ago for this review, and was amused to open the box and find bright, almost neon, orange grips. I'd venture a guess that they are almost too orange for Rickie Fowler! OK, not really ... but they are bold and bright. Here's a photo of them prior to their first use:
The grips I have been playing with prior to these Niions are Pure Pros (in dark blue). I absolutely love the Pure Pros. They are also a rubber grip, and they are designed to be installed using an air compressor (with special attachment) and no tape or solvent. The Niions were a snap to install using the same technique, so within hours of them being on my doorstep, they were installed and ready to use. Because of the design of the grip, which you can see in the following photo, I installed them label up:
The white portion is billed as a "3-D hexagonal design in key gripping areas," which is why I didn't install them label down, as is popular these days to avoid any confusion in alignment. Installed in this way, the hexagonal portion lines up along your left palm, fingertips, and thumb. In retrospect, I don't believe it would matter too much if I did install them upside down because the only difference would be that I couldn't feel the hexagons on my thumb. I sweat enough that I have to use a glove, so I can't really feel textures that subtle anyway. Below is a close-up of the different grip patterns:
Now, enough background ... how do they perform? In one word ... fantastic. I could not be happier with these grips. They felt almost exactly like my Pures, only ever so slightly firmer. Feel and feedback was high. Tackiness, as long as the grip is dry, is perfect. Once I installed the Pures, I noticed that they needed a quick wipe down before each shot because a little bit of moisture from sweat or oils or whatever junk gets left on the grip over time leaves them a bit slippery. But one quick wipe down after pulling it out of the bag and they are as tacky as anything. The Niions are about identical in that regard. As far as playing in rain ... I am going to have to give the grips a score of "incomplete" as I live in Southern California, and it's summer, so ... well, you do the math. :) (For what it's worth, I just ran one under water in the sink, and it actually feels tackier than dry. But I didn't take any swings with it, so take that with a grain of salt.)
Lastly, I will say that these grips only come in bold colors. Orange/White, White/Blue, Yellow/Blue, Green/Yellow, and Blue/Yellow ... and the yellows, orange, and green are all neon. If you like understated black grips, you are stuck with either compromising on the blue/yellow option - the "least" bold of the five, in my opinion - or you are out of luck. But what's the fun in that anyway?? Go bold!!
Bottom line: These are great grips, and if I wasn't so attached to my Pures (my 5SK logo-ed Pures, to be exact) these would have stayed on the clubs. But since they are super easy to install and remove, I will keep them as a backup set for when the Pures finally wear out. If you are in the market for new grips, don't require cord, and don't mind bright colors ... do yourself a favor and get some Niions! (They retail for $7.99 a piece)