Pros: Tackiness, Feel, Control, Customer Service
These grips by Lamkin are a real surprise. I have been a Golf Pride loyalist for many years playing the old Tour Wrap and now the newer version. I have been playing gloveless since 92 so I am super picky about my grips always wiping them down before every shot. I have been searching for a new grip so when this offer to review the REL 3Gen grip came out I jumped all over it after researching the claims made on the Lamkin Website.
While on the site, I discovered the Lamkin Grip Tool which fits you for grip size. From years of experience I know that I prefer a .580 grip on a .600 shaft so that I don't need to build up the grip. When using a .600 grip, I generally throw on an extra wrap of tape. The site's tool has you measure your hand and sure enough, it confirmed standard size with one extra wrap.
The grips came in and unfortunately they were midsize. One call to customer service and they expedited a new order in the custom gray color. The grips came on the day promised and I installed them the next day. Installation was real easy as the grips were flexible and slipped right on (two-sided tape with a touch of activator spray was all that was required). I let them set up for 30 minutes and they were ready to roll.
The first test was at the range with wedges pitching to an elevated green. I noticed that I could feel the left hand in contact with the grip and was able to vary trajectory and length without much thought. The control was there and the feel was soft. I spent some time in the bunker with similar results. On the driving range, I went through my whole bag and I could tell that these grips absorb the shock. My biggest surprise was hitting my driver as I really had control of the clubface. I have avoided this type of grip pattern before, but I can tell you that it felt like there was more of it sticking in my hand. I starting working with the 7 iron and experienced the same thing. I started sweating and sure enough, one wipe with the damp side of my towel and then a wipe on the dry and I was good to go.
Overall, I was real excited about this grip. I am going to update this review as the weeks go on so that I can give the reader a sense of performance and durability over the course of some actual rounds. A grip's true test is not the first day out of the box, but whether you have the same confidence in it after 16 rounds as you did the first day. So far, they pass the test and I will give them 5 stars for value with a reasonable price point, 5 stars for esthetics for the variety of colors (mine match my bag) and 4.5 stars for now on performance and overall rating.
The two questions that I will try to answer this weekend are:
1. Do they stay tacky?
2. Does the shock absorbing take away from my feel?
9/03 update: After 2 rounds, I am glad I tried these. The grips held up great and I had no slipping in my bare hands. The tack is consistent and I am starting to appreciate the vibration dampening qualities. I am becoming a Lamkin fan and can see myself buying these when it is time to regrip next year!
One little note, the white caps will get dirty, but they clean up pretty well. I don't see how this can be avoided as the butts make contact with the bottom of the bag, but one wipe and the grime is gone.
9/15 update: I have played 4 rounds and have been to the range numerous times and I think I have found my new grip. The tack is just right and there is no sign of wear. I am giving 5 stars all the way around as I am sold!
6/15 update: after 9 months and over 25 rounds, these grips show minimal wear. Excellent product!
8/3 update: I tried a new grip for a review and after 2 months have switched back to the REL 3Gen. With the price point, availability of colors, and the feel, this grip is 5 stars.