Pros: Great feel; tacky; will work in damp conditions
Cons: Dirty endcaps
The Lamkin REL 3GEN is a great, medium firm grip that works well in wet conditions, with or without a glove. It incorporates the best aspects of the supersoft/tacky grip technologies without feeling squishy.
I bought the REL 3GENs based mostly on reviews from this forum. After playing with them for 2 months, I have to emphatically agree with the positive reviews here. Simply stated, this is the best grip I've ever owned.
I think the best way to describe these grips is to lay out what I've disliked about grips I've played in the past.
--Lamkin Crossline: A solid, stable, firm-feeling grip, but lots of slippage in wet conditions.
--Golf Pride tour velvet: also a good feeling grip, but still no traction in wet conditions.
--Winn dri-tac: great traction in wet conditions, but too squishy--feels as if the club could twist at impact because the grip gives too much. I'm sure that's not the case, but feeling is a lot in golf.
--Victory full cord: great in wet conditions, but they absolutely shred your hands.
--New Decade multi-compound: all around a very, very good grip, but crazy expensive and don't last very long.
So, from the above, you can see that I'm looking for a grip with a firm feel, not too rough on the hands, adequate traction in wet conditions, and decent value for the money. I'm willing to re-grip every year, but not at $10/grip. The REL 3GEN is the best grip I've ever found to fit these qualities.
Let's start with feel. The feel is soft at the surface, but doesn't give the way some of the modern gimmicked grips do (I'm thinking primarily Winn, which seems to lead the charge in squishy no-glove style grips). You can use these with or without a glove, I think, without much problem. Mild dampening on off-center hits. They definitely feel softer than the Crossline, but toe-hits off of range mats in 40-degree weather will leave you screaming for mommy (as I found out a few times during my trip last week to Missouri).
And on to traction. Again, these have excellent traction. Honestly, at first grip, they don't grab onto your hand the way some grips do (thinking New Decade or other cord grips). But, take a few swings and you'll see that the club is firmly anchored in your hands--not a hint of twisting or slipping. Living in Hawaii, it's rare to play golf when it's not either raining intermittently or very humid, so I'm constantly rubbing my grips with a towel. The 3GENs grip slightly better than a Tour Velvet when damp, and slightly worse than a New Decade. However, rubbing the grip with a towel for about 5 seconds is akin to wrapping it in duct tape. These are the most secure wet-weather grips I've ever played. I've played about 10 rounds with these since purchasing, including rounds in the rain and some of the most humid days of the year (the humid season in Hawaii ends late September, and the rainy season begins). I haven't hit a single shot that I felt was affected by an unsecure grip; typically I have at least two such shots when playing in damp conditions.
So, what's bad about these grips? Well, I'm not entirely pleased with the aesthetics, but it was likely the color choice. I chose grey (boring, right?), and the dull grey grip contrasting against the shiny steel shaft just looks dull. The grey looks even more dull when wrapped around the shiny black shaft of my driver and 3-wood. Fortunately, Lamkin offers the grip in an array of colors, including white and basic black--for my next re-grip, I think I'll go with one or the other of those options.
The white endcaps also tend to get a little dirty, but that doesn't bother me much.
I never really thought much about grips until last summer. I completely re-tooled my bag last year, and I had stock grips on the different clubs I purchased so I got to really feel the difference. I was simultaneously playing Tour Velvet (Titleist woods and wedges), Crossline (AP2 irons), and New Decade (Adams hybrids). Overall I liked the New Decade best, but they were showing signs of wear after about 5 months, and at $10/grip I'm going to need a little more longevity than that.
What the Lamkin REL 3GEN has given me is the best aspects of all of these grips at a very reasonable price of around $6/grip. 2 months isn't really long enough to tell how durable they are, but they still look fantastic. I've played them in conditions ranging from high 80s and extremely humid, rainy conditions, and 40-degrees with blustery winds, and the grip performed well in all conditions (it's slightly dampening, but will not prevent the sting of a mis-hit in cold weather).
I'm an extremely satisfied customer, and I will definitely be re-gripping with 3GENs next spring.