Golf Grip Tape: What Types Are There And When Should It Be Used?

If you’re an equipment junkie, then choosing the right grip tape will be a fun endeavor. Not many people are this interested in the behind-the-scenes construction of a golf club, and without getting too technical, you can learn how to do this yourself. 

Knowing what types of golf grip tape there are is the first step to re-gripping your own clubs and will determine how you install your new grips. 

Put on your club fitter hat and learn how to do your own grips. I’ve also included a few pro tips to ensure you get the job done correctly on your very first try. 

In this article, we will cover:

  • What Is The Purpose Of Golf Grip Tape?
  • 2 Types And Sizes Of Grip Tape
  • How To Layer Golf Club Grip Tape
  • Golf Grip Tape Alternative
  • Instructions On How To Re-Grip Your Clubs Using Golf Grip Tape
  • Wrap-Up: What Types Of Golf Grip Tape Are There?

Let’s jump into it!

A man stretches golf tape along a golf club with the words "golf grip tape complete guide" in the foreground.

What Is The Purpose Of Golf Grip Tape?

The purpose of golf grip tape is to secure your grip to the handle end of each golf club. Each rubber grip has a layer (or more) of grip tape to keep it in place during swings and the normal wear and tear caused by travel and taking your clubs in and out of your bag.

If your grip has any alignment lines, grip tape ensures they stay square to your target. 

2 Types And Sizes Of Grip Tape

What is the best golf grip tape? Before buying your grip tape, you have to make two choices. You will have to decide on the size of your grip tape and how you’re going to apply it. 

#1: Solvent vs. Water Activated Grip Tape

At first, you might think water-activate grip tape is the easy choice because water is easier and cheaper to come by compared to any type of solvent. But before you rush off to Amazon, hear me out. 

Water-activated is good, but it surely doesn’t work as well. In most cases, you will need to add dish soap to help make the grip slippery enough to get it on. And if you need to replace your grips in a timely manner, water-activated grip tape is not the answer.

It will take at least 24 hours of undisturbed rest before even touching your newly re-gripped clubs. 

The solvent dries quickly and provides maximum lubrication when applying your new grips

Yes, it stinks, is flammable, and is more expensive, but it saves time and frustration. If you plan to align any markings to your clubface, I recommend solvent, as it allows amateur club fitters the versatility to move the grip to the precise location desired. 

A man pours water over a clean golf club handle.

#2: ¾” vs. 2”

Size is the other decision you must make so there are no surprises when you go to re-grip your golf clubs. The two more popular sizes are ¾” and 2”. These are drastically different because of how you apply each. 

¾” tape looks like a regular role of masking tape but needs to be double-sided and industrial strength. To apply, you will make a spiral pattern from the butt-end of the club to where the bottom of the grip will reach the shaft. 

2” tape is wide enough to rip off a piece the same length as your grip and apply it long ways. Being 2” wide means, it will overlap near the bottom of the grip but be almost perfectly touching at the butt-end. 

A man peels back yellow tape along a golf club.

How To Layer Golf Club Grip Tape

The nice part about using grip tape (as opposed to the alternative listed below) is that you can customize the size of your grip to an exact thickness. 

One layer of grip tape used to secure a standard-size grip is the benchmark. The rule of thumb is if you add three layers of grip tape under a standard-size grip, you’ve made that as think as what a mid-size grip would be with one layer of grip tape. 

If you plan to customize your grip, choose 2” wide grip tape, which will be easier to apply than the smaller ¾” tape. 

You can also customize how your grip feels from the top to the bottom hand. For wedges, you may want more stable control, and adding a second layer of grip tape under the bottom half of the grip will help you achieve this. 

Benefits of Layering Grip Tape

  • Infinite ways to customize your grip thickness.
  • Apply different thicknesses to different clubs.
  • Easy to install.
  • Once dry, it will stay put for a very long time.
A roll of silver duct tape with a white background.

3 Golf Grip Tape Alternatives

There are other ways to secure your grip to the butt-end of your shaft. While these are not as effective as “official” golf grip tape, they can be helpful as a cheaper option or when you’re in a pinch and just need one club re-gripped. 

#1: Air Compressor

No tape is required for this method, but you will need access to an air compressor with a small attachment to pump air into the grip. This will inflate it and allow you to slide your grip on without needing adhesive or lubricant.

The downsides to this method are that it can twist, and you will not be able to customize the thickness. 

#2: Duct Tape

Is there anything duct tape can’t do? While this isn’t my first choice, duct tape can be used in the same manner as golf grip tape.

Ideally, you will look for double-sided duct tape to make your life easier, but with a little creativity, you can also make traditional duct tape work. A word to the wise: have plenty of solvent on hand since duct tape is super sticky. 

#3: Painter’s Tape

The most popular alternative is painter’s tape due to its resemblance to golf grip tape. It’s not as durable and can more easily rip, but this is your best bet if you cannot find double-sided golf grip tape.

Apply it the same way, but it’s not as thick, so if you want to bulk up your grips, you may have to add more than you would if using traditional golf grip tape. 

A workbench with all the tools to change a golf club grip.

Instructions on How To Re-Grip Your Clubs Using Golf Grip Tape

The process for re-gripping your clubs using golf grip tape is straightforward enough that anyone can do it without official training. Follow these steps, and you’ll be ready to proclaim your new talent as a skilled re-gripper. 

What You’ll Need

Grip Tape—Obviously.

Solvent—Whether water-activated or not, you will need some type of lubricant in order to fit the rubber grip on your steel or graphite shaft. 

Vice Grip—Use this to secure your club in place while you remove the old grip and apply the new one.

Knife/Blade—An exacto knife or boxcutter works great to remove your old grip, but if you plan on doing a lot of grip changes, buy a hook blade. These are compatible with boxcutters and break off the same way when you dull an edge.

The hook shape helps you get under your old grips and stay on a straight line to avoid any accidents. 

Drip Tray—Place this under your vice grip to catch any excess solvent that will inevitably fall off. The leftover solvent can be poured back into your bottle and used repeatedly.

This is part of why solvent is more expensive because it can be used so many times, so take advantage of a drip tray. 

Towel—Choose a dirty towel, not the monogrammed one your in-laws got you for your anniversary. This will be used to wipe off excess solvent that gets on the grip surface. You want to dry that as soon as possible to maintain the integrity of your grip.

If you let it seep in, it may take a few rounds for it to wear off and your grips to become tacky again.  

A man removes an old red golf club grip tape.


  1. Place the club in your vice grips, with the point of contact near the handle. You want maximum leverage when applying your new grip. 
  1. Strip the club of its old grip and remove the old grip tape. You want to start with a clean slate here. If you plan to cut your clubs to a shorter length, this would also be the time to do so. Pro tip: Use solvent to loosen any old stubborn grip tape that remains; you want no trace of old grip tape. 
  1. Be sure to wipe and wash clean your shaft and where you’re new grip will go. Otherwise, your new grip tape will not adhere properly. 
  1. Measure out your grip tape according to the length of your grip. Carefully apply with no wrinkles or creases. 
  1. The moment of truth. Soak your grip tape in the solvent, making sure that every inch is lathered. You don’t want any part to be sticky. 
  1. Quickly apply your grip and align it to a square clubface
  1. Once your grip is set, remove it from the vice grip and give it a couple of taps on the butt end to ensure it’s on all the way. 
  1. Carefully lean against a wall and let dry for at least 4 hours before using, preferably overnight. 
Five golf clubs lie on the ground with a white background.

Wrap-Up: What Types Of Golf Grip Tape Are There?

It’s not often we sit around in the clubhouse discussing what types of golf grip tape there are. But if you’ve read this far, that means you love golf as much as we do, and for that, I commend you. 

Your hands are the only connection to the club; therefore, your grip is a crucial piece of equipment. Proper grip installation cannot occur without first choosing the best golf grip tape for the feel you want. 

Once you have this, you can be confident in each shot because you’ll be comfortable, and your grips will be customized to your hands and only your hands. That’s a recipe for more birdies and lower scores. 

Next Up: How To Grip A Golf Club Correctly: 8 Tips And Cues

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After graduating from the Professional Golf Management program in Palm Springs, CA, I moved back to Toronto, Canada, turned pro and became a Class 'A' member of the PGA of Canada. I then began working at some of the city's most prominent country clubs. While this was exciting, it wasn't as fulfilling as teaching, and I made the change from a pro shop professional to a teaching professional. Within two years, I was the Lead Teaching Professional at one of Toronto's busiest golf instruction facilities. Since then, I've stepped back from the stress of running a successful golf academy to focus on helping golfers in a different way. Knowledge is key so improving a players golf IQ is crucial when choosing things like the right equipment or how to cure a slice. As a writer I can help a wide range of people while still having a little time to golf myself!

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