The Golf Glove, Explained: Its Purpose, What Hand Do You Wear A Golf Glove On?

A golf glove is one of the first things we get when first starting out in the game. It’s an inexpensive piece of equipment that is thought to make all the difference. However, this shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion. 

The glove serves a very specific purpose, and not all golfers need the assistance a good golf glove provides.

By having the golf glove explained, you can decide which shots you need to wear one, which hand do you wear a golf glove on, and if you need one at all.

Before you automatically hand over your hard-earned money to the pro shop, have a look at this in-depth guide. It’s meant to give you a solid understanding of where the glove came from, why we use it, and which one will be best for you. 

There’s also a section specifically covering rain gloves, which is a different story altogether.

In this article, we will cover: 

  • How Does A Golf Glove Help You?
  • What Hand Do You Wear A Golf Glove On?
  • Purpose Of A Golf Glove
  • When To Remove Your Golf Glove
  • Different Golf Glove Materials
  • History Of The Golf Glove
  • Top Gloves On The Market
  • Summary—Golf Gloves Explained

Let’s get into it!

The golf golve explained, golfer putting ball onto the tee

How Does A Golf Glove Help You?

Before we look at what hand do you wear a golf glove on, let’s look at why.

A golf glove helps to maintain a firm yet comfortable grip on your golf club. Since we swing at such high speeds, it would be easy for the club to twist, and any slight miscue can result in a much different shot than intended. 

By wearing a glove, you instill confidence that the club is secure so you can focus your thoughts elsewhere. 

What Hand Do You Wear A Golf Glove On?

Due to the nature of the golf grip and how we hold the club, only one glove is required to find the perfect balance between security and comfort. What hand do you wear a golf glove on? One glove supports the top hand, which is responsible for most of the tension.

The bottom hand overlaps the top hand in some regard, which makes it less likely to slip and slide. Some golfers choose to wear two gloves, but it’s not very common and may elicit some comments from your playing partners if you choose to do so. 

To clarify, if you are a right-handed golfer, your top hand is your left hand. So right-handed golfers wear a glove on their left, and left-handed golfers wear their glove on the right. 

A man wearing a golf glove holds a golf club.

Purpose Of A Golf Glove

#1: Less Twisting in Your Hand

Sometimes, the rubber grip is insufficient, and players need extra assistance. A glove is made from a unique material that keeps your hand in place without sacrificing too much feel. 

#2: Prevents Injury

Many people get blisters or callous’ from golf. Their hands are not used to the force that is created, and when skin rubs on the skin, it can be very uncomfortable. With a glove, you can avoid this and play even longer; there is no excuse now to practice!

#3: Dryness & Warmth

Inclement weather can arise anytime (unless you’re playing in the desert). Even if you don’t want to wear a glove all the time, it’s worth it to keep one in your bag just in case the weather turns south

Special rain gloves are made to perform in the heaviest of downpours. Use these when you’re having the round of your life, and you don’t want to let a little rain stop you. 

#4: Confidence

The simple act of putting on your glove before a critical shot can help you get dialed in and focus on the task at hand. Knowing that your grip is taken care of will allow your mind to focus on the more important aspects of each shot you face. 

A woman wearing a pink top removes her golf glove.

When To Remove Your Golf Glove

There is nothing in the rules of golf stating that you should or shouldn’t wear a glove, so it’s entirely up to you whether you implement this piece of equipment. Many players choose to only wear their glove during full-swing shots. 

By removing the glove on pitches, chips, and/or putts, you gain more connection and feel with the club

As you know, these types of shots require the utmost feel to be consistently successful. Again, this is a personal preference as some players like to use a glove on pitches and chips but not putting

PRO TIP: Always remove your glove in between shots to prevent the dreaded one-handed sun tan.

Different Golf Glove Materials

Now we know, what hand do you wear a golf glove on? Let’s take a look at what they’re made out of.

Regular gloves are made from one of three main types of material:

1. Leather

The most popular and oldest-used technique is to use good old-fashioned leather. This provides a breathable option that will adhere nicely to your rubber grips. It’s also the thickest, so it cushions your hand and palm. This is great for players who suffer from blisters. 

Leather isn’t the most durable, and there are sustainability questions, but if you’re in the market for the best of the best, look for a glove made of Cabretta leather. It’s so soft and comfortable you’ll want a living room recliner made out of the same stuff. 

A white and black golf glove with a white background.

2. Synthetic Material

This is the cheaper and more durable option to genuine leather and is slowly taking over the golf glove shelves in every pro shop. Companies are realizing they have a higher profit margin with this material and, therefore, are pushing it.

Having said that, the quality is also increasing, and some synthetic gloves feel almost identical to real leather. Throw in the added bonus of lasting longer than leather, and you can see why so many golfers are purposely choosing synthetic these days. 

3. Mesh

Slowly gaining steam are the mesh gloves. These are more popular in hot climates since they offer the most breathable option. You can get mesh gloves so thin that it feels like you’re not even wearing a glove. 

Mesh gloves also allow some sunlight through so you can combat the one-handed golf tan. The only negative with these gloves is that with many brands, if any type of moisture gets in them, they are less tacky and can rip more easily. 

A white golf glove holds a golf club up to the sky.

History of the Golf Glove

Gloves were first introduced over 100 years ago when grips were made of simple leather wraps. Although grips were primitive, gloves were not nearly as predominant as they are today. Many legendary players, such as Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, never wore gloves.

So the answer to the question, which hand do you wear a golf glove on, neither!

The first iteration of golf gloves was fingerless, akin to motorcycle gloves, but this was short-lived.

As technology advanced and the ability to mass-produce gloves rose, companies started pushing gloves more as a source of advertising and an alternate income stream. By the 60s, almost everyone, including Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, wore full-finger gloves. 

One of the last great golfers to not wear a glove of any kind was Ben Hogan. He was known to be one of the most practice-oriented players, and because of this, he developed famously large callouses.

A man reaches down to the golf ball on a golf tee while wearing a golf glove.

Top Gloves on the Market

  • Titleist Pure Touch: Made from the finest selection of Cabretta leather, this is the glove of choice for many PGA Tour stars. This glove feels like a second skin and is so soft once you get one, you may never want to go back to your old glove. Just keep this out of the rain, as it can cause it to shrivel up. 
  • FootJoy WeatherSof: For the best in durability and price, this glove is hands-down the king of the castle. They have been around for decades, and for good reason. This is a very durable, synthetic glove that also provides maximum moisture resistance. It’s the most versatile glove that will last many, many rounds. 
  • Callaway X-Spann: This is one of the most innovative gloves on the market, as it creatively combines mesh and Cabretta. Across the back of your hand is a super-thin, moisture-wicking mesh that feels invisible. On your palm is the finest Cabretta leather around to give you maximum traction and feel—no need to ever remove this glove if you don’t want to. 

Summary—Golf Gloves Explained

I’ll bet you didn’t think there was so much to learn about golf gloves, did you? We often take them for granted these days since they are so popular, but make no mistake, they are by no means required.

If you don’t feel like wearing one, then don’t. If you find a great grip for your clubs that provides the best traction and feel, then don’t be afraid to omit the glove

On the flip side, the glove can be a savior for players who suffer from blisters and callous’. 

Whichever your decision, I recommend all players keep a pair of rain gloves in their bag. You never know when that dream round is going to happen, and you don’t want to have it ruined by a few rain clouds. 

Next Up: What Is Greens In Regulation In Golf? 4 Strategies To Increase Your GIR

Photo of author
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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