Oversize grips are all the rage not only on the PGA Tour, but also at the local country clubs — and the hype is real.

I’ve been using large putter grips for the past 4 years and I’ve seen improvements in my putting, especially under pressure. These grips are designed to promote a shoulder based putting stroke and to help alleviate grip pressure.

Cork Tree Grips are oversized, soft feeling putter grips that are very similar in shape and softness to the likes of Winn and SuperStroke, but there is one big difference. Instead of being made from plastic or soft rubber compounds, they are made from Portuguese cork, all grown on a family owned farm.

The cork is stitched on to a rubber core just like a leather putter grip would be. The cork itself is fairly thin, but still thick enough to be durable and provide great feel. Out of the four models they offer, I was able to test two of them: the Stumpy and the Gimme.

I didn’t really notice a difference feel wise between the two grips, even though they were substantially different in size and shape. As with virtually all large grips, putter feedback is somewhat muted due to the vibrations having to go through multiple layers before reaching the hands. These grips transmit the feedback differently though, due to the cork outer layer absorbing the impact slightly more then with other grips. I was really impressed with the overall feel these have and the lack of torque on off center strikes. While it wasn’t in the same class as a solid rubber grip, it was less then I’m used to with other oversize grips.

The cork is stitched on to a rubber core just like a leather putter grip would be. The cork itself is fairly thin, but still thick enough to be durable and provide great feel. Out of the four models they offer, I was able to test two of them: the Stumpy and the Gimme.

I didn’t really notice a difference feel wise between the two grips, even though they were substantially different in size and shape. As with virtually all large grips, putter feedback is somewhat muted due to the vibrations having to go through multiple layers before reaching the hands. These grips transmit the feedback differently though, due to the cork outer layer absorbing the impact slightly more then with other grips. I was really impressed with the overall feel these have and the lack of torque on off center strikes. While it wasn’t in the same class as a solid rubber grip, it was less then I’m used to with other oversize grips.

Cork Tree claims these grips have superb wet weather performance. I drenched them in water to see just how well they stood up, and instead of getting slippery, they became very easy to grip and actually increased in traction. They did not retain the water and there was no significant increase in weight.

The Stumpy grip is big. Quite big. Not a bad thing I say though. It’s designed for maximum effectiveness to decrease unwanted wrist movement in the stroke and it does it superbly well. At a 40mm average diameter, it is one of the biggest oversize grips on the market today. Even with its size, it’s still very light weight and not a hindrance to the putters swingweight at all. Installing the grip was a breeze as it took easily to the compressed air method I prefer to use. The grip is close in size to the popular SuperStroke Fatso 5.0 and has the same straight profile.

The second grip I tested was the Gimme. Having a much smaller profile, this grip is slightly tapered and has a bottom diameter of 31mm. The grip is similar in size to the SuperStroke 3.0, but weighs less and is shorter in overall length. I unsuccessfully tried to install the grip with compressed air. Using the traditional solvent and tape method, the grip went on without any issues and was easy to adjust its position before drying. Out of all the models they sell, I suspect this version will be one of, if not, the best seller. It has all the benefits of a large grip, without being too large. Also, the slight taper gives it a more traditional feel.

All Cork Tree Grips models are $29.95 USD, making it priced just above the base competition and substantially lower than high-end leather grips.

My overall impressions were that they are a well designed, well executed high performance grip at a very competitive price. The fact that they are environmentally friendly makes me like them even more.

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