Cork Tree Putter Grip Review
Cork is starting to make a real presence among golfers for it’s water resistant properties, feel and the fact it just looks good.
The folks at Cork Tree Putter Grips have taken the cork putter grip and married it to a polyurethane or EVA core to give a truly unique feel and look. This is going to be quite a bit different than the Salty Grip we have reviewed before. Where Salty Grips are solid cork with a very firm feel and virtually no taper, the Cork Tree grip is made from cork leather, which is a very thin piece of leather wrapped around a urethane core, with several different models incorporating different thickness and taper. Two different approaches which I believe are completely valid in their own right.
As always at Southern Golf Review, we are just as interested in the people behind the products as we are the products. Especially when it comes to the smaller boutique items like the Cork Tree Putter Grip. The Cork Tree company is a family owned business in Portugal where the Nascimento family owns a little over a thousand acre cork plantation. Here they are continuously planting new cork trees, maintaining old ones to ensure the sustainability of their industry. The Nascimento family supplies cork leather for their branded products like club covers, golf bags, and their main focus the putter grip. The grip they sent us for review is the Bandit, although they have three other models to choose from, the Gimme, the Slim Jim, and the Stumpy, all with different thicknesses and tapers.
The Bandit we received is 10.7″ overall length with a 1.21″ top circumference and a 1.10″ bottom circumference which gives just a barely perceptible top to bottom taper. The total weight for the grip is around 52 grams. Compared with a commercially available, largely marketed urethane grip of a similar size the weight difference is about 30 grams less. This should mean there is more “feel” for the weight of the putter head when using a Cork Tree Putter Grip. I found this to be largely true in our on course testing. To me it gives a better connection to the putter face which helps in keeping it square to the target. It also helps to keep you from getting handsy in your putting stroke by keeping you aware of the weight of the putter head.
We did all of our testing in the winter which has been pretty ugly here in the South. Cold and wet have been the norm all winter long. A perfect test for the Cork Tree Putter grip. All we had to do was wipe it down good with a towel and shortly it was almost completely dry. You won’t find that on any conventional rubber or urethane putter grip out there. The cork leather won’t absorb moisture to any large degree so it dries quickly and remains tacky even in the wettest of conditions.
The Cork Tree Putter Grip looks unique among all other putter grips on the market today.
One thing to remember is this is a cork leather not solid cork. Therefore it looks more conventional than most other boutique brands on the market. It looks more like a customized oversized putter grip. There a couple of choices for the visible core colors and end cap. They are red, blue, black and pink. The stitching on the front with the company name along with the grip name embroidered on the side all go together to give a classic hand crafted look. The baseball stitching along the back of the grip is the only detractor. I like the way it looks, but it does take a bit of getting used to. After a couple of practice sessions I forgot all about the stitches.I’ve since wondered if this was a function of an overly tense putter grip. The Cork Tree Putter grip is much softer than my normal grip and I may have overcompensated by squeezing the life out of it. Like I said, since the first few putts with it, I completely forgot about the stitching.
Overall feel with the Cork Tree Putter Grip is excellent. I personally like a firmer grip, but I can see where the softer, more supple grip would be attractive. The grip is not overly soft or squishy like a pool noodle. It is probably in line with a standard oversized grip in rubber or urethane.
The cost of the Cork Tree Putter grip is right in line with everyone else’s standard grip at about 29 dollars plus shipping. For a boutique brand with this level of uniqueness, environmental awareness, and just plain cool factor that’s an amazing price.
Overall we were very impressed with the whole Cork Tree company. It looks like they are trying to bring a unique product to market with a high level of playability and style at a great price point. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Article courtesy of Southern Golf, view original article at http://www.southerngolfreview.com/cork-tree-putter-grip-review/