Putters and putter design have been much in the golf news this year as the clock ticks down to the anchored putter ban that goes into effect as of Jan 1, 2016. One of the recent innovations that have come into the marketplace is the use of cork leather for putter grips.

Natural, sustainable, waterproof, and easy to clean, cork leather putter grips have much to recommend them. Cork’s closed-cell microstructure provides a natural cushioning quality, and the smooth surface is grippy without being tacky to the touch. The natural cushioning also contributes to the cork grip’s durability, so you can be assured that it will survive the wear-and-tear of being slammed back into your golf bag.

The leader in the field of cork grips is Cork Tree, a family-owned company based in Portugal which has been harvesting cork on their 500-hectare cork plantation for generations. Cork Tree’s Nuno Nascimento, along with his partner, Englishman Marc Boggia, developed their cork putter grips based on Nuno’s expertise with the material and Marc’s years of experience in the golf industry.

Available in four styles, and with each style available in four accent colors, most any golfer is certain to find a Cork Tree grip which will suit them. Two styles, the Slim Jim and the Gimme, feature the conventional putter-grip shape—the Slim Jim with a tour taper, and the Gimme with a slight taper. For those who favor the “fat grip”-style putter grip, Cork Tree offers the Bandit, which tapers from a chunky 30.8 mm in diameter at the bottom to a slightly narrower 28 mm at the butt end; the Stumpy is Cork Tree’s fattest grip, measuring 41 mm at the bottom and tapering to 39 mm at the butt.

I tested the Bandit grip, which is a little larger in diameter than the conventional-style putter grip I usually use, and found that the cool, smooth feel of the grip is quite comfortable in the hand. The embroidered branding on the front of the grip and the stitching up the center of the back provide handy registration features which helped me establish a consistent grip each time I stood over a putt.

As you might imagine, the Cork Tree grips are very light in weight. At 52 grams, the Bandit weighs about a third less than the standard rubber grip I replaced with it. For the straight-back-and-return, pendulum-style putting stroke that I use, a lightweight grip helps to shift the center of mass of the putter toward the club head, which I found to be beneficial to my putting stroke. At 83 grams the Stumpy model is a good bit beefier than the Bandit; the conventional-shape grips in the line – the Slim Jim and the Gimme – weight in at 80 and 57 grams, respectively.

Article Courtesy of Examiner: view original article at http://www.examiner.com/article/sustainable-and-eco-friendly-cork-tree-brand-putter-grips

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