I recently went down a rabbit hole reading questions that golfers asked about the lead time for a new grip to dry. Naturally, this is the internet, and opinions and experiences vary greatly.
So in this post, I squash the doubt and explain how long you should wait after regripping golf clubs?
In addition, I’ve provided tips to help you determine when your grips are dry and ways to accelerate the process.
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How Long Before New Golf Grips Can Be Used?
It takes 2 to 24-hours on average for new golf grips to dry when using a solvent or water-based products. However, as a rule of thumb, the longer you wait, the better.
I personally have never used new grips within 24-hours of installing them. Lamkin suggests that the amount of time it takes their products to dehydrate is approximately 3-hours.
I have heard of people regripping golf clubs a couple hours before they’re heading to the golf course. That is a risky move because you require ideal temperatures and quality solvent.
Using inadequate solvent or tape can increase the drying time. Plus, applying incorrect quantities may impede the schedule.
The reality is that the time it takes depends on your approach to installing the grips. For example, using an air compressor to put your grips on results in no waiting. Therefore, you can start swinging immediately.
However, adding solvent to the grip requires an average of 3-hours before you can start playing. Conversely, using water-based products such as soapy water could take as long as 24-hours to completely dry.
Make sure that you cover the top of your shaft with tape so that no liquid enters. I have seen grips not dry at all because liquid entered the shaft. The condensation reduced the effectiveness of the tape’s glue.
The bottom line is that an air compressor removes the need for drying. Solvent dries moderately fast, while water solutions prompt a slow process.
What Can Happen If You Use Your New Golf Clubs Too Soon After Regripping
In 2007 I played in the World School Golf Challenge in Christchurch, New Zealand. Before the 2nd round, a fellow competitor from Australia broke my 3-wood as he violently removed his set of clubs from the cargo trailer. Long story short, I had no 3-wood, and since my driver was erratic, I needed it.
Anyway, the Pro said he would do what he could to have a new steel shaft and grip on by the time I reached the halfway house. The day was not going my way, and it got even worse. The grip was not completely set, I took a swing, and it felt like the club would go further than any ball I had hit that day.
Needless to say, I left it in the clubhouse and used my 3-iron off every tee in 40-knot crosswinds. That was the least fun I have ever had on a golf course.
Using your golf clubs before new grips have set can lead to an uneven texture. You may find more indentation in high contact areas, which could be uncomfortable, and reduce traction over time.
As a result of loose, wet grips, you lose all control of your clubs. You do not possess the traction between the grip and shaft needed to optimize your swing speed and ball striking.
The club may move around during your swing, causing it to close through impact. Therefore you experience numerous hooks and a long day out on the golf course.
Playing with new grips before they are dry can impede the process and cause you to start from scratch. If you have an air compressor you can blow the grips off to re-use them. However, I suggest handing the job to the professionals if you do not have this equipment.
Without an air compressor, you will need a hook blade or utility knife to cut the grips off. Then purchase a new set. Next, get out the rubbing alcohol and remove the old grip tape.
Now, add the new tape for optimal glue. Finally, add an alternative or traditional grip solvent to prepare the shaft for the rubber.
I understand the thrill of doing it yourself, but incorrectly installing or curing grips is a costly endeavor. If you are confident that you can pull it off, go ahead. However, if you are unsure where you went wrong the first time, save yourself the time and money and hire an expert.
How to Tell When Your Clubs Are Ready To Be Used After Regripping
It does not take a rocket scientist to determine when grips are dry. The first step is to see if your grips twist. The first trick to tell if your clubs are ready to be used is to try to twist them.
If they are stable and do not move an inch, they have set and are ready for the links. Conversely, should they twist around aggressively, they may still be wet. In that case, give them extra time to dry.
Next, run your palm up the back of the grip and ensure that it is firmly connected to the top end of the shaft.
There should be no soft points on the grip. In other words, you should not be able to press the grip in and feel a gap between the rubber and the grip tape.
Can You Dry Your New Golf Grips Faster?
How quickly your grips dry boils down to the method you use to install them. Did you use traditional grip solvents, soap detergents, or compressed air to install the grip? Let us look at which methods produce the fastest drying times.
Employing compressed air to install your grip completely eradicates drying time. This is the most effective method if you have zero time to wait for grips to set. Naturally, not everyone has an air compressor lying around the house. However, if you do, then take advantage of it.
Golf Magazine suggests sourcing a uniquely constructed pressure tip from a golf equipment supplier to attach to your compressor. Place the other end of the tip into the butt end of the grip. That will inflate the rubber and allow you to slip it over the top of the new tape.
Upon extracting the pressure tip from the butt end of the grip, the rubber deflates, causing it to cling tightly to the tape. After this, the grip is ready for the course.
Solvent Based Approach
Applying solvent to the grip tape is not as rapid as an air compressor, but it is still good to go after 2 to 3-hours. Golfers use Mineral spirits, paint thinner, and lighter fluid.
I have never tried lighter fluid personally, but a bunch of members at my local have, and they praise its performance. Some report being able to swing the clubs as quickly as 30-minutes to 1-hour.
In a demonstration by Lamkin grips, they suggest using mineral spirits, which they find dries within 3-hours.
2 to 3-hours sounds like a lifetime compared to the instant gratification of the air compressor method. But, it is far quicker than the 24-hour average you need to wait when applying water-based solutions, such as dishwashing soap.
Related: Before you think about installing new rubber, I recommend reading our guide on the 7 best golf grips for sweaty hands. These options dry quickly and are built to withstand warm and rainy conditions.