Putter Grip Showdown: Tiger Shark vs. Tiger Shark Lite by Rocky
Date: 30th Nov 2009Introduction
Hey folks! This is a review for putter grips by Tiger Shark Golf. (http://www.tigersharkgolf.com/) In this review is a showdown between 2 of Tiger Sharks own products - the Tiger Shark and the Tiger Shark Lite. About Tiger Shark and their products
Tiger Shark Golf is a golf company based in Michigan, USA. They are well known for their large, oversize putter grips and also recently acquired Super-Stroke into their line of products. Super-Stroke, of course, was made famous by Asian golf superstar, K.J. Choi. They also produce golf clubs.
According to some researchers, large and oversized putter grips help to maintain wrist angles so that power is supplied by the arms and shoulders during the putting stroke. These putter grips are built to restrict wrist action so that forearms and shoulders work in cohesion to produce a more consistent and controllable putting stroke.
The company has fitted some of the world's best players and they often blog about their experiences while following the pros on tour. Some of the big names using the Tiger Shark grips are Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, Justin Rose and Matt Bettencourt. Tiger Shark Grip - Technical Specifications
Tiger Shark Grip
The Tiger Shark (TS henceforth) grip tips the scale on the heavier end at 113gm. Compared to most grips on the market it weighs almost half times more than most grips. Most grips on the market run for about 70 to 80 grams.
So here we are talking about large, oversized grips. The TS grip is larger than most other grips. The height of the butt measures 3.5cm and the width measures about 3.0cm.
The TS grip is also available in a variety of colours - red, blue, orange, green, yellow. They do offer a black but it comes in a jumbo size that is larger and heavier than the rest.
Down the shaft viewTiger Shark Lite Grip - Technical Specifications
Tiger Shark Lite
The Tiger Shark TS (TS Lite henceforth) is the newest product out from Tiger Shark. It features a thicker grip, different material, and is light weight. The TS Lite weighs in at 67 gm, which is almost half that of the TS grip.
The butt end of the grip is hefty - 4.0cm tall and 3.8cm wide.
There is also some redesign in the look and feel of the grip. Firstly the grip is more of a 1 piece design. So most of the grip is only has one colour. Aesthetically, it does seem a little less appealing than the TS grip.
The good part about the redesign is the ribbed underside. Ribbed grips give the golfer a sense of a "V" shape valley that rides up the fingers. If the grip is correct, the valley will sit comfortably within the fingers. Conversely, if gripped wrongly then the feeling will be awkward. This ribbed design gives the golfer some indication to whether the grip is done correctly or not.
Down the shaft viewRocky's 2 Cents
These 2 grips shall be judged based on 5 criteria - Traction, Looks, Comfort, Feel and Price. All criteria will be graded on a 10 point system, 10 being excellent. TS Grip
Traction - 8.0
The TS Grip works well in wet weather and provides excellent traction. For a person with sweaty palms like myself, it does not slip and moisture is quickly dissipated away.
Looks - 7.0
Aesthetically, the grip looks good and not overly loud or striking. The red on this grip appears rather pleasant to the eye. The 4 thumb indicators provide some indication for the placement of the thumb. This creates some form of consistency.
Comfort - 9.0
The grip feels good in the hands and is, by far, the most comfortable of all the putter grips. There is no urge to strangle the putter as the traction and size fit snugly into the hands.
Feel - 8.0
Stroking the putter gave excellent feedback. The feel of the putter head striking the ball did not feel muted and off center hits were felt in the hands.
Price - 3.0
Tiger Shark products have always been on the higher end of the price spectrum. As such, this grip will set one back 35 quid, which is rather high for a putter grip. However, if you are looking for an oversized putter grip, this is a good choice.
Other points worth noting
The TS grip does have one nuance - odour. There is a stench that comes from the grip. It still lingers on after 1 year of usage. Somehow I can never get rid of it. The smell is not over whelming, neither is pungent. After gripping on the putter, the smell of rubber will remain on your hands for some time before it wears off.
Overall - 35/50TS Lite Grip
Traction - 3.0
The traction is not good in wet conditions. For a person with sweaty palms, this grip does not work very well. On initial inspection, one would think that the TS and TS Lite have similar traction. However, on closer inspection, it is evident that the TS Lite is somewhat different.
Side by side comparison
From the picture, it can be seen that the thread marks on the TS Lite are rounded on the edges while the ones on the TS are more sharp edges.
Aesthetics - 3.0
The grip offers the same 4 thumb indicators for consistency as of the TS. However colours are limited to 3 - red, blue, and black. The colours on the TS Lite are rather bright and loud. And as mentioned that it is a more one piece design, the colour runs through the entire grip, making it rather bright and striking.
Comfort - 5.0
The size of the grip is very comfortable. Comparatively it feels more comfortable than the TS Grip. The ribbed grip also helps in alignment of the fingers into a comfortable grip. However, the problem comes after an hour or so on the practice green. As moisture builds up, the grip becomes more and more difficult to grip. There is a need to constantly wipe down the grip to remove the moisture. I also found myself having the tendency to grip harder on the putter. It got to a point where I felt that my muscles were sore after a long putting session.
Feel - 8.0
Stroking the putter gave excellent feedback. The feedback was similar to that of the TS grip. The feel of the putter head striking the ball did not feel muted. Also, off center hits were also felt in the hands.
Price - 1.0
This grip belongs to the highest end of the price spectrum! 45 quid for a sub-par product does not go well.
Overall - 20/50Summary
According to research, oversized grips do help in reducing wrist action. For golfers like myself who do a "wristy" putt, I would go for oversized grips such as the ones offered by Tiger Shark. I also have large hands (I wear size 26 gloves, and even sometimes find them too small) so large grips are my choice of grips.
In summary, the TS grip is a good choice for putter grip as it possesses good moisture management, excellent traction and is comfortable in the hands. The downside is the odour that lingers on for a while. The other thing to note is the weight which tends to change the swing weight of the putter.
In my opinion the TS Lite is a less superior product because it does not manage moisture well; the traction is not good and is really expensive. Although Tiger Shark has made great effort in reducing the weight of the grip, they have failed to fulfill the most fundamental criteria of a grip - traction. In my opinion, the TS Lite is a product that is taking two steps back in terms of product innovation.
Thank you for reading this review and I hope you have enjoyed it. Credits
GolfAmigos - Great job on the extension and thanks for the head cover!