Difference Between Ribbed and Align (Alignment) Grips
What are the differences between Ribbed and Alignment golf grips? Turns out, there are a number of notable differences you need to know. Alignment grips (also termed "Align" or "Calibrate") evolved from ribbed golf grips in the later part of 2018. Since then they've gained considerable traction as some of the most popular grips on the market as well as with professional Tour players (grip trivia - did you know 30% of all Tour players play a ribbed or alignment grip?).
First, what do Ribbed and Alignment grips have in common?
They are both designed to help players feel where the spine or bottom of the shaft is. Knowing this can be immensely helpful in placing your hands in the proper gripping position. Having a consistently correct grip means more consistent shots.
// Ribbed Grips
Ribbed golf grips have a small (usually less than 1/64" in height) protruding rib on the undersize of the grip which runs down the full length of the grip - watch this video explanation by Michael Breed. The rib is designed to be oriented along the spine of the shaft. Also called a "reminder" or "ridge", this helps players feel where the bottom of the grip is, so they know how to properly place their hands.
// Alignment Grips
The Alignment grip is basically a bigger/badder version of the ribbed grip. Manufacturers are calling it by the model names of "Align (by Golf Pride)" and "Calibrate (for Lamkin)". These alignment grips feature an unmistakable ridge that is much higher, wider, and more prominent than that of a traditional rib. This gives golfers clear visual and tactile point of reference on where both of their hands should grip the club.
Main Differences between Ribbed and Align Grips
- Ribbed grips have no visual enhancement of the rib. So unless you are looking closely at an installed grip, they will almost look the same as round grips. Important note: the rib is actually on the inside of the grip, and will only be felt on the outside of the grip when installed (and thus pushed outward) onto a golf shaft.
- Alignment grips on the other hand have a prominent visual design for this ridge. It's unmistakable.. which you can see here on the MCC Classic Align Green:
- Ribbed grips provide a subtle feel of the rib, whereas alignment grips provide a much wider (around 1/10") and unmistakable ridge.
- Ribbed grips provide around 1/64" of depth along the rib, whereas align grips are much higher, up to 2/5" in depth, as with the Calibrate grips.
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