Many playable hickory clubs are found in a condition of disrepair and often the grip has become unsuitable for the task at hand. Changing the grip on a hickory club is a relatively simple task! I like to use suede leather, that I buy on line, and then cut into strips. It is far easier to buy precut strips either on eBay or through this site. Strips may vary in width and length, but they should be adequate to cover 13-17″ of the club shaft. If desired, smooth leather may also be used.
You will also need very small nails, I use #2 upholstery tacks , available through amazon, double sided grip tape, a sharp knife, and a small hammer. If building up the thickness of the grip is necessary, friction tape will be needed as well.
First, take off any old grip, and underlisting material, until you are down to bare wood. Now, you have a great opportunity to apply a coat or two of finish to the entire shaft. Shellac is readily available at any local hardware store, and dries quickly, making the process short and simple. Certainly, other oils or urethanes may be used.
When the shellac is dry, wrap the grip area, with two sided grip tape. And, of course, remove the backing, after it is applied. If the leather is particularly thin, or the shaft is thin, you might like to ” build the grip up” before applying the grip tape. I use black friction tape, for this, and even 4-5 layers may be used if necessary.
The grip should have been cut with an angle at one end. This angle cut should be about 3″ long, and will go at the very top, or butt of the shaft. Attach the tip of the grip with a nail, staying about 3/8″ from the end. The nail should go in the very back of the shaft, as splitting can occur if the nail goes into the side grain. The first turn of the grip, around the butt of the shaft, will overlap itself, creating a bit thicker, top of the grip. However after the first winding, pressure should be applied to force the leather to fit each successive winding, snugly against the previous one, paying attention to avoid overlaps, or gaps. Continue to apply reasonable even pressure, keeping the grip taut, as you go. Proceed in this manner, until you have reached the bottom of the area to be gripped. You may finish the grip off, with another nail, also in the back of the shaft, and cut the remaining grip away, evenly around the shaft. Finishing with wax linen whipping will give you a professional result.