Golf gloves don’t produce much excitement when new equipment hits the marketplace. Rarely is there much to talk about when it comes to new gloves, plus lots of players (me included) don’t even wear one.
In recent years Chicago-based Zero Friction introduced a one-glove-fits-all model and produced it in 13 colors. Pocketec Inc., in Stuart, Fla., introduced a glove with the pain relief properties of copper infused technology at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show and that big event also led to the arrival of The Claw, by CaddyDaddy of Arizona. It has a silicon mesh across the palm for better gripping and it’s also reportedly machine –washable.
For me, though, the most cutting edge of new golf gloves is The One. It’s a single finger glove that not only has a distinctive appearance, but also has – according to its supporters – many other advantages over traditional golf gloves.
“I’ve been involved with glove design and manufacturing for over 20 years,’’ said Dave Atkinson, the Champion Gloves president. “I’ve never seen a product like this. It has changed my mindset on how a glove should function and look.’’
The One is manufactured by Champion but isn’t one of the company’s products. Its
most vocal endorser is Nancy Fitzgerald. She won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in 1997 and the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Fitzgerald lives near and plays out of Crooked Stick, one of Indiana’s premier private clubs, and is a member of the state golf halls of fame in both Indiana and Michigan. She was part of a four-person creative team that worked for nearly seven years on the concept of a one-finger glove. The others were Tom Clark, who owns the company; Chris Szilagyi and Atkinson.
They decided that traditional leather on the back of the glove wasn’t needed, and a suede material from Japan was used in the manufacturing process.
“It’ll last at least three times longer than a regular glove because of this material,’’ said Fitzgerald. “Purses and gloves have been made from this material. It’s so strong, you can’t put a hole in it. People can wash their hands with it on.’’
For players who don’t use a glove, The One may make them think twice.
“Now it’s either no glove or a five-finger glove,’’ said Fitzgerald. “I fell in love with this one. It doesn’t feel like you have a glove on.’’
While many golfers take their gloves off when putting, Fitzgerald says there’s no need for that with The One. It’s rain-proof, and players can wear rings and won’t have problems reaching into their pockets with the glove on.
It’ll also benefit players with restrictions, such as arthritis, and provides a cooler feel for players in hot weather.
Fitzgerald has brought the product to the attention of the U.S. Golf Association and expects the USGA to approve it for use in its championships.
“We can sell The One. We don’t need (USGA approval),’’ said Fitzgerald. “I just want it. I want them to be behind something that helps other people.’’
She expects the glove to sell for about $20 at golf shops. It’s now available through the company’s website, www.theonegolfglove.com.