Too many intense sessions at the golf range or in your home setup can often come with a painful price tag: hand blisters. Recently, I have been working on my game at an unusually intense level and have the scars to prove it. Like my other nemesis, back pain, these skin irritants are more than annoying; they can throw your game or practice session off track. This guide will break down golf blisters, why we get them and provide valuable tips on preventing and treating them effectively.
What Causes Golf Blisters?
Golf blisters can occur in various locations on your hands, depending on factors like grip, swing, and pressure. The most common areas for golf blisters include:
- Palm Blisters: These often form on the palm of your dominant hand, especially if you’re gripping the club too tightly.
- Finger Blisters: These can develop on the fingers of both your lead and trailing hands. They’re typically the result of friction between your fingers and the grip.
- Thumb Blisters: Golfers sometimes experience blisters on their thumbs, especially if they have an incorrect thumb placement on the grip.
- Heel Blisters: While less common, blisters can also form on the heel of your hand if your grip pressure is uneven.
Common Root Causes
- Change in or Incorrect Grip: Too much friction, especially excessive grip pressure can lead to blisters over time.
- Excess Practice: Too much of a good thing can be bad, magnified by ill-fitting grips or gloves.
- Sweaty Hands & Grips: Heat and moisture worsen the situation. Wipe those grips down.
- Old Grips: Worn-out grips are a blister’s best friend. We have many posts that can help you select the proper grips – change those grips, check them out!
There is a pattern here. Check out our article “Size Matters: Selecting the Right Grip for Your Game,” where we learned about advances in grip technology from JumboMax grips and other vendors, as well as grip fitting techniques. The most important takeaway from that article was that Golf.com tested 1,440 golfers and found that 90% were using the wrong grips! The wrong grip size can lead to loss of control and hand manipulation and obviously can bring blisters into play.
Your golf glove can play a role as well. An ill-fitting glove can be a root cause, or maybe you stopped using gloves (like I did and now regret it) and are more likely to develop blisters from the added friction. Gloves also absorb sweat better and are recommended for long practice sessions. If you’re in for a long session, switching gloves periodically can help, especially in the hot weather season. It allows each glove to dry out, reducing friction caused by sweat.
Our recommendation for the best glove for blister protection is the Bionic Stablefit.
- Made of genuine leather, it boasts an additional pad on the palm for extra support and lifespan. This pad offers twice the strength in one of the most common places where other golf gloves break down.
- Prevents fatigue and increases grip stability with a patented anatomical pad relief system evening out the surface of your hand, dispersing your grip pressure evenly on the club. Get a lighter grip and stay in full control the whole round.
- Lycra between the finger gussets, top of knuckles, and running up the pointer finger offer maximum breathability and flexibility during hot, humid rounds. Terrycloth interiors in high-risk zones manage moisture without losing grip.
I just started The Stack System today, and before my benchmark session started, there was a warning that you need to ensure you’re using a glove for this very reason. Point taken, lesson learned.
Quick Prevention Checklist
- Right Gear: Quality gloves and tape can be lifesavers.
- Rest Periods: Don’t underestimate the power of a break.
- Proper Grip(s): Position matters. Keep the grip in your fingers, not your palm. Check your grip fit, and replace old grips.
- Glove Rotation for long sessions.
- Towel: Have one handy and wipe down those grips periodically.
- Clubs: Change clubs frequently during practice sessions. You don’t hit the same club ten times in a row on the course.
- Tape: Tape your fingers using a product like BirdieWrap
Treatment & Playing Through
So, you’ve got a blister. Now what?
- Blister Bandages: Medicated pads can offer immediate relief. I swear by the Band-Aid medicated blister pads. I’m always getting blisters on my feet from new running shoes, and these work wonders. I’m using them on my fingers as I type this. Nylon and spandex finger sleeves can offer protection if bandages aren’t sticking.
- Reduce Practice Time: This probably goes without saying. Work on your short game! Let your hands recover. See our Guide to Practicing Golf at Home for more practice ideas.
- Golf Tape: Golf-specific finger tape like BirdieWrap can help prevent and deal with blisters.
- Protect your fingers from hot spots, nicks, cuts, and blisters from a long session at the driving range.
- Stretches easily over knuckles, flexible and comfortable.
- Made with waterproof, hypo-allergenic adhesive that helps keep BirdieWrap on your fingers and hands even if it gets wet!
Final Thoughts on Golf Blisters
Many of us enjoy spending hours working on our game, but it’s important to remember that this can have a negative affect on our hands and lead to painful blisters. To effectively combat this issue, it’s crucial to understand the causes.
Blisters can appear on your palm, fingers, thumb, or even the heel of your hand due to improper grips, excessive practice, sweaty hands, or worn-out equipment. They’re a sign that something needs to change in your golf routine.
Prevention is key when it comes to blisters. You can start by choosing the right gear, having grips that fit, and taking breaks during practice sessions. A well-fitted glove can protect your hands from friction, absorb sweat, and reduce your chances of developing blisters.
When blisters strike, don’t fret. Reach for blister bandages or nylon and spandex finger sleeves for quick relief. Reduce your practice time to let your hands recover, and consider using golf-specific finger tape like BirdieWrap to protect against future blisters.