If you look at putter grips on the professional golf tours these days you will see more than just your standard putter grip from days past. You will see fat grips, skinny grips and even cork grips. You heard me correctly. While cork grips aren’t necessarily new to the putting world, one company is doing their best to be heard. Cork Tree Putter Grips have stepped onto the scene and are making a fairly big splash.
So who is Cork Tree and what exactly is a cork putter grip?
From Cork Tree:
“Cork Tree — the world’s first company to produce golf products in cork leather — was co-founded by Nuno Nascimento and Marc Boggia. From an early age, Nascimento went with his grandfather to the Portuguese family cork oak forest learning all the tricks that nature presents. He studied and tested trees to find the best cork bark, and then transformed it into cork products suitable for commercialization.
Cork Tree mission is to maximize performance, increase confidence and ultimately improve putting statistics for every golfer using the Cork Putter Grips. Cork Tree also strives to be a contributor to a more eco-friendly world and cork leather offers this while adding functionality, durability and quality.
Today, the Nascimento family continues to sell cork bark to the cork stopper industry from its own 500 hectares cork plantation. Conscious of its hereditary property, The Cork Tree family continues to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing, protecting and maintenance of the properties. Beyond cleaning and fertilizing the cork oak forest, the plantation continues to grow with some 40,000 new cork trees being planted in the past eight years.
Boggia, an Englishman, has been a member of the British PGA since 1981. He’s a golf course owner, partner and creator of Asia’s largest indoor golf teaching facilities, managing director of a made-for-TV golf tournament, distributor of golf product and head instructor of the John Jacobs’ Golf Schools. As a youngster, he practiced, played and competed near the very cork forest that’s now become the source of raw material that fuels his business venture.
The Cork Tree’s golf bag was awarded the first place award at the Golf Europe 2013 show in the golf bag category and lead to the launch of the cork putter grips.”
- 100% natural, lightweight material
- Resilient, honeycomb cell structure
- Low conductivity of vibration
- Cork is extremely elastic
- Impermeable to water
- Anti-bacterial properties, resistant to dust and dirt
The Cork Tree putter grips will definitely catch some attention with their looks. When I took one out for the first time at my practice green I could see people staring in an attempt to figure out what kind of grip I was using. I had one individual approach me and ask for more information, which I was happy to provide. So be prepared for that.
Plain and simple the Cork Tree grips look like a cork putter grip. You can see from the photos that it has that a cork board honeycomb look. Where these putters really stand out (in terms of looks) is the engrained stitching. You can see in the above photo how cool that looks. The top of the putter is a hard rubber to cap it off, which is good protection for the top off the cork grip. There’s a black rubber where the putter shaft enters the grip as well.
The overall looks of these putter grips are very cool.
When I first grabbed the putter grip it felt soft and hard at the same time. Let me explain. The outer layer had a soft but solid feel to it. As you gripped down harder it became more solid.
Many of the putter grips on the market are leaning towards a softer feel, which the Cork Tree grip is not. Not that the grip itself is extremely hard, it’s just not as soft as others. I was a little worried about the harder feel at first but once I started using it I had no issues. I actually started to enjoy the way it felt in my hands. I liked that my hands remained in a solid position throughout the putting stroke.
The grip itself feels just like any piece of cork would. I’m sure you could use some push pins to leave notes for your putting game. Joking aside, the Cork Tree Putter Grip had a pretty nice feel.
Performance is pretty hard to explain in text when it comes to putter grips. Most of it is really going to come down to feel for a player. What is important when it comes to performance is whether it can perform in not just nice and sunny conditions but inclement weather as well. So the question came up whether or not it would be able to handle wet conditions.
I took the grip out for a morning round when the grass and greens were still a little dewy. As the day warmed up to about 80 degrees, the greens dried up and the sun came out. So I was able to test the grip in wet and hot/dry conditions. During the morning I noticed the grip dried up very quickly after being set down on a dewy/wet green. A simple wipe with a dry cloth solved it just like any other putting grip. As the heat picked up, the putter grip performed just as well. As some of you may know, wood can shrink and expand in extreme cold and hot conditions. Not that my round was in extreme conditions either way, but I didn’t notice any issues whatsoever.
The grip had that solid feel I discussed in the “FEEL” section of this review, which I really liked while putting. It encourages solid hand position for a repetitive stroke. Once I got used to the larger grip, I was able to find some confidence and starting dropping putts with consistency. I definitely enjoyed using the Cork Tree Grip and will most likely be leaving it on my putter for the time being.
One other thing I wanted to mention was how to clean these grips. It’s actually quite simple. You can use a wet wipe or lightly rub the grip with a clean, damp, soft cotton towel.
What Grips Do They Offer?
Gimme Putter Grip
This Cork Putter Grip has a slight taper grip shape and original cork pattern finish. It also carries the Cork Tree Signature branding. Measuring 33mm dia. at the top and 41mm dia. at it base.
Bandit Putter Grip
The Cork Putter Grip with reverse taper shape and original cork pattern finish.
This shape of grip being wider at the position of the lower hand helps diminish unwanted hand action. It also carries the Cork Tree Signature branding. Measuring 33mm dia. at the top and 41mm dia. at its base.
Slim Jim Putter Grip
This Cork Putter Grip has a Tour Taper grip shape and original cork pattern finish. It also carries the Cork Tree Signature branding. Measuring 24mm dia. at the top and 19.6mm dia. at its base.
Stumpy Putter Grip
This is our largest Cork Putter Grip with reverse taper shape and original cork pattern finish. This shape of grip being wider at the position of the lower hand helps diminish unwanted hand action. It also carries the Cork Tree Signature branding. Measuring 39mm dia. at the top and 41mm dia. at its base.