You would be hard-pressed to find someone who gets more excited to open a box of brand new grips than me.
I've been working on golf clubs for over 40 years, and the very first thing I learned to do was re-grip. What I love about putting a new grip on a club is how immediately it changes your connection to that club, whether it be a new driver or a wedge you've had in the bag for years.
In this case, I was about to go out for a Friday afternoon skins game at Oceanside's Goat Hill Golf Course and I wanted to get more into the spirit of things than I was the week before when I brought all the latest technology out to the short, quirky layout. As I watched managing partner John Ashworth (the golf apparel guy who now runs Linksoul) hit persimmon woods off the tee during my first skins game, I vowed to bring something wooden the next week.
However when you haven't played something in about 30 years the grip gets pretty slick, so it was the perfect chance to try a brand new Lamkin Z5 grip I received on a club built in the 1960s. The red and white finish on the grip, matched the cherry red finish on the head enough to attract the attention of my playing partners (deflecting the fact that the rest of my bag was still pretty high tech) and we were on our way.
From the first swing I knew the Z5 was a winner. At first appearance, there is a lot going on with multiple textures at various places on the grip. But the feel is really solid -- albeit softer than my other Lamkin favorite, the UTx. (read review)
The Z5 also has a nice reminder "V" shape. I don't think you would want to slip it on backwards as you might be comfortable doing with your grips (or asking your clubfitter to do). Also, if you flip it upside down you're losing out on the design feature of the grip that provides your left hand with the extra protection it needs, especially in the thumb area. If you're like me, you'll appreciate the attention to detail the Lamkin letters have at the bottom of the grip, etched and paint filled against a white background giving them a sharp appearance.
Not having tried it in the rain, I can't say for sure that the Z5 will perform well but I have no reason to think it won't. At the top there is some of the light string embedded in the main material that gives me the feeling it would work great with a rain or regular leather glove.
The Z5 will most certainly appeal to the player that loves a combo cord/rubber type grip. Typically you're looking for stability in your upper hand and more feel in your lower. The Z5 accomplishes that and looks great doing it. It's definitely not a "me too" product.