Best Golf Glove of 2021
With its soft and luxurious Cabretta leather and closely tailored fit, the FootJoy Pure Touch Limited provides excellent comfort and grip, earning its spot as our overall favorite golf glove. The select Cabretta leather provides a nice balance of softness, tackiness, and just the right thickness to give a comfortable, ergonomic fit and a confident grip. We found this glove to contour to the hand and fingers without any extra bulk or bunched up material, and the soft leather has a well-shaped fit and high-end feel.
The only potential downside of this top performer is that the soft, luxurious leather may potentially stretch or show wear quicker than lower-grade materials, and it's one of the priciest models we tested. Still, for a noticeably refined fit and top-tier comfort, we think this FootJoy glove is worth the investment.
The Callaway OptiColor Leather Glove spruces up the typical bland white golf glove marketplace with an assortment of colors — and does so with a respectable performance at a reasonable price. The Opti Feel+ leather has an ideal thickness to balance comfort and feel, and we found the overall construction and fit to be excellent. Overall, we were very pleased with this glove's performance. Toss in its middle of the road price tag, and you've got an attainable glove that provides an excellent value.
While the OptiColor has superb fit and feel, the leather isn't as soft or grippy as other high-end models constructed of more luxurious and supple materials. Moreover, if you're a fan of the traditional white golf glove, you may be disappointed that this glove is only available in bold colors. The OptiColor is still one of our favorite overall models, and it's one of the best at balancing comfort, performance, and value.
With a bargain price tag and surprisingly high-quality construction, the MG Dynagrip makes a 100% Cabretta leather glove easily attainable for golfers of all budgets. The thin, soft leather helps enhance grip with the club while still retaining a good amount of feel, inspiring confidence and control. The low sticker price provides excellent value and is one of the only 100% Cabretta leather gloves available in this price range, which is usually dominated by models with lower-grade synthetic materials.
While the Dynagrip's materials and construction are very good for such an affordable model, the leather is still a bit thinner and less refined than that of the top-end gloves. The overall fit is also somewhat bulkier, potentially leading to extra bunched-up material that could reduce grip quality and club feel. Overall, though, the Dynagrip is a worthy competitor and our top choice for golfers on a shoestring budget.
We appreciate the Titleist Players glove for its top-tier materials and tailored fit. It's similar in this way to our favorite model, the FootJoy Pure Touch, but the FootJoy has a larger flexible elastic wrist cuff, making it adaptable to a wider range of hand sizes. The Titleist has much smaller elastic inserts for a more precise, custom feeling fit. Both models have top-quality craftsmanship and soft, supple, high-end leather that provides excellent grip and feel.
While we love the high-end fit and feel of this glove, we realize that its more customized fit may not suit every hand shape or size. Other models with a less precise fit may provide greater flexibility. This glove is also one of the pricier models that we tested, and the soft and supple leather can wear out faster than less refined materials. The Titleist Players is still one of our favorite gloves, and we recommend anyone looking for top-quality materials and a superb fit to give it a try.
With strategically placed padded inserts to help enhance grip pressure, the Bionic StableGrip is our go-to for players with hand ailments such as arthritis. The padded palm and padded rings around each finger help noticeably increase contact pressure with the club, which could be a huge benefit for those who struggle with grip pressure. The overall fit is also very comfortable and ergonomic, and the materials are of high quality.
The padded inserts can also significantly decrease the feel between the hand and the club, which could hinder finesse-type players. For competitive golfers, note that the Bionic StableGrip is only approved for use in USGA competitions with a medical waiver. Most casual golfers not planning on joining any official competitions likely won't need to worry about that and may benefit from the unique design.
The TaylorMade Tour Preferred is constructed from 100% AAA Cabretta Soft Tech Leather, providing luxurious comfort and an upscale feel. The leather has just the right thickness and tackiness to enhance grip with the club without compromising feel or finesse. The glove is well constructed and feels like a high-end product.
Where the Tour Preferred falls just short of other premium models is with its fit precision. The fingers are well-shaped, but the overall size is somewhat bulky, with excess material bunching up on the back of the hand. Of course, different golfers with different hand shapes and sizes may have different fit experiences and perceptions — but we found that the overall precision is less refined than other top-of-the-line models. Still, overall, this is a high-end product that falls just short of the top contenders.
The TaylorMade Tour Preferred Flex combines high-end Cabretta leather with flexible elastic inserts to create a glove with an expensive feel and performance with a comfortable, flexible fit. The AAA Cabretta Soft Tech leather is as nice as any material on any glove, and the elastic insert on the back of the hand allows the glove to flex a little better as you grip the club, providing excellent overall grip and feel.
We appreciated the high-quality leather and the flexible inserts, but this glove didn't perform as well as some of the higher-end models we tested. The Cabretta leather isn't as soft and supple as some of the top-ranked gloves, and the overall fit isn't as precise as others. This is still a high-performing glove at a reasonable price and could be a good option for golfers looking to balance cost and performance.
The FootJoy StaSof stands out with its impressive craftsmanship and high-quality leather from Pittards of England. The glove looks and feels very similar to the highest performing gloves in our lineup, and if appropriately fitted, could provide excellent grip and control.
Unfortunately, the StaSof lacked the precise fit of its higher-end sibling, the FootJoy Pure Touch Limited. The StaSof has very bulky fingers that caused the material to bunch together, which compromised confidence in our grip and performance with this glove. While others may have a different experience with the fit, we found that it doesn't have the same high-end precision and ergonomics found on some of the top-tier gloves.
The Callaway Dawn Patrol has a classic design, full leather construction, and an affordable price tag. Although the leather is a bit less soft and supple than other premium models, this glove is still comfortable and doesn't seem to show wear as quickly as more refined materials.
Since the Dawn Patrol's leather isn't quite as soft as some, golfers may compromise a little bit of feel and grip quality compared to the higher grade materials. This glove's fit is also a bit bulkier than others, with a less precise, ergonomic feel. It would be a good choice for price-conscious golfers seeking a good value and who are less concerned with having the most luxurious materials and fit.
Why You Should Trust Us
This golf glove review is brought to you by GearLab Review Editor Nick Bruckbauer. Honing his game ever since first golfing as a teenager, he knows the joys of breaking 80, the struggles of trying to break 100, and everything in between. He also understands how a small tweak in the way the golf club feels in your hands can make a vast difference between a confident swing or a confused hack. His attention to detail helps him identify small nuances between various products that could potentially make the difference between your average or your most successful round of golf.
For this review, we bought nine of the top golf gloves on the market and put them to the test directly against each other. We hit hundreds of balls at the driving range and took the full stack of gloves out onto the course for several rounds of golf. After changing gloves frequently to get a side-by-side comparison, we discovered small differences in glove quality and performance.
Analysis and Test Results
Throughout our testing, we evaluated and ranked each glove across four distinct performance metrics: fit and comfort, grip and feel, materials and build quality, and quality of closure. We found that performance across many of these metrics was related to each other, where high performance in one metric typically leads to high performance across other metrics. With few exceptions, the highest-ranked products seemed to rise to the top of nearly every category.
Fit and Comfort
One of a golf glove's most important performance criteria, fit and comfort, will often significantly impact a glove's grip, feel, and overall performance. Also closely related to the material and build quality, we found that softer and more luxurious materials are typically more comfortable and are often accompanied by a more precise tailored fit. Lower performers in this metric often don't fit as precisely. They may have extra material that bunches up along the fingers or on the back of the hand, which could potentially cause blisters or discomfort.
Most of the gloves in our lineup are available in both regular sizes and Cadet sizes. Cadet sized gloves are the same as their regular-sized counterparts except for shorter fingers. For example, a Cadet Medium will have the same hand size but shorter fingers than a regular Medium.
This metric's highest performers include the top-ranked FootJoy Pure Touch Limited and the Titleist Players glove. These models are both constructed from high-end Cabretta leather that is soft and supple, striking an ideal density that is not too thick and not too thin. More importantly, both of these gloves also have the most precise tailored fit of any other gloves in our lineup. They have similar designs that hug the hand with a comfortable snugness, leaving no extra material or bagginess to bunch up along the fingers or at the back of the hand. The Pure Touch Limited has a slight edge in comfort, thanks to its elastic band around the wrist and larger elastic strip on the back of the hand. In contrast, the Titleist has a slight edge in fit with limited elastic around the wrist and a more custom-tailored fit.
Another high performer in this performance metric is the Bionic StableGrip. Intended for golfers with hand ailments such as arthritis, the StableGrip has a padded palm and embedded rings of padding wrapped around each finger. The fingers are tapered at the ends for a snug fit, and the back of the hand and fingers have several elastic inserts for a snug but flexible fit. The overall fit is excellent and makes this glove one of the most comfortable in our lineup.
Finally, the Callaway OptiColor Leather Glove earns high marks for fit and comfort. Although this model wasn't available in our typical Cadet size, the regular Medium size provided a snug, custom feeling fit with no extra fabric or wrinkles. The Opti Feel+ leather is an ideal thickness and softness and feels comfortable against the skin.
Grip and Feel
A golf glove's grip quality is typically dependent on the thickness and tackiness of its materials. In general, softer, higher-quality leathers usually provide better tackiness and grip than lower-quality materials. A golf glove's feel can be very subjective, depending on the individual. The game of golf involves a lot of finesse and coordination, and some players prefer feeling more sensations in their hands and feedback from the club's contact with the ball. Thinner, more uniform materials typically provide more sensitivity and a better feel than thicker materials or designs with additional seams or extra fabric reinforcements.
Again, the FootJoy Pure Touch Limited and the Titleist Players stand out in this metric. Both gloves are constructed from high-quality Cabretta leather. They are soft and supple to provide a slight tackiness and just the right thickness without unnecessary seams or extra patches of material. Both gloves offer an ergonomic fit and excellent feel with no bunched up fabric, and just a soft, uniform layer of high-grade leather between your hand and the club.
Also performing well in this metric are the two TaylorMade models that we tested, the Tour Preferred and the Tour Preferred Flex. Both of these are constructed from AAA Cabretta Soft Tech Leather that provides an ideal thickness, softness, and tackiness. The fit and ergonomics of these two models are not quite as precise as the Pure Touch and the Titleist, but the high-quality materials do enhance their sensitivity and grip.
The Bionic StableGrip is unique in this category with its embedded 3D padding on the palm and around the fingers that helps enhance grip pressure on the club. Conversely, this design tends to mute some sensation between your hand and the club since there are extra layers of dense padding in between. This glove could be a good option for golfers with hand ailments like arthritis, who may struggle to maintain a firm grip on the club. For golfers who may participate in competitions governed by the United States Golf Association (USGA) or who like to strictly follow USGA rules in their casual rounds, the StableGrip is only legal with a medical exception.
Materials and Build Quality
Cabretta leather gloves are typically thinner, softer, and more supple, and therefore tend to provide excellent comfort, feel, and grip tackiness. Most gloves constructed from higher-end materials also place a premium on build quality and fit, and therefore tend to perform well across the board.
Most high-quality golf gloves are constructed from Cabretta Leather, which comes from sheep who grow hair instead of wool. It is typically softer and more pliable than other materials but tends to wear or stretch out faster than synthetic materials. Other gloves are made from traditional genuine leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of synthetic materials and natural leather.
Once again, the FootJoy Pure Touch Limited and the Titleist Players earn our top ratings in this category with their high-quality leathers and top-notch construction quality. Both are constructed from select Cabretta leather and have excellent build quality and a precise fit. We noticed that the soft leather on these two gloves tended to pick up small scuffs a little more quickly than others.
Another top performer constructed from high-quality AAA Cabretta Soft Tech Leather is the TaylorMade Tour Preferred glove. This glove also has excellent build quality with precisely constructed seams and an assortment of micro-perforations for breathability. Though the fit is slightly less precise than the top-ranked models, the high-quality materials and construction are apparent once you slip it on.
The Callaway OptiColor Leather Glove earns respectable scores in this metric thanks to its Opti Feel+ Leather, precise fit, and excellent overall construction quality. The Opti Feel+ Leather is not as soft as the Cabretta leather found on other high-end gloves. Still, Callaway does a great job balancing material quality, construction, and performance at a reasonable price.
Quality of Closure
A golf glove's closure system may seem like an afterthought, but we discovered small nuances that seemed to impact our perception of the glove's overall comfort and user-friendliness. Each glove in our lineup has a Velcro-style hook & loop closure tab, and most models also have an elastic wristband. Not all hook & loop closure tabs are created equal. Several gloves have hook & loop systems with thinner materials that are much less grippy or sticky than others with thicker hook & loop materials.
The top performers in this category all have a large, easy to grip closure tab with a thick, sticky hook & loop closure system. Standouts include both FootJoy models: the Pure Touch Limited and the StaSof. Both of these gloves have a robust and grippy closure tab and a comfortable elastic wrist cuff. Following closely behind is the Titleist Players glove. This model also has a convenient large closure tab with an excellent hook & loop material but has a less pronounced elastic wristband that may not be as comfortable or forgiving for certain hand shapes.
Finally, the Bionic StableGrip has a somewhat smaller closure tab but an excellent hook & loop material that is very sticky. It also has a wide elastic wristband that adds to the comfortable, snug fit.
Golf is such a beautiful yet complex game, where small nuances or distractions that break your focus or confidence can mean the difference between an average round or one of your best rounds ever. The right golf glove can help eliminate blisters or friction, improve your grip on the club, and enhance your overall confidence and enjoyment of the sport. We hope that this review helps you find the best golf glove to suit your game and your needs and helps you achieve your goals out on the course.
— Nick Bruckbauer