Golfers are very competitive, and most players will not let injury or medical conditions deter them from playing at their best. Arthritis of the hands is no different, as modern technology and golf company research and development have allowed several innovative solutions to make their way to the market. Golfers with arthritis have some options for golf gloves.
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For many years, specialized golf gloves for arthritis were a point of controversy among golf purists because of the characteristics that made them effective for people suffering from the pain. The first glove designs for arthritis were much thicker than normal, leading some inside the game to believe they created an unnatural advantage. However, the USGA backed off this stance in the late 2000s, and golf gloves for arthritis became legal under the Rules of Golf.
Bionic Golf Gloves
The Bionic golf equipment company manufactures the game's leading arthritic golf glove, according to the 2010 Golf Digest Hot List. Bionic claims to be the only golf glove designed by a leading orthopedic hand surgeon, and has models for both hands during the course of play to relieve pain and pressure. There are triple rows of padding at the hand pressure points, and the glove length extends downward to cover the wrist and provide additional support.
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Independent testing conducted by Golf Associates reported that Bionic significantly reduced pain among golfers with arthritis. There is an ergonomic design featured throughout these gloves that increases grip pressure and strength, which can make all the difference in a sport as demanding as golf. For players with arthritis, fatigue can set in early, leading to sloppy swings and poor fundamentals. Golf gloves for arthritis can help stop fatigue from setting in, allowing these golfers to perform at their best.
The LeviTee golf glove is another offering that aims to reduce stress of the hands while swinging the golf club. Instead of thick padding on the fingers and palms, the LeviTee glove places thick padding in between the fingers to provide additional support while gripping and swinging the club. However, the LeviTee glove, as of January 2011, has not been approved by the USGA for tournament play. Many arthritic golfers have used this glove in recreational play as a means to provide relief.