The One, a single-finger suede golf glove, covers only the middle finger and a majority of the palm. Because of the material used and the design, the glove provides benefits that a traditional golf glove cannot
Golf gloves usually do not produce much excitement when all the new equipment and accessories hit the marketplace. Rarely is there much to talk about when the topic is new gloves, plus lots of players — myself included — don’t even wear one.
In recent years, Chicago-based Zero Friction introduced a one-glove-fits-all model and produced it in 13 colors. Pocketec Inc., located in Stuart, Fla., introduced a glove with the pain relief properties of copper-infused technology at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. Also, the show produced The Claw, by CaddyDaddy, of Arizona. The Claw has a silicon mesh across the palm for better gripping and it’s reportedly machine-washable.
For me, though, the most cutting edge of new golf gloves is The One. It’s a single-finger glove that not only has a distinctive appearance, but also has — according to its supporters — many other advantages over traditional golf gloves.
“I’ve been involved with glove design and manufacturing for over 20 years,” said Dave Atkinson, president of Champion Gloves. “I’ve never seen a product like this. It has changed my mindset on how a glove should function and look.”
The One is manufactured by Champion but isn’t one of the company’s products. The glove’s most vocal endorser is Nancy Fitzgerald, who won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in 1997 and the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Fitzgerald lives near and plays out of the noted Crooked Stick Golf Club, located in Carmel, Ind., and is a member of the Indiana and Michigan state golf halls of fame, respectively. She was part of a four-person creative team that worked for nearly seven years on the concept of a one-finger glove. The others were Tom Clark, who owns the company, Chris Szilagyi and Atkinson.
They decided that traditional leather on the back of the glove wasn’t needed, so a suede material from Japan was used in the manufacturing process. The glove is designed to cover the middle finger and majority of the palm, while the backside looks more like a wrist wrap.
“It’ll last at least three times longer than a regular glove because of this material,” Fitzgerald said. “Purses and gloves have been made from this material. It’s so strong, you can’t put a hole in it. People can wash their hands with it on.”
For players who don’t use a glove, The One may make them think twice.
“Now it’s either no glove or a five-finger glove,” Fitzgerald said. “I fell in love with this one. It doesn’t feel like you have a glove on.”
While many golfers take their gloves off when putting, Fitzgerald says there’s no need for that with The One. It’s rain-proof, and players can wear rings and won’t have problems reaching into their pockets with the glove on.
The glove also benefits players with restrictions, such as arthritis, and provides a cooler feel for players in hot weather.
Fitzgerald brought the product to the attention of the U.S. Golf Association and expects the USGA to approve it for use in championships.
“We can sell The One. We don’t need (USGA approval),” said Fitzgerald, who expects the glove to sell for about $20 retail. “I just want it. I want them to be behind something that helps other people.”