Types Of Golf Gloves — (Pros and Cons of Materials)

Types of Golf Gloves from Tell Me More Golf Coaches with Synthetic and Leather Gloves

As a golf instructor with 50+ years of experience, I have seen firsthand how significantly golf gloves have changed over the years. While the majority of golf pro shops used to only offer one style of golf gloves, there are now dozens of different options that are suited to a golfer’s different needs. 

Beginners and experienced golfers alike can easily become overwhelmed with all the different high-quality gloves on the market today, so we have put together this helpful guide to help you understand all the different types of golf gloves. 

The Different Types Of Golf Gloves

The main purposes of a golf glove are to increase grip with the golf club, and prevent blisters and calluses on the hand due to friction. Golfers generally wear a single golf glove on their lead hand, though there are also certain types of golf gloves meant to be worn on both hands. 

The lead hand is the left hand for right-handed golfers, and for left-handed golfers the lead hand is on the right. Most golfers leave their top hand, or “trail hand” without a glove, as it is less likely to develop blisters on this hand, and many prefer the feel of the bare thumb on the golf grip. 

While there are dozens of different companies producing hundreds of different models of golf gloves today, many are very similar in terms of design.

They nearly always feature a velcro strap, and it can be tough to tell the difference without feeling them. 

The majority of golf gloves are considered to be “standard” style, and they are designed for average and dry conditions. The main differences between different standard golf gloves are the types of materials used, and we will cover the difference between synthetic leather gloves and other materials below. 

Along with standard golf gloves, there are also specialty gloves that are meant to be worn in certain conditions. This includes rain gloves and golf mitts, both of which are meant to be worn on both hands and provide grip and warmth even in harsh weather conditions. 

Many golfers get distracted by the different color finishes and “bells and whistles” offered by different golf glove designs, though this is a common mistake. The most important thing when choosing a golf glove is to take a closer look at the materials used, as this has the most significant impact on the overall glove. 


Synthetic Golf Gloves

While leather is the material that has historically been used to make traditional golf gloves for decades, there has been a major rise in golf gloves made using synthetic materials recently. Synthetic gloves generally offer better durability compared to leather options, and they are a bit more affordable.

The main drawback for some golfers when it comes to synthetic golf gloves is the reduced “feel” compared with softer leather gloves.

While leather gloves offer better feel, many golfers prefer the durability of synthetic options, as they require replacement far less frequently. 

Synthetic golf gloves also offer less breathability compared to options made out of natural materials, and the glove makers compensate for this by adding small holes to the design. The quickest way to spot a synthetic glove is to look for these perforations, which are essential for keeping hands cool. 

Golf gloves made with 100 percent synthetic materials also offer far less breathability compared to leather gloves, which is a serious consideration that needs to be made for golfers who generally play in hot and humid conditions. 


Cabretta Leather Golf Gloves

Cabretta Leather is a unique material that is made using sheepskin, and cabretta leather golf gloves have become very popular over the past decade due to their combination of softness, durability, and breathability. 

Many golfers find that cabretta leather golf gloves provide the feel and breathability that they have become accustomed to with leather gloves, but with added durability similar to synthetic options. 

Many professional golfers on the PGA Tour have adopted the use of cabretta leather golf gloves during dry and warm conditions.

It is not uncommon for pros to carry multiple types of gloves in their golf bag and use a different type depending on weather conditions and the individual golf course. 

Many top golf manufacturers like Titleist, Taylormade, and Under Armour have added cabretta leather gloves to their lineups, and they are generally more affordable than leather gloves. Premium cabretta leather gloves from artisanal golf brands are also available for those that do not mind spending a bit more. 



Hybrid golf gloves have become very popular within the golf community for providing the “best of both worlds” between synthetic and natural materials at a reasonable cost. Similarly to cabretta leather options, hybrid gloves promise the soft feel of  leather gloves with the increased durability of synthetic options. 

While hybrid golf gloves were once all the rage around golf courses and pro shops, the rise of the cabretta leather material has made them a bit less popular.

They have a distinctly “tacky” grip and feel that is divisive among golfers, as people either tend to love or hate these materials. 


Rain Golf Gloves

There are many golfers who will only play 18 holes under good weather conditions, while others look at a rainy day as an opportunity to take advantage of a less crowded golf course. Many courses offer “rainy day specials” on wet days, and using the right type of gloves is essential under wet weather conditions

Rain gloves are an essential piece of golf gear for players who often find themselves in rainy conditions, and many competitive golfers always have a pair of weather gloves in the bag in case it starts raining during a tournament round. 

Rain gloves are sold in pairs, and are meant to be worn on both hands while golfing in the rain. They are coated in a special material that actually becomes more tacky and “grippy” when wet, similar to the materials used on the palms and fingers of football gloves. 


Golf Mitts

Golf mitts are designed to be worn over regular golf gloves, and are a great option for winter golf during particularly cold weather. Golf mitts are not designed to be worn while swinging the club, and are removed and replaced before and after each shot. 

Keeping the hands warm is one of the best ways to achieve better feel and grip on the golf club during cold rounds of golf, and many golfers consider them to be some of the most important pieces of golf gear they own. 

Many golfers who play a significant amount of winter golf also keep hand warming packets in their bag, and hold them in their palms before slipping on their golf mitts. This adds an extra layer of heat, leading to toasty hands and oftentimes lower scores. 


Leather Vs Synthetic Golf Gloves

While there are now golf gloves made out of cabretta leather and hybrid materials, leather and synthetic were the only two options for many years. They each offer different advantages, and many golfers keep both in their bag depending on weather conditions. 

Many golfers agree that leather gloves offer the best “feel” available of any style of golf glove. They are also more breathable compared to synthetic materials, which make them an ideal choice for golfers who live in warmer areas. 

Synthetic materials may offer a bit less feel compared to leather options, but many golfers either can’t tell the difference or do not mind sacrificing a bit of feel for increased durability. Synthetic gloves can often last double as long as leather versions before needing replacement, making them perfect options for budget conscious golfers. 


TellMeMoreGolf.com – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of golf gloves?

For many decades, leather golf gloves were the only available option. Synthetic materials were then introduced, followed by hybrids of synthetic and leather. Cabretta leather is now very popular, which is a unique material made from sheepskin. 

Is there a difference between golf gloves?

There is a significant difference between the feel, breathability, and durability of different golf gloves made with different materials. Leather gloves generally offer the best feel, while synthetic golf gloves are well known for their increased longevity compared to natural materials. 

Does the type of golf glove matter?

Many serious golfers keep many different golf gloves made from different materials in their golf bags. It is very common for golfers to use leather gloves in warmer and dry conditions, and switch to synthetic gloves when the temperature drops. 



With so many different golf gloves to choose from, it can be a bit difficult for some golfers to figure out which options are best for their needs. The team here at Tell Me More Golf always recommends wearing a golf glove during range sessions and during rounds of golf, and finding the best glove for your personal needs comes down to taking a closer look at the materials used.

One of the best ways to get a better idea of which golf gloves are the best for your needs is to try out a few different styles throughout the golf season, allowing you to try out many different options and learn for yourself which golf gloves are your favorite.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!

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