“Wrinkles in Your Rain Game”

by TJ Tomasi, College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

Why do your fingers wrinkle and pucker when your hands are soaked – like in a rainstorm while holding a golf club? Scientific tests have confirmed that the phenomenon of skin wrinkling via water has an evolutionary advantage. The folds of skin actually improve your grasp on wet objects as water is channeled away from key areas – an intervention much like tread on car tires or the groves on your irons.

Research led by Tom Smulders, at Newcastle University in Australia suggests that subjects had a better, non-skip grip with fingers wrinkled after soaking for 30-minutes in water than with dry hands. Smulders is an evolutionary biologist who believes that ‘Wrinkled fingers could have helped our ancestors to gather food from wet vegetation or streams.’

So the next time your palms are sweaty or it’s raining, think twice about wearing a golf glove to keep your hands dry – you may be 10,000 years behind the times.