Growing up I played both baseball and golf. In both sports, I chose to use gloves. In golf, I mainly used a glove to help my grip because my hands sweat a lot. In baseball, I also used batting gloves to help me with my grip when swinging.
Gloves serve many of the same purposes between golf and baseball, but the gloves used in each sport are designed differently. This difference in gloves makes a lot of people wonder – what’s the difference between baseball batting gloves and golf gloves?
The primary purpose of a golf glove is to help a golfer grip their club. Baseball players also wear batting gloves to improve their grip, but they get the additional benefits of reducing bat sting, keeping hands warm in cold weather, and preventing scrapes when sliding into a base.
While batting gloves and golf gloves do have a lot in common, I’ll cover the top ways batting gloves and golf gloves differ.
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- Differences Between Batting Gloves and Golf Gloves
- Golfers Wear One Glove While Baseball Players Wear Two Gloves
- Different Materials Are Used For Golf and Batting Gloves
- Golf Gloves Are Thinner Than Batting Gloves
- Batting Gloves Weigh More Than Golf Gloves
- Batting Gloves Are Stickier Than Golf Gloves
- Batting Gloves Stink More Than Golf Gloves
- Golf Gloves Provide More Flexibility Than Batting Gloves
- Golf Gloves Cost Less Than Batting Gloves
- Can You Use Golf Gloves in Baseball?
- Can You Use Batting Gloves in Golf?
Differences Between Batting Gloves and Golf Gloves
It’s no secret that golf gloves and baseball batting gloves are designed for different sports. For that reason, they differ in terms of functionality, material, padding, grip, weight, flexibility, stickiness, cost, and weight. Let’s explore each of those topics in more detail.
Golfers Wear One Glove While Baseball Players Wear Two Gloves
One of the most obvious ways baseball players and golfers are different is the way in which they wear their gloves.
Golfers almost always wear a glove on one hand while baseball players almost always wear a batting glove on both hands.
This general rule about both sports also applies to me. On average, I golf about 4 or 5 times per year and I only wear a golf glove on one hand. When I play baseball, I always wear a glove on each hand while batting.
Golfers don’t need to wear two gloves because their bottom hand (right hand for right-handed golfers) is more like a stabilizer for their club. So golfers don’t get much benefit from wearing two gloves.
Although, the one exception for baseball players wearing two gloves is that I always wear a batting glove underneath my fielding glove. So whenever I’m playing defense in baseball, I wear one batting glove. However, I always wear two batting gloves while batting.
And on rare occasions, you’ll see baseball players wear one batting glove while hitting. For more information, I recommend reading my article on which hand do batting gloves go on.
Different Materials Are Used For Golf and Batting Gloves
Batting gloves are made of leather, synthetic leather, or a mix of both. The material highly affects protection and grip. For instance, leather provides a natural feel and nice grip, while synthetic gloves offer better flexibility and durability but not the best grip.
Hybrid gloves are the middle ground because the palms are made of leather while the fingers are made of synthetic leather. That design provides pretty much everything; durability, grip, and flexibility.
Golf gloves are typically made from leather, synthetic leather, mesh, or a mix of leather and synthetic leather. Some mesh golf gloves will also use some spandex material.
Either way, golf gloves and batting gloves are designed to help the player with their grip.
In my experience with both sports, Cabretta leather is the best material for both batting gloves and golf gloves, which is why I love my Bruce Bolt batting gloves (read my complete review on Bruce Bolt batting gloves). But gloves made from real leather tend to cost more than gloves made with synthetic materials.
For more information on the materials in baseball batting gloves, I recommend reading my other article on what materials are used in batting gloves.
Golf Gloves Are Thinner Than Batting Gloves
Batting gloves tend to be thicker than golf gloves because baseball players need additional padding in the palm and thumb area to help absorb the impact from hitting a pitch.
Golf gloves tend to be thinner than batting gloves because golfers mainly use gloves for the additional grip. Bulky gloves can also negatively impact your golf swing so golfers tend to prefer gloves with less material, but more flexibility.
Batting Gloves Weigh More Than Golf Gloves
Because golf gloves are thinner than batting gloves, it makes sense that golf gloves also weigh less than batting gloves.
Batting gloves use more materials than golf gloves so batting gloves tend to weigh more.
Batting Gloves Are Stickier Than Golf Gloves
Both batting gloves and golf gloves are made with leather, but batting gloves tend to have more leather than golf gloves.
The thinner material in golf gloves gives them more of a smoother feel. Batting gloves tend to have more of a stickier feel because they are made with more materials.
Batting Gloves Stink More Than Golf Gloves
In my experience, batting gloves emit more of a bad odor than golf gloves ever do. I can think of a few reasons this is true.
Baseball players play on a dirt field and their gloves tend to get a lot dirtier than golf gloves. Lots of baseball players also wear their batting gloves when running the bases so they also end up sliding while wearing their batting gloves.
In fact, there are two different ways baseball players wear batting gloves when running the bases. For more information, read my article on the 2 ways to wear batting gloves while sliding.
Baseball players also put pine tar on their batting gloves, which builds up over time. While it’s not against the rules for golfers to use pine tar, it’s not a common practice (as far as I know).
Additionally, baseball players tend to throw their batting gloves in with their other equipment, which tends to have a bad odor. All of that used baseball equipment sitting together in one bag will rub off onto your batting gloves.
Golf Gloves Provide More Flexibility Than Batting Gloves
When describing a glove as being “flexible”, people tend to describe gloves that are tighter-fitting.
For example, the latex gloves you see doctors wearing would be considered very flexible while the big leather safety gloves that welders use would not be very flexible. And while it may be good for gloves to be flexible, it doesn’t mean that a very flexible glove (like a latex glove worn by doctors) would be good to be worn for sports.
Golfers aren’t protecting their hands from scrapes, burns, or from the club stinging their hands, so they don’t need as much material in their gloves. As a result, golf gloves are more flexible, and usually more comfortable, than batting gloves.
On the other hand, durability, and grip are important for baseball players. For that reason, batting gloves have extra padding in the fingers and the palm area, which makes them less flexible.
While baseball batting gloves may be less flexible, they do help absorb some of the shock from hitting a pitch.
Golf Gloves Cost Less Than Batting Gloves
Golf gloves cost less than batting gloves because golfers only use one glove.
When you’re looking to purchase gloves for baseball or golf, you’ll notice that golf gloves come with one glove while batting gloves come with two. This is just the nature of each sport, but it does mean that golfers spend less on gloves than baseball players do.
Although if you wanted to compare two golf gloves to two batting gloves, the cost is probably about the same.
Although some golf gloves are sold in packages of two and I did a bit of comparison. It looks like two golf gloves cost a little less than two batting gloves. My best guess is that batting gloves are made with more materials so batting gloves tend to cost more.
Can You Use Golf Gloves in Baseball?
Batting gloves and golf gloves seem to serve a lot of the same purpose. They are designed to help with grip and add a layer of protection to players’ hands. But can you use your golf gloves in baseball?
Baseball players are allowed to use golf gloves. There are no rules against baseball players using golf gloves, but most baseball players use batting gloves. Batting gloves have more features designed for baseball players, like additional padding in the thumb and fingers.
What’s interesting is that in the 60s, pro hitter Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson re-popularized the use of a batting glove by using a golf glove, in a game against the Yankees.
Harrelson had been playing golf before a baseball game and he brought his golf glove with him. He had a blister from playing golf so he decided to put on his golf glove when he came up to bat.
Even though the Yankees were heckling him, Harrelson continued batting with his golf glove and he ended up hitting two home runs that day.
The next day, the Yankees were all taking batting practice while wearing golf gloves. And this is how some believe the tradition of wearing batting gloves started.
Depending on who you ask, Harrelson either invented the use of batting gloves or just re-popularized it with this game against the Yankees.
Pros of Using Golf Gloves in Baseball
High-quality golf gloves provide excellent grip, much like batting gloves. They can also protect your hands from blisters and calluses.
While golf gloves are thinner, they’re still better than going bare-handed. On the plus side, you can feel the bat more while still being protected. Players who are uncomfortable with the bulkiness of a batting glove may opt for golf gloves instead.
Cons of Using Golf Gloves in Baseball
Batting gloves are sturdier than golf gloves for a good reason. Batting gloves take on a lot of damage during a typical baseball game.
Baseball players put pine tar on their batting gloves, grip their bat in a way that allows them to hit for power, and some players even slide while wearing their batting gloves.
Thinner golf gloves won’t survive long when used as batting gloves. They don’t even last one season of consistent golfing so I imagine they would only last a handful of at-bats in baseball.
Can You Use Batting Gloves in Golf?
Amateur golfers can use batting gloves in golf, but professional golfers are prohibited from using batting gloves. The United States Golf Association (USGA) will not allow a golfer to wear a glove thicker than 0.025 inches and most batting gloves are thicker than 0.025 inches.
While amateur golfers can use batting gloves in golf; it’s all a matter of preference. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’ll explain why I’m against it.
Why You Should Not Use Batting Gloves in Golf
Golf is all about the feeling of the club between your hands. When I put on my batting glove and gripped my golf club, I lost a lot of that feeling between my hands and my club. The thickness of the batting glove just didn’t feel right when I gripped my club.
A golf grip requires refinement and accuracy. Thus, the slightest variation in the hand position can sabotage your swing.
Even Tiger Woods removes his glove when making putts, chip shots, and flop shots. These are finesse shots for which you’ll want more connection to your club instead of more power. In effect, you want to peel off layers from your hand, not wrap it in more material.
The thickness of the batting glove will get in the way of your grip. If you’re looking to improve your score, you can go for a good golf glove or wear nothing at all.
Moreover, batting and swinging a club involve different mechanics. Baseball engages the wrist more than golf does. The strap of a batting glove is secured behind the wrist. This gives the wrist rigidness to protect it from injury.
In contrast, a golf glove is fastened at the back of the hand. The tightness from behind gives the hand stability when making the swing. Therefore, you’ll need rigidity from the back of the hand, not the wrist.
Why You Cannot Use Batting Gloves in Professional Golf
The United States Golf Association (USGA) has specific equipment rules. Gloves may be worn as long as they’re plain.
A plain glove shouldn’t be thicker than 0.025 inches. It can’t contain additional material on the gripping surface or the glove’s interior. In short, a plain glove can’t have extra weight, padding, and rubber/silicon grips.
A batting glove incorporates all these prohibited features. If you’re looking to compete or record a handicap score, you cannot use it in place of a golf glove.