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How to clean your golf clubs

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Golfers of all levels want to get the most out of their game. One obvious way is to work on all aspects of the game, from shots on and around the green, troubles shots, fairway, and tee.  An overlooked aspect by many is the condition of their equipment. 

Did you pay a lot for your clubs? Perhaps you are using a set bought off the rack at a local sporting goods store.  You might even be using an old “hand me down” set. Whatever the case may be, maintain your clubs the way a professional would.

Take care of your equipment, and your equipment will take care of you. With proper cleaning and maintenance of your clubs, you’ll be able to use them for many years. In addition, if you decide to sell your clubs when you are ready for a new set, a well-kept set will bring a higher premium than a worn-out, beat-up, dirty set.

Let’s look at all you need to keep your clubs clean and in top condition.

Essential Materials You Need to Clean Your Golf Clubs

The good thing about cleaning golf clubs is you don’t need expensive, hard-to-find items. In fact, you may very well have all the materials in your home at any given time.

  • Warm Water
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Towels
  • Brush (old toothbrush)

First, you’ll need a bucket of small to medium size and warm water, just about body temperature or slightly above. No special kind of club cleaning solution is needed. Any liquid soap or a dishwashing detergent such as Ajax will suffice.

Finally, you will need a couple of towels and a brush, which is the most important thing to clean your clubs properly. You can buy special types of golf brushes, but actually, an old toothbrush is plenty good enough to do the job.

Cleaning Your Golf Driver

  • Clean the grooves out as best as possible
  • Scrub the entire surface of the clubhead
  • Dry completely to avoid mildew

The method discussed here deals with all types of woods, whether a driver, fairway wood, or hybrid. The cleaning method is still the same for the rare old-school player that still uses persimmon heads. Note that that driver shouldn’t get much dirt in the grooves unless you chunk some shots, but it’s still best to clean it.

One thing you will quickly notice is that the grooves on the face of the woods are far less deep than those on the irons. Therefore, the amount of dirt built up in them will be much less, even if you’ve been hacking the fairway woods and hybrids into the grass. The importance of keeping the grooves clean is that debris can cause an increase in curvature of your shots, possibly resulting in a dreaded duck hook or slice.

Cleaning your golf woods

The most efficient way to clean your woods is by first dipping the wood into your bucket of water and detergent solution. Remove and brush the entire surface of the head and grooves. Put the head back into the water to rinse, and wipe the head with your towel to dry.  Remember that no matter how efficiently you think you dry the head, there may be a little moisture remaining. Therefore, do not put the clubhead back on until completely dry to avoid possible mold and mildew.

Cleaning Your Golf Irons

  • Grooves are deeper, focus move on cleaning the grooves
  • Scrub until all debris is off the grooves
  • Dry completely to avoid mildew

The grooves on the face on irons are substantially deeper than on woods and get filled with dirt and debris very easily. When properly hitting a shot in the fairway with an iron, the club strikes the ball first, then the turf, creating a divot. At that point, you should at least wipe the face clean with a towel to remove as much dirt as you can while on the course.   The grooves on the face of irons are designed to help spin the ball, allowing for shots to grab and hold the green, even get some backspin.  If you hit your irons flush (particularly shot irons) and the ball lands on the don’t hold the green, the chances are that the grooves are not clean.

Follow these steps to ensure your irons are squeaky clean:

First, dip your iron into the bucket of the warm water and detergent mixture. Then scrub the face and head with a brush, spending extra time on the grooves. Remove the club from the water and wipe away any dirt residue with a towel. Put the club back in the water to rinse and then dry again. Inspect the grooves carefully. If there is any remaining dirt or debris, wash the club again. Leave the club out of your back until it’s completely dry.

Cleaning Golf Grips and Golf Shafts

  • Most people can save grips just by cleaning them
  • Use the water and detergent to rub down the grips
  • Don’t forget to clean the shafts
  • Make sure everything is dry before storing

A common mistake when cleaning clubs is to put them back in the bag after cleaning the face. If you do that, you may forget about the most important parts of the club, the grips and shafts.

Frequently, people can save grips simply by cleaning them, but they replace them because they feel too slick. Try cleaning grips first because too much dirt can cause a slick feel. To clean the grips, simply wet a towel with the water and detergent solution and rub down the grips. Use a dry towel to dry the grips. Let the club air try and check the grip to see if the tackiness has returned. If so, they are good to go. If not, then they may need to be replaced.

Cleaning shafts is very simple. Get a moist rag or towel and wipe off any dirt or debris. Use a separate, dry towel to dry them off. Pay particular attention to any rust, which may require a brush and extra detergent and water mixture to remove.

Added Golf Club Cleaning Maintenance Tips

  • When it rains, make sure everything dries out completely before storing
  • Take all clubs out of the bag
  • Leave them out for an hour or two

In addition to cleaning your clubs, other maintenance measures can increase the duration of your clubs.

Although not the most ideal playing conditions, rain is one weather element that most golfers have played in at one time or another. For avid golfers, playing in the rain becomes relatively common. During rounds in the round, the clubs are bound to get wet, no matter how much you wipe them down during the round. Please take all the clubs out of the bag after the round and wipe them dry, and leave set for an hour or two. Remove anything else from the bag except for balls and let the bag thoroughly dry.

Replace the golf grips

  • After washing your grips, if they are still slick, you will need to replace them

After many years of success, some people start having issues hitting their irons or woods. They haven’t changed their swing and wonder if an upgrade will solve the issue. Before assuming new clubs is the answer, check the grips. If, after washing, they are still slick, it’s time to replace the grips. The slick grips may be causing your hands to slip during the swing, creating poor contact through the shot. The purchase of the grips is much cheaper than a new club.

Click here to find the best golf replacement grips for you!

Use golf headcovers

Another way to take care of your clubs is to be sure to use headcovers. This is especially important in woods, particularly those that were expensive. After all, you wouldn’t want to replace a new driver. The head doesn’t usually get damaged, but shafts and times can, and the headcover protects the shaft. Headcovers are relatively inexpensive and a great investment.

Check out the best golf head cover sets to keep your clubs from getting damaged. 

Keeping Your Golf Clubs Clean

The last thing many players want to do after four or five hours on the course drives home and clean the clubs.  The half-hour to three-quarters of an hour it takes to clean the clubs properly is worth the extra time. It can help increase your performance, and at the very least, add years to your clubs, saving money in the process.

Do you really have to clean your clubs after every round? That depends on the condition of the course and how well you strike your shots in any given round. If you play on a hard, dry course, there will be very little dirt and debris build-up.  If the course is wet and you take a lot of turf, sometimes even excess turf, then the grooves on the face are likely caked with dirt. In that case, it’s prudent to clean them.

Long Bombs Golf Final Say:

If you don’t recall the last time, you scrubbed your clubs to remove dirt and grime, then you need to inspect the clubs in your bag. If you notice some caked-on dirt, be sure to follow the steps in this article to keep your equipment clean. You will be glad you did the next time you head to the course.


About the Author


How we got onto 16 with a 5 minute wait at the WM Phoenix Open!

How I got on hole 16 (The Stadium hole) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with little to no wait!! I also have tips and tricks on what to do once you are inside the gate and inside the stadium hole. Check this out if you ever plan to make a trip out! If you ever have the chance, it is definitely worth the trip.

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