Golf Club Care & Maintenance Guide
Golf clubs should be a long-term investment and last for years before needing to be upgraded through natural wear and tear. Keeping them clean from dirt and other miscellaneous debris will give longevity to golf equipment while helping to maintain a high level of performance.
By not treating golf clubs with the respect they deserve, not only will they degrade much faster than they should, but it will also lead to decreased performances on the greens, more time spent looking for new equipment and probably force you off the course until you can get around to purchasing a new set. However, by following the simple guidelines below, golfers can get optimal use from their clubs for years to come.
Taking care of golf equipment
As a rule of thumb, golfers should be vigilant in checking all clubs in their bag before stepping onto the greens. A quick inspection ahead of every game will assess the condition of each club to check it’s still worthy of use. Any signs of nicks in the shaft, dirt in the grooves or peeling of grip is a very strong indication that either the golf club is getting close to expiry, or that it hasn’t been properly cared for up to now.
Once on the golf course, and assuming all checks showed no serious problems, everything should be fine. And although these checks might seem excessive, finding out the putter necessary to sink a tricky putt is no longer any use will inevitably mis-hit badly and cost you the game. Which scenario would you prefer?
Protection is vital
As golfers we hate to see that shiny new golf club start to lose its polish, but that’s all part of the game; it indicates a good long life for the club. And it doesn’t matter how well maintained the clubs have been up to this point as, like everything, time always takes its toll. But there is a way to at least limit this damage over time, and that’s by slipping a head cover over the clubs in your bag.
First the golf club should be placed safely inside a carry cart bag which has sufficient divider system – thus immediately reducing the risk of clubs knocking together on the golf course. Using a golf bag that has soft edges will protect golf clubs much better than others, so this is always a worthy addition to your game.
Head covers are the safe haven for golf clubs. Available for irons, woods and putters, they offer padding in addition to the divider system. This helps clubs avoid unnecessary scratching should they clash heads in the bag or you get caught in a sudden downpour of rain.
Maintenance between each shot
Every golfer should have a towel attached to their bag so they can give the club head a good wipe down between shots. This assures the club head is dry and free from dirt before replacing the head cover. Dirt and water that is not wiped away properly will remain in the head cover and cause rust spots on the club. It’s always a good idea to give golf clubs a thorough cleaning at the end of a round as well to stop dirt hardening onto the clubface.
CleaningTo clean golf clubs you will need a bucket or sink close to hand, washing up liquid, a soft bristle brush, towel and warm water (Never use hot or boiling water as this may damage the golf clubs).
Soak irons for 5-10 minutes in the warm soapy water to loosen any dirt on the club heads, and then work over the clubfaces using the soft-bristled brush before towel-drying the clubface and shaft immediately. If this is left for any period of time rusting can occur and the golf clubs will be useless.
Cleaning woods & putters
For woods and putters simply dip the club head into warm soapy water and then towel-dry immediately to avoid any rusting or damage.
Always check the shaft for nicks, dents and cracks, and clean them at the very least every few rounds. Shafts that are cared for will last a long time, but there’s always the risk they will become damaged or broken while being transported from home to course, or visa-versa. Golfers should try to avoid slamming their clubs, leaning on them, or exerting any unnecessary strain to the shaft as this will inevitably cause long-lasting damage.
Steel shafts are easy to maintain and they’re durable too. Wiping them off with a towel should keep them in good to decent condition. Any rust spots can be gently removed using fine grade steel wool. The steel wool should be at least 000, but preferably 0000, since anything more abrasive will scratch the shaft. Chrome polish or car wax can be applied after cleaning for extra care.
Graphite is considerably less durable than steel and requires special care. Each graphite shaft is covered by a layer of paint and another layer of polyurethane. If, through general wear and tear, these layers get scratched away, the graphite itself becomes exposed and eventually damaged. Long-neck head covers are one way to protect graphite shafts from nicks and scratches in the bag, but really they just need to be regularly cleaned and sealed.
Since solvents can break down the polyurethane layer, it is advisable to clean graphite shafts with water and a soft cloth. After cleaning and drying, they should be sealed with a quality furniture wax or specialty product.
Caring for golf grips
Perhaps the most neglected area of golf club cleaning and maintenance, grips are often overlooked by golfers. Some golf shops may advise you to change up the grip on your club once a year, which is fine, but this is not necessary if the right steps are taken in keeping them in good condition. Golfers who play once a week shouldn’t have any trouble keeping their grip for a year and a half to two years. However, grips should certainly be changed when they are too worn, start to crack or become slippery. To extend the life of your grips, keep them clean and in mint condition, but clean them no less than once a month. The only tools you will need for this is a stiff bristle brush, liquid soap dish and a towel.
Correct storage for golf clubs
Whether it’s in the short term or the long term, golf clubs should be stored indoors, in a dry and temperate-controlled space. All clubs should be cleaned and then left to dry before they’re placed back in the golf bag when storing for longer than a few days. Also make sure the golf bag interior is dry and accommodating to the clubs.
Keeping a set of golf clubs in the boot of a car is not recommended even just for a short while. They will quickly become damaged when jostled around, and during warmer weather will be subject to extreme heat – causing the epoxy in the clubs to break down and become all but useless.
Regular maintenance of golf clubs should be regarded as part of your game and not a chore. Golf clubs are the most important aspect of the game and should be treated with respect at all times, so checking for small problems should not be taken lightly. A close inspection of the grips should be the first port of call, as this is easily overlooked and dismissed. If you notice any shiny areas or places that appear worn or cracked, then it’s time to part with them and buy new. Grips are essential to a good golf game and ones in poor condition will only hinder your progress. Next, inspect the shafts for dents, nicks or splits. If any of these are present then it might be time to replace the shaft or even the golf club itself. Shafts will essentially last forever if used in normal golf play, but they can be damaged by getting banged around. A good checking for these signs will assure the best possible performance on the golf course for both you and your equipment.
Remember we can carry out all these checks for you. Just go to your local american golf store today and ask for our FREE golf club MOT test.
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