One of the most overlooked aspects of the sport is the regular cleaning and maintenance of golf clubs. Clean golf clubs can impact your game significantly as dirt and debris can alter the ball’s trajectory. Moreover, regular cleaning prolongs the life of your clubs. So let take a look on how to clean golf clubs!
First I must admit I used to have the dirtiest clubs on the golf course. I would only clean them if they got muddy from the huge divot I created from my chunk/bad shot, and I would drag them through the grass to clean them. I’m sure we’ve all been there.
But then a playing partner of mine mentioned that my game would improve if I just cleaned my clubs. And it did! Plus, now I don’t look like a total scrub. =)
So here’s how I clean my golf clubs!
Why You Should Clean Your Golf Clubs?
- Optimal Performance:
- Consistent Contact: Dirt, grass, and debris on the clubface can interfere with the ball’s contact, leading to inconsistent shots.
- Spin Control: For shots where spin is crucial, like with wedges, clean grooves are essential. Dirt in the grooves can greatly reduce the club’s ability to impart spin on the ball.
- Accurate Trajectory: A clean clubface ensures that the ball’s trajectory is as true as possible. Any residue can cause the ball to deviate from its intended path.
- Durability and Longevity:
- Preventing Rust: Moisture trapped under dirt or debris can lead to rusting, especially on forged iron clubheads.
- Wear and Tear: Dirt and sand can act as abrasives. When clubs are stored dirty, this can lead to premature wear, especially on chrome-finished clubs.
- Aesthetics and Pride:
- Let’s face it, clean clubs just look better in the bag and on the course.
- Economic Consideration:
- Golf clubs are an investment, and replacing them can be expensive. Proper maintenance, including regular cleaning, ensures they last longer, saving you money in the long run.
Materials Needed To Clean Clubs
- Warm soapy water (dish soap works great)
- A bucket ( preferably large enough to fit all your irons at once)
- Soft-bristle brush or old toothbrush
- Towel (Microfiber cloths are preferred because they dry quickly, have better absorption and dirt-grabbing capabilities.)
Step-by-Step Cleaning Process
1. Prepare the Cleaning Solution
Add a few drops of dish soap into the bucket and fill it with lukewarm water. You can stir the solution but by adding the soap first and then the water it practically stirs itself.
2. Cleaning the Clubhead
For Irons and Wedges:
- Immerse and soak the clubheads in soapy water for 10-15 minutes to make cleaning easier. The dirt and debris will loosen, simplifying the scrubbing process and leaving your clubs even cleaner.
- After soaking, use a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the face of the club in circular motions, focusing on the grooves. If the soapy water turns green or brown, repeat the scrubbing process until the water is clear.
- Next, clean the back side of the club face with a quick scrub.
- Dry with towel
For Woods and Drivers:
- Dampen a cloth in the soapy water and wipe the clubhead’s surface. Avoid soaking these clubheads to prevent damaging the finish or the adhesive that holds the insert in place.
- If your wood has accumulated dirt in the grooves or any intricate designs, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently scrub away the dirt. Dip the toothbrush in the soapy water, tap off excess moisture, and lightly brush the affected areas. Avoid using a hard-bristle brush, as it may scratch the finish.
3. Cleaning the Shaft
Wipe the shaft with a soapy wet cloth, then rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.
4. Cleaning the Grip
- Dampen a cloth in the soapy solution and wipe down the grip. I actually clean my grips thoroughly by brushing them up and down while rotating. This technique effectively removes dirt and leaves the grips feeling brand new.
- This will remove the oils and dirt from your hands and prolong the grip’s lifespan. Rinse with a cloth dampened in clean water and dry thoroughly.
It’s essential to dry your clubs thoroughly to prevent rusting. Use a dry cloth or rag to wipe down each club, ensuring that no moisture remains. A useful technique for cleaning your golf club is to blow air into the grooves and creases, removing any water, and then using a towel to dry it.
- Clean your clubs after every round or, at the very least, after sessions where they’ve been particularly exposed to dirt and debris.
- Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions for any specific recommendations or warnings.
- Regular inspection of your clubs can help you spot any damage or issues that might require professional repair.
How to Clean Golf Clubs on the Course?
- Towel – Before you begin your round, wet one side of your golf towel and leave the other side dry. Hang it on your golf bag for easy access. But hey, if it’s a hot sunny day, chances are your towel will dry up by the 6th hole.
- Golf Club Brush – Just a simple nylon brush
- Club Scrub Bag (Optional) – Bags you hang on the side of your golf bag to clean clubs and golf balls.
Clean After Your Shot
After playing a shot, it’s a good habit to immediately clean the clubface.
- For Irons/Wedges: Use the wet side of your towel to wipe off any dirt or grass. Then, use the dry side to remove any remaining moisture. If there’s stubborn dirt in the grooves, use a nylon brush or a golf tee to get it out.
- For Woods/Drivers: Since these are often painted or have delicate finishes, be gentler. Use the damp towel to wipe away any dirt or debris and dry it immediately.
Water Hazard Cleaning
If you have access to a water hazard and it’s permissible (and safe) to use the water, you can dip the clubhead to rinse off the dirt, then use your towel to clean it further and dry it off.
Have a Brush
Many golfers have a brush clipped to their golf bag. After each shot, especially with irons and wedges, a quick brush can help remove dirt from the grooves. Some brushes come with both wire bristles for irons and nylon bristles for woods.
Club Cleaning Stations
Some golf courses have club cleaning stations at various points, usually near tee boxes. Use these stations when available to give your club a quick rinse and scrub. But if you’re like me and play at muni golf courses, chances are there won’t be any stations.
End of the Round
Before putting your clubs back in your car or locker, give them a quick clean, ensuring that you’re not storing them with dirt or moisture, which can cause damage in the long run.
A clean club can make a difference in the outcome of your shot, so clean your golf clubs!