After spending a long day at your local course hitting balls on the range, followed by playing a round, most golf clubs will have gathered quite a bit of dirt on them. If you’re like me, there will be those rounds when you will most likely have taken out a few divots on the fairway and probably had to save a hole by chipping out of the rough. Regardless of how well your round was, your clubs will need to be cleaned to keep them in their best possible condition.
Cleaning golf clubs isn’t all that difficult of a task, but I suggest that you do so regularly. Cleaning your clubs will help keep them from becoming worn and will improve their lifespan. In addition, cleaning will improve your game since a clean club head won’t have any dirt buildup that can get in the way of striking the ball cleanly.
There are numerous golf club cleaning kits available on the market that will work just fine. For an on-the-range option I'd recommend the CLORIS Golf Club Cleaning Kit.
However, I’ve found you don’t necessarily need all that. Most of the items needed to clean all of your clubs are common household items, and they will not cost very much to replace.
Here are my tips for how to clean golf clubs for the best longevity. I’ll run through some of the basics of cleaning different types of clubheads and grips, and I’ll give you some tried-and-true methods for keeping your set clean for years of long-term use.
Guide to Cleaning Golf Clubs
There are a few different parts to a club, so there are also a few different ways to clean the club as a whole. But in general, you can use the same cleaning tools.
To start, you will need:
Now to get started. I’ve found the best way to clean golf clubs and the various components is as follows:
How to Clean Golf Irons
Cleaning your irons is important because they are the clubs that tend to get the dirtiest from playing a round of golf. Keeping them clean though isn’t too difficult if you follow these steps.
Remember irons are a type of clubhead. If your club has a metal wood head or simply a wood head, you will need to use another method (described in the next section).
The ferrules are the small ring-shaped pieces that secure the clubhead to the shaft. They should just be above the water. If they are touching the water or below the water line, then you will need to empty out some of the water.
Start by cleaning the face first, before moving to the back. Then follow up by cleaning the top
A wire bristle brush should never be used, no matter how dirty the surface may be. This is because it can damage the face of the club, which can negatively affect its performance. If the club head does have any rust on it, then you should be able to remove it with a fine grade steel wool. #000 or #0000 are the best options.
Cleaning Woods and Metal Woods
Some clubheads are made of wood or metal wood. These require a little bit of a different, specialized technique to keep them in good condition.
Do not soak metal wood heads as they have holes. Iron heads, on the other hand, are solid.
Take care to not use the brush anywhere else on the head. Never use a brush on a wood
Polishing wooden heads with a good wood wax like this Interstate WoodWorks Beeswax polish is a great way to make the heads look new.
Simply apply the chosen polish the way the instructions on the package state.
Although irons don’t require head covers, using them won’t hurt the clubs. Before placing a head cover on any club, make sure to always wipe the head until it is cleaned of any dirt. Failure to do so will potentially lead to moisture being trapped, which can ruin the head. You'll find a great set of iron head covers here.
How to Maintain the Shaft and How to Polish Golf Clubs
Maintaining the shaft and polishing the clubs will help maintain their longevity. Here are the steps on how to do so:
You can also use long neck head covers to protect shafts from damage as well. These can help protect the shaft from being damaged when the golf bag is being stored or transported.
Maintaining the Grips on a Golf Club
The grips get frequent handling, so they naturally will get grime and other build-up. This build-up can lead to wearing down, cracking, or greasiness. As such, it’s important to clean the grips along with the other components of the club every time you clean.
Make sure that you immediately dry the grips off with a dry towel. Remember that even if the
grips need to be soaked, steel shafted clubs should never be left in water. Leaving them in
water can potentially cause rust to build up in all the hard to reach spaces on the club.
The best sign for when it is time to clean the grips is when they begin to feel greasy or look
shiny or if they leave any black marks on your hands after gripping the club. Recognizing these
signs helps to create a routine for cleaning your grips. You might also try to clean them on the
same day every month. This makes it easier to remember when they need to be cleaned.
Additional Ways to Keep Your Clubs Clean Between Cleanings
Here are some general ideas to help take care of your clubs between rounds.
In my experience, making sure that your golf clubs are clean isn’t a very difficult task, but it is an important one. By making sure that your clubs are clean, you will help keep them in their best possible shape. I’ve found that cleaning them not only makes the clubs last longer, but it has helped me to play at my best possible level.
Looking for a new set of clubs? Read our golf club reviews article!