How to Clean Golf Clubs
There’s some debate among golfers about the most important aspects of their golf experience. Top votes usually include the weather, the golf course, and playing partners—all great choices. But informal polls highlight players’ golf equipment like clubs and walking carts as highly important to performance and enjoyment.
So why do we often treat our golf clubs like guests, all but forgotten between visits, instead of like family?
Like friends and family, the better you treat your clubs, the longer they’ll stay with you, providing support and encouragement. So, treat your clubs like the practical and valuable investments they are, worth some cleaning and extra care. And we’ve got the perfect steps to clean golf clubs right here.
Instead of being bored while waiting in backup at a tee box for your group to tee off, turn your downtime into practical use!
A little cleaning and a quick wipe on the course can improve your golf game. If the golf course is damp, extra moisture on your club face can send your golf ball in the wrong direction, so dry them with a soft cloth. Cleaning the grooves is essential, too, because any water droplets need to go someplace upon impact. If the grooves are packed with dirt and grit, you’ll have trouble getting your ball to go where you want. You need your golf ball to grab and gain traction as the club face makes contact.
Make sure you use a nylon brush to clean the grooves. It’s tempting to scratch those grooves with a divot tool but be careful. Hard metals can scratch your clubs, leading to rust and destruction. Softer tools are less apt to damage your clubs.
When you get home, instead of leaving your clubs in the garage or tossing them into a closet, treat them to cleaning. Outdoors is fine, or even the kitchen sink, but you can sit down to watch a little golf and clean your clubs simultaneously.
Five Essential Ingredients for Golf Cub Cleaning
- Towels – You’ll want a cleaning towel and a drying towel. A microfiber cloth will absorb three to five times the moisture of a cloth towel.
- Soap – Mild dish soap works best. You’ll get some suds without damaging your clubs.
- Bucket – A three to five-gallon bucket to mix the soap and water works well. Ideally, you’ll be able to soak the clubs upright without the bucket tipping over.
- Brush – A soft nylon golf club brush is excellent. So is an old toothbrush with plastic bristles. You can even use toothpaste to dissolve and clean paint and scrapes.
- Water – Warm water works best, but water from your garden hose is fine. Fill the bucket as high as the top of your golf club faces.
Another tip for keeping your club like new is to protect them on the course. Keep them out of the rain when you can, dry them when wet, and transport them carefully in a superior Cart Tek remote cart while playing instead of leaving the sides of your golf bag on the ground where expensive clubs can be bent and damaged.
How to Clean Different Types of Clubs
Cleaning golf clubs is easy but follow our advice for each club part. You don’t want to soak your woods. Only your irons. Shafts and grips need special care.
Add two to three teaspoons of dishwashing liquid to a bucket filled with a few inches of warm water. Ensure you cover the club's face with water, not the ferrules or joints. Since you may have a dozen or more irons, add a few at a time, so no golf iron soaks for more than five minutes with the golf club head in the water.
Club Heads (Irons)
Your irons get the most action on grass, sand, and even dirt. Clean each club using your soft-bristle brush and get all the gunk out of the grooves. If there's stubborn dirt, you can use a tee to scrap down to the metal. If you’re fastidious, you should do this over a second (empty) bucket because the first bucket will already have dirt and grass floating or sinking in it.
Clean around clubs' ferrules, too, since that’s the part that attaches the shaft to the club head. With lots of use and little cleaning, the ferrules can get embedded with tiny pieces of dirt, leading to premature damage. A dirty club can hide rust, so give each iron a thorough cleaning. If you encounter a rust spot during the cleaning process, wipe it vigorously with a damp cloth to remove any flaking rust. Treat the spot with a small amount of white vinegar on an old towel. You can use a bit of steel wool or a Brillo pad, but keep them moist with the vinegar.
If you've got lukewarm water in your plastic bucket after 15 minutes, replace it with warm soapy water, but don't pour the old water into the sink, especially if you have a garbage disposal system. Those little bits of dirt and rock aren't your friend. Dump the bucket outside instead.
As you finish each iron, wipe it down with a dry cloth and place it on your dry clean towel.
Not many people still use wooden clubs, but the occasional persimmon wood is still hiding in some players' bags. If you've got one of these gems, treat it gently. Don't soak or even dip the head in water or soap. Instead, dip a clean cloth in hot water and scrub the entire body of the driver or fairway wood quickly. For the face, use a soft bristle brush lengthwise along the grooves. Dry thoroughly and move to your next club.
You can dip the head of your metal woods in your soapy water, but just momentarily. Then clean the entire head from top to bottom. Use your brush in a circular motion on the club's face and wipe it dry with a dry towel. If you are using hybrid clubs, avoid the dip with them, and follow the advice for woods.
You don't hit the ball nearly as hard with a putter, but you do use it every hole. It deserves a good bath regularly too. You can soak your putter in a warm bucket of soap like your irons. Then, clean the entire surface gently. If you have a mallet putter with lots of groves and fissures, clean those areas too.
How to Clean Parts of a Club
Golf club shafts take plenty of structural abuse as they flex during your swing. So, when your club heads are clean, take a few minutes to clean the grips and shafts.
Golf Club Shafts
You can usually clean the shafts of each club with a moist cloth and a bit of soap. If you see any rust, follow the steps above for gently burnishing the metal with steel wool and white vinegar. Some golfers use steel polish to make their shafts shine. If you do, gently add the polish to a soft cloth, and don't engage the grips!
If you are doing this, rub the polish gently, leave it for around a minute, and remove it. Make sure that you remove all of the polish when you are done.
Golf Club Grips
Various golf grip sprays and wipes will clean away sweat and grime quickly, or you can use a Windex spray. If you want to work at home and do a more thorough job, it’s back to the kitchen sink!
Fill a pan with warm water and dish soap, then wipe a handful of suds on a grip and gently rub the soap in and the dirt out.
Rinse the soap and dirt on the grip away under the faucet with cold water while avoiding getting the shafts wet. Rinse your cares away, and then dry the grip and shaft with a clean towel.
Never use soap or detergent if you have leather grips, or you’ll quickly say goodbye to that soft, supple feel. Instead, skip the soap and wipe down your grips each week with warm water and a clean, dry cloth.
Don't forget that your clubs need a safe, clean place to travel on the golf course. That includes a bag that repels moisture and prohibits mold and a high-quality electric pushcart that protects on the course and at home.
Remember that Cart Tek offers a wide selection of mobile controls and electric golf carts featuring long battery life, anti-tip wheels, and automatic downhill braking or downhill control. You'll spend time planning your next shot instead of driving a cart or carting a heavy bag. And with variable speed and cruise control, you can zip through a round quickly!