two golf bag full of golf club of different types and sizes

How To Clean Your Golf Clubs For Better And Consistent Shots

A clean golf club makes for a better shot. Don’t believe that? Watch professional golf for a few minutes on television and you will see the players give their club to their caddy for a quick cleaning after almost every single shot.

If the pros are cleaning their clubs that frequently then there must be something to it. Of course, if you’re reading this then you probably aren’t a professional golfer and you very likely don’t have a full-time caddy to clean your clubs in between shots.

That means you have to rely on yourself to learn how to clean golf clubs and hit better shots.

Why do Should You Clean Your Clubs?

Before you learn how to clean golf clubs you should at least understand why it’s important to clean golf clubs. After all, cleaning golf clubs could be some old wive’s tale like drinking castor oil to induce labor. Why waste your time cleaning golf clubs between shots if it doesn’t do anything, right?

The truth is that there is a lot of benefit to keeping your clubs clean. As you play you will collect dirt, grass, and mud on your club face. This debris can become tightly packed inside the grooves of your club face and drastically affect the behavior of the ball when you make contact. Clean grooves are essential to apply spin to the ball and ensure accuracy.

close-up photo of a golf club about to hit a golf ball in the green golf course

As you become a better golfer you will begin to learn how small inconsistencies can have a huge effect on your game. The typical weekend warrior may not see a lot of difference in their game if a little mud sticks to their club head.

High level golfers practice their swing a lot and have their equipment professionally fitted to suit their own game. A change in weight balance on their club could mean the difference between hitting a shot close to the pin for a tap in putt or missing the green and adding strokes to their score.

Finally, golf is an expensive game to play. Keeping your clubs clean can make them last longer and prevent damage from embedded rocks or dirt. Buying new clubs regularly can make an already expensive pastime even more costly.

How to Clean Golf Clubs

golf ball on the bunker about to be hit with a golf club

There are two types of cleaning you will do on your golf clubs throughout their lifetime

First is regular cleaning that should be done throughout your round, ideally after every shot. This doesn’t have to be a major or thorough cleaning unless you picked up significant dirt, mud, or grass. 

Simply keep a damp towel with you and wipe away any visible dirt before putting your club back into your golf bag. If you are worried about keeping up the pace of play, perform cleaning while waiting to take your shot or at the next tee box while your partners tee off.

If you find you are picking up a lot of dirt or mud then you may find it handy to have a club cleaning tool with you while playing. These typically have a wire brush on one end and a scraping tool for cleaning out your club’s grooves on the other end. In a pinch, an old toothbrush will also work.

The next type of cleaning is a more thorough cleaning. Typically you will do this at home in between rounds of golf. Depending on how often you play you may find it helpful to do a more thorough cleaning once per week on top of your regular, in-play cleaning.

The process is quite quick and easy. 

All you need is:
  • a bucket of warm water
  • a rag
  • a dry towel, and
  • a cleaning tool or toothbrush
  • First, let your clubs rest in the water to soak and loosen any stubborn dirt or mud. You want the club face to be mostly submerged but be sure not to let the water rise above the club face. Water could get into the hosel where the club head attaches to the shaft and weaken the glue.
  • Now, after a quick soak, remove the club from the water and lightly scrub away any dirt with your cleaning tool or toothbrush. Pay close attention to the grooves and ensure you have removed all debris. If you are finding some areas difficult to clean then let the club soak longer and try the cleaning tool’s scraping pick to clean out the grooves.
  • Once the club is clean, towel dry the club head and put it back into your bag. It’s that easy! If you notice any dirt or mud on the shaft then you can use a damp rag to wipe it down.

Don't Forget the Grips!

close-up photo of a man holding a golf club

Before you call it a day, wipe down your grips with a damp rag soaked in clean water. Dirt and sweat can break down your grips and reduce tackiness while playing. You can also buy grip cleaning wipes that will get the job done.

Now you know how to clean golf clubs! Take care of your clubs and they will take care of you out on the course.

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