How to clean golf clubs

We’re right there with you – cleaning isn’t always at the top of our fun list! But, knowing how to clean golf clubs isn’t all for looks. It’s about making sure they perform their best when you’re out there chasing birdies. Dirt-filled grooves and built-up grime on your grips can seriously affect the longevity of your gear and, more importantly, your game! So from basic maintenance to advanced techniques when your gear needs an especially immersive spa day, this is everything you need to know to keep your clubs looking and performing like new.

How to Clean Golf Clubs Step-By-Step

1. Materials You’ll Need

Before you start cleaning your golf clubs, gather the necessary materials. Fortunately, these items are likely things you already have around the house, keeping the process both convenient and budget-friendly. 

  • A bucket
  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap
  • A soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush
  • Towel
  • Club groove cleaner or a tee

2. Preparation

Fill the bucket with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. This combination helps break down dirt and grime without damaging the club’s finish.

3. Soak the Clubs

Submerge the clubheads in the soapy water, ensuring the ferrules (the plastic connectors between the clubhead and shaft) don’t get wet. Let the clubs soak for 5-10 minutes to loosen the dirt.

4. Brush Away Dirt

Using a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush, gently scrub the clubheads, paying extra attention to the grooves. This step removes embedded dirt and grass that can affect the accuracy of your shots.

5. Rinse Thoroughly

After scrubbing, rinse the clubs under running water to remove soap and debris.

6. Dry Completely

Pat the clubs dry with a towel, making sure there’s no moisture left on the clubheads. When you go to put them back in your bag, make sure you’re arranging them correctly, too.

Advanced Golf Club Cleaning Techniques

1. Groove Cleaning

The grooves on your clubface play a crucial role in ball control. Use a specialized club groove cleaner or a tee to clean each groove individually. This ensures optimal spin and ball contact. Brush groove cleaners are a great place to start and generally range anywhere from $5-$10.

2. Polishing Chrome Finishes

If your clubs have chrome finishes, they may lose their luster over time. To restore shine, simply apply chrome polish using a soft cloth. This not only enhances the aesthetic but also protects the metal from corrosion.

3. Removing Rust

For clubs with signs of rust, create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the rusty areas and gently scrub with a toothbrush. The mild abrasive action of baking soda helps remove rust without causing damage.

4. Shaft Maintenance

Wipe down the shafts regularly to prevent dirt buildup. For graphite shafts, use a damp cloth, and for steel shafts, you can use a mixture of water and a mild detergent. We recommend avoiding harsh chemicals that could potentially damage the shaft.

5. Grip Care

Clean your grips regularly to maintain a secure hold. Use a damp cloth or a gentle brush with soapy water to remove dirt and oils. For stubborn stains, a mixture of water and a small amount of rubbing alcohol can be effective. If your grips are beyond repair, consider regripping them and starting fresh.

6. Regular Inspection

Take the time to inspect your clubs for any signs of damage, such as loose ferrules or dents on the clubhead. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure your clubs last longer.

Benefits of Regular Golf Club Cleaning

  • Improved Performance: Clean clubs provide better contact with the ball, leading to improved accuracy and distance.
  • Extended Lifespan: Regular maintenance prevents the accumulation of dirt and debris, preserving the integrity of your clubs over time.
  • Consistent Spin and Control: Clean grooves ensure optimal spin, giving you better control over the trajectory of your shots.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Well-maintained clubs not only perform better but also look more appealing on the course.

Investing time in learning how to clean golf clubs is a small effort with significant payoffs. Make club cleaning a routine part of your golfing regimen, and you’ll likely see improvements in your game and enjoy the satisfaction of playing with clubs that look and perform like new.

Many players wait to clean their golf clubs before golf trips. If you happen to be one of those people, ensure you’re protecting your clubs while flying, too. And for even more safety, consider shipping them ahead of your arrival.

Megan Williams

Meet Megan Williams, a wordsmith with a passion for golf, travel, and the epic combination of the two! Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Golf Capital of the World, Megan has played golf since she was a child, eventually playing competitively in college. She's since swapped her golf clubs for the keyboard and skillfully translates her on-course experiences into captivating narratives and insightful stories. When she's not crafting engaging content, you can catch her enjoying the company of her energetic golden retriever or trying new culinary delights around Tampa, Florida - her current stomping grounds. Join Megan on her literary journey as she explores golf courses and resorts worldwide, shares travel knowledge and shipping tips, covers industry news, and more - all exclusively on the Ship Sticks blog.