Spring is fast approaching bringing us warmer temperatures and our first chance to hit the golf course in the new year. The PGA Tour has been full swing again for the last month causing amateurs around the country to start looking forward to their first round. While some of us are fortunate enough to play golf year-round, the vast majority of us have an extended offseason. Sneaking in a round here or there when the weather breaks can scratch the itch but daily rounds are just around the corner. Golf club maintenance is something few of us ever spend time thinking about outside of brushing off a wedge after a chunked approach shot. While the weather is still unfavorable for hitting the links, we will look at some tips to keeping your sticks in prime condition.
Proper Club Storage is Key
No single club maintenance practice is as vital as proper club storage. If you’re reading this post while your clubs sit in the trunk of your car in the freezing winter temperatures, stop immediately and bring them indoors. Nothing is more detrimental to the condition of your golf clubs than extreme heat or cold. Even when the weather is ideal, the back of your vehicle should only be used to transport to the course and back to your home. The constant vibrations and bouncing can cause cracks in your woods and damage the epoxy holding all of your clubs together. Bumpy rides can also damage the shaft of your clubs, which typically will last longer than the head itself. Speaking of bumpy rides, make sure to put your headcovers back on after each shot of your round. Leaving headcovers off for the round can cause major damage not just to your woods but your irons as well.
Regular Cleaning Improves Performance
While most of us use wire brushes mid-round, cleaning our clubs isn’t a very high priority. Get in the habit of cleaning your clubs after each round. Soaking the heads of your irons in soapy, warm water first can help break free the more stubborn stains and any soil that has stuck in the grooves. Using a softer metal or nylon brush to clean the grooves of your irons will help the grooves maintain their original width and provide you with the same performance you had when you first bought your set. Keeping your grooves clean will keep ball flight predictable and enhance spin.
Replace Grips Early and Often
Grips are often the last thing golfers want to replace. Some of us would rather buy a new set before giving in to a grip replacement. There is no set amount of time grips will last but replacing them at the first sign of wear will keep your clubs performing like they were brand new. If you can see where each finger is placed on your grips, it’s long past time for new ones. Replace grips at the first sign of cracking or becoming smooth. For avid golfers, this could be once or twice a season whereas more casual golfers can usually go seasons without needing to replace grips.
Many of us consider golf club maintenance a chore only meant for the bag staff at our local course. Keeping your clubs in prime condition is one of the most important ways to improve the predictability of your ball flight. It can increase spin and distance with every club in your bag and significantly outweighs using a new golf ball in terms of performance. Get in the habit of practicing these simple tips for proper club care and you’ll see improved results on the course and may be able to resell your old set for me when it comes time for an upgrade.
About the Author: Brian Neufeld
Brian Neufeld’s background includes more than 15 years of experience in golf course management, specializing in agronomy. Brian uses his knowledge of the game and best practices in turf sustention to create informative pieces for GolfTourney.com’s readers.