How to clean your golf clubs and grips

Header image for article on how to clean golf clubs and golf gripsIt’s important to properly care for and maintain your equipment. This article takes a look at how to clean golf clubs and grips.

The game of golf requests a lot of our time. Long hours on the range, early mornings out on the links, and endless putting sessions on the practice green spent trying to get the stroke just right. Dedication to the sport is a love affair – a labor of love in which the time you put in eventually – at least hopefully translates to lower scores. Taking care of your clubs is another story.

Cleaning is never fun, and individually cleaning fourteen clubs after a long day on the course can often enough seem particularly tedious but that’s not to say that it isn’t important. Read on for a guide to how to clean golf clubs and grips.

How to clean golf clubs

Why it’s important

The good news here is that your time isn’t going to waste. A common misconception is that cleaning and caring for your clubs is strictly for cosmetic purposes, but in reality, well-maintained clubs are essential for getting the best possible performance out of your equipment.

For one thing, a clean clubface yields better results. Mud, dirt, grass residue and other gunk are going to affect the way the ball comes off the face, and not in a good way. And of course, there is always spin to consider.

Spin, every amateur wants it, few take the steps necessary to actually take advantage of it. Truth be told, the way the pros spin the ball is unattainable for most. Only the games very best can zip the ball back a few yards when it lands on the green but with proper technique, and a clean club face you can enjoy soft shots that stop rolling after a hop or two.

Clean grooves. That’s our next point. You can’t enjoy any spin at all without clean grooves. In the proceeding paragraphs I will teach you exactly how to properly clean and care for your clubface, and even your grips to ensure that you enjoy the best possible results.

Cleaning the clubface

Fortunately, it’s really not very difficult to clean the face of your clubs, though it will take a little bit of patience. To start, simply draw some warm water. How you contain it will be up to you but the higher the volume, the quicker the process will go. If you have a traditional bath tub, that may be the best option.

Once the water is drawn, mix in some mild detergent and allow you your clubs to soak in the water for fifteen minutes or so. Make sure that the clubhead is fully submerged for the duration of this time.

When the fifteen minutes is up, take a soft rag to the clubhead, drying the face, and getting the gunk off in the process. Ideally, the time spent in the water will loosen the dirt so that you have no trouble getting it off.

If you would like to add a little bit of sparkle to your clubhead once you have wiped the face down, metal polish will do the trick. To apply it simply rub it on using a fresh rag. It won’t improve the performance of your clubs but it will keep them looking nice.

It’s worth mentioning that utilizing your golf towel during your rounds will expedite the cleaning process once you get home. If you hit a chunky shot on the course, take a moment to rub your clubhead down with the towel. It will keep the club working well during your round, and it will make it easier to clean once you get back home.

Once you have completed this part of the process you should move on immediately to cleaning your grooves.

Cleaning the grooves

You will want to clean your grooves while the dirt on the face of your club is still loose so that it comes up easier. To complete this process, take a golf tee (you will probably go through a few) and run the pointed end back and forth over each individual groove until all the dirt comes up.

As you clean the grooves of each club, wipe the face down one more time, as this part of the process will pull up a lot of dirt.

Cleaning golf grips

To keep your clubs in working order you will need to pay attention to more than just the clubface. Maintaining good grips is crucial to getting the most out of your swing. Cleaning them will help them work better and last longer, and since you are probably going to have to buy new grips one day you are definitely going to want to make the ones you have last as long as possible.

To clean them you will draw more water and use more detergent. This time the sink will do. Just be sure that the water is not too hot, as excessive heat will wear the glue out on the grips.

Once the water is drawn you can clean your grips the same way that you would clean a dish. Rub them down, dry them off, and stick them back in the bag.

Eventually, you will notice that your grips start to tear or get slick and at that point, you will just want to replace them. Most pro shops and golf equipment stores will be able to help you.

Additional tips

Caring for your golf clubs involves more than just wiping them down (though that’s a great start). Here are a few more tips you can utilize to keep your clubs in great shape for as long as possible.


You definitely don’t need to use headcovers for every single club (although many people like to) but you should at the very least use them for your woods and putter as those are the clubs that will take the most damage as your bag bounces around as you drive over bumps and potholes with your golf cart.

Dry your clubs

After a long, rainy round it is often tempting to stick your soaked bag somewhere and forget about it, but for the sake of your clubs you should really consider resisting that urge. Storing your clubs while they are wet can lead to rust which will in turn drastically shorten the life expectancy of your sticks.

To counter act that risk, simply take the time to wipe them down with a towel before putting them away. If your bag is particularly soaked you may want to wait until it has dried up before you return your clubs to it.

Be careful where you store your clubs

Far too many people keep their clubs in their trunk when they aren’t using them. It’s convenient I know but it also leaves them very susceptible to the elements. Too hot you run the risk of loosening the glue on the grips and clubhead. Too cold and you can damage the shafts.

The very best place to store your clubs is actually indoors. I know that it can be hard to find the room but if you can manage it you won’t be sorry that you did.

Check for nicks

You should never run into any trouble with your shafts, but nevertheless things do happen and if you play the game long enough chances are you will need to replace a shaft or two. A damaged shaft can really ruin a round for you if you find out about it on the course, so inspecting them as you clean your clubs is a good way to catch problems early.

If you discover a significant dent, nick or bend you will want to get your shaft replaced as soon as possible.


It’s important you know how to clean golf clubs properly. I realize that it all sounds like a lot of work but the truth is if you regularly take the time to maintain your clubs the process will be relatively quick (because there won’t be as much work to do) and they will last a whole lot longer. Cleaning golf grips will also help make them last longer as well as making them work better.

Taking a little time to care for your clubs now will keep them performing well for as long as you want to keep them.

Good luck on the course!