Even though you know better, it’s very tempting to return home from a round of golf and throw your cart bag of clubs in the garage for ‘later’.
It’s easy to overlook it, but keeping your kit and clubs in top-notch condition need not be an ordeal. With this in mind, here are the essentials for preserving and protecting your equipment to keep replacement costs down and to make sure your tools are up to the job in hand…
Choose your cart bag wisely
Cart bags tend to be marketed on the basis of comfort, convenience and weight. Those bags that command a premium usually boast a super-light build and plenty of pockets. While all of this is useful, the important question to ask is whether the bag you’re looking at has what it takes to shield your clubs from dents and scratches.
When weighing up options, your priority should be quality, padded and secure dividers to remove the risk of club heads clashing. Never double up on multiple clubs within a single compartment.
Use head covers
Snugly fitting fabric head covers along with a decent bag provide the ideal ‘belt and braces’ combination for protecting your club heads. The head covers come into their own when you return a club to the bag, get the wrong pocket and knock the head of another club with the shaft.
Clean iron club heads
Leaving heads dirty increases the risk of corrosion and deterioration. After your round, soak the heads in warm soapy water for a few minutes. Next, remove any ground in dirt from the grooves with a medium stiff nylon brush. Finally, rinse the head with clear water and dry thoroughly.
Clean wood heads and putters
For these, a prolonged soak is unnecessary. Dip them in warm soapy water to lift any dirt, rinse and then pat dry.
Steel shafts can be maintained by rubbing them down with a dry cloth after each round. Anything harsher than this can cause scratching.
Graphite shafts feature a protective outer layer of polyurethane that needs to stay intact to maintain the integrity of the club. Pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s care instructions; typically, these involve washing the shaft in clear water once a month, avoiding soap and cleaning products. Shaft wax may also be recommended.
If you overlook it, a club grip can gradually become worn and cracked to the point that it starts having a detrimental effect on your game. Preservation involves cleaning grips with water a stiff bristle brush around once a month. Keep an eye out for signs of tearing and be aware that the natural lifespan for grips tends to be 1-2 years.
Look after your shoes
For a regular golfer, having a couple of pairs of shoes means you can rotate between them, allowing time for the material to recover and dry naturally after usage.
Sellers can be very convincing when trying to push ‘specialist’ (and expensive) shoe cleaning products. In reality, a wipe down with warm, soapy water is generally all that’s required to maintain the outsole. If they are soaking wet when you get home, don’t be tempted to take a hair dryer to them or place them on a radiator as this can damage the leather. Instead, allow them to dry naturally. As for appearance and waterproofing, generic shoe cream does just as good a job as more expensive branded products.
The cleats demand special attention. Make sure they are intact and secure. Torn or worn cleats are a sign that it’s time for a replacement.
Keep your equipment out of harm’s way
Sheds and garages are seen as easy targets for thieves and stumbling across a full set of clubs in a handy cart bag is a bonus. Instead, find a home for your clubs in the house. Remember to have your collection of clubs listed as an individual item on your home contents policy.
Applying common sense and simple good housekeeping means your golf equipment will serve you better – for longer.
Looking for golf insurance? From professional players and organisations to local golf club courses and facilities, Bluefin Sport has a range of bespoke risk management and insurance solutions to cater for anyone involved in the world of golf.