Equipment Upkeep: How I Keep My Clubs in Tournament-Ready Condition

Equipment Upkeep: How I Keep My Clubs in Tournament-Ready Condition

By: Nick Bockenfeld, PGA
⌚8 Minute Read


When asked, any competitive player will tell you their strict regiment for taking care of their equipment. They all do it or have their caddie do it, but most players don’t generally understand keeping your clubs ready to go. I say this with confidence after seeing some of the grips of people I play with. I was playing the other day with a guy, half his grip was dead, and the other half was missing. I asked when he last got new grips, and he said never. That got me thinking. A lot of players skip out on keeping their clubs ready to go, and maybe that extends even further. I figured I would write at least about the clubs!



This one is pretty obvious, but here we go. Keep your grooves clean! Before a big round, I will bring my clubs into the house and clean out the grooves. No grass, and no dirt, grooves are completely clean. You can also do this with a very wet towel at the range. If there is shit in your grooves, you get less spin, and you get less contact with the ball out of the rough, it's all bad. Stop hitting shots with dirty ass grooves. The ball will not react correctly in the air. I swear if I hear one more person talk about not getting any spin on the ball when their grooves are full of rock-hard compressed dirt and grass, I will lose my mind. I just don’t understand. The golf club has grooves for a reason; keep them clean!



Keeping your grips clean and tacky is important. First, let's acknowledge that you need to replace your grips about once a year if you play a lot. Maybe stretch it to every 2 years if you don’t. Having new grips keeps your hands from slipping around and keeps you from not losing control of the club. While replacing the grips yearly is one thing, you also need to clean them! Just take a wet towel and wet the grips, then take a dry towel that you don’t care if it gets blackened, and rub them dry. This keeps your grips tacky and ready to go for when you play in a big event or on a hot day!


    Lie and Loft

    First, you need to find out if your clubs are forged or cast. If they are cast, you are probably in good shape and don’t need to get them checked very often. If you have forged irons, you should check your lies and lofts at the very least once a year when you get your grips done. However, if you hit off of mats a lot, especially hard mats, first off, don’t it is terrible for your back, secondly, if you are hitting off mats often, or even really hard-packed ground, you need to be getting your lies and lofts checked way more often. A little-known fact, forged irons are so soft that the lies and lofts can change just by hitting golf balls. Even traveling can get an iron bent in a way that is pretty harmful to your game. If you are serious about playing good golf, you need to check your irons, especially if you notice one club is performing differently than it had and different from the rest of your clubs.


    Woods and Hybrids with Adjustable Shafts

    The new technology that lets you mess with the loft and draw or fade bias is an incredible innovation, but it also brings a small amount of extra upkeep. Every month or so, pull out your wrench and just give each screw a quick tighten. It doesn’t take much, but they will loosen up over time, and the driver will not perform as well. Make sure that all of the weights are in the right place! This can cause major problems in your game if none of this is set perfectly! Being able to hit your long clubs is a key part of scoring well.



    Wedges cannot be used forever. It is an unfortunate fact that wedges need to be replaced more often than any other club, in my opinion. I think during the course of golfing, get it, course? AHA, you are going to wear down the grooves on your wedges. Especially if you are like me and pound wedges at the range with those hard-as-rock golf balls. Wedges need to put a spin on the ball, it's just a fact of golf now, so you gotta have newer grooves. If you have a big dark wear pattern in your wedges, you need new wedges. This will really affect you in the rough; you can spin it a lot more with a new wedge than with an old worn-out wedge. The real spinny shots you see pros hit, those require good grooves.


    Other Equipment

    This is a catch-all section, towels, clean them when you do your laundry once a week. Just get into a nice habit of doing it. Your towels clean your face, your club, your grips, everything. If they are filthy, so is everything else. Your speaker should stay charged. Bring it in and charge it every once in a while, or better yet, buy a solar-charged battery and leave it on your bag, always ready to charge your speaker up! Always keep an extra battery in your bag for your range finder! Always! The worst thing in the world is to try to shoot a yardage and not have a yardage! Keep your headcovers in good shape and out of the dirt. You could get bugs in the headcover, which sucks. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, PUT YOUR HEADCOVER BACK ON THE CLUB RIGHT AFTER YOU HIT IT! ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE BORROWING SOMEONE ELSE'S CLUB!



    These are the biggest tips I have and use to upkeep all of the clubs in my bag. If you can manage to do these things, your clubs will last longer, and you will be in contention more often and shooting good scores!

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