Josh’s Tips & Tricks: Clean Clubs = Better Golf

Golf | 11 October, 2022


Hello golfers, welcome to this week’s tips & tricks. The rain has started coming down more frequently, the air is noticeably cooler and the ground conditions are showing this. We had a lovely summer and I really do hope you made the most of it by spending plenty of time on the golf course. With the course conditions changing I want to share with you some vital information that could save you shots over the coming winter months and into next season.

Clean Your Clubs

The condition and cleanliness of your clubs, in my opinion, should not even need to be discussed. Clean golf clubs can lead to a clean mind on the course and also, according to research, better golf shots. Tour pros have caddies and there is never an excuse for them to have dirty golf clubs. The same should apply to you. These same tour pros also play on better condition golf courses than we do so the likelihood is that our clubs are going to get a lot dirtier than theirs.

Golf clubs are built to help you with your golf. Grooves on irons and wedges are there to help you spin the ball into the air for maximum distance and control. If you have mud and other dirt in the grooves you’re significantly more likely to get poor outcome golf shots. If you are a bit lazy when it comes to keeping your clubs clean, keep reading…

The Research

Research by a PGA Professional in Today’s Golfer Magazine tested shots with a 7 iron with a perfectly clean club for every shot against a mud smeared clubface. Some of you actually play golf and leave your clubs in a mess when you come to the driving range in the winter so this was quite a relevant test. The aim was to fill the grooves with mud without leaving it look like there were’t any grooves at all. The results found were quite significant.

Shots with dirty grooves lost 7mph of ball speed. This was 5.5% of the tester’s total which is huge. Backspin (essentially control) fell a massive 52.5% (to 2,566rpm from 5,399rpm), as did height (down six yards, or 20%) and descent angle (down 16.3%; 7°).

It goes without saying that thanks to the dirty club also cutting backspin so dramatically (it was half that of a clean 7-iron), shots flew further. Thanks though to the launch, height and descent angle being so poor, it was just three yards further. This is never a worthwhile trade-off when so much control and consistency is at stake.


The takeaway from the test, clean your clubs. You should always have at least one, if not two towels on or in your golf bag. Sometimes just a wipe with a towel isn’t enough so a groove cleaner is another great tool to have. I also have a retractable cord attached to my groove cleaner that lives on the side of my golf bag. This makes it easy to grab it, scrub the grooves, wipe with a towel and carry on without digging through pockets. If you do just want something small and practical a good old small club cleaner can live in your pocket when you play. A final option is a toothbrush. These tend to wear down quickly but if you’re desperate grab a new toothbrush and chuck the old one in your golf bag. Just make sure you don’t mix them up!


If you look after your golf clubs, they will look after you. There is plenty of evidence to show you how important it is to clean your clubs before and after each shot. It takes a matter of seconds and is, in my opinion, just pure laziness if you don’t. Hitting balls on a driving range with dirty clubs is not going to give you good feel and on the course not going to give you consistent results.

I personally love cleaning golf clubs. I find it very satisfying and think its a really good thing to do to show your weapons some appreciation. If you do have 5 minutes to spare get some warm soapy water (not boiling) and a brush and give them all a scrub. Don’t forget the shafts and grips and don’t forget to dry them off with a towel when you’re done. Sit back and admire your work and next time you step on to the first tee you will feel much more confident about your game.

If you would like any help with your golf (or cleaning your clubs) you know where I am.

To book a lesson CLICK HERE NOW.

See you soon!