For people who are yet to purchase their first set of golf clubs, it can look like a complex, daunting, and expensive experience.
Since you are paying for 14 fairly expensive golf clubs, you may want to know: how long do golf clubs last?
In this article, we will tell you exactly how long golf clubs last, how to know when your golf clubs are no longer good, and give you tips to make your golf clubs last longer.
How Long Do Golf Clubs Last?
Golf clubs can usually last anywhere between 3 to 10 years, depending on how well you maintain them and how much you use them. Different types of clubs will have different lifespans because of the amount of use and stress you put each of them through.
Golf clubs will usually last you 3 to 10 years, but proper care and maintenance of your clubs can extend their shelf life. In the case of clubs you use less often, you may even be able to make them last your entire lifetime.
Over the years, your golf clubs accumulate wear and tear, their grooves wear out, their shaft may snap, their grips become slippery, the club head caves in a bit, and much more.
Many things can go wrong with a golf club as you use it, so you need to give it proper care, clean it regularly and even bring it in to a shop for repairs in some cases.
The more and the more intensely you use a golf club, the quicker it will wear out and require repairs, or you will need to replace it. This is the reason why drivers tend to be the first golf club to lose performance or require replacement.
In fact, the driver is one of the most used clubs in the game of golf, so it will wear out more quickly than lesser-used clubs will. Furthermore, you hit the driver with an immense amount of force, and the shaft bends quite a lot in order to generate the most power.
Since you send so much force into the driver when you hit it, it accumulates a lot of stress over time, bending and unbending to release the elastic energy stored in the shaft. All this stress the driver goes through creates so much more wear & tear than the stress sent to say a putter.
A driver might last you 5 years at most, depending on how much you play, how far you push it to the limits, and how well you maintain it. Similarly, woods will also last about as long as a driver because of the abuse they take when you hit them.
On the other hand, a putter is often used, but it can actually last you at least 15 to 20 years, or maybe your entire lifetime! Why? Because the stress you put a putter through is minimal. The putter shaft essentially never bends, and the force you hit the ball with the putter is too small to really cause any damage.
Another important factor to mention is that steel shafts are sturdier than graphite shafts, so they will last longer.
When it comes to wedges, you want to look at the condition of the grooves to know if they are still good to go because the grooves give you spin. Wedges tend to last 5 to 7 years.
Irons tend to last about 7 to 12 years, and hybrid golf clubs last around 10 years. The hybrid clubs lie somewhere between the fairway woods and the irons.
When Are Golf Clubs No Longer Good?
Golf clubs need to be replaced once they break, the grooves wear out, when you outgrow them, when you feel a lack of responsiveness or notice a loss of quantitative performance such as carry distance, or if the face of the club head starts to cave in.
Golf clubs can last a very long time thanks to all of the technology engineered to maximize the performance and durability of clubs in the modern era.
However, there are still many reasons why you would need to replace your golf clubs, although you should avoid changing clubs too often.
In fact, it takes a lot of time to find a golf club that is right for you, as well as to get used to the set of clubs you are using. Once you find golf clubs you feel comfortable with, you should not let them go, and try to fix them rather than buying new ones too quickly.
In fact, most golfers never change their golf clubs until they have used them at least 3 to 5 years, but you should probably keep your clubs even longer.
Smart golfers avoid purchasing new clubs as soon as “better”, newer ones comes out because they know the time & performance cost of needing to get used to new clubs.
One of the most unavoidable reason for replacing your golf clubs will especially affect younger players: when you outgrow your golf clubs and they become too short for you.
Golfers need golf clubs with the correct shaft length in order to reach optimal performance. If your golf clubs are too short for you, you need to replace them, or at least attach your current club head to a longer shaft. You could also add an extender to your shaft.
Golf Shaft Extenders Allow You To Keep Your Clubs Longer As You Grow Taller
Another major, unavoidable reason for replacing or repairing your golf club is if it breaks. Maybe the shaft will snap, maybe your club head will get loose or break off, but these are issues that must be remedied right away.
You can take your club in to a shop or fix your clubs yourself. Repairing your golf clubs instead of buying new ones will save you the trouble of getting used to new clubs you might not even like.
However, there are less obvious reasons for why you would need to replace your golf clubs. For example, after a few years, you might feel a lack of responsiveness. Maybe your shots are less consistent than they used to be.
In addition, maybe your carry distance and performance has suffered over a few months or a year, and you cannot seem to figure out why. You are stronger than before, but your carry distance is lower.
When these odd, alarming signs appear, it is potentially time to change your golf clubs. Maybe your golf shaft does not have that whip anymore, that pop feeling that sends a ball flying. Over time, rods that flex and restore their shape to generate power do get soft.
Furthermore, if the sound your golf club makes when you hit it suddenly changes, it could be a sign that something broke in the club. Repairs may be necessary if the damage is light. If the damage is too much of a hassle to repair, you may have to buy a new golf club.
Another reason you might need to replace your golf club is if the club head face starts to cave in. This problem is especially present over time in drivers and other clubs that you hit hard with. Replace the club head if the face is caving in, as it will not hit the golf ball right anymore. Finally, verify the grooves on your golf clubs every couple months. You want to keep your grooves in good condition because they provide spin to the golf ball. If the grooves are worn out, bring your clubs to a repair shop, attempt a home repair, or buy a new club head.
How To Make Golf Clubs Last Longer?
The shelf life of golf clubs can increase by treating them with proper care and maintenance. Such maintenance includes cleaning the clubs after every shot, avoiding contact with water, changing the golf grips, storage in temperature-controlled environments, and protecting the club heads with head covers or a 14-way golf bag.
The lifespan of golf clubs does change significantly with the amount of care and maintenance you treat them with. You can add multiple years of life to most golf clubs just by avoiding certain bad habits and picking up good habits.
One of the first excellent habits you can pick up is to clean your golf clubs after every shot, wiping them with a towel. Make sure you remove any water on the club, as well as dirt and mud, even cleaning within the grooves of the club face.
Next, after each round of golf, you can give your golf clubs a deeper cleaning with soap and water, and removing all dirt & mud thoroughly. To learn the best method for cleaning your golf clubs, read our article: How To Clean Golf Clubs.
One of the most important things you can do is to store your golf clubs correctly. For starters, you need to avoid leaving them in extreme temperatures, whether cold or hot, because these can deform your clubs.
You also need to avoid letting your golf clubs get wet because the liquid can make your clubs rust up, making them look ugly, old, and lessening their shelf life. If your clubs are already a bit rusty, you can follow our guide to give them a new life: How To Clean Rust Off Your Golf Clubs.
To avoid the last few issues mentioned, you need to avoid storing your golf clubs outdoors or leaving them in your car trunk. The best solution is to store your golf clubs indoors, in a temperature-controlled room.
Another thing to do is to change your golf grips when required. Your golf club may slip out of your hand over time, but you might only need to change the grips rather than the entire club. You can read our article to learn how to regrip your clubs: How To Replace a Golf Grip. You can also learn when to change your grips here: How Long Do Golf Grips Last?.
Something important that you want to avoid is clunking your golf clubs together, especially the club heads. You also do not want to let your fragile golf clubs fall onto the ground or to throw them in anger after a bad shot.
When your golf clubs are not in use, use head covers to protect the club heads. You should also get a 14-way golf bag that will separate each club with a divider if you wish to maximize the lifespan of your golf clubs.
A 14-Way golf bag protects your golf clubs from clunking by dividing them.
There you go! After reading this article, you have learned how long golf clubs last, how to know when they are no longer good, and how to extend a golf club’s lifetime.
With these tips, you will be better able to know how much money you should invest in a set of golf clubs by seeing how many years it will last you.
Use the tips in this article, and you will add a few years of lifetime to your golf clubs that serve you so well.
How old is the oldest golf club you use? Let us know in the comments down below!