How to Restore Golf Clubs

Restoring golf clubs can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to breathe new life into your old clubs. Whether you’ve found a set of vintage clubs at a garage sale or you’re looking to revamp your own equipment, this guide will walk you through the necessary steps to restore your golf clubs to their former glory.

Materials and Tools Needed:

  1. Warm water and mild dish soap
  2. Soft cloth or sponge
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Steel wool (grade #0000)
  5. Sandpaper (220, 400, and 800 grit)
  6. Painters tape
  7. Spray paint (color of your choice)
  8. Acetone or nail polish remover
  9. Shaft cleaner or rubbing alcohol
  10. Epoxy
  11. Grip solvent or mineral spirits
  12. New grips
  13. Bench vise with rubber protective caps
  14. Hairdryer or heat gun
  15. Safety equipment (gloves, goggles, and mask)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Cleaning: Begin by cleaning the clubheads with warm soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge. Use a toothbrush to scrub any dirt or debris from grooves and other hard-to-reach areas. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
  2. Removing Rust: For iron clubs with rust spots, use the steel wool to gently remove the rust. Be careful not to scratch the club surface. If the rust is stubborn, soak the clubhead in a mixture of vinegar and water for a few hours, then try again.
  3. Sanding and Painting: a. Use painter’s tape to protect the clubface and any areas you don’t want to paint. b. Start sanding the clubhead with 220-grit sandpaper, followed by 400-grit, and finally 800-grit for a smooth finish. Make sure to sand in a consistent direction. c. Wipe the clubhead with acetone or nail polish remover to remove any oils or residue. d. Apply a thin, even coat of spray paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the paint to dry, then apply additional coats as needed for full coverage. e. Once the paint is completely dry, carefully remove the painter’s tape.
  4. Shaft Cleaning and Replacement (if needed): a. Clean the shaft with a shaft cleaner or rubbing alcohol. b. If the shaft is damaged or you want to replace it, use a heat gun or hairdryer to loosen the epoxy holding the shaft in place. Be careful not to overheat or damage the clubhead. c. Once the epoxy is softened, use a bench vise with rubber protective caps to hold the clubhead and gently twist and pull the shaft to remove it. d. To install a new shaft, mix epoxy according to the instructions, and apply it to the shaft tip and inside the hosel. Insert the new shaft, making sure it’s properly aligned, and let the epoxy cure as directed.
  5. Re-Gripping: a. Remove the old grip by cutting it off with a utility knife or by using a grip removal tool. b. Clean the grip area with grip solvent or mineral spirits and remove any remaining tape. c. Apply new double-sided grip tape to the shaft, leaving about 0.5 inches over the end of the shaft. d. Pour grip solvent or mineral spirits into the new grip and shake it to coat the inside. Pour the excess solvent over the grip tape on the shaft. e. Slide the new grip onto the shaft, making sure it’s properly aligned. Press the end cap firmly to ensure a secure fit. f. Allow the grip to dry for several hours or as directed by the grip manufacturer

Tools and Materials for Restoring Golf Clubs

ItemPurposeTypes/BrandsQuantityPrice Range
Clubhead cleanerRemove dirt and debris from clubheadsCLR, Caddy-Clean1 bottle$5 – $15
Groove cleanerClean grooves on clubfaceGrooveMaster, GrooveSharpener1 tool$10 – $30
SandpaperSand and smooth surfaces220, 400, 800 grit1 pack$5 – $15
Paint stripperRemove old paint from clubheadCitristrip, Klean Strip1 can$10 – $20
PaintRepaint clubhead and clubface linesTestors, Rust-Oleum1 can$5 – $15

Steps to Clean Clubheads and Grooves

1Soak clubhead in warm soapy waterBucket, soap, water10 minEasy
2Scrub clubhead with brushSoft-bristle brush5 minEasy
3Rinse clubhead with waterHose or bucket2 minEasy
4Use groove cleaner to remove dirt from groovesGroove cleaner5 minModerate
5Dry clubhead with clean towelClean towel2 minEasy

Steps to Remove and Replace Paint

1Apply paint stripper to clubheadPaint stripper, brush15 minEasy
2Scrape off old paintPlastic scraper10 minModerate
3Sand clubhead with sandpaperSandpaper15 minModerate
4Clean clubhead with damp clothDamp cloth5 minEasy
5Apply paint to clubhead and clubface linesPaint, brush20 minModerate

Steps to Restore Golf Club Grips

1Remove old gripGrip solvent, hook blade5 minModerate
2Clean grip area with grip solventGrip solvent, cloth5 minEasy
3Apply double-sided grip tapeGrip tape5 minEasy
4Apply grip solvent to tape and new gripGrip solvent2 minEasy
5Slide new grip onto shaft and alignNew grip5 minModerate


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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