Can Golf Clubs Rust? (Can You Get The Rust Off?)

Can Golf Clubs Rust? (Can You Get The Rust Off?)

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Have you ever gotten your golf clubs out of the garage after a long winter break to see reddish-bronze stains all over them? You may be looking at your beloved golf clubs and wondering, “Can golf clubs rust?” and, if so, how to get rust off golf clubs. 

Since golf clubs can be pricey, it’s best to make the most out of your current set before moving on to a new one.

In this article, I am going to tackle everything rust-related, including whether golf clubs rust, which kinds of golf clubs rust, and how to remove it. 

Keep on reading for a complete breakdown of golf club rust, how it affects your game, and the best removal methods.

Can Golf Clubs Rust?

Since golf clubs are made of metal, they can rust if stored improperly or not taken care of. Titanium and iron golf clubs are especially prone to rusting and staining, caused by iron and oxygen creating an oxidation-reduction reaction (redox reaction).

While graphite and stainless steel don’t rust, carbon steel does. Golf clubs without a protective chrome finish, i.e. those with a raw finish, are prone to developing rust and becoming abrasive. 

Many in the golfing community falsely believe that rusting improves spin rates because it creates more friction. However, this theory has been debunked, with some tests showing that the backspin is reduced when the clubface is rusty, as is the effectiveness of the golf club’s grooves.

While rust reduces the glare from the sun and sometimes offers golfers a better feel, it’s important to avoid it since it also causes golf clubs to break down over time.

Which Golf Clubs Rust The Most?

Wedges are the golf clubs that tend to rust the most. This is because of how much players practice with them and because of their usual carbon steel construction. 

Additionally, since wedges are used for bunker shots and come into contact with abrasive sand, they tend to wear down and rust more often naturally. 

How to Remove Rust From Golf Clubs

Rust can spell long-term problems for your golf clubs. Fortunately, there are many ways to remove rust from golf clubs, ranging from simply rinsing them with soap and water to using a rust remover.

Use Soap And Water

Before trying anything else, most people use soap and water to remove rust from golf clubs. It’s simple enough, and since the mixture only consists of mild soap and water, there’s no danger of damaging the golf clubs themselves. 

After soaking the clubs in the mixture, the rust should come off. However, this only works in mild cases and not in cases with extreme rust build-up.


This classic drink does more than quench your thirst. It can also dissolve rust. However, you need to be careful when using this method because Coca-Cola can damage golf clubs if you soak them in for a long period. 

Instead, stick to a few minutes and then scrape off the rust.

Vinegar And Lemon Juice

Don’t have any Coca-Cola on hand? No problem. Simple household items like vinegar and lemon juice can also do the trick because of their acidity. 

After soaking your golf clubs into this mixture, use a soft brush to remove the rust.

Rust Remover

If nothing else works, you can always purchase rust remover. As the name suggests, this removes rust from different products. 

However, since this is an industrial-grade product, it can be harsh and shouldn’t be used excessively or incorrectly. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them exactly for the best results.

A product like the Goo Gone Rust Remover is ideal for this.

Some people suggest using steel wool to remove rust, but I would stay far away from it because of the damage you can cause. Many people scrub too hard with steel wool and end up scratching their golf clubs instead of simply removing the rust. 

I would caution against this and advise you to use gentler methods and mixtures with soft brushes instead.

How To Prevent Rust Formation On Golf Clubs

While there are many ways to remove rust from golf clubs, the easiest way to do this is by avoiding it altogether and preventing rust formation on golf clubs in the first place. 

Since salt and humidity are the biggest contributing factors, the main step you should take is drying your clubs after every round and storing them in a dry place.

Drying Your Golf Clubs

Make sure your clubs are completely dried before putting them back in the golf bag whenever you use your set. Attaching a towel to your golf bag is a good tip since it makes drying your golf clubs more convenient. 

When doing this, remember to go over the clubhead, the shaft, and the grip to dry the entire club thoroughly. This is especially important if you’re someone who plays in the rain or the early morning when the golf course is covered in dew.

If you have golfed in the rain, it’s important not to toss your golf bag into a corner in the garage. Instead, take the clubs out of your golf bag and dry them on a towel to ensure they don’t end up rusting. 

This is important since even if you’ve dried your clubs before putting them into the bag, the bag itself may be wet.

Golf Club Storage

When you think about golf club storage, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably your garage. However, this isn’t always wise because of the moisture level. 

The same can be said for basements and car trunks. 

Storing your golf clubs outside when you live in a hot and humid climate is the worst thing you can do for them. Instead, keep them indoors in a closet or another cool and dry place, and you’ll ensure that your golf clubs last you a long time.

Golf Club Maintenance

Good maintenance practices are the key to keeping your golf clubs in great condition. In addition to proper drying and storage, it’s important to wipe your golf clubs with a lubricant every few months and keep a close eye on them for any issues.

Final Thoughts

If you were wondering, “Can golf clubs rust?” you now have your answer. Not only do they rust, but this rusting reduces their overall effectiveness by decreasing ball-to-face contact. 

The best thing to do is follow the above tips and tricks to prevent your golf clubs from rusting. However, if this has already happened, don’t worry –follow the methods that I outlined in this article to learn how to get rust off golf clubs, and your rusty golf clubs will be as good as new in no time.

Matt R.

Hello, My name is Matt and I'm the founder of Just Golfin'. This site is all about one thing... GOLFING!

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