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There’s no denying that golf is an expensive sport to get into. It comes to a pretty shocking total when you add up course fees, clothing, and equipment.
One of the biggest investments you make when picking up golf is in a set of golf clubs. Even affordable sets will cost you at least a couple of hundred dollars.
If you opt for more expensive sets or single clubs, this will add up to even more. With so much invested into golf clubs, it’s completely normal to wonder how much wear you can get out of them.
Do golf clubs lose distance with age? Do golf clubs wear out? How often would you need to replace them, and when do you know it’s time to replace them?
Although golf clubs can wear out over time often you won’t need to upgrade your clubs for many years or decades. However, avid golfers will upgrade more frequently as the golf club tech gets better with time.
All of these questions are ones asked by new golfers all over the world. In this article, I am going to answer these questions, so you know if golf clubs wear out and whether you’ll need to replace them.
Do Golf Clubs Wear Out?
Like any piece of equipment, golf clubs wear out over time. However, how long this takes depends on their quality, how often they are used, and how well they’re taken care of.
For example, if you play golf every other day, you’ll need to replace your golf clubs sooner than a friend who only plays twice a month. Depending on how well you maintain them and take care of them, you can ensure that your golf clubs last for years.
One of the reasons golf clubs are so expensive in the first place is because of their sturdy construction. Depending on the golf clubs you purchase, they could be made of steel, titanium, or other materials.
Since they’re so well-made, golf clubs aren’t simply going to break overnight because you’ve been using them regularly. Unless you’re bathing them in acid or leaving them out in the rain for hours at a time, they will last you quite a while.
That being said, some parts of the club wear out more quickly than others. The shaft and leather grip, for example, won’t hold up as well as the clubface.
Additionally, the grooves on your clubs can get worn and dull, especially when you’re frequently hitting out of the sand. This is most commonly seen in wedges but is also seen in irons.
Therefore, if you’re new to golf and thinking you have to replace your golf clubs every year, that’s not the case. However, you will need to replace your grips approximately once a year to ensure that you’re playing your best.
If your grips are worn out and not replaced, this will affect your gameplay.
Do Golf Clubs Lose Distance With Age?
When golfers lose distance, it’s natural to feel defensive and start blaming your equipment instead of thinking about the swing and follow through.
When people hear about “metal fatigue,” they tend to blame that instead of examining their performance.
So, what is metal fatigue?
According to designer and PGA Tour clubfitter Tom Wishon, “metal fatigue is a weakened condition in which repeated stress causes the strength of a metal part to drop below the normally designed stress threshold of the part.
Micro-fractures begin to form a high level of repeated stress which upon further stress become larger and more populated until the yield strength drops well below the level of stress being induced on the part.”
However, before you start worrying, it’s also important to note that he said that it’s very unlikely for this to happen since the face isn’t flexed in and out far enough for this to occur.
Most drivers aren’t hit more than a few thousand times in their lifetime, and most of these hits are off-center. Therefore, unless you’re going to hit thousands of golf balls with a high enough swing speed, metal fatigue isn’t something you need to worry about.
It should also be noted that even when you rule out metal fatigue, there aren’t many other reasons why golf clubs would lose their distance over time unless the clubhead has been severely damaged or there’s a manufacturing error.
If you’re losing distance, it may be for a few reasons. Either your swing speed has decreased, or you aren’t hitting the center of the clubface. You could also be losing distance because of poor transition during the downswing or a negative attack angle.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Golf Clubs
Keep an eye out for some telltale signs that your golf clubs may need to be replaced. However, it’s also essential to remember that the problem isn’t always your clubs.
Sometimes, it’s your swing and your performance, so it’s best to consult a professional before spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on new equipment only to have the same results.
As you use your golf clubs, you may notice the grooves on your wedges and irons starting to deteriorate. This is especially common if you’re used to hitting out of the sand.
This is one of the most common signs of aging golf clubs and requires regrooving or replacement.
Decrease in Feel
Golf clubs allow you to feel when you’ve hit the ball perfectly. While the feel differs depending on the shaft and other factors, if you feel a change in feel despite your swing not changing, it may be time to take a closer look at your golf clubs and figure out whether they need to be replaced.
Chips, Scratches, and More
Other signs that you may need to replace your golf clubs include chips, scratches, and loose hosels. While you can use golf epoxy to fix a loose hosel, chips and scratches are signs that usually lead to upgrading to a new set of clubs.
Some issues can be fixed by yourself, while others can be quickly solved at a golf club repair shop. However, some issues may not be fixable, in which case it’s better to upgrade your clubs and help your performance.
Golf clubs are extremely durable and don’t lose distance or go dead over time unless there are cracks, dents, or other severe damage to the clubs. That being said, there is some wear and tear involved and things like the grip or shaft may need to be replaced with time.
While it’s unnecessary, most golfers upgrade to new equipment every 4-5 years to ensure maximum performance from their golf clubs. This is mostly due to technological innovation and newer clubs helping with both distance and accuracy.