Whether you’re a golf fanatic or just the occasional duffer, you’ll need to consider the subject of properly storing your clubs. After all, golfing equipment isn’t cheap, and you want to get the best out of your equipment while making sure it lasts a long time. Even if money is no object, you get used to the feel of your clubs and know what to expect with each one.
Starting with a new set can leave your score with something to be desired as you get used to the action of the new clubs. Of course, a golfer knows that he shouldn’t leave his clubs in the trunk of his car because of the heat, but unless you live in a place that allows playing year-round, you have to wonder just how you store golf clubs over the winter.
The secret for storing golf clubs during the winter months is to bring them inside so they stay dry. Next, with some warm soap and water wash them down and be sure to that their completely dry.
Is it OK to Store Golf Clubs in the Cold?
While cold temperatures aren’t quite as bad as heat, colder temperatures can also cause damage. The cold temperature can damage your club grips and make the shaft material become brittle. Eventually, even the adhesive which is used to attach the clubhead to the shaft can break down. Also, in most places winter temperatures are often accompanied by increased humidity, which can have its own negative impact on your golf gear.
However, you can store your golf clubs in cooler temperatures as long as the air is dry. Humidity is another concern, as it can make parts of the club’s rust. It’s literally a matter of degrees. Cool is acceptable; cold is not.
At What Temperature Should Golf Clubs Be Stored?
Golf clubs usually like the same temperatures as you do, albeit a bit on the cooler side. Temperatures no warmer than 68 degrees F is preferred, but cooler temperatures are fine as long as they aren’t near freezing. Humidity control is very important also. You want to eliminate the possibility of rust forming or mold growing on the grips.
Where Should Your Golf Clubs Not be Stored?
Storing them in your car trunk is definitely out. Even the back of an SUV is not suitable. Keeping them in your garage is acceptable only if the garage is temperature-controlled. If it is not, as with most garages, then it is not a good place for those clubs. A basement may be a solution as long as it is not damp.
Humidity can not only cause metal parts to rust but also cause mold to grow on the grips. Long-term exposure to cold can cause the more flexible parts, such as the grips, to harden and eventually crack.
A storage unit may be the solution if the units are temperature and humidity controlled. If not, that’s not a good option either. In short, any location that doesn’t pass the temperature and humidity control test is out.
Can You Keep Golf Clubs in a Shed?
Storing the clubs in your shed comes with the same limitations as storing them in the garage. If your shed is well insulated and both the temperature and the humidity are controlled, storing them there will be fine. Most sheds are not built with these features, however.
Most sheds are used for yard and garden tool storage. Your golf equipment, including golf balls, is designed and manufactured to perform a certain way. Storing your shovel out in the shed will not affect its usefulness, storing your golf balls and clubs there will.
How Should I Store My Golf Clubs in My Bag?
To store golf clubs in the bag, first of all, give them a thorough cleaning, paying attention to getting dirt out of all the little grooves and tiny places. Wipe down the shafts as well. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them into the bag.
The interior of the bag should be completely dry as well. If your golf bag has a cover, put it over the bag. Store it in a place in the house, whether a closet or out of the way corner, where it won’t be in the way and is not likely to be tripped over or knocked down.
Is it Bad to Leave Golf Balls in the Cold?
As with the clubs, golf balls do not like extremes in temperature, either hot or cold. There used to be a widespread belief that spare golf balls should be kept in a freezer, but this has since been proven to be wrong.
If the balls are left out in freezing cold temperatures or ones nearly that cold, it may not hurt them for a couple of nights, or perhaps as long as a week, but eventually, the performance of the balls will decline. They will also have a much shorter lifespan. Even when golf is played on a cold day, the distance each ball will go will be negatively affected, so it just makes sense that cold storage will affect them the same way.
Where is the Best Place to Store Golf Balls?
The best place to store golf balls is in your home. The balls do best when kept in temperatures at which you yourself are comfortable. Keep a few in your bag for the course, and leave the rest stored in the house. A closet shelf or anyplace out of the way that’s easy to access when you need to refill your bag is fine. Of course, they should be kept in the house during the off-season.
Five Tips for Storing Your Golf Gear During the Winter
Clean them – Your clubs need a thorough cleaning before they are put away for the winter. In fact, all your clubs except for the woods could use a good soaking. The cleaning pails that may be provided at your golf course won’t do the kind of job that needs to be done. Besides, there may be unexpected substances in the water, such as the fertilizer used on the greens. Fertilizer encourages rust, which you certainly don’t want.
Get a sturdy bucket, squeeze in a little dishwashing detergent, then put in enough water to cover the heads. Let them soak a while. While you’re waiting, you can dip a clean rag into that soapy water and use it to clean off the woods. Remember to rinse them off with clean water and dry them. This is a good time to wipe down the shafts and grips.
Now you can start on the soaking clubs. An old toothbrush is great for cleaning the heads. Give extra attention to the striking surface and also the little plastic piece that covers the joint between the shaft and the clubhead. It’s called a ferrule, and dirt that sticks in the space where it touches the other parts can gradually work its way in and break the seal.
Dry all parts thoroughly. Any tiny wet spots can cause rust, even loosening parts if it gets into the wrong places. If you have milled putters or wedges made of unplated carbon steel, a thin layer of Vaseline or baby oil spread over them with a cloth will be great to prevent rust. If your clubs reside in a place where there is salt in the air, such as coastal areas, wipe down the shafts to chrome cleaner or fine steel wool to get off the salt.
Clean your golf bag – Clean your golf bag with that same soapy water and a rag. This could take a while to get all the grunge out of the stitching. Rinse with a clean, wet rag, then dry it completely. If this seems to be taking too long, you can speed things up by using a hair dryer set on the low temperature setting. Don’t forget to clean out the pockets. All sorts of debris can accumulate in there.
Store them in the bag – This just makes sense, as the bag is designed to hold the clubs. The bag may be stored horizontally as long as nothing is piled on top of it.
In the basement or garage – If your garage or basement is climate-controlled, there are other possible options to store golf clubs. Some people store them in a large plastic container, preferably a clear one. The container should have a lid. Some prefer to keep the clubs from being knocked over or tripping somebody by hanging them up, either individually with hooks or together in a bag.
They can even be hung from rafters. You can also hang up the entire golf bag with the clubs inside. Shelving units or racks can also be used. Some people stack them upright against a wall. This is acceptable as long as they are in a place out of the way where they will not be knocked over.
Other storage ideas – If you’d rather not store your clubs inside the bag, there are other options. One way is to wrap them in newspapers and store them in a sturdy box. For added security and protection, you can put the clubs in the bag and store the whole bag in a box.
Storing your golf cart – If you own a cart, you’ll want to get it prepared for winter storage along with your other gear. Start by washing it as you would your car. Clear out anything that doesn’t need to be there and empty any storage compartments.
Check for rust spots and repaint them. Take out any rugs or carpeting. Clean the fuel, air and oil filters or replace them if needed. This would also be a good time to check the spark plugs. Clean out the tire treads and use a wax or tire shine to protect them and prevent dry rot from developing. Make sure they are inflated to manufacturers’ specifications to prevent flat spots from forming over winter. In short, you want to be ready to go next spring, so it’s best to do any maintenance now instead of waiting.
Drive the cart to its storage place. This would ideally be a climate-controlled space, such as a garage or storage unit. If neither of these is possible and it has to be stored outside, invest in a good quality cart cover. It should be as weatherproof as possible and will cover your cart all the way to the ground. If possible, use some kind of rodent repellent to prevent mice from using your covered cart for a winter home. They can chew up upholstery, and worse, gnaw on wiring.
Once at the storage spot, open the battery compartment. Use spray battery acid neutralizer over and around the battery to remove debris and corrosive substances. Then use a wet rag to remove the neutralizer as well as the debris, then dry it thoroughly. Pay special attention to the terminals. Any powdery corrosion can be cleaned with baking soda and an old toothbrush. If dampness may be a problem, a gel is available to coat the terminals over winter.
Make sure the battery is fully charged and fill any low cells with distilled water. Check the water levels once a month and charge the battery if it is not on a trickle charger. Some authorities recommend not using a trickle charger; check with your cart’s manufacturer for their recommendation. If you use a trickle charger, make sure it is kept out of the weather and away from anything that may be harmed by the heat it will produce when charging. Don’t forget to take the keys and put them in a place in your home that you will remember.
Depending on your cart model, it may or may not draw a little power once the key is turned off. Check under the seat for a switch that says tow/run or maintenance/run and set it to tow or maintenance. This will keep the battery being drained over the winter and reduce fire hazards. If you have a switch saying “forward/neutral/reverse” set it too neutral. Use chocks or blocks to secure your cart, not the parking brake. For more tips on storing a golf cart read my article How Do You Store a Battery Powered Golf Cart?
Golf gear is engineered and manufactured to give you the best edge when you’re out on the golf course. The amount of design and work that goes into improvements, especially concerning the clubs, is considerable. By taking care of your equipment, you’ll be much more likely to come out on top when you head back to the clubhouse.