Do golf clubs wear out? Yeah, they wear out pretty hard, if you aren’t careful.
We always think that metal can’t possible wear out like that, but if you look at the construction of a golf club, then you know that the shaft can be pretty flimsy or thin.
That’s especially true when you’re swinging it and forcing it to collide with another object.
They’re unusual bits of metal (or graphite) that undergo different levels of stress.
Using your golf clubs in any capacity will get them to wear out.
- 1 How Long Will Golf Clubs Last?
- 2 How Often Should You Replace Golf Clubs?
- 3 What Are the Signs of Worn-Out Clubs?
- 4 Are Old Clubs Worth More?
- 5 Maintenance is Key
How Long Will Golf Clubs Last?
Well, it depends on the club.
Here’s a quick and easy table of information about each golf club type and what you can expect from them.
|Club||Approx. Amount of Rounds||Lifespan|
|3 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|4 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|5 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|6 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|7 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|8 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|9 Iron||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|3 Wood||200 Rounds||4 – 6 Years|
|4 Wood||200 Rounds||4 – 6 Years|
|5 Wood||200 Round||4 – 6 Years|
|6 Wood||200 Rounds||4 – 6 Years|
|7 Wood||200 Rounds||4 – 6 Years|
|8 Wood||200 Rounds||4 – 6 Years|
|9 Wood||200 Rounds||4 – 6 Years|
|Lodge Wedge||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|Gap Wedge||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|Sand Wedge||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|Pitching Wedge||325 Rounds||8 – 10 Years|
|Hybrid||475 Rounds||10 – 12 Years|
|Chipper||475 Rounds||10 – 12 Years|
|Putter||475 Rounds||10 – 12 Years|
|Driver||475 Rounds||3 – 5 Years|
As you know, your driver gets the most use.
Replacing this over the average decade-long space of your clubs is recommended.
You may need to replace your driver 2-3 times during this span.
While your putter, chipper and hybrid may last longer than your irons and woods, I personally recommend getting an entire new set of clubs when the time comes.
To have an extra 1-2 years just on three of your clubs is a bit odd, and you’ll end up saving money when you buy a new bag/set altogether.
With your driver, since it’s such a significantly shorter lifespan than the other clubs, replacing this alone can be justified.
How Often Should You Replace Golf Clubs?
For the average golfer who goes out 1-3 times per month and spends their day on the course, it’s going to be pretty accurate based on the chart we provided above.
That’s a good representation of when you should replace everything.
Ten years. One decade is about the longest stretch that I would ever use a set of clubs, unless you rarely get a chance to use them.
If your clubs get used 4-6 times per year, on average, I would say that you could probably go as long as fifteen years before you should swap them out.
Maintaining your clubs is everything, no matter what your usage schedule is.
Every weekend, once a month, once in a while – you have to store them properly and maintain them every chance you get.
That’s what’s going to make the difference. If you need to know how you can spot signs of disrepair or neglect on your clubs, keep reading.
What Are the Signs of Worn-Out Clubs?
There’s ten basic signs that your clubs are wearing out and they’re close to the end of their days.
Take a look.
1. Groove Cuts
Are the grooves of your irons bent out of shape and visibly worn down?
This is basically the first way to spot wear and tear on your clubs.
This will occur before most of the other nine methods we have for you on this list.
When you first start out, you end up hitting the ball in different points of contact on the club, which is how this happens.
None of us are perfect.
Even pros make mistakes sometimes, though they are less often.
When your club smashes into the ground, whether it’s a mat on the driving range or the dirt on the course, you’re damaging your clubs. You can bend the shafts, which in turn will make them useless.
3. Ultra Slippery Grip
You’ve probably heard the term “o-slip grip” a hundred times by now.
If your hands are slipping and you have no traction on the grip, then you have to fix that as soon as possible.
If you don’t, you’re going to twist the club and repeat the second sign of wear and tear over and over again.
4. Shaft Stress
When the shaft begins to bend or bow in one direction, it can be hard to spot.
Most of us don’t notice it until we can’t put the club back the right way, when it’s far too late.
You can switch out your shaft on your driver without spending too much. This should fix the issue.
5. Striking Short
Your putter might just start feeling like it’s not living up to par (sorry, had to) after a while.
If you notice that the ball is slightly bending to one side over the other – which is not what you want from a precision instrument like a putter—then it’s probably on its way out.
This could be from small dings in the metal.
6. Wrong Angles
This is the most obvious one, but when you’re using the same clubs for years and years, you’re less likely to notice it.
You might even want a third-party perspective on this one.
Just look down at the club as if you were going to drive the ball. Is it straight?
Hold it at a 45° angle, and just inspect it for a moment.
7. Inconsistent Distance
You could hit far before, and now, you can’t.
That might not be your fault, so stop beating yourself up over it.
If your driver has dents in it, no matter how small they are, the metal has been impacted by repeated use.
It’s going to keep happening until you either restore it, or get a new club.
8. Pitter Putter
Did your putter just kind of stuff being as effective as it once was?
Similar to our next issue, where you lose audible pinging on your driver, you can get the same thing on your putter. If it feels different when you tap the ball, then it’s probably indicative of a larger problem.
9. No More Ping
This is usually an issue with your driver, and it’s a predecessor to other issues.
When you lose that audible ping song when you actually whack the ball, it means that the metal is losing a bit of its ability to make the ball bounce. Switch out the ball first, but this is probably a club issue.
10. Leaning to the Side
Whether to the left or the right, you’re going to have your ball going to one side if your driver is bent out of whack.
As we mentioned before, drivers need to be switched out more than any other club. It undergoes the most impact, and faces the biggest risk of being bent from a mishit.
Are Old Clubs Worth More?
If they’re old, then no. If they’re antiques, then yes.
The difference is in the wear and tear on the clubs.
If you just used your clubs until they stopped working, bagged them, and then let them collect dust in the back of the closet, then you just have some junk.
Nobody is out there refurbishing golf clubs outside of a personal hobby or maintenance method.
Antique golf clubs would be from manufacturers that dissolved or discontinued that specific type of club, and you can’t buy them anymore. That means that if they’re new, unused, and there are fewer and fewer available, they become expensive.
You could be sitting on a goldmine.
A set of $900 clubs could quadruple into $3,600 in the matter of a decade, so for those of you who get clubs as a gift and never get around to using them, or you just haven’t gotten to them yet because your old ones haven’t been worn out, they might be worth something one day.
Maintenance is Key
Proper care and storage will allow you to hold onto those clubs for a long time.
When the signs come rushing in that your clubs are wearing out, it will be time to replace them.
So do golf clubs wear out? Yes.
It’s just a matter of how long it takes to get there, and half of that battle is on your shoulders.