Home » Tips & Advice » How Long Do Golf Clubs Last

How Long Do Golf Clubs Last (What is the Average Lifespan of Golf Clubs?)

Too much spin on the ball, when hit with your iron or driver, is indeed a very common indicator of the undeniable truth that golf clubs don’t last as long as humans. So how long do golf clubs last?

The thing is that when clubs become worn out, which happens as a result of continuous, long-term use, the ball remains airborne for longer. Therefore, affecting control and distance along the way.

Then there’s another prevailing warning sign - the golf ball barely gets off the ground. In simple words, when your golf clubs get old, hitting high and long gets compromised. Other common signs include a worn-out grip, clubface, and shaft.

Now let’s dive deeper…

How Long Can You Expect Your Golf Clubs to Last?

Any standard golf club set lasts anywhere between 3 years and 10 years. It all depends on how many rounds of golf you play per year. And also how you care for your equipment!

If your golf course visits are very frequent per month, then it’s only logical to assume that your clubs will wear out sooner than those owned by not-so-frequent golfers.

What Is the Typical Lifespan of Golf Clubs?

A complete 10-year of service should be expected since that is the most common life expectancy of golf clubs. But then there are some brands that manufacture longer-lasting golf clubs.

But then, at such times, you have to take several factors into account to make sure that these clubs are fit enough to play the game.

But Then Why Do Golf Clubs Expire?

Because nothing is permanent, right? Allow us to elaborate below.

When it comes to golf clubs, the wear-and-tear factor plays a major role. You’re most likely to be using some clubs more than the others. So it’s only natural for these commonly used golf clubs to look more run-down. But this tiring of clubs has started to slow down because manufacturers have upgraded the materials they use for construction.

So then does this mean that golf clubs don’t reach a point of exhaustion? Of course, they do. Let us walk you through why and how different golf clubs expire…

Why Do Drivers Expire?

Golf Drivers

How many rounds of golf do you play a year? 30 to 40 rounds approximately? What about your weekly driving range visits? If that’s the kind of love you have for the sport, then it’s only inevitable for your driving distance, with the same driver, to deteriorate over time.

The loss of the desirable ‘pop’ feel and sound of the driver is unavoidable as it’s aging and entering the overused territory. The thin clubface of modern drivers acts as a springboard for the golf ball. Therefore, with more use, this springy action is bound to decline. As a result of which distance gets compromised.

Why Do Woods Expire?

Once again, the lifespan depends on how frequently you play golf and use your woods.

Just like drivers, even woods have a clubface that is the most susceptible to wear and tear. But in the case of woods, even the shaft shows signs of overuse because of the transfer of energy and impact. And the impact of a damaged shaft is the same as that brought about by a worn-out clubface. If anything, the former causes a lot more problems.

The shaft is constantly subjected to pressure. So when this point of contact between you and your golf club becomes weak, along with an impaired clubface, shots begin to travel wayward.

Part of the big problem here is that woods are more frequently used than drivers. So the amount of pressure and force applied, over time, leads to comparatively greater, quicker damage.

Why Do Irons Expire?

Golf Iron

No doubt, irons tend to last for a longer time than drivers and woods. But they do reach an exhaustion point nevertheless. And that’s because the clubface grooves eventually wear down. But in modern irons, the materials used for construction have only become stronger. This means the deterioration now sets in after a much longer time.

The wear and tear in irons is more evenly distributed throughout the set. Now, something like this doesn’t happen with the driver because it’s just a single golf club. Also because there’s the inclusion of different materials in irons.

As the groove sizes reduce, you get less spin. And with low spin, your golf ball’s reaction to the green changes. In simple words, you lose shot control.

More often than not, irons develop weaker joints over time. But then this kind of damage takes place after a generous amount of frequent use. So it’s not such a big concern for the majority of golfers out there.

Another piece of good news – the shafts, in this case, are the least susceptible to wear and tear since most irons have a steel shaft, which is far more durable than its graphite counterpart.

Why Do Hybrids Expire?

Hybrids are gaining popularity for all the right reasons, correct? After all, they handle more bases in comparison to irons and woods all by themselves. So what type of wear and tear are you to expect with hybrids?

The damage here is the center point between iron and wood. The clubface is designed to withstand the test of time. So it’s the grooves that are more likely to lead to poor shots over time. Hybrids are closer, in terms of life expectancy, to irons than woods.

But then keep in mind that decline is hugely based on how frequently you pull your hybrids out of your bag during your round of golf.

Why Do Wedges Expire?

Golf Wedges

More often than not, wedges and irons are constructed using similar materials. Even so, wedges are more frequently replaced than irons. All because of the clubface grooves and ridges. With wedges, your dependency on grooves and ridges is of the utmost importance as they’re the very features responsible for the height and control of your shots.

Now here’s something inevitable. Ridges on wedges do not remain in their pristine condition throughout. They’re bound to wear down over time, thus resulting in a flatter effect. And that, in turn, decreases the level of precision of your shots.

Even the golf club itself doesn’t offer the same feel and touch. A worn-out wedge struggles for getting the ball off the turf as crisply as it did when it was brand new. Due to this, chip shots become flat. Getting out of those dreadful sand traps becomes more challenging as well because of the poor grip and connection.

And no different outcome is to be expected when approaching the green or in the rough.

Why Do Putters Expire?

Putters are used to producing soft and slow strokes. So there’s a far lesser amount of force and pressure the clubface experiences here. Therefore, the possibility of wear and tear or damage is the least likely.

But then let’s not forget that putters are outfitted with a soft insert. This insert, no doubt, is prone to depreciation in the long run. It can crack over time, which is obviously not a good thing.

Now Let’s Find Out All About the Lifespan of Golf Clubs

Average Lifespan of Golf Grips

Grips wear out in around 1-2 years, based on how frequently you head to the golf course.

But just because the grips are showing signs of wear and tear doesn’t mean you need to replace your golf clubs. You can always buy new grips, just make sure you get the right size.

Average Lifespan of Golf Drivers

The average life expectancy of drivers is 5 years. But then if you golf more often, then expect a shorter lifespan. No doubt, drivers don’t last as long as irons.

So if your driving distances are consistently shorter in comparison to your past performance and present performance of fellow golfers, it’s proof that the fragile clubhead has lost its original, desirable ‘pop’ action.

Average Lifespan of Golf Woods

Comparatively speaking, fairway woods are subjected to greater wear and tear simply because of their versatile use. So expect a decent quality wood to perform to its best of abilities for around 150-200 rounds of golf. But then if your swing speed is fast, quicker deterioration of the clubface and shaft is inevitable.

Average Lifespan of Golf Hybrids

More often than not, hybrid golf clubs offer a service life of about 10 years. They’re a combination of irons and woods. Shorter than irons and longer than woods, hybrids are very durable overall. Way stronger than any average fairway wood!

Average Lifespan of Golf Irons

Anywhere between 8 years and 12 years – that’s the expected lifespan of irons in golf. Over their course of life, irons can withstand more than 300 rounds. But that’s only if the shaft is made of steel and not graphite. The latter is more prone to getting splintered as a result of even basic use over time.

Worn-out grooves, damaged clubhead, and how often you play golf and use your irons are some other important factors that matter here.

Average Lifespan of Golf Putters

You can look forward to a branded putter to last anywhere between 15 years and 20 years. How so? After all, putters are not subjected to a lot of pressure and force, as is the case with the other golf clubs. So as long as the clubhead cover is on, your putter is bound to stay the same for the longest time.

So it’s a relief to know that technological advancements, most of them at least, are a part of other clubs like drivers and irons.

Average Lifespan of Golf Wedges

How long does it generally take for the grooves installed on a wedge to wear down? They can keep going for as long as 10 years. However, it’s highly advisable to replace your wedges after 5-7 years. Because beyond this point, expecting them to generate the power they once did is just unreasonable.

Average Lifespan of Golf Club Shafts

The shaft of a golf club, typically, doesn’t wear out per se. It can remain intact, if not in its original pristine condition, for as long as 20 years. And that’s because a minimal to zero amount of force is applied to the shaft directly.

But then graphite shafts tend to be weaker, in terms of durability, than their steel counterparts. However, steel is prone to rust, which also affects its strength.

When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Golf Clubs

When They Start to Age

Let the age of your golf clubs be a good marker for replacement. How old are they? It’s only natural for very old clubs to not perform like new ones. After all, top golf club manufacturing brands do release a new model every year.

Based on research conducted by professionals, almost half of the golfing population replaces their clubs every 4 years. Even when some of these golf clubs have a 10-year service life!

When They Become Technologically Outdated

Needless to say, technology has completely transformed the scene of golf from what it used to be back in the days. Golf clubs now feature sliding weights for boosting ball speed. So it’s only natural, and in your best interest, to choose the latest technology for enhancing speed, distance, control, accuracy, and the like.

When They Begin to Wear Out

If you’re a frequent golfer, then your golf clubs are sure to deteriorate sooner over time. Long-term or overuse of clubs can indeed affect their loft and lie angles.

  • Worn-out grip or grooves.
  • Weak or damaged shaft.
  • Too much ball spin, not enough shot height, etc.
  • Loft and lie changes in your shots.
  • Deprecated clubface.

So these are the most common signs of wear and tear in golf clubs.

When Your Golfing Skills Change

To be honest, it’s not always necessary to replace your golf clubs only when there’s something wrong with them. Maybe you just evolved as a player. For example, there are plenty of effective strategies to improve a golf swing. So maybe now, at this point, you’ve finally developed a proper swing technique for producing longer, straighter shots.

So it’s only logical to buy equipment based on your current, improved playing abilities. Another great example is lowering your golf handicap.

Replace or Repair Old Golf Clubs – Making the Right Decision

Most likely, you’ll know when to replace your golf clubs. Because sometimes even repairing them doesn’t make it any better. Performance lag, missing shots, etc. These are problems that demand the right solution, correct? But then how do you know which solution, repair or replace, is right?

Also, you just don’t want to replace your favorite go-to golf club. So what do you do at such times?

Maybe you go ahead with repairing your golf clubs at first. But then make sure to get your gear fixed by professionals who understand how the offset, bounce, lie angle, loft, and things like that work. Because these are the very features responsible for the control and the overall success of your shots.

How to Make Golf Clubs Last Longer

It doesn’t matter how much you’ve spent on your golf clubs, getting your money’s worth is always the most prevalent mindset. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So let’s find out how to increase the lifespan of clubs the right way…

1. Keep Your Golf Clubs Clean

Even when on the golf course, keep a towel ready to wipe down your clubs after shots. The turf consists of dirt, debris, etc. And these particles are bound to come into contact with and stick to the golf club after you take the shot.

Cleaning it all off also means preventing minor scratches and nicks. It also keeps debris and dirt from messing with the accuracy of your shots.

As for actually cleaning your golf clubs, use soapy water for that. But don’t forget to wipe them dry after that, because moisture here is no good. In that light, make sure the golf bag you purchase comes with a rain cover or something like that.

2. Protect Your Golf Clubs When Traveling

You’re protecting them from what exactly? From the damage that is often caused as a result of traveling with golf clubs. That means buying a hard-shelled golf club carry case. You can also wrap up your precious, expensive clubs using bubble wrap and a towel for extra protection. And use soft, thick socks as the headcover to minimize scratches.

3. Store Your Golf Clubs Properly

Absolutely avoid storing them in the trunk of your car. It may be convenient and all since you head to the course frequently but they’re highly likely to get damaged this way.

Also, when the weather is warmer, the temperature inside the trunk increases. Thus, weakening the epoxy of your golf clubs. Instead, opt for a temperature-controlled setting.

4. Do Regular Spot Checks

You don’t necessarily have to be a frequent or ardent golfer to make sure your clubs are in good condition. Check for potential signs of wear and tear or damage that often arise as a result of storage as well.

Are there any scratches or dents in the clubhead? Because if there are, then you can indeed repair minor scratches using chrome or stainless polish.

Another thing – steel shafts, in comparison to graphite, are incredibly durable. The latter, no doubt, is more susceptible to damage. So how about getting those graphite shafts wax-sealed at a pro shop in case you play golf more frequently?

5. Change Golf Club Grips

Playing golf 2-3 times a week means welcoming faster deterioration of the golf club grips. And these, since they’re the only point of contact between you and your club, have to be in good condition. Otherwise, your hand slips, thus compromising the squared-up position of the clubface to the golf ball.

How often to change these grips? The answer is once every 2 years or so. Getting rid of an old, worn-out grip not only improves your shots massively but also increases the lifespan of golf clubs.

The End – Do New Golf Clubs Really Matter?

There’s no denying that more recent inventions are equipped with more advanced technologies. And that means higher chances of improving distance, speed, control, accuracy, and the like. At the same time, new golf clubs, in comparison to old ones, look snazzier.

But allow your performance to make the decision for you in case you’re confused. Meaning if your performance is lagging because of factors like outdated technology, damaged clubface/clubhead, etc., then YES new golf clubs really do matter.

Pro-level golfers are always looking to upgrade whenever some new technology comes up. But then average golfers don’t have to be so hasty unless their clubs are very old or damaged.

Leave a Comment