This post was most recently updated on January 20th, 2022
Just like anything else, golf clubs begin to deteriorate over time and need to be replaced.
Certain clubs give out quickly and others last longer. With proper care, clubs can last for a long time.
This article will explain how long golf clubs should last and when it’s time to buy a new one.
Do golf clubs wear out?
Many people ask their fellow golf associates or local professionals ‘Do golf clubs go bad?’
Golf clubs do wear out due to different clubs being used more than others, how they are cared for, and what quality they are.
Certain golf clubs last longer than others. For example, a long iron should last years longer than a wedge or driver due to its rare use on the course.
Before golf clubs were made of steel, titanium, or carbon fiber they were made from hickory, and balls were made from wood as well.
These materials could easily be damaged or broken compared to today’s technology.
Now, instead of lasting potentially a few months, golf clubs can last for 5-20 years.
The time frame can vary, especially if you are happy with the performance of your clubs.
If you are hitting your clubs longer or similar distances to when you first bought them and the clubs are in decent condition, there is probably no point in replacing them.
Average Golf Club Life Expectancy
Each club will have a different life expectancy. For example, a putter will have more than double the life expectancy of a wedge.
Below is a list of clubs and how long they usually last. Different variables such as damage, wear, or rust can play a role.
Putter: 15-20 years
Wedges: 5-10 years (depending on the condition of the grooves)
Short Irons: 8-10 years
Long Irons: 10 years
Woods/Hybrids: 5-10 years
Drivers: 3-7 years
Factors Impacting Golf Club Life Expectancy
Different clubs have different life expectancies due to how often they are hit.
In general, a drivers’ life expectancy, as well as wedges, are shorter than other clubs and the first to wear out.
Many companies also release new drivers with new technology every year or few years that can help you drive the ball farther.
There are also more customizable drivers being created. A 10-year-old driver will likely be a lot less effective than a new one.
Wedges have their grooves wear out after a few years of use or depending on how many rounds they were played with. This will reduce the spin around the greens.
Cleaning your clubs is very important. This will cause them to last longer. Remember to clean clubs with a soft brush and not a wire brush so you don’t damage them.
If you’re on the course you can clean them after each shot with a towel too.
Shaft Replacement (but is it then the same club?!)
Golf shafts are the one component of the club that will last the longest and is hard to wear out. They are made from mild steel, alloy steel like nickel or chromium-vanadium, and graphite.
Shafts can last for 20 years with other parts of the club failing before the shaft.
This is because the shaft doesn’t take wear like a clubface when hit or a grip when placed left in the heat or used many times.
Replacing golf shafts are certainly not as common as replacing clubs. Depending on the flexibility of the shaft you can increase or decrease distance. Make sure to replace it with the same flex.
If you have a 48 degree pitching wedge with a regular flex graphite shaft and replace your 52 degree gap wedge with an extra-stiff steel flex, you will probably hit it a similar distance to your pitching wedge.
Shafts can take damage if left in the rain or if it makes contact with a solid object such as a tree.
Steel shafts can rust from the inside easier than graphite shafts so graphite shafts tend to have more longevity.
How long do golf irons last?
The answer to this question depends on the length of the iron. Short irons will probably need to be replaced before long irons since they are used less too.
It’s not often on the course that you’ll need your three, four or five-iron compared to a seven, eight or nine.
Putters last the longest since they are hit so gently compared to other clubs. Unless you are messing around on the course and hitting your putter off the tee box.
It is important to cover your putter with a headcover to prevent dinks and dents on it. This will preserve its lifespan.
Do golf clubs lose distance over time?
Certain golf clubs can lose distance over time depending on different factors such as wear and technology.
Many golfers ask do ‘golf drivers wear out?’
A driver itself won’t lose distance. The spring effect won’t stop working efficiently. If the club has damage to it then it could lose distance.
Wedges with old grooves can lose distance from the fairway.
For example, if you bought a new 52-degree gap wedge and averaged 115 yards with it from the fairway for 100 rounds and then 5 years later you notice the grooves are giving out, then you might lose a few yards and average around 112 yards.
New technology being released does affect distance due to companies finding ways for clubs to be hit longer.
A 2020 Taylormade SIM will cause someone to hit further drives than a 2005 Ping Rapture due to new features on the clubhead.
Final Verdict On How Long Should Gold Clubs Last?
Golf clubs do wear out after many years and rounds of use.
Their lives can be prolonged with the right care and cleaning but eventually, they will usually have to be replaced whether it be due to damage or to limited technology.
If you have decided an upgrade is needed and are asking the question -‘ how much should I spend on spend on golf clubs‘, check out our hyerlinked article.
Be sure to mention in the comments how often you replace your clubs.
If you are at the beginning of your golfing journey, you can also check out how to choose golf clubs for beginners to get you started.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.