How to Clean Golf Grips: Golf Club Repair Raleigh NC by Herman Williams, PGA

by Herman Williams

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In this golf club repair video lesson, Herman Williams, PGA Pro, in Raleigh, NC, describes how to clean and maintain golf club grips to delay the need for regripping your golf clubs. If your golf club grips are getting worn and slick, watch this online video tutorial to learn Herman’s tried and true techniques to bring those grips back to life without having to regrip your golf clubs. For more information on golf club repair and golf club fitting or to make an appointment to get your clubs regripped, go to or visit our golf shop in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As golf grips age they naturally get slick and often shiny. Studies have shown that the effect of slick grips can cause up to an 11% loss in club speed and distance. Cleaning the grips can counteract this problem and delay the need for regripping your golf clubs with new grips.

A traditional rubber grip or rubber and cord grip can actually be roughed up with sandpaper to remove the slick sheen that develops over time. If the grip is particularly uneven, a mill file can be used as a substitute for the sandpaper. Simply go all the way around the grip with the sandpaper or file and mill away the slick surface layer and any minor indentations in the surface.

Note that Winn grips do not tolerate the sandpaper or filing technique. The surface texture of the Winn grips does not respond to the abrasion and will actually get worse as you cut through the surface texture. Winn grips are best cleaned by gently rubbing the grip with a rag or towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. This will remove the oils, oxidation and dust that have built up on the surface of the grip.

For the rubber grips and cord grips, once the grip surface is abraded, then the grip should be washed with soap and water and thoroughly rinsed. An easy technique is to get a deep bucket or sink basin and mix a small amount of dish soap in with a couple of gallons of warm water. Make some suds and then submerge the grips into the soapy water.

Use a scrub brush to aggressively scrub the grips with the soapy water. A brass bristled brush or plastic bristled brush works great. A toothbrush is ok but a larger, heavier brush works better.

Finally, thoroughly rinse the grips with clean water and dry the grips and shafts with a towel. After a few hours of drying the grips should be ready for play. Check the tackiness and see if they have come back to life. If the grips still look shiny and feel slick then it is time for replacement with new grips.

Grip cleaning can be done monthly or quarterly depending on your playing schedule. This will definitely help maintain the “like new” feel of your grips for a longer period of time.

Regripping will ultimately be necessary when cleaning does not help. Regripping with new grips should be considered every year for active players and maybe every 2 or 3 years for infrequent players. After several years the compounds in most grips begin to break down even without any use, so don’t expect them to last through your next multi-year layoff. So get out there and play, but clean your grips along the way to keep a firm but tension free grasp on the club.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cary Tullos

Hello Herman, I stumbled onto one of your videos on YouTube, outstanding instruction. I learned more in three of your videos than hours of others online. If only you were in Tacoma, Wa. The tip aiming the butt end of the club at right field on the downswing is awesome. I can’t wait to get to the range and try it. I struggle with other the top/casting. Very informative and easy to understand instruction, thanks.


Herman Williams

Thanks Cary.


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