How to Repair & Refurbish Wooden Golf Clubs

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How to Repair & Refurbish Wooden Golf Clubs
Refurbished antique clubs can be a collector's item. (golf clubs image by Freeze Frame Photography from

Golf has been played for more than 100 years. Over much of that time many of the clubs that were used were made from wood. Over the years some of these clubs have been neglected and abused. Refurbishing and repairing these clubs will make them look cared for. Most any golfer can repair and refurbish old wooden clubs if they are familiar with woodworking and are careful to retain the old nature of the club.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Soap and water
  • Screwdriver
  • Rags
  • White spirit
  • Masking tape
  • Paint stripper
  • Work gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Steel wool
  • Linseed oil
  • Varnish
  • Plastic container
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Artists' paint brushes
  • Enamel paint

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  1. 1

    Clean the club thoroughly with soap and water, then let it dry. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws from the brass sole plate from the bottom of the club. Retain these screws. Clean the sole plate with rags soaked in white spirit. Let the plate dry.

  2. 2

    Cover the hitting surface of the club and any windings that cover the shaft with masking tape.

  3. 3

    Remove existing varnish from the club with paint stripper. Use the paint stripper as directed by the instructions on the can. Always wear gloves and eye protection when using paint stripper. Clean the club with a steel wool pad and an equal mixture of white spirit and linseed oil. Let the club dry for several days.

  4. 4

    Pour varnish and white spirit into a plastic container. The solution should be 1 part white spirit to 4 parts varnish. Use a foam brush to apply the mixture to the club. Allow to dry overnight.

  5. 5

    Pour undiluted varnish into a plastic container. Use a fresh foam brush to apply the undiluted varnish to the wood club. Apply up to five coats of undiluted varnish to attain the desired finish.

  6. 6

    Use an artist's brush to highlight the original writing on the base of the sole plate using enamel paint that is the same colour as the original. The writing is normally placed in stamped numbers and letters making this part of the project relatively simple.

  7. 7

    Reattach the sole plate onto the bottom of the club.

  8. 8

    Allow the entire project to dry for 24 hours. Remove the masking tape. The club is now complete.

Tips and warnings

  • If the club is an antique, try to take the least action possible to refurbish the club. If the club can be brought back to an acceptable condition by cleaning then avoid refinishing. Antiques are most desirable when they are in an acceptable condition without extensive restoration.
  • If the brass screws are damaged replace them with brass screws that are a close likeness.

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