By Stephen Hennessey, E. Michael Johnson, and Mike Stachura
Rounds of golf in the rain can be a battle against the elements. The last thing you want, for your next round, is to pick up your bag for your next round and have clubs caked with mud and still damp from the downpour at the end of your round.
So let this be a checklist for the next time you have a rain-filled round. There’s no substitute for a fresh set of equipment, and once you get into this routine, you’ll find it’s easy to follow after any rainy day.
–Take your shoes off in the garage. Of course, you don’t want to be tracking mud and wet grass in the house. Take newspaper (assuming you have newspaper) or some paper to dry it out, roll it up in a ball and put the paper inside the shoes. It will help them dry. As an alternate, consider a shoe tree to put in your golf shoes. You won’t win any cool-guy contest, but you’ll be shocked how your shoes keep shape.
–Take your clubs out of your bag and bring them inside. This is really a game-changer. Convince your significant other to let you stow your clubs in a back room, but having them at room temperature is important to letting them dry out.
–Turn the bag upside down to dry but before leaving it inside, turn it upside down in the garage. You won’t believe how much crap gets in the bottom of your bag and you don’t want it on your rug. Leave it upside down overnight.
–If you use a pull cart, take it out and clean it off. This is crucial—if it’s a rainy, muddy round, stuff is bound to cling to the push cart. Make sure you clean it before your next use, otherwise you’ll be growing something in the trunk of your car that only the USGA Green Section will be able to identify.
–Place your golf clubs grip-end out by your warmest part of your house. Having recently played in really wet conditions at our company golf outing, I just did this—and what a game-changer. Don’t place them too close to the heaters, but it’s important for the grips to dry out.
–Do not put your clubs right back in the bag. Let them stay out overnight. Do not put headcovers back on. Leave them out to dry or put them in the dryer.
–Clean the mud out of your grooves. If you haven’t done this, you wouldn’t believe the amount of mud-caked up in the grooves of your irons and wedges. Ten minutes with a toothpick, a good brush or a dry towel, and you’ll have clean grooves.
–Take your glove out of your bag. Put your gloves on a drying rack to dry out. You’ll get some more longevity out of your gloves and eliminate having to buy a new glove in your next round.
–Take your rain gear out of your golf bag. Double-check on the fabric of your jacket and make sure you can throw them in your dryer.
–Take anything out of your bag that got wet. Scorecards, yardage books, or anything that retains moisture is good to let dry out so they don’t get ruined. You can leave Sharpie, tees and ballmarkers in the bag.
–Open your umbrella and leave it in the garage to dry. That wet umbrella can get your golf bag all wet if you jam it back in all wet.
Do all this and your clubs should be ready for your 8 a.m. tee time the next day except maybe for the shoes, which is why it’s important for everyone to own two pair. Our shoe guide can help you with that (shameless plug).