Scottish golfers could get ready to hit the course and tee off this week if lockdown measures ease.
Nicola Sturgeon last week announced her roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions, with golf, tennis and bowls among the first sports to be allowed to resume.
If the First Minister moves forward with the four-phase plan on Thursday, golfers could be back on courses before the weekend is out.
Scottish Golf have already revealed they aim to let courses to allow play by Friday May 29, so long as strict social measuring guidelines are in place.
Golfers will still be expected to follow hygiene rules if they are able to tee off in the coming weeks.
With that in mind, experts at GolfSupport have provided tips on the best ways to clean golf equipment and stay safe on the green:
Golf club heads
After a long day at the course, your golf clubs are bound to collect dirt and debris.
Follow these simple steps to keep them sparkling and germ-free:
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of dishwasher liquid or soap to a bucket of warm water (enough to cover the club heads)
- Ensure it isn’t hot, as this may loosen the club head from the shaft
- Submerge dirty club heads into the water for 5-10 minutes to loosen any dirt
- Remove each club one-by-one and use an old toothbrush or soft-bristle brush to scrub away any stubborn dirt, ensuring you catch the back, front, bottom and each individual groove
- Run the cleaned club heads under water to wash away any remnants, avoiding getting the shaft and grips wet
- Dry with a towel. Ensure nothing is left damp as this is when rust can develop
- To give club heads an extra shine, gently rub in steel or chrome polish in circular motions and leave for a minute
- Then ensure you remove all the polish – any remaining grease could negatively affect your game
Golf club shafts
Golf club shafts can also be prone to dirt and mud.
Use a damp cloth and clear any grime from the shaft, drying it thoroughly with a towel afterwards.
If your club becomes rusty, use vinegar on the shaft with a cloth and gently remove any residue, ensuring you don’t scratch it.
Finish by drying thoroughly and you’re ready to tee off.
Golf club grips
Golf grips are the most touched area of the club and can easily get dirty and sweaty, so require regular cleaning.
Clean golf club grips after each session by using a damp cloth to wipe the entire grip’s surface, ensuring it isn’t too hot as this could damage it.
During a typical 18-hole round, golf balls are battered, beaten and subjected to all the elements.
In fact, dirty golf balls can affect your game more than you’d think.
Add soap, dishwasher liquid or vinegar to a bucket of warm water and soak the balls for 15-20 minutes.
If necessary, use a sponge or toothbrush to remove dirt that won’t budge.
Don’t forget to dry them fully with a towel.
Golf bags and club head covers
Coronavirus could live on clothing and canvas materials for up to two days, scientist have said.
Remove this risk by cleaning your golf bags and club head covers as follows:
- Remove all contents from the bag/clubs from their covers.
- Depending on the material, lightly spray water all over the surfaces.
- Using a soap and warm water solution, scrub the bag and covers clean with a cloth. Be careful not to scrub too hard – you may damage the material.
- Use a hose to rinse/run them under clean water and assess for any further stains.
- Remove any stubborn stains by spraying with a stain remover, then allow them to rest. Gently scrub it if required.
- Once clean, allow the bag/covers to dry overnight – avoid leaving them to dry in the sun as this can discolour them.
To clean dirty golf clothing, simply run them through the washing machine after each session.
However, for clothes that smell or are particularly dirty, consider avoiding using fabric softeners.
They stop the odours and sweat from being washed out and actually lock in the smell for your next practice.
Instead, add baking soda to laundry. One cup per wash deodorises and softens clothes.
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