We’ve all been there! Trying to buy a golf game by investing in the newest and latest clubs on the market.
For me it has always been drivers and putters. For sure, we can all see an improvement just from the confidence boost that the shiny new toy gives us, but the first time it lets you down, you start to question whether you should bring out the old faithful that served you well all those years ago.
All the bad shots are forgotten, just the good ones remembered and there’s a voice in our head asking why we ever consigned it to the garage or cupboard. You go rushing to find it, then you realize just how much use it really had. Its looking a bit worse for wear.
Built to last a lifetime
Unfortunately nowadays the actual useful life of a golf club or set of clubs, far outlasts the latest developments in technology or even worse the trends and fashions. Equipment manufacturers are in the business of selling equipment so it’s in their interests to convince you that this years model is so much better and more advanced than last years.
There have undoubtedly been some huge technological advancements like the metal headed wood, then the Titanium oversized Drivers, face balanced putters etc, but for most of us club golfers we aren’t consistent enough to really see the year to year differences in equipment evolution.
In fact the biggest advancement that we will see is in ball technology. The good news then is that some of our old favorites don’t have to be put out to pasture and we can use them very effectively today, despite leading manufacturers trying to convince us otherwise.
The downside is that golf clubs take quite a bit of a beating. They’re used to hitting a fairly hard object multiple times a round. They get hours of use on the practice ground. They’re in contact with the ground and are subject to stone chips, frictional wear, scratches, bag chatter.
All of this over years of use results in cosmetic wear and clubs looking tired and abused.
Golf Club Refinishing
Its now possible to breed new life into our beloved older equipment. “You’ve been able to do that for years” I can hear you cry!
Yes, you could pay to send your clubs away to a professional offering golf club refurbishment, which probably involved some polishing, sand blasting, re-painting. As a PGA trainee I was taught how to do many club repairs and there are some really highly skilled people able to make a very good job, but it still wasn’t like factory new.
The closest that I’ve seen to factory new was to get forged irons re-chromed.
The beauty of the modern world now, is that we see technologies developed for different markets transfer across sectors and this is certainly the case when I came across Cerakote coatings. Cerakote was developed for the ammunition market place and is a unique formula that provides both polymer and ceramic properties.
OK without the science lesson it’s a very thin, corrosion and chemical resistant, hard wear resistant coating that is used on firearms to protect the gun barrel from scratches, impacts and corrosion. Recently these properties have proven perfect for refinishing and customizing golf clubs.
Below is a colour chart to demonstrate just how much you can not only re-furbish your golf club, but how much you can truly make it your own.
Wilson TPA Putter
So if you’ve read my other posts you may have worked out that I was a Faldo fan. This included using the Wilson TPA putter that was launched after his first Masters win in 1989. I still love the shape of this mallet putter but the old black painted sand blasted head just didn’t wear well some 30 years later.
I decided to try the Cerakote finish to see if I could put some life back into this old gem. I found a company in Hereford called Tactical coatings and after emailing them they agreed to put a single colour coating on my putter head for just £40. The process itself took just over a week.
I had to take out the shaft, but they did the rest and just over 5 days later my putter head was returned looking like new. I had to do the paint infills myself, but this is easy with an acrylic paint. Then it was a simple re-shaft and re-grip.
I’m absolutely delighted and the putter looks factory new.
Not everyone will like my taste, (As a European just after last years exciting Ryder Cup I decided to really go to town and went for a team Europe theme) but what it does demonstrate is just how creative you can be in your customization.
Cerakote coatings are that versatile that you can do putters, wedges, irons and even modern woods which I have tried to show below.
Old Concept Modernized
Golf club refinishing or refurbishment is not a new concept, but the developments in technologies and businesses prepared to try to do something different now means that we have many ways of taking our beloved old clubs and making them modern hero’s again.
If you have done some customization or refurbishment yourself I’d love to hear about it. Alternatively if you have any questions than please leave them with your comments below.