Why Do Golf Clubs Break (with 10 Reasons & Solutions)


broken golf club

It’s Sunday afternoon and you’ve been waiting all week to step out onto the green. One thing you never expect to see is your golf club broken in 2 pieces!

Why do golf clubs break? Golf clubs can break due to user error. Broken golf clubs occur when golfers slam the club head into the ground out of frustration. Incorrect storage of the club and poor swing technique will also cause shafts and heads to break.

 

Why Do You Keep Breaking Golf Clubs?

There was a time when golf clubs were handmade one by one. These classic clubs were made from 100% steel. While they were practically unbreakable, they’re no match for the modern graphite and hybrid clubs we have available today.

The situation is similar to what we have in the automotive industry. Classic cars were also indestructible, but performance wise, new cars have much greater performance.

Fast forward to today, golf clubs are created in bulk. The manufacturer’s designer will produce a design that needs to be approved. Once approved, the molding machines will produce these clubs in mass numbers.

Mass production is a great thing which allows us to have more affordable golf clubs. However on the flip side, a small defect in the design creates a much bigger problem.

If you keep breaking your clubs, it may be easy to blame manufacturing errors for your problem. However in 98% of cases the fault lies solely with you.

10 Reasons Why Golf Clubs Break

As stated, poor swinging technique and smacking your club against the ground are the common reasons for broken clubs. However there’s other reason why clubs can deteriorate over time and eventually break apart.

 

1. A Rusted Shaft

There are thousands of golf clubs out there literally rotting from the inside! Leaving clubs out in the rain or using too much water when cleaning them will cause water to run down the shaft.

A wet shaft will eventually turn into a rusty heap of metal, causing your club to crack or split apart.

Solution: Store your clubs indoors or outside under shelter. After playing a game of golf in the rain, use a towel to dry off your clubs.

When washing your clubs, use as little water as possible. Never submerge your clubs in water. Instead, use a damp cloth to clean them.

 

2. Fat Shots

Fat Shot is a term used when a golfer swings the club and makes contact with the ground. This occurs due to incorrect positioning and technique.

Clubs are not designed to make contact with the ground. Making fat shots repeatedly can cause the head to break apart from the shaft. In some cases, the shaft can break completely in half.

Solution: While in your stance, make sure the ball is not placed too far forward. Reaching for the ball will make fat shots occur more often.

Assuming your right handed, don’t stand back on your right side. Amateur golfers tend to naturally stand to the side of their dominant hand. However this is incorrect positioning and will cause fat shots.

Keep your legs centered, shoulders level and head forward to prevent fat shots.

 

3. Epoxy Inside the Shaft

For all you golf club DIY’s out there, epoxy has become a common adhesive product. However there is a caveat, so listen carefully. If you get epoxy solution inside your shaft, it can cause your club to break.

Many golfers have documented that epoxy has caused their shafts to break apart. The likely cause of this is using too much epoxy when gluing the head to the shaft.

It seems like epoxy may create a break point where the head and shaft meet. As you start hitting golf balls, that exact adhesive point starts to flex. After a few rounds of golf, you may find yourself holding a much shorter stick.

There’s a different types of epoxy available, all producing varying results. It’s recommended that you choose a 24 hour epoxy product. This means that it will take 24 hours for the solution to completely dry. While you can find products claiming 5 and 10 minute drying periods, these often indicate a lower quality hold.

Solution: Choose a high quality epoxy solution with a long dry time. (24 hours). Use a small amount of epoxy, and don’t let it run up the shaft.

Read my step by step Epoxy guide how to use epoxy on golf clubs

 

4. Your Using a 3 Wood

Woods, especially the 3 wood are prone to breaking sooner than other clubs in your set. This is due to ground contact that a 3 wood is likely to endure. General play and “fat shots” cause stress to the shafts kick point.

Solution: Work on your wood swing and stance. Avoid hitting behind the ball. Also make sure the ball is not placed too far forward from where you’re swinging.

 

5. Using Graphite Shafts

Graphite shafts arrived on to the market at a time when golfers were asking for lighter clubs. Graphite shafts are certainly lighter than steel varieties.

The lighter material allows for faster swing speed; resulting in a 6 to 12 yard improvement over steel models.

Even with today’s improved and durable graphite shafts, if a shaft is going to break, chances are it’ll be a graphite one.

Solution: If you love using graphite shafts, there’s no need to go back to steel. Just take care of your clubs and follow all the solutions recommended on this page.

 

6. Clubs Rattling Around In Bag

I find golfers to come in two varieties. I’ve met the OCD types who immaculately have their clubs stored correctly. These clean freaks love using head covers, dividers and wipe their clubs after each completed hole.

While all these storage procedures take extra time, they definitely will increase your club life expectancy.

The other type of golfer is the kind who is not bothered by all that trouble. They’ll throw their bags on the floor. You can hear them from a mile away.

The sound of their metal clubs rattling together inside their bag.
They just want to play golf and will happily pay for a new club whenever it gets damaged.

Most golfers fall somewhere in the middle. They’ll take decent care of their equipment, but don’t go the extra mile to take care of their items.

Unfortunately clubs can beak if you don’t take extra care of them. It honestly doesn’t take much effort to break a club. This is because their very existence involves being wacked hard against a ball.

Additionally, if you place them in your bag without dividers, the clubs will touch each other. This constant clinging against the other clubs can cause significant damage over time.

Driving your car or golf cart with clubs organized incorrectly can compromise the integrity of their structure as well.

Solution: Use a golf bag that has inbuilt dividers. When travelling with clubs, ensure they’re stored securely to prevent movement.

 

7. Exposing Clubs to Excessive Heat

I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that storing clubs in hot temperatures weakens them. After going back and analyzing my broken clubs, my suspicions were confirmed.

The clubs that I stored in my hot garage and in the trunk of my car were the ones that broke more often.

While heat itself probably won’t cause damage to a shaft, it can cause the connection point from the shaft to the head to weaken.

The point where the shaft and head meet is connected by special adhesive glue called epoxy. Storing clubs in hot temperature day after day causes the epoxy to break down. And without epoxy to hold your head to the shaft, the club head will just fly off.

Solution: Don’t expose your clubs to hot temperatures for long periods of time. Keep garages well ventilated and install a ceiling fan if possible.
If you keep your clubs in your trunk, instead place them inside your passenger seat with the air conditioner turned on.

 

8. Players Abusing the Club

The most common reason why golf clubs break is from players abusing them.
Golf can be an extremely frustrating sport when shots don’t go your way. It’s not uncommon to see golfers smacking their club into the ground out of anger.

Obviously clubs were not designed to withstand such punishment. If you do find yourself with an anger problem on the golf course, you’ll find yourself visiting the golf store in no time.

I can tell you from personal experience that most shafts end up breaking because players choose to break them!

Solution: Meditate for 20 minutes in the morning and again before going to sleep. Meditation is a great way to stay composed on the course, and not let small mistakes frustrate you.

 

9. Choosing Counterfeit Clubs

A growing trend among golfers is the rise in counterfeit golf clubs.
While counterfeit clubs are much cheaper than the real deal, there’s a reason why they’re so cheap.

Unknowing golfers may not understand how one steel club is different to the other and choose to save some one on a clone. Counterfeit drivers and woods are particularly prone to a short life expectancy.

These clubs are made from cheaper components and lack the stress tests from qualified manufactures.

Solution: Expect counterfeit clubs to break much sooner than authentic products. This is a choice you have to make when balancing the pros and cons of each type.

 

10. Poor Swing Technique

The reason I say broken golf clubs are likely to be your fault, is because it’s true. Many golfers think because clubs are made from stainless steel, that they’re indestructible.

However I’ve seen enough broken of heads and bent shafts to know that’s not the case.
An incorrect swing can certainly cause damage to your club. This occurs when the ball is making contact with the shaft instead of the club head.

Solution: Only the head is designed to withstand the forces of a golf swing; the shaft isn’t. To avoid breaking your club, make sure your ball is making clean contact with the head.

 

How Long Should Golf Clubs Last Until They Break?

So far we have been discussing why clubs can break apart. But are some types of clubs more prone to breaking than others? Yes.

Irons, wedges and putters can last you more than 10 to 15 years of use. And even then, they’re likely to still be in one piece. The reason to upgrade these clubs is only because technology in club design would have improved so much, that it’s nice to upgrade every 10 years.

For the everyday golfer, you can get away with using these types of clubs for 20 years if you want to.

However in a set of golf clubs, the driver and the set of woods are clubs that are more likely to break sooner. Expect a 2 to 5 year lifespan for drivers and woods.

Drivers in particular tend to break much earlier than other sticks as they’re made from titanium. The other clubs in your set will be made from stainless steel instead.

You should read another article I wrote called How Long Do Golf Clubs Last. This article shows you the expected life expectancy of every golf club in your set.

 

How Long Is My Golf Club Under Warranty?

Disclaimer: I have gathered a list of the warranty periods for each of the major golf club companies. This list was accurate of 23/03/19 and should be used as an approximate guide only. Please check with your manufacture for correct warranty information.

BrandWarranty Period
PINGEvaluated on a case by case basis. Call PING on (800) 474-6434
TaylorMade2 Years / 12 Months
Callaway2 Years / 12 Months
Cobra2 Years / 12 Months
Adams2 Years / 12 Months

 

Conclusion

Remember there’s no single reason why a golf club breaks. You should take every precaution possible to prevent your clubs breaking. You could follow the 9 recommended solutions, but have your club break due to not following solution 10.

In most cases of a broken club, you’ll find the shaft breaking apart from the head. It’s rare to see other parts of the club actually break. Therefore the shaft you choose when buying your club is very important.

Select a steel shaft over graphite when possible as steel is the stronger and cheaper choice.

When visiting a golf shop, or browsing through an online retailer, you’ll come across many options.

I always choose a club shaft with a lower flexibility level. While a more flexible shaft sounds like a good thing, it will actually cause stress to the break point. A more rigid shaft will increase the likelihood of your shaft staying connected to the head.

While modern technology has improved the overall performance of golf clubs, the truth is that new clubs are not as strong as ones from decades ago.

In addition, the modern golf ball has evolved to become twice as hard as older balls.

The combination of lighter clubs and hard balls makes it more important than ever before to use your clubs correctly.

Read More: How To Use Epoxy Glue To Fix Your Broken Golf Club

Ernie

Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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