Spotless swings: the best golf cleaner brushes for club maintenance

A good golf cleaner brush may not rank up there with the sexiest item you can buy for your bag, but it can prove to be one of your best scoring aids. How can that be? Because the grooves of your clubs act like the tread on a tire and help your club “grip” the ball. And that’s why your ball reacts unpredictably in the rough — there’s too much grass between the ball and clubface. 
Most golfers focus on their wedges’ grooves, and with good reason. Your scoring clubs need to be predictable and help grab the ball to impart spin on it to keep it from rolling out when it lands. For those with higher swing speeds, this can help stop or spin the ball backward. Over the course of a few rounds, if you don’t clean your clubs, dirt cakes in between the grooves, rendering them helpless to grab the ball. It’s wise to invest in a good brush to clean your clubs between shots and rounds rather than just relying on a spare tee in your pocket. Here are five quality golf brushes that can lead you to cleaner clubs, lower scores, and, thus, more pristine cards. 
Best overall: GrooveIt Brush
Best runner-up: Champkey Pro Retractable Golf Club Brush
Best value: Buddybirdie Golf Cleaning Brush
Best pocket-size: Mini G Brush
Best boutique: Dimple and Divot Classic Hickory Golf Brush
The golf brush is an unsung and unthought-of piece of equipment — until you decide you need one. Then, you just want to get one and not spend too much time thinking about it. To help you, we researched features that mattered, such as bristle composition, retractability, and if it has a groove cleaner. Most golf club brushes will do exactly what you need them to, but we wanted to give you the option to pick ones we thought were better quality and convenient to use.
All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.
— Secure magnetic latch system
— Holds enough water for multiple rounds
— Ensures maximum distance and backspin
— Pricey compared to others
The Grooveit Brush is an innovative little product that will change your game. Once you get one of these, there’s no need to dip your towel in a pond, spit on your clubs or perform any of those other less-than-sanitary golf club cleaning habits. Rather than having just bristles, the brush’s hollow handle holds water or a cleaning solution that squirts out through the brush end to keep your clubs squeaky clean. The handle also holds enough liquid to last two to three rounds. It’s not much bigger than your normal, run-of-the-mill golf brush, and clips easily to your bag with a mini carabiner.
Bristles: Heavy-duty nylon bristles with a 3-year replacement warranty | Clip included: Yes
— 2 oversized brush heads on opposite sides
— Ergonomic rubber handle grip
— Oversized head good for shoes as well
— Bulkier than other choices
— Metal brush head may not be useful
The Champkey Pro has a retractable groove cleaner and rubber handle grip for easy use. The grip is also oversized and ergonomic for the utmost comfort, and the large double-sided brush head is perfect for cleaning shoes as well.
The Champkey is slightly bulkier than other choices in the category, and the two-headed brush’s metal bristles can easily snag on towels or fabric, which may be a minor inconvenience. But you’ll be pleased to know that it comes in four different colors to choose from.
Bristles: Nylon and wire | Clip included: Yes | Groove cleaner included: Yes
— Retractable line extends 31.5 in.
— Dual-head
— Oversized
— Carabiner may be flimsy
At under $10, the Buddybirdie has all the features we prize. Some users reported the carabiner and groove cleaner might not be as durable as you’d like, but for a budget option, this one is a safe choice. And for that, you can thank the ergonomically designed rubber handle and a large buckle for the zipline.
Like many dual-head models, this one has nylon and wire bristles. It’ll clean your woods, irons, grooves, and even shoes and hang neatly on your bag like our top choices. If you’re the forgetful type or particularly value-conscious, then a more economical model like this one can be a solid choice.
Bristles: Nylon and wire | Clip included: Yes | Groove cleaner included: Yes
— Compact size
— Strong magnets
— Easy to attach to your bag or belt
— Not quite as strong as the full size GrooveIt
The Groove It golf brush was one of our favorite new golf gadgets of 2022. It’s a sturdy golf brush that holds water in its handle to make cleaning your clubs a breeze.
If you tried the OG Groove It but felt like it looked too bulky clipped to your bag, opt for the all-new Mini G. It doesn’t hold water, but has the same great magnetic fastening system and durable bristles. It’s a brush you can count on in the big moments so your grooves look and feel brand new before every shot.
Bristles: Non-wire
— Understated retro look
— Sturdy paracord tether
— Quick-release gunmetal snap
— Pricey
— Not retractable
Dimple and Divot’s Classic Hickory Golf Brush has a clean aesthetic with modern touches, such as the gunmetal snap and tether. It’s a bit more expensive than other options in our roundup, but the simple design was too hard to turn away from. Plus, it has a UV-resistant finish to keep the colors pristine in the sun for rounds to come. 
Made of hickory wood with extra-firm nylon bristles and light wood varnish to weatherproof it, the Classic harkens to another era of golf. It’s the perfect match for your grandfather’s old Abercrombie & Fitch golf bag you found in the attic or a modern canvas one from MacKenzie Bag.
This isn’t the cleaner for everyone, but it’s certainly for those that go retro and pack some Hazy Sticks alignment rods in their bag. For upgraded prices, Dimple and Divot offer several different color schemes.
Bristles: Extra-firm nylon | Clip included: Yes | Groove cleaner included: No
The brushes picked here run the gamut of prices but mostly have similar features by design. A good brush should come with a quality groove cleaner. We also prized retractability over most other features because of the ease of standing tall and getting leverage to clean out your grooves. These brushes are all meant to be used for either stand bags or cart bags, with our Best Boutique pick from Dimple and Divot being geared more toward someone who walks and prefers a one-strap slinger as their bag. 
There are a few factors to consider when choosing an ideal golf cleaner brush: price, comfort, and types of brush heads.
Price is always important because, after all, golf is an expensive sport. Our Best Overall pick and its sister product are built to last. No shade if you choose a lower-priced product, but be prepared for issues that might arise around quality and durability. 
Many brushes advertise ergonomic handles, which you may write off as marketing fodder, but it might be worth considering if you’re planning to use the brush for more than just on-course cleaning. If you like cleaning all your clubs in warm soap and water with mild detergent and your brush, which will take longer, then an ergonomic handle could be worthwhile. If you plan on cleaning your shoes with it as well, an ergonomic handle will lead to more straightforward use, which comes in handy when you need to do more scrubbing than just getting sand off the grooves of a wedge. 
In general, if you’re using softer, forged metals, nylon brushes would be preferable. If you’re using something not forged, you can probably use a metal or combo brush. But we tend to err on the side of nylon to be safe. There’s no real sense in risking a scratch to the face of your club or altering your grooves with a gouge by using a metal brush. The groove cleaner or some soap and water can scrape out anything that’s really stubborn.
Mild soap, like dish soap, and warm water are best. Use a towel to dry them, and use the same solution on your grips, which can degrade from sweat and oils on your hands. 
We like to think, yes. But a good nylon brush will do a fine job, too. Just be sure to buy it from a golf specialty shop or retailer. 
No, but a brush head that incorporates brass and nylon is better for cleaning your clubs than a head of brass bristles alone. We suggest using a combo brush if you want to use brass just to ensure that it doesn’t mar the surface of your clubs. and GOLF Magazine are published by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF


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