If you are interested in starting how to make your own golf clubs, one of the first things you need to do is organize a work area. One might think it takes a lot of space to be able to build and repair golf clubs and it really does not. Probably the best example is to look at one of the many equipment manufacturers' vans that follow the tour, as this is the epitome of efficiency. They are able offer full services in clubmaking and repair in approximately 150 square feet. While this is an extreme example, it does go to show you what careful planning can accomplish.
Setting Up a Proper Work Area
The centerpiece of any club building operation will be a sturdy work bench if you don't already have one. If you are short on space in your garage, basement, or a heated and electrified outbuilding, it will be important to measure the space. In addition, allow for working comfortably around it without being cramped. For example, I have 2 feet clearance in the front and 3 feet to one side of my workbench where I will do all my gripping.
Your main workbench should be in the location of your electrical outlets if you are planning on using motorized equipment. Try to keep all the cutting and sanding machines together as the dust and debris from cutting and sanding the shafts will accumulate in one area. You may want to consider a dust collection system as part of the workbench or incorporated underneath of it.
The #2 item you will need is a bench vise. I would highly suggest purchasing one that is labeled as a Swivel Vise with Anvil, especially if you are going to do any repair work (like re-shafting a driver or regripping a set of golf clubs). Make sure it is bolted securely into your workbench. Where should you put the bench vise? I always elect to set it up in one corner as that frees up work bench space for other uses.
What basic tools do I need to build golf club?
Below is a very basic list of what you will need to build your own golf clubs. Some of these items you can obtain from your local hardware store, while other items might be specialty items from a component golf supplier like Hireko Golf.
List of basic clubmaking tools
- Bench Vise - For holding clubs
- Rubber Shaft Clamp - For securing club in vise
- Gram Weight Scale - For weighing components
- 48” Ruler (with optional bench soleplate) - For length measurement
- Shaft Tubing Cutter - For cutting steel shafts
- Shaft Cutting Wheels - Buy extra wheels as they wear our fast!
- Hacksaw Frame - For cutting graphite shafts
- Rod Saw Blade - For cutting graphite shafts
- Utility Knife - For miscellaneous uses
- Hook Knife Blades - For removing grips from shafts
- Ferrule Installation Tool - A real time saver for ferrule installation
- Paint Tray - For catching grip solvent
- Calipers - For measuring shafts and grips
Discussing clubmaking tools for golf repair and larger shops
Before all the haters come out and said you forgot about a swingweight scale, frequency analyzer, shaft puller, belt sander, chop saw and loft and lie machine, those aren't required to assemble a driver or putter or build a set of irons. All that can be accomplished by hand for the first-time club builder. As time goes on and the interest and volume of work increases, then those tools can be a consideration.
A heat source like a propane or butane torch or heat gun is not listed. But if you are considering any club repair, one of those would be a strong recommendation.
Lastly, for those that don't own a swingweight scale, there is an online swingweight calculator that can help to measure just as accurately if you have a good gram weight scale and tape measure.
What basic supplies do I need to build a golf club?
Aside from golf club components (club heads, shafts, and golf grips), you will need specific golf club building supplies. These supplies can vary along with the size or volume depending upon how many clubs you are planning on building. Again, some items you can get from your local hardware store, but for certain clubmaking supplies like ferrules, epoxy, and grip solvent, buy those from a component golf supplier as these were designed specifically for building golf clubs.
List of basic clubmaking supplies
- Golf Club Epoxy
- Assorted Iron and Wood Ferrules
- 80-Grit Sandpaper (for steel steel shafts)
- 150-Grit Sandpaper (or finer for graphite shafts)
- Masking Tape
- Grip Tape
- Sharpie Pen
- Grip Solvent
- Paper Towels
Don't forget about workshop safety
Just recently a friend of mine was pulling a shaft from a clubhead and in a freak incidence, a piece of the shaft flew out and hit him in the eye and caused his retina to be detached. Why? All because of the one time he forgot to put on safety glasses. Keeping a small fire extinguisher and a first aid kit nearby is a wise idea for any home workshop too.