Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask: Is it really that bad to store my clubs in the trunk?
Welcome to Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask, a GOLF.com series produced in partnership with Cleveland/Srixon Golf.
I play every week and it’s a hassle to take my clubs inside after every round. Is it really that bad to store my clubs in the trunk? – Jose F., Arizona
Yes way, Jose. We’re picking up either a Tucson or Phoenix vibe from you, so it’s likely in you’re in the midst of some pretty toasty days down there in the Grand Canyon State. On a hot summer day, your trunk can crank up to more than 175+ degrees when parked in the blazing sun—we’ve even heard of some reports stating temps can reach 200+ degrees! That’s an astonishing amount of heat, which no doubt can have a lasting effect on your golf gear.
And, that’s just the temperature. Let’s look at a few of the top reasons why leaving your clubs in the trunk or backseat of your whip is and always will be a bad decision.
Reason 1: Theft
You may think nobody knows you store your clubs in the trunk, but are you really sure? Cars are much easier to break into than are homes, and although you may think they’re secure, it’s likely someone knows you have thousands of dollars worth of golf equipment in your trunk. And, who’s to say that someone can be trusted? Among the most common places for car burglaries are at gyms and restaurants—places where thieves know you’ll be away for a while and where they can pretend the car is their own. And by the way, it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night. Car burglaries happen all the time.
Reason 2: The bumps and grinds
Leaving your gear in the trunk makes them susceptible to damage merely from shakes, bumps and movements of your car. A pothole here, speedbump there—your clubs may seem like they can handle the damage but repetitive clanking and banging, or worse, applying weight on top of your clubs can leave to dents, bends or in some cases, micro fractures and cracks in graphite shafts.
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Reason 3: Excess moisture
Should you ever play a round in the rain, always be sure to remove your clubs from your trunk as soon as you can after you get home and let them dry out properly. A wet bag full of wet clubs is a breeding ground for stinky mold and mildew, which not only wrecks your golf bag, but also your gloves and whatever else you have in there. Rust is another problem, especially when referring to steel shafts. They may have chrome finishes on the outside, but the inside of a steel shaft is unfinished. If you get moisture in there via the small hole at top end of the grip (the hole is a necessary feature to vent out air as the grip is installed over the shaft), the shaft could rust out from the inside, leading to breakage that you didn’t see coming.
Reason 5: The heat
This is a three-parter. As mentioned, the heat inside your car can top 175 degrees, and depending on car type, the trunk or rear section of you car can get even hotter. This amount of heat can compromise the integrity of the epoxy that holds your clubs together, softening it to the point where its compromised and comes apart over time.
The next way heat causes problems is with your grips. The grip tape below the grip can also breakdown and soften, causing the grip to bubble up leading to twisting and slipping. And if it’s really hot, the grip itself could melt, deteriorate or crack. This probably won’t happen if you leave your clubs in a hot trunk a few times, but if you regularly do, it’s a strong possibility your grips will wear out way faster than they would if you didn’t store your clubs in the trunk.
Lastly, and probably the most overlooked, is your golf balls aren’t keen on excessively hot temperatures. Perhaps you’re a good steward of your equipment and you don’t store your clubs in the trunk, but you do leave a couple of emergency sleeves back there. The excess heat can lead to faster degradation and in some cases, the melting of the covers and outer layers. Some ball manufacturers like Srixon have put a warning label on the box to strongly recommend that golf balls not be stored in the trunk/boot of a car in the summer.
Moral of the story? Always store your clubs somewhere cool, safe and dry. Not just in the summer, but all year round.
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