Which Golf Clubs Need Covers? (And Why Irons Don’t)

Which Golf Clubs Need Covers?

Meet Jake

Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.

Golf is tons of fun, but it’s also an expensive hobby. No golfer wants to discover that their high-quality clubs are ruined or weakened from exposure or banging against each other in the bag, but some golf clubs benefit from covers more than others. 

But which golf clubs need covers?

If you’re a newcomer to golf, read on – we’ll break down what golf clubs need covers in detail.

Why Should I Use Golf Club Covers?

Fun novelty golf club cover

Golf club covers are excellent investments for any serious golfer because they offer serious benefits according to Golfweek. These are:

  • Protection for the clubs themselves. A full bag of quality golf clubs can easily be worth several thousand dollars. While any golf club degrades over time, there’s no reason to accelerate the process! Instead, you can help ensure that your clubs look great and stay sturdy for years to come by investing in a set of quality golf club covers.
  • Better performance. Think about it. A golf club with a dented head or a lot of scratches won’t perform that well, but a pristine golf club that’s been cared for by its owner will help you score every time. You’ll use golf club covers if you want to upgrade your game.

Most golf club covers are a few bucks each. You can also usually get a full set of golf club covers for less than $100. Even better, most new golf clubs come with covers courtesy of their manufacturers.

Which Golf Clubs Need Covers?

Three primary golf club types need covers more than any others. These are:

  • Drivers. There are a few reasons for this. For example, drivers are usually the most expensive in your collection. Good drivers can cost up to $500 or more. Thus, it’s always wise to protect each driver from dents, scratches, and other surface damage.
  • Fairway woods. Fairway woods are longer and usually come with graphite shafts. This makes them lighter, but it also makes them more vulnerable to wear and tear, especially if you store them with several heavier irons.
  • Putters. Putters are also typically very expensive, usually only second to your drivers. The best putters (like these face-balanced putters) can cost several hundred dollars, so you should certainly use putter covers as often as possible.

High-quality driver covers are usually made of cloth or neoprene. However, you might want to splurge for even better covers for your driver clubs.

Golf club covers with palm trees in the background

These club covers come with rubber or latex interior linings, further reducing friction and protecting the club heads from being scratched or damaged in transit.

When it comes to fairway wood club covers, we recommend purchasing covers with stamped or embroidered symbols on the surface. 

These symbols can tell you which club the cover protects – for instance, if you have a 5-wood club, its cover could have the number “5” stamped on top.

It’s a little added convenience that can make your collection even safer to cart around.

What about high-quality putter club covers? Good putter club covers are usually made with neoprene, plastic, or cloth.

They should include heavy cushioning on the interior to protect your putter’s metallic materials.

Optional Clubs

The above three clubs need covers no matter what, but if you want to take an extra step and really protect your collection, consider picking up club head covers for your hybrid clubs.

Hybrids are a mix between iron and fairway woods. 

Since hybrids can be somewhat fragile (at least compared to iron clubs), head covers are never bad ideas.

Remember, golf club head covers only cost a few bucks each. Replacing an excellent club can cost you several hundred dollars!

What Golf Clubs Don’t Need Covers?

Golf club covers at sunset

One major golf club type that doesn’t need covers in most cases are irons.

Irons can be made with heavy metals. Most golfers, such as PGA professional Matt Kuchar, use irons with steel shafts, which adds to their weight. While these clubs are perfect for driving a golf ball down a field, they’re also vulnerable to corrosion via rust.

If you place a club head cover over an iron, you could trap moisture inside. That’ll make the head much more susceptible to rust damage. Ironically, a head cover could cause more damage to an iron than just leaving it exposed!

That said, you can use head covers for your irons. The right covers can protect against wear and tear or physical damage from the clubs banging against each other.

Two-time Euro Tour winner Aaron Rai says that he “pretty much had iron covers” on his sets since he started buying quality clubs.

However, you must ensure that your irons are dry (as are the headcovers themselves) before protecting them.

Are Novelty Club Covers Worthwhile?

Novelty club covers are specialty covers designed for driver clubs in most cases (though you can also find novelty covers for other clubs).

Regardless, these usually have special symbols, pictures, or other extra elements. You can even crochet your own golf club covers, as this YouTube video demonstrates.

Novelty club covers can be super fun! However, make sure that they do their primary job well. It’s no good to pick up a novelty club cover or two if they’re thin, weak, and don’t do a good job of protecting your club heads.

Wrap Up

To recap, driver, fairway wood, and putter golf clubs need covers more than others. Hybrids can benefit from covers a lot of the time, but irons rarely (if ever) need them.

It’s always a good idea to kit out your golf club collection with quality covers, so we recommend finding a set today!


Where should you place your golf clubs in the bag to minimize damage?

Generally, you should keep your clubs with covers in the middle of the bag. Keep your iron clubs around the edges. This protects the more sensitive clubs in the middle and stops the iron clubs from clattering around and hitting each other.

What kind of driver club cover is best?

Standard golf head covers from your club’s manufacturer are usually fine. Alternatively, you can choose head covers with personalized decals or with iconography from your favorite team, player, or something else.

Do most golf clubs come with covers by default?

Yes. Almost all drivers, fairway woods, and putters come with a cover.

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