I want to cut down some clubs for my 5 year old but I have never done anything like this before... These will basically be clubs for him to just try and hit the ball, not expecting him to become a phenom or anything so am not too worried if the clubs are perfectly balanced, etc... Also, how do I remove the grips and put them back on without ruining them? I realize that if I cut the shafts down they will be larger in diameter, will the old grips go back on? Also, how should I measure them? And, finally, anything else I should consider? I plan on cutting probably 3 irons and a driver, and a putter... Thanks!
Cutting down clubs for kids...
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Removing a lot of the shaft, even from the butt end, will make the shaft a lot stiffer which will likely result in a lot of mis-hits for your son. I just wanted to warn you of that before hand.
That being said, you can remove rubber grips without damaging them. Most leather grips cannot be removed and reused. I used GolfWorks V-Groove Grip Remover and it works great. Basically you slide it between the grip and the shaft and then bend it away from the shaft, creating a pocket/opening. Then you pour some grip solvent into the opening and slowly ease the tool down farther towards the butt of the club, slowly adding more solvent along the way. Eventually you'll get the tool all the way to the butt end. At that point I add a little more solvent and then, while holding the tool steady, twist the club so that the tool effectively spins around the club/shaft separating the grip from the shaft. Then, I push down on the tool while still twisting the club and essentially "unscrew" the grip from the shaft.
Also - the shafts will be smaller in diameter as you cut off the butt ends so you should be able to get the grips back on easily enough (especially if you've re-gripped clubs before). You might, however, need to add another layer of grip tape to make up for the smaller diameter of the shaft, though that's unlikely.
I know you say that these clubs are just for him to play around with. But keep in mind that depending on what you are cutting down they are going to be too heavy for him to swing properly. I would not try and reuse the grips. My son is 4. Last summer when I bought him a set of used kids clubs I found some kids grips at my local golf shop for $1 each.
Food for thought, unless it is a financial obstacle, I would recommend the purchase of junior clubs which are specially designed for youngsters with flexible shafts, proper heads, etc.. You don't have to buy an 8-piece set to make it work; I bought my then 6-year old a mid iron and putter (just to see if he would keep with it). He used them a lot with me, and now I may buy him a wood as an add-on. His younger brother will get the hand downs if he decides to join us next season (if the older one continues to grow like a weed).
You can buy these fairly cheaply online (or used through the paper,...).
Again, just an alternative to consider...