Hitting bad shots is part of golf but certain shots are so bad they can leave a mark… literally.
These are known as sky marks. Not only do they hurt your ego, they hurt your golf club too.
Sky marks are a result of a swing that is too steep on the downswing. The result is a pop-up shot where the ball travels a fraction of the total distance. It can happen anytime the ball is teed up but happens most frequently with driver and fairway woods.
If you’re struggling with the mechanics of a popup, we suggest reading how to stop popping up your driver now. But if you already have some damage to your golf clubs and want to make them shine once again, keep reading.
We’ll teach you the best ways to fix sky marks, scuffs, and keep your golf clubs looking brand-new.
Sky Marks in Golf
Before getting into how to repair golf clubs, let’s first discuss what a sky mark is in golf.
A sky mark (also known as sky marks or skymark) is a scuff on the top of your driver, fairway woods, or hybrids. These scratches or scuffs mean you hit the ball more toward the top of the club, instead of the face. Aka, you missed the sweet spot by a good margin.
One poor swing leads to a much more vertical shot than normal and frequently happens with driver swings. The golf ball goes more up in the air than normal (like a pop-up in baseball) and lose out on tons of total distance.
Basically, you missed the sweet spot by a large margin and the Golf Gods want to make you pay for the error. Not only does a shot that hits off the top of the club only go a fraction of the distance, it can also damage your golf clubs too. Which might be the most frustrating part of it all as the shot might keep haunting you well after it’s over.
Luckily, there are some solutions to help you remove sky marks so you don’t have to stare at them every time you pull that club out of the bag. Which is something we highly recommend doing as there’s nothing worse than seeing a sky mark at address. It’s easy to remind yourself of that bad swing that created it and doesn’t give you a ton of confidence.
Not to mention, when you want to sell your golf clubs, they’re much more valuable when they’re in good condition.
Fixing Sky Marks
Now that you understand more about these frustrating golf shots, let’s get into the repairs. Chances are you’ve asked yourself, “How do I fix sky marks on my driver or other club head?”
Before sharing, let me first say do not use harsh, old-school bristle brushes on your metal clubheads. While they’re okay for cleaning the grooves of your irons, they can damage the paint on your woods and hybrids unintentionally.
So please, avoid using these brushes at all costs as they can make sky marks worse than before. When cleaning your clubs, use a soft towel or damp microfiber cloth, not harsh bristle brushes.
Now, here are our best strategies for fixing sky marks and scuffs.
1. Magic Eraser Method
The first way for golfers to fix sky marks is simple and cheap. First, clean your golf club with a microfiber cloth and let it dry.
Next, use a Magic Eraser pad (or knock off version) and get it slightly wet. Then, apply gentle pressure to the skymark and rub against it. As the pad gets dry and starts to deteriorate, add more water until the mark is removed.
I recently used this for a light skymark and it worked incredibly well. This method will work best for light sky marks where the paint isn’t removed from the clubhead. If you hit this unfortunate shot during the round, pick one of these up on the way home for instant sky mark relief.
Toothpaste might get even better results than the Magic eraser method. If you have a scuff that hasn’t damaged the paint, grab some toothpaste (or buy some generic stuff at the dollar store).
Wipe the head down with a small amount of toothpaste, apply some pressure and add a little water if needed. Lightly press with your finger or old toothbrush until the clubhead is clean and ready to go.
3. Car Wax
The two two methods are the easiest way to clean the crown of your woods and hybrids. But sometimes, those cleaning pads just aren’t strong enough to get the job done. For more intrusive sky marks, you want to use car wax or a similar rubbing compound.
But don’t just use any type of car wax as not all are the same strength. Instead, make sure you choose the light version so you don’t damage your clubs even more.
Start by cleaning your clubs first and then pour a small amount of wax on a clean towel or cloth. Rub the wax or similar compound on the skymark in a circular motion. You can also apply this on an old toothbrush and scrub lightly as well.
Similar to the first method, do not apply too much pressure when you scrub. Hopefully, this compound or wax will get rid of more heavy-duty sky marks so your clubs look as good as ever.
4. Touch Up Paint
The first three methods will help with sky marks that are less severe and haven’t damaged the paint. If you’ve hit some bad pop-up shots over the years and never tried to remove, this will likely be the method you need.
Before going to this method, make sure to test out the first two strategies to save time and energy. If you’ve tested out wax and the Magic Eraser and it’s still not working, it’s time to use paint.
Before getting started, make sure you find touch-up paint that matches your clubhead color. Then, clean your golf club with a cloth and let it dry.
Next, tape everything except the area you intend to paint so you don’t accidentally paint a portion of the club in good shape. Using a small brush (or if they provide one), paint over your skymark.
Once painting is complete, give it several hours to dry. If you don’t see any areas of the paint that are raised off the clubhead, you are all set. But if you do notice a portion of the paint is raised, use fine sandpaper to sand down the specific area.
Why does a sky mark happen?
A sky mark basically happens when you hit a pop up or a “sky shot”. You always know this shot the minute you hit it.
The main culprits that lead to sky marks are:
- Ball teed up too high
- Too narrow of a stance
- Incorrect shoulder tilt
- Too steep of a downswing
How do you remove scratches from a golf driver?
Scratches are not as easy to remove as normal sky marks since there is paint damage. Typically, sky marks (not sky scratches if you will) are easy to remove with a Magic Eraser pad, car wax, or other similar cleaning compounds. But scratches require a lot more work as you need to clean the club, fix the skymark, then paint the club using touch up paint.
Can you buff out scratches on golf clubs?
Simple sky marks are much easier than scratches or scuff marks. You’ll likely need to use a buffing compound from an auto parts store to clean the club face. Apply some metal polish to a toothbrush and rub against the club in forward and backward motion.
Can I use a magic eraser on golf clubs?
Yes, a white magic eraser is great for removing scuff marks on a club head. They’re one of the best ways to clean a golf club that has sky marks and won’t damage the club. Just make sure to clean with a damp microfiber cloth first, especially the top edge, before cleaning.
Magic erasers will help with fine scratches but won’t do much for large scuff marks. When this happens (usually not from golf balls) but accidentally dropping the club, you will need to buff out and likely paint.
Should you polish golf clubs?
You can and should use metal polish on golf clubs. It’s a great way to keep them looking good for years to come. Here is the quick process to polish your golf clubs:
- Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap
- Dunk the club 5-10 times and scrub the heads with a brush. Make sure it’s not harsh and won’t damage the clubs.
- Next, wash the clubs with cold water and wipe until dry (or air dry).
- Finally, apply metal polish or chrome polish to the club and rub with a dry towel. Once complete, make sure to let it dry before taking them to the golf course.
Can you paint golf clubs?
You can customize clubs or specific clubs (a lot of players like to do this with wedges) using golf club paint. This is an easy way to touch up or personalize your irons, wedges, putter or even woods to make them 100% unique. This 4-pack from G-Paint has a small plastic need applicator in each bottle.
To get started, clean each club with a damp cloth and let air dry. Then, put the clubs on a workbench with a towel underneath and add paint as needed as it’s simple to apply. Touch dry in 30 minutes and ready to take them to the golf course after six hours!
Final Thoughts on Removing Sky Marks from a Golf Club
Removing sky marks is needed for your confidence and resale value.
There’s nothing worse than having to see a sky mark at address position. It won’t help your confidence and can negatively affect your golf game. Plus, if and when you ever want to sell your golf clubs in the future, it will hurt your resale value, especially with drivers.
While these methods are helpful, make sure you do everything possible to change your swing to avoid these in the future. Some easy ways to avoid sky marks include:
- Tee it up at the proper height
- Taking a larger stance at address position
- Playing the golf ball off your front foot to hit up on the ball
- Learn how to shallow the club so you have an inside to outside swing
Have you ever used these strategies to fix scuffs on your golf clubs? Or, used something else to repair them?
Let us know in the comments below.