How to Change Golf Spikes

Without good spikes, golf shoes are nothing more than slightly more attractive bowling shoes. The spikes — or cleats — on the bottoms of your golf shoes help you stay anchored into the golf course so that you can take your best swings.

With time and use, the spikes on your shoes will lose their effectiveness. Depending on how much you play or practice in your golf shoes, the spikes will eventually wear down and, in some cases, simply fall out. When that happens, it’s definitely time to replace them — and here’s how.

What You’ll Need

Changing spikes does involve some equipment. But, thankfully, none of it is a big purchase. Here’s what you’ll need before getting started:

Golf shoe(s):

You’ll need the golf shoe(s) you’ll be working on. Make sure that your shoes have replaceable spikes to begin with. If you have an antique set of shoes that feature metal spikes, you should invest in a new set of shoes that do less damage to golf courses.

Replacement spikes:

You can find a pack of replacement spikes in any golf equipment shop, in person or online. There are tons of varieties, and you can choose which style suits you best. Keep in mind that all varieties of spikes should work just fine with your shoes.

Spike wrench:

Lock in your new spikes with this tool. Even if your new spikes are twist-ons, you’ll probably need one of these spike wrenches to loosen and remove your old spikes.

Small brush:

When you take out your old spikes, chances are there will be some dirt and debris left behind. Use a small brush to clear the slots for your new spikes.


Cleaning out your old spikes will definitely leave a bit of a mess behind. Place a towel on the table you’re working on before digging out the debris. This will help you in your cleanup duties after your new spikes are in and ready to go.

Removing Old Spikes

The first step in changing your spikes is letting go of the old ones. Unless a spike has rusted in place or is otherwise not relinquishing its spot, this step should be as simple as unscrewing a screw.

  1. Place the prongs of the spike wrench into the holes of the spike you want to remove. If there’s a small rock stuck in the spike, carefully try to pick it out with small, sharp object so that the prongs of the wrench can get in deep enough.
  2. Turn the wrench counterclockwise (to your left) to loosen the spike.
  3. Remove the old spike and set it aside. If it isn’t too worn down, you can hang onto it in your bag in case you ever lose a spike and need an emergency replacement. Otherwise, you can just throw it away.
  4. With the brush, clean out the debris that you’ll find where the spike had been.
  5. Repeat steps one through four for each spike in each shoe.
  6. Clean your workspace from any debris that might have been left behind.

Hot Tip: Change Spikes Regularly

The good news about golf spikes is that they’re relatively inexpensive, especially in the world of golf equipment. Since that’s the case, you don’t have to wait until your spikes fall out or get worn down to the core before replacing them. Instead, give yourself the best opportunity to play your best golf, and replace your spikes on a regular basis. If you play in your golf shoes more than once per week, you should probably replace your spikes every other month. If you play less, give your spikes a change every six months or so. You’ll be glad you did.

Inserting New Spikes

Once you’ve taken your old spikes out of there, it’s time to lock in your new ones. Again, unless there is debris inside of the holes where your spikes go (small rocks, for example), this process should be relatively easy.

  1. Insert a new spike into an opening on the bottom of your golf shoe. Use your hand to twist it into place before using the spike wrench to lock it in completely.
  2. When using the wrench, twist clockwise (to your right) to tighten it. Get each spike firmly into place, but don’t over-tighten them — they may break.
  3. Repeat these two steps for all of the spikes you’re replacing.
  4. Go outside and try on your shoes. Walk around in them, and take a practice golf swing. Test how they feel, and make sure that none of the newly added spikes are loose.

A Spike in Improvement

Once your shoes have been outfitted with a brand new set of spikes, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your comfort and stability on the golf course. You’ll feel more anchored into the grass, especially if it’s wet, and in the sand. Hopefully you’ll see that improved comfort and stability translate into an improved score as well!

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