Martin Hopley

Towels. They dry things.

Or if you can't be bothered with soap, then they can be used for cleaning too, as any muddy child will tell you.

Unless you are German and trying to annexe another sun lounger in the name of Ze Farzarland, then towels really serve no other purpose, so nothing really to get excited about is there?

Well, so I thought, until I picked up a Spotless Golf towel recently.

Towels for golf - good idea for keeping grips dry and grooves clean. The number of people I see playing with irons covered in more dirt than a former world number one golfer and then wondering why they don't get backspin on their shots is too numerous to mention. Cleaning your club after each shot means lots of shiny stuff in the bag, better shots and you don't have to scrub them once a year to get the hardpan off before a big game.

Like others (and you know who you are) I used to carry a large white bathroom-sized towel with a brand logo on around like a tour pro, despite the fact that I wasn't and that white is the most inappropriate colour for a cleaning towel.

As a yoof, my mother would have palpatations when this mud and rust covered fragment of cloth would land in the laundry basket. At least I said it did not have to be spotless, just an off-cream colour that looked white at a distance.

For it to be effective, it had to have one end soaked in water before starting so you could get the grooves and ball clean and in hot weather it would always dry out or, worse still, you would get to the first green and realise you had forgotten to wet it, so spit and polish were the order of the day, which is not pleasant to watch.

As I matured and gave up on the Tour thing, I progressed to a smaller version that was less heavy - and black - as I was doing my own washing now and had realised the reasons for my Mum's eye rolling. However, it had the same usability issues, so when Mr Spotless Towels showed me his new creation at the Orlando Golf Show I thought I had nothing to lose.

Spotless Swing Golf Towel

The Spotless Towel is bell-shaped so the outside is used for drying your hands and grips and the inside is used for cleaning clubs. Good idea, as now my grips aren't brown either!

However the cool stuff is on the inside. The top part of the inside is soft for cleaning water off and is made of Durable Microfiber fabric that is 6 times more absorbent than cotton so the whole towel stays dry for longer.

The bottom of the cloth is a MicroBrushâ„¢ fabric that is a little rougher but won't damage your clubs. It is ideal for cleaning grooves even when it is dry, so you don't have to wet it, which means one less thing to do before the round.

The whole towel is about 30cm long and easily clips on to your bag facing either up or down so you can get easy access from a cart bag or a carry bag.

I am worryingly excited about this towel as the construction and fabric is very well thought out and it delivers perfect cleaning every time.

And it is not big enough to put on a lounger either. Result.

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BallZee Golf Ball Cleaner

Whilst I am on a cleaning burst (I do this at home too - leave it for ages and then blitz the place all at once) I just have to mention the BallZee pocket golf ball cleaner. Now as Frankie Howerd would say, "titter ye not", as you read on.

I like keeping my balls clean so they fly straight and putt straight. However, as I am not in the position to employ a caddie with the aforementioned wet towel to flip my ball to on the green, I would go back and forth to my bag to clean my ball. Or if I couldn't be bothered it was the old spit on the ball, wipe on the trousers routine.


Instead of the first move of this routine, I do see people link their fingers to do this or even put the whole ball in their mouth, which given the amount of chemicals and other outdoor debris around on most greens always amazes me. I usually wait to see if they turn green and their arms fall off so I can claim the hole, but this must happen later at home.

Much to my delight, and my dry cleaner's dismay, the BallZee has been in my bag for a while now. It is a clamshell design with fabric pads on either side that you wet. You then fold the plastic cover over and put it in your pocket where it stays damp without making your pocket wet. Then on the green you just whip it out and clean your ball. If it needs drying you can then wipe it on your trousers, but now it is clean - bingo!

It's quick, easy and apart from the fact you have to remember to wet it before you play, then it really is a great bit of a kit for just a few pounds. At least it only needs a little water unlike a towel so you wet is with a little water from your bottle or Red Bull for an extra vigorous clean.

My trousers don't look they have skid marks on the outside anymore and I don't run the risk of inadvertingly ingesting the Miracle Gro that the greenkeepers have laid on for me.

Much better to do that at home after the round with ice and tonic. Cheers.

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