Perhaps, like many bros, your $200 March Madness pool didn’t yield the massive return you anticipated. Or maybe you simply resent the fact that it costs $300 to get a driver that will garnish respect from your foursome. Well, my friends, I have news: it doesn’t. Let’s face it; golf club manufacturers want to make money. So they pump out new, ridiculously overhyped clubs on an annual or biannual basis. Truth be told, I’m a club junkie; I love drooling over the latest and greatest clubs. However, I also can’t afford to drop hundreds of dollars a year on clubs. Turns out, there’s a solution.
Actually, many solutions:
One viable option is to buy used clubs. While you lose the shiny, rip the stickers off gleam, you also keep a substantial amount of cash in pocket. It’s actually quite easy to unearth some hidden gems simply by stopping by your local pro shop. Not all pro shops will have a used club selection, but chances are that shops with large club selections in general will also have substantial used club offerings. Even large chains such as Golf Galaxy have begun adding used clubs to their repertoire. Ebay offers another option for buying used clubs…the selection is endless, and large supply leads to low prices.
When buying used clubs, every bro should keep a couple things in mind:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff…nicks and scratches come with the territory, and let’s be real…your current clubs probably have quite a few of their own. Also, don’t get worked up over worn grips…these are easy and relatively inexpensive to replace.
- Do examine the clubs carefully…dents, rust, shaft nicks and worn grooves are all red flags. These can be very detrimental to performance.
- Do hit the club…if you’re buying at a store, definitely try it out (if the pro shop has any savvy, they’ll spot you a free bucket). If you’re buying online, make an effort to seek out a club of the exact same model to try out ahead of time. Nothing is worse than getting hyped about your new irons only to discover that “increased forgiveness” translates into “increased shanks” with your swing.
- Beware of counterfeit golf clubs…it sounds ridiculous, but these have been popping up increasingly in recent years. If you have the club in your hand, hitting it is a sufficient test…counterfeits perform inferiorly. However be wary if buying online…find some great tips for avoiding tossing your cash away here.
If you prefer to be the first one to skull your new irons, your best bet may be simply bargain hunting for new clubs…it may sound obvious, but few people realize how much money there is to be saved. The best sale is probably Dick’s Sporting Good’s Golf-A-Thon, which takes place early each spring. However both Golf Galaxy and Dick’s offer great markdowns all year round…12 month old technology at 66% price is no joke! To get great deals online, head to Rock Bottom Golf. Rock Bottom offers insane deals on new clubs…definitely worth a check every month or two.
If you’re more toward the avid end of the golf spectrum, you probably know plenty of people who are immersed in the game. We all know how much golfers love new clubs…and often when they get them, they’re happy to sell their old ones at cheap prices. Club pros and even assistant pros are great for this…they get their clubs at a discount to begin with, meaning that they get new clubs more often, and don’t want as much money for their old ones.
Take my golf bag…a bunch of nice clubs, bought at bargain prices:
Callaway Diablo Edge Tour Driver: Picked this one up at Dick’s for $200 (well below MSRP) not too long after it came out. The pros there love to sell stuff, are full of information, and more than happy to let you beat balls in the simulator.
Tour Edge Exotics CB 3-Wood- If you follow the lists of popular clubs such as Golf Digest’s Hot List, you’ve probably heard of Tour Edge Exotics. Their clubs are consistently given rave reviews, and are consistently ignored by the masses due to exorbitant prices. About a month ago I wandered into my local pro shop simply to browse around. Long story short, I was able to cop an Exotics 3-wood for less than $60. Sure, it’s been hit before, and it certainly isn’t this year’s model. Yet, its performance is impeccable…for $60!
Cobra Speed LD 5-Wood- A little old now, but this was another steal from Dick’s while the club was still in its heyday.
Wilson Staff FyBrid, Pi7 Irons and TW9 Wedges-Tour caliber clubs that I bought from the pro at my golf club…for $200! He’d hit them for a year, two tops, and not very much at that.
Ping IN putter-Dick’s, half price, ‘nuff said.
Another great way to ease the financial uppercut that is buying new golf clubs is to sell your old ones. Many pro shops and even some of the chain golf stores will accept trades toward new clubs. Unfortunately, they usually aren’t willing to simply buy used clubs. Find out the accepted trade in values here. Unfortunately, these values are low. Often the best option is to list the clubs on eBay. If you’re not familiar with listing stuff on there it can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s often worth it. If you have an account, at the very least go on and see what clubs similar to yours have already sold for. The final option is simply selling them to a private party. If what you have is decent, chances are a notice on the bulletin board of your local course will suffice.
Golf is tough enough…don’t make it harder than it is! Don’t blow your entire wad on one club when you can get three for the same price…the key is to know where to look. With golf being the frustrating game that it is, it can be tempting to jump into an impulse buy. Don’t fall into the trap, and make sure what you’re buying is what you want. And help your bros out…bros don’t let bros play prehistoric clubs…unless you consider your weekly skins game a source of income.