Let’s face it, golfing can be an expensive hobby, especially if you’re secretly longing for some of the ultra-techy drivers and all the latest and greatest equipment. You may be surprised how much you can save by buying used golf clubs, especially when you’re a casual player – the latest and greatest is always nice, but if your current clubs are two or three years old, you’ll still be able to get a significant upgrade on the used market. It can be tricky navigating the world of used golf clubs, but we’re here to help.
Before you start shopping prices, you need to know what it is you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it. Let’s say you’re still playing with the clubs you inherited from your dad a decade ago (like Kathy using her dad’s clubs) – you might be upgrading to take advantage of current technology or to get a better fit for your swing. If you’ve been playing with a friend’s clubs and are looking for your own, used is a great way to get your own set for a fraction of the price.
Today’s golf clubs are amazing examples of how physics can be applied to normal items, so it’s a good idea to do some research and testing before you start shopping. Stop in at the pro shop and hit a few balls until you find the clubs that feel and hit right for you. There’s nothing worse than getting a set of clubs you think will be perfect, only to find that the design isn’t quite in tune with your swing.
Once you know what you’re looking for, you can start shopping. There are a lot of great deals on used clubs in today’s market because major manufacturers are redesigning their lines more than once a year, but caution is still warranted. Many golf shops offer trade-in credit to players looking to upgrade their equipment, these stores are often the best places to find a deal. Unlike one-time sellers on eBay, a golf shop is betting their reputation on your happiness – clubs will be in the shape represented and they will typically do whatever it takes to correct any problems that arise.
If you’re checking out clubs in person, look for deep scratches, serious dents and other signs of abuse on both the heads and shafts. You can’t expect a used club to be perfect, but they shouldn’t have any major deformities or it will affect performance. Grips, on the other hand, don’t have to be perfect or even close if the price is right – they can be easily and inexpensively replaced. Shopping online should follow the same rules of thumb, but also look for a money-back guarantee in case you don’t get what you were expecting.
It’s also a good idea to know what the market prices are for the used clubs you’re shopping before you choose one, a great place to find used resale value is the PGA Value Guide. You may find a beautiful, like-new used driver out in the world, but if it’s two years old and costs the same as the newest version of the same club, you’ll need a really good reason to justify choosing the old over the new. Used clubs should provide you with significant savings over buying new, otherwise, what’s the point?
Buying used clubs is a lot like buying a used car – arming yourself with information about the models you’re interested in will help you make the best decision possible. The savings a few minor scratches and scuffs can create in a set of clubs will make your decision to upgrade your dated set or purchase a set of your own an easy one.