Buying golf clubs online
June 19, 2007 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Need advice buying golf clubs online

After the club head of my beloved 9 iron went flying off of the shaft last time on the course, I've concluded that it is time to replace my aging 10 year old golf club set.

I am looking for advice on buying golf clubs on the cheap. Ideally, I would like to pay $200-$300 for a complete set of new irons and woods. I know there are a ton of overstock or discount golf warehouse sites online these days, but I get bogged down in the myriad of choices. I'm a heavy researcher before I buy things, and the selection at these sites and on EBay is overwhelming to me.

So, does anyone having experience buying golf clubs at a great price online? Which sites do you use? How do you research your club sets and avoiding paying $500+ for a set? EBay might also be a good way to go, but I have an impossible time sifting through all of the models and options. Specific sites, brands, or generally online purchasing experiences would be welcome. Is it better to do this at a store, or go at least go to a store to try out different styles, then buy online? If so, store suggestions in the SF Bay Area?

I'm a casual golfer (read 6 pack in the bag), really enjoy the game, generally shoot about 15-30 over par. Right handed, 28 yo male, 6 foot, probably golf about 10 times a year. Could go used or bump my limit to $400 if it made sense.

posted by gatorbiddy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Clubs depreciate really fast-- you will do MUCH better for yourself buying a used set than a cheap new one.

Go to a golf store and get yourself fitted for Pings and then hit eBay and see if any sets that fit you are out there in your price range.

Also, I bought a putter from here on the cheap that I love. They have whole sets, most slightly out of your range, but take a look.

I think eBay or craigslist are your tickets for the "on the cheap" set though.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:33 PM on June 19, 2007

My dad bought a set of clubs from Costco that he seems happy with. He plays once or twice a week. I think that they're an earlier version of this Jack Nicklaus set. Costco also has a slightly pricier set from Hippo Golf.

For the best value, I'd go to a good golf store to try out some different clubs and find something you really like, then search for used/disctinued versions of those online.
posted by andrewraff at 1:25 PM on June 19, 2007

Whatever you do, don't go the cheap "knockoff" club route. Brand name is the only way to go if you want any consistency in your game.

In the best of all worlds, you'd go to a dealer and get fitted- but that's probably out of your price range. Try The Golf Warehouse web site, and look in the sale section. They have good prices on last year's models and you might be able to put a collection together in your price range. They also have lots of reviews from customers who have played the various clubs.

They are honest and easy to deal with, but if you buy from them, they will spam your e-mail and mailbox pretty heavily.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:29 PM on June 19, 2007

Benny - just what do you mean by knockoff?

I have seen "brand-name" (Mizuno, Titleist, Taylormade...even Callaway) all off in their loft and lie specs. The last set of TMs I bought at the store were two swingweights apart and three of the clubs were as much as three degrees off on the loft. Know how tough it is to bend a cast clubhead that far?

There's a difference between "cheap clubs" and component clubs made by Dynacraft that have the cosmetic look of a Callaway or a Mizuno. They're just as good if not better and 1/3 the price.

You can get custom-fitted for free in most places, and order a set of component clubs from any one of a million clubmakers and save yourself a ton of money. One guy who has a great reputation is Mike Dalecki, Club Doctor. Upon recommendation from several other people on a golf forum, I bought a driver and putter a few years ago and was impressed with the quality of his workmanship and his pricing. The clubs are great. I'm sure there are other reputable clubmakers in your area - it doesn't have to say "Ping" on it to be a great golf club.

If there's a Golfsmith near you, consider taking the "free" clubmaking class (1/2 day) and build your own. It's quite easy to do, you can get a closeout special on quality heads and shafts (I really like snake eyes) and you'll learn how to do it yourself.

And - I've recently played with a guy who has a 15-year-old set of K-mart Spaldings. He's a 9-handicap.

Ben Hogan always said "it's the Indian, not the arrow."
posted by TeamBilly at 2:39 PM on June 19, 2007

The Costco warranty is hard to argue with also. You can return them no questions asked. Buy them and golf with them a few times. If you like them keep them. I don't abuse the return policy but it is comforting to know it is there.
posted by snowjoe at 3:40 PM on June 19, 2007

I have used Golfsmith, although I bought components from them and made my own clubs. (This is fairly easy if you are a do-it-yourself-er)

I know they sell premade clubs but have no experience with that. I dealt with them by phone, not internet, but they were absolutely the best to work with over the phone. The folks I talked to were knowledgable, polite, nice... everything you would want.
posted by MtDewd at 4:51 PM on June 19, 2007

Benny - just what do you mean by knockoff?

I was referring to the many "clone" club sellers on the internets. They are most very inferior components made to look reasonable and sell cheap. They are very inconsistent.

You can still get bad clubs from major manufacturers, but it's rare.

Quality DIY components like Golfsmith, Snake Eyes, Maltby, etc. are an excellent way to go, but there are learning curves and some specialized equipment that are probably overkill for making just one set of clubs.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:27 PM on June 19, 2007

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