Traditionally, one of the main barriers facing aspiring golfers is the cost associated with getting started. Green fees, clothing, equipment, and particularly golf clubs can all take a fairly hefty chunk out of your paycheck, so it’s important to find a way of reducing these costs and finding out when golf clubs go on sale.
Golf clubs generally go on sale two times a year which is after the Christmas holidays in the New Year, and also during Fall where the top brands such as Callaway, Titleist, Nike, and Wilson like to announce new product lines which lead to price reductions in individual clubs and complete sets.
But with so many brick-and-mortar and online golf retailers in the US, if you’re willing to do some research, you are likely to find a deal on golf clubs at pretty much any time of the year.
In this post, we look at some of the things you need to consider before buying new (or used) golf clubs, before giving you some top tips about finding the best deals.
Where Can I Get the Best Deal on Golf Clubs?
When you’re looking for good value golf clubs, the best place to begin your research is online. If you’re in the market for new clubs at a fraction of their RRP, check out sites like Rock Bottom Golf, Golf Discount, and The Golf Warehouse.
The three sites above offer a range of discounted golf clubs all year round, with attractive delivery options, too.
While you might be tempted to head directly to the site of a manufacturer like Cobra or Calloway to buy their latest irons, this will cost you a considerable amount of money.
Alternatively, if you’re keen to buy used clubs, online marketplaces like eBay, Craigslist, and even Facebook carry a wide range of options in your locality.
Buying used is an excellent way of keeping the cost of your golf clubs down, but you need to be mindful of their condition before you agree to a purchase.
If you prefer to shop for your golf clubs in person, it’s better to head to national chains and sports stores instead of your local golf club, as the former tend to offer much more competitive prices from a range of manufacturers.
How Long Will Golf Clubs Last?
The lifespan of modern golf clubs can be anywhere from a few years to an entire lifetime, depending on how regularly you play and how well you look after them. It’s also important to recognize that some clubs are more prone to wear and tear than others.
For example, while long irons are built to last, you might find you need to replace your wedges more frequently as the grooves become worn.
Regardless of how often you play, taking care of your clubs will undoubtedly increase their lifespan.
The following simple maintenance tips will help your golf clubs last for longer:
- Wipe any dirt from your clubs after every shot, and clean your clubs when you finish your round.
- Use a metallic brush to clean the grooves of your irons and a plastic brush to clean your metals.
- Change your grips every 12 – 24 months if they begin showing signs of wear and tear.
- Use a waterproof cover for your bag if playing in the rain, and use head covers when storing your clubs at home or in your locker.
Even if you play golf a few times every week, maintaining your golf clubs will ensure they last for much longer.
The other thing to consider here is the size of your clubs.
It’s helpful to get measured before you order a set of clubs, so you can play with clubs that are of an appropriate length.
For example, if you’re buying for a junior player, you may find that they need a new set every couple of years as they outgrow their previous clubs.
And providing you’ve kept your junior clubs in good condition, you can sell them on a marketplace like eBay or Craigslist and put the money towards your next set.
Are Cheap Golf Clubs Any Good?
It’s hard to generalize about the quality of ‘cheap’ golf clubs, as quality and price are subjective.
But as with any type of sporting equipment, buying the best clubs won’t automatically make you a better player!
While it’s only natural to gravitate towards some of the biggest brands in golf when you’re looking for your clubs, it’s actually more important to consider the composition of your set rather than the branded name that they carry.
Our advice is to set yourself a budget that you know you can afford, then look at what’s available within your price range.
So, whether you have $300 or $1000 to spend on golf clubs, the following tips will help you find clubs that will help to improve your game:
- Material: Look for club heads made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or beta titanium. Those made from zinc, composite steel, or aluminum won’t stand the test of time and will need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
- Blades or cavity: Bladed irons tend to allow better shape to a shot, but they can be challenging for beginners. Cavity-backed irons are a little more forgiving and tend to make it easier to elevate the ball. While you can find cheap sets of both, cavity-backed clubs are often more affordable as they’re favorable to beginners.
- Manufacturing quality: Reputable brands are committed to quality, but not everyone can afford top-of-the-range brands like Nike or Titleist. If you opt for a lesser-known brand, study the manufacturing process and see if your clubs come with a warranty. This will protect your investment should anything go wrong.
If you do your research, it’s possible to find a high-quality set of golf clubs that have been reduced to clear.
While they might not make use of the latest technology, they will be of sufficient quality to enable you to enjoy your game.
Are Used Golf Clubs Worth Buying?
There is merit in buying used golf clubs from a reliable source. Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a new set of irons and metals, and buying a used set can represent excellent value for money.
If you opt to buy a used set of golf clubs, however, consider the following before committing to a purchase:
- When were the clubs manufactured? If they’re more than five years old, they might not be in excellent condition.
- What condition are the grooves and grips in? Check that the grooves are of reasonable quality, and if the grips need to be replaced, factor this into the purchase price.
- What’s the general condition of the shafts? If they’re dented or overly scratched, it’s a sign that they’re too worn to be useful for any length of time.
While you can’t expect a set of clubs that are like new for $100, you shouldn’t buy a poorly maintained set, either.
If you’re buying used clubs from a site like Craigslist or eBay, ask to see photos of the clubface and grips of each club and ensure they’re in decent condition.
Buyers may even let you check out the quality of the clubs for yourself before buying, so it might be worth having a couple of swings and seeing how they feel before committing to the purchase.
How Can I Get a Free Set of Golf Clubs?
While it can be challenging to find a free set of golf clubs, it’s not impossible. The best place to start looking is your local Buy Nothing group.
The Buy Nothing Project brings people together who have items that they’re prepared to give away for free.
It’s not uncommon for golf clubs to circulate on various forums.
Another way of securing a free set of golf clubs is to register as a golf club tester.
While it’s a competitive process and a hefty degree of luck is required, someone has to be chosen, so it’s worthwhile registering your interest.
You could also speak to family members and friends and see if they have an old set of clubs just sitting around in their garage gathering dust.
Keen golfers often have more than one set at home, so you might find someone close to you who is willing to give or at least lend you their spare set as you start playing golf.
Although a free set of golf clubs is unlikely to be of great quality, they will at least get you started on the range or course and will serve you well as you save up to buy a set for yourself.
Be Patient and Buy Clubs at the Right Time of the Year
As you can see, there are many ways of finding affordable golf clubs; you just need to be willing to do some research.
Most golf clubs go on sale outside the main golfing season in the summer, so it’s a good idea to start looking for clubs when the season is coming to an end.
But this being said, thanks to the proliferation of online retailers, you might find golf clubs on sale throughout the year, depending on where you look.
Whether you buy new or used golf clubs, be sure to look after your set and maintain them regularly, as this will help increase their lifespan and ensure you don’t have to fork out money for a new set of clubs every couple of years.