Get golf clubs that'll give you the most bang for your buck!
Let's get some info out of the way, first...
You have to determine your budget before you do anything.
Getting the best golf clubs for the money starts with how much you have to spend. It does you no good to pine after clubs that are outside of your pay grade. That's not the end of the world, though- there are tons of options out there.
Figure out if you only want "new", or if "new to you" is good.
Like I said: options. Some people just don't want used gear, and that's their thing. If you're OK with used, go for it. If you go this route, you then need to figure out how much wear and tear is acceptable.
Make the most of the options you have.
We'll cover stuff in more depth later, but know this: if all you can afford is a "starter" set- that can work. Is it the greatest? That depends on your point of view...
For those on a strict golf budget
Your budget- get the most out of what you can afford
The biggest thing you need to figure out is how much you're willing to spend. We're playing with your money, so it's smart to want to maximize it.
If all you can afford is, say, $500 for a full set, we'd have to get creative.
Lucky for us, I'm that creative!
You see, in my business model, the biggest cost to you is gonna be in the components. If the sky's the limit, I can get you some higher-priced forged Wishon heads ($44 per head), expensive KBS shafts ($59.95 each for a set of 8), and Iomic grips ($12/per grip).
For a set of 8 irons, you're looking at $927.60... in just components!
But if your money doesn't stretch that far, which is the whole point of this section I might add, that's OK too. I've gamed enough of the lesser-known brands to say with certainty that instead of spending $40+ per iron head, I can find you some that's more $10 per iron head.
Same with shafts; you could spend $60+ per shaft for something from a brand like KBS, but I can find you high-quality shafts for half (or more!) of that.
We can go through the grip examples, but I think you get the idea.
Point is, I have my favorite brands, and not all of them are the super-expensive kinds. As long as the fit is right for your body type and swing style, you can up your equipment game without taking out a second mortgage.
Sometimes "New to You" is the way to go when you're trying to get the most bang for your buck.
There are many deals to be had buying used gear. A few "rules of thumb":
- For woods- drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids- you can go back at least 5-6 years and still have "superior" technology. Honestly, you could go back even further for fairway woods and hybrids.
- For irons, you can go back 10+ years and still have a "high-tech" set. Same goes for wedges.
- With putters, get whatever floats you boat. Age doesn't matter here.
Look, even if I fit you into $10/per head irons with $5/per shafts and $3/per grips (for a total of $144 in components), with a 40% markup to cover stuff like labor, overhead, shipping, etc., you're looking at $200+ for your set.
For full transparency- and knowing full well the risk of lost sales- it is possible to find a set of irons on the used market for less than that. But you gotta be pretty flexible in what you want.
From there, you have to determine how much wear and tear is acceptable. Some sellers (like on Ebay or golf forums) are very honest about their old wares, and have a bunch of pictures to help them explain their condition.
Personally, I'd stay away from stuff with dents. On the face, obviously, but especially on the crown; it's a distraction. If you're OK with it, though, and the price is right, why not?
The problem here is, if you don't find out what specs you need and just buy whatever, you could find yourself needing your new-to-you clubs retrofitted. I can do that, but it's an extra cost you might not be prepared for.
Making the most of your options- do some research first!
So I hinted at it just now, but let's dig into it some more: you should at least know what length, loft, and lie angles you need.
When you're scoping out the Bay, looking to find the best golf clubs for the money, it helps to go in with as much information as you can. That means filling out a golf club fitting form. Like this one.
Armed with that information, you can go in and filter results that match what you need. Anything from length, lie angle, and in some instances grip size.
Yeah, while everyone's getting a custom-fit set of clubs, it's a real possibility that at least some of the specs might overlap for someone buying them once they hit the secondary market.
Don't expect a perfect match, but at least try to get as many of the variables as close as possible!
For those with a not-so-strict golf budget
More $$$ = More Options For Finding the Best Golf Clubs for the Money
When you have more money to spend, you do get more options.
For instance, you can skip the online fitting if you want, and go get a "full" fitting. HumbleBrag moment: I do those, too, if you're in the SW Michigan area!
While an online fitting is good, an in-person fitting is just a bit better. Depending on who you talk to, the only thing that'd be missing is the lie angle fitting. For best results, that needs to be done while swinging a club.
What can you get at your price range?
Well, if you came to me, it wouldn't be a set of uber-expensive PXG's; I'm not affiliated with that brand. However, if you didn't skip ahead to this section, I'd ask you to recall the example with Wishon brands:
- Wishon Forged Heads ($44 each)
- KBS shafts ($59.95 each)
- Iomic grips ($12 each)
For components for a set of 8 irons, you'd be looking at $927.60 for the cost of parts. From there, there's a 40% markup to cover things like labor, "expendables" (ferrules, grip tape, solvent, etc.), and overhead (for example: electricity to run the machines). The total cost to you: $1298.64, bringing the cost to $162.33 per club.
Not cheap, but not outrageous, either!
The sky's the limit
Seriously; if your budget is wide open, so are your options. You don't need me to tell you that you can pick whatever you want. I like the options I offer and have 100% confidence in them, but there are more out there.
The trick is finding what gives you confidence. That's the biggest key in finding gear. When you look at it, when you hold it in your hands, does it inspire confidence?
If it doesn't, find something else.
What's the best clubs for the money, really?
If you ever ask me for a particular brand, I won't give you one. As I've said, I have 100% confidence in what I offer, but those are the brands I find the easiest to deal with on a professional level.
There are others, obviously. Other fitters have different relationships with other brands, and I can guarantee they have confidence in them, as well.
But that's the kicker: there are many good brands out there. Some you see on TV, others you may have never heard of.
When do you know they're the right clubs for your money?
Easy: when you look at them and say "damn, that looks nice!".
When you grab the grip like you're gonna swing it and it just feels right to you.
When you step up to the tee, or to any other spot on the course, and think "yeah... I got this".
That's how you know.
Don't wait until you're "good enough" to get the golf clubs you love.
Seriously, that drives me insane. You don't buy a certain pair of hiking boots until you're more like Ernest Hemingway, do you? Do you wait to buy a certain pair of jeans until you're a "good enough" cowboy?
No, because that's ridiculous. Besides, that's just going to leave you waiting until... who knows how long.
Forget that BS. If you find a set of golf clubs you love, and you can afford them, get them! The whole point of a fitting is to find the specs that allow you to hit the "sweet spot" the majority of the time, with what you feel is the best blend of distance and accuracy. That's it.
If you wanna buy them from me, go for it. If you want to buy them on Ebay, go for it. I'll even help you, if you'd like!
I'll leave you with a question:
How do you buy golf clubs? What's the best way you've found that gives you the most bang for your buck?