Is It Time For New Clubs?
One of the most popular questions that we receive at Plugged In Golf is, “When should I replace my clubs?” It’s a complex question that ties together some of the most exciting and most frustrating things about the game: high costs, the prospect of improvement, and making decisions when your head and heart want different things. In this lesson, I’ll lay out some straightforward guidelines for when to buy new clubs and offer some thoughts on getting the most for your money.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You play golf
Let’s start with the two most cut-and-dried parts of the equipment replacement decision: club wear and technological advancement. If a club is no longer performing the way you want because it’s worn out, it should be replaced. Similarly, you don’t want to be swinging persimmon when everyone else in your group has titanium. Of course, all these suggestions will vary based on how much you play, so treat them as starting points
Unless you’re a long drive professional, caving in a driver is nearly impossible. In fact, some people theorize that drivers actually get hotter as they age because the face thins out very slightly.
When it comes to technology change, the driver is where people fear being left behind. Don’t. There are not massive improvements in any OEMs drivers year over year. Checking in every two to three years is plenty.
Fairway Woods & Hybrids
Similar to drivers, it’s unlikely you’ll wear out a fairway wood or hybrid head. However, if you use one of these clubs multiple times per round, you might take shaft wear into account after several years.
Fairway woods and hybrids have blossomed technologically in the last few years. I would expect that trend to level off, but if your long game clubs are more than three or four years old, you should check out the new stuff.
Unless you play a ton and shut down the range nightly, there’s no reason a set of irons shouldn’t last five to ten years. In terms of tech, it depends what you want in your irons. If you play traditional forged irons, nothing substantial has changed in decades. However, if you’re looking for the new thin-faced, low spinning, high MOI super game improvement clubs, you’re likely to see changes every three to five years.
Tour pros are reputed to change wedges frequently, so many amateurs like to follow suit. In my experience, the average recreational golfer is wasting their money changing wedges annually. Unless you’re a regular in the short game area, your wedges should last two or three years before you see much loss of spin.
Wedge tech is similar to irons. If you like a traditional blade wedge, you don’t need to worry about technology. If you want a modern cavity back wedge with more MOI and precise CG, it’s worth checking in every three to five years.
Never. If you have a putter that works, never get rid of it. It won’t wear out (barring abuse), and while there have been improvements in putter design over the years, boatloads of money is still being won on Tour with putter designs that are decades old.
The Big Question
If I were going to simplify the new equipment decision down to one simple question, it would be, “Is the new stuff better?”
This is one more reason why we’re such ardent proponents of club fitting. If your current clubs are performing as well as any new options, a good fitter will tell you that. If you’re missing out on ten yards of driver carry, they’ll tell you that, too.
A good club fitter will also speed up the search process and get you back on the course with confidence. With a good fitter, you can try all the relevant new drivers/irons/etc in one session, decide what you need to do, and get back to playing golf.
Other Reasons to Change
It’s worth acknowledging that there are reasons besides improved performance for changing clubs. Sometimes, especially with a putter, you just want a fresh look. If you’ve lost confidence in a club, there’s nothing wrong with trying something new.
There’s also no denying that new clubs are fun. If changing equipment is part of the fun of golf for you, by all means, play three different drivers in a month. Try switching from your SGI irons to blades. See if that new mallet putter can actually help your putting.
While there are no “bad” reasons to get new clubs, I would suggest that you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” If you’re chasing improved performance and not getting fit, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. However, if you’re honest with yourself about your reasons for changing and the process you’re using, you’re unlikely to make a mistake.
When do you change golf clubs?
Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)
- Wilson Dynapower Irons Review - June 8, 2023
- Podcast Episode 189 – Upgrade Your Golf Practice - June 7, 2023
- 2023 Adams IDEA Irons Review - June 5, 2023
I agree in theory with all of this. The issue I have is with the fitting part.
I’ve been fitted a few times, including multiple times by the same place (my town’s premier fitters) since I wanted to get Trackman numbers.
At each of these fittings they have recommended I change to the latest driver/irons/hybrid etc.
Even though, according to the driver numbers, the Callaway GBB I had four years ago produced almost identical numbers to the Cobra F9 I was just fitted into.
Iron fittings have produced a different head and shaft recommendation every time.
The basic Mizuno shaft test is at least consistent.
It is all very well saying ‘get fitted’. But if fitting isn’t repeatable across different sessions at the same fitter, let alone different fitters, it is no more scientific than reading goat entrails.
And don’t get me started on putter fitting.
While your fitting may not be repeatable across different sessions, I don’t think it’s correct to generalize that across all golfers. Also, even if we agree that fitting is not 100% perfect or scientific (it involves humans performing a very difficult activity, so I don’t think that’s a fair goal anyway), what’s the better alternative?
Totally agree , I had three fittings with the same brand at different fitting days and each was a different result.
I dont think fitting is that important for amateurs as our swings and indeed swing speeds aren’t consistent enough.
Even lie angles were all different in my fittings
Thank you for a “good” primer on “when to buy new golf clubs”. A very intriguing exercise for many golfers of all levels.
I have some past experience in building golf clubs and find the “industry” without standards on several components of a golf clubs very “frustrating” for many golfers. This confusion is done by manufacturers on purpose to confuse buyers and increase sales. I want companies to make money – but like other industries, please standardize shaft flexes so that a stiff or regular has the same industry rating among manufacturers. I want even touch on component companies!
In my view, Golfworks has had the most researched data on lots of shafts and other components, training classes, videos for those that have an interest.
As you noted, some of us like to “tinker” with new clubs, shafts, heads, grips..etc. I want to learn more about golf all my life.
In regards to fitting, we have so much flexibility today on adjustable heads, better shafts, hot three woods, and irons today and definitely make golfing more fun!
I am a board member of a 200+ men’s golf league in Overland Park, Kansas and on our Facebook – I try to share knowledge and other helpful information to our members and plan to share yours.
Thanks for your help. Please have a “super” 2020 golf season.
Totally agree. Spent many $$$ getting fitted and the fitting numbers never showed up on the course. $100 for a putter fitting and $220 for a new putter and three years later I’m using a 25 year old putter instead. I personally think you would have just as much success going to a demo day and or trying out clubs in places like golf galaxy that have a simulator. Likely get the same results and save lots of money
Agree…..The only time I was fitted I traded them in after only three rounds. Lost 1200 dollars.
I’m ocd I change to new irons every two years and actually I went through two sets this year bought cobra in July switched to pxg in November and I switch my driver every year. I usually sell my driver and by the same one there’s something about brand new clubs especially driver idk I’m weird.
I still play my 1973 Wilson staff blades-any reason to change? Should I drop the 1 iron for a hybrid?
If the Wilsons are getting the job done and you’re happy with them, I’m certainly not going to tell you that you need to change. That said, there’s no doubt that a modern iron will be more forgiving to your mishits.
You are right about the putter. I am 65 still playing with the same putter from when I was 15,a Lynx blade!
I agree with everything you said. I recently upgraded my 3W and hybrid. Mine were over 10 years old. And I got a golf lesson thrown in which showed me how my swing has changed over the years.
Thanks for this. I was starting to think that maybe I needed new clubs. I bought (When they were latest thing out) Cobra S3 Super improvement clubs (3&4H 5iron to gap W.) loved them. However, down the track my game deteriorated and like others I blamed the clubs. It had nothing to do with having 2 brand new knees and now being 20mm taller (geez the air is thin up here).
C’mon guys read the tech rules re COR plus other elements.
AND look in the mirror.
10 years ago I tested an Adams 9.5 UL 9088. Fell in love with it. Just was outta my price range. I bought a Fast 10 instead. 5 years later I put a TM SLDR 9.5 in the bag with a matching 3W. 3 weeks ago I happened across a Brand New 9088 on eBay for $50. I bought it. I increased my distance from 240 to 256 just like that. It’s in my bag. I still have the SLDR 3w, an Armour 23* 7w, An Adams Boxer 18* Utility. I bought 4 Cleveland CG12 Wedges 60, 54, 50, 46. I do keep the grooves sharp. I switched 4 years ago from a 72 PING Anser to A Kia Ma Daytona with an agsi insert. I love it. Now for the rub in 1989 I purchased a set of Spalding Cavity Back Tour Edition Redlines to take the place of my Spalding Tour Edition Bird on Ball muscle back blades because I just wasn’t playing enough to hit them consistently. Those Redlines are still in my bag and they still perform at a high level. I am now on the 4th shafts Tt DG 100s. I started with TT DG 400s. I’ve hit everything Nothing performs like them for me. So there you go
Great article. I just redid my bag. Driver three years old, and got 10 more yards from the newbie. My dearly beloved Srixon Irons were Srixons one and only Super Game Improvement Irons Srixon ever mafe, (Z-335’s). They continuously whooped new competition in my side by side testing 4 years running. Here we are 5 years later and BOOM. New Irons. Hybrids replaced right on time as well. I did have to change my 3 year in the bag putter because we had to overhaul my stroke. The only oldies in the bag are my fairways. A pair of the way ahead if their time Adams 9032 Ti’s. I re-shafted them 3 years ago, and they are still keeping up with everything from last year, but maybe 2020 will see me finally replacing them as well. Great article, and spot on with the time line. Never hurts when your swing coach is also your fitter.
Great writeup. I was looking for a new feel with my clubs, and would also like a black shaft. If I wanted to change from the KBS C-Taper Lite to the True Temper AMT is there a noticeable difference as far as feel goes? The gradual change in weight sounds appealing, and perhaps the heavier shafts toward my 8,9,PW would help me flight down the ball a bit. Seems like a reasonable $116 investment.
There’s a noticeable difference in feel to me, but the only way to know if you will find a meaningful difference would be to try both shafts with a fitter.
Something not mentioned in the article is the need to change clubs as you age and your swing speed slows down. I just finishing transitioning to regular flex shafts as I entered my 60’s and I learned I probably should .have done so sooner. I didn’t go with much brand new stuff but chose a combination of clones and new and used name brand clubs which first came out between 3 and 5 years ago. So far so good and I didn’t break the bank to upgrade my bag. As for keeping a good putter, I absolutely agree. I have several putters which I switch out every year or two to change things up. The newest is 14 years old and the oldest is a 70’s model Ping which my father gave me. Interesting read.
I think outdoor “eyeball” testing is more valuable by far than LM alone. The numbers can verify what you see and feel, but can lead to disaster on their own. I’m thinking specifically about the “big box” fitting experience. I know a good fitter can work wonders from rhe data.
I agree with your findings for the most part. I have been fitted and feel it is an important part of the buying process, but at the end of the day the fitting companies are out to make money and I find it becomes a sales push. When is the last time they said one of the free shaft upgrades the OEM offers “suited your game”?
I still game TaylorMade V-Steel fairway woods. Carry my 3 wood 260, not impressive distance but gets the job done for me. Is 10 more yards worth the $300 + shaft + fitting cost? For me, at this time, no. I’ll swap out the shafts after reading this article. I changed them to Aldila’s years ago so they’re most likely due.
The best takeaway is the “why am I doing this?” Like life in most aspects, figure out your why and the decision becomes easy.
Great articles as always! Thanks
I bought new Mizuno JPX 900 forged Irons when they were released and was fitted at a major golf retailer that went bankrupt a few years ago, you can figure out who that was. Anyway the fitting was a bad one. I have a slow swing and wanted graphite shafts. The fitter told me that that would be an up cost. I was sure that Mizuno had one or two graphite shafts at standard cost but thought the fitter must know what he’s talking about. In the end he fitted me to Dynamic Gold AMT shafts, the heaviest shafts on the market. Of course a few weeks later the company declared bankruptcy and went out of business so I had no recourse. I’ve been trying to adjust to the irons ever since instead of having them adjusted to me. It was a once in a lifetime purchase and I don’t have the money to have another fitting and have new shafts put in. My fitting was a total disaster and one of the major disappointments of my life.
A lot of what you are saying makes sense I have mazuno MX 900 irons i have had for over 10 years. still working well.
A timely article in the height of new for everyone 2020 announcements. I know that I need to be fitted as all the gear I have is based on what I “think” is right. My clubs are older, not persimmon/blade old, but cavity balanced (TA 845s or Titleist 962), non-adjustable driver (TM SLDR C or TM 580R) and fairways (also TM). The putter is an older Odyssey that I love. What will a fitting do for me? Certainly not new clubs but maybe a better head/shaft combination for more optimal distance.
When your wallet can afford new clubs. Nothing like buying new clubs with the pressure of wanting them to be light years better. Ain’t gonna happen !!!
From my perspective fittings are correlated to how consistent you are (posture, swing path, etc.). For a professional, fittings are necessary but for weekend players my guess is that fittings will change as you get better (the general assumption is that you do over time right?). My changing to a new set of irons last year was because I wanted to upgrade my irons to a set that I perceived to be better and because my “fitting” on my first set of irons really messed me up with shorter shaft lengths and shafts that no longer match my swing speeds. The new set of irons was off the shelf modified by lie angle only and they play well for me.
It’s a very common misconception that only “better” players benefit from being fit. A more skilled player can adapt to a club that doesn’t suit their height/proportions/tempo/etc. It’s the higher handicap player who can see the most immediate benefit from having a club tailored to their body and swing. Also, the idea that players’ swings change over time is dramatically overstated. It can and does happen, yes, but the it takes a huge amount of time and work.
I do love testing the latest greatest each year, and occasionally see some consistency improvements with some of the woods and hybrids, but very little significant change with the other clubs. I certainly enjoy testing the new types of wedges to see how the higher cavity backs stack up against the blades, and how the Super Game Improvement, Game Improvement, Players Distance and Players irons feel and perform. No doubt, those SGI, GI and PD’s send that ball a long way, which is great for the ego, but they sure don’t give me the accuracy, workability and stopping power I expect and desire with my Player’s irons, but still fun to hit and go, Wow!
I regularly take out my 50 year old Hogan Irons (blades, of course) and Persimmon woods to keep my game honest and to truly determine if a half century of changes has made a significant difference. The real changes I have seen are with the Driver, Fairway “Woods” along with the addition of the hybrids. The other significant change is the shafts. I keep a number of clubs from intermediate decades to see if they make any difference too, and that includes a wide variety of putters from each decade. But, above all, it’s the ball. No comparison. Swing hard on one of those liquid filled, rubber band wound, balata balls and start heading for the woods to find it. They’re impossible. And those balls were a giant leap of technology over the gotta perchas, which were an even wildly radical departure from the leather covered “featheries”.
Find an old Ping Eye wood driver with the early graphite shaft, or the original oversized Big Bertha driver, which were massive changes from the persimmons with steel shafts, or even one of the early 460cc drivers with the older shafts and see how difficult they are to hit compared to our 460cc drivers of today with the new graphite shafts. Yeah, they all send the ball out there, pretty close to the distance you see today, but you have to be much more cognizant of hitting it on the center of the face to see that happen. And there’s a reason why you don’t see any touring pros playing those old clubs, and it’s not just because they have paid sponsorships. It’s because these new clubs work with a much higher consistency than any of those older clubs.
Every year, I have thought to myself, how much better can these clubs really get? And they actually did for a few decades, that is up until now I believe. With the number of brilliant engineers, new metallurgy, synthetic composites, laser accuracy, milling process and computer aided design applied to each new club and ball, that line is moving slower and slower towards improvement and in smaller increments than in previous years. Will there be a new equivalent to the Big Bertha driver, a new Nike composite ball, a new Ping Anser putter? That’s hard to say, but alas, I was saying that about the 911 Porsche in 1966, and now they are cute antiques.
The quality control is greater than ever (yet Callaway had serious problems with their Chrome Soft ball this year), and there are only so many options to be had for any swing. The only real area of improvement is as it has always been in this ridiculous game – it’s the swing. And as some of the greats like Arnie, Lee Trevino, and Gary Player put it in one form or another, never blame it on your swing, blame it on something else, which is why there will always be an informercial to watch at 2 a.m. telling me this club will take strokes off my game, and those clubs sell by the millions (and no, if you’re asking, I haven’t fallen for a chipper, an Alien sand saver, or a self-aligning putter, puh-lease).
Believe me, I love those shiny new Titleist 620 MBs smiling at me, along with that new TS2 driver waving at me from the bag. I know that every shaft of every club is hand-picked, aligned and tuned to my swing. I have a virtual wall of putters that I choose from each time I load up my bag (from my collection of bags). I try every premium ball each year, to determine which one has the privilege to play with me for the season, and even then, I may switch over just to see if it might make a difference. My gal just shakes her head and rolls her eyes each time a new club length box arrives at our doorstep, as I casually race down to my man cave to unwrap my new toy. And our mailman, Smitty, just giggles with her when he drops them off. Ugh, do I need this grief?
Matt, I love your reviews, but it’s your second to last paragraph that says it all for me “…new clubs are fun…”. And the more I take interest in the game of golf and all of it’s peculiarities, the more interesting the game is to me. And what the hell else am I going to do at this age? It’s still cheaper than collecting fine automobiles, stabling horses and sailing. And yeah, I’ve done those things too.
So, shut the door, bring out the Playboys, pour the whisky, light up the Cohibas. You gotta promise you can’t say anything to my wife, and god don’t tell yours. Check this out! What the….you got one of those? Cool…what other toys ya got? Let’s face it, we love this game, and we are still just boys at heart. So, check out this Scotty I picked up on eBay.
I best response IMHO! I love your attitude man!
I’m losing yardage. An example is my 9 iron my biggest hit was around 160 yds, I’ve onky managed this a handful off times. I reckon my average when hit well would be about 125 yds. My problem now is I’m struggling to get 100 yds out of it. My irons are Wilson d250s. Not top of the range I know but that shouldn’t be an excuse. My swing has also improved and I feel a lot more comfortable hitting the ball, sometimes lol I guess my question is are my irons done?
Your 9I dropping from 160 to 100 yards is quite dramatic. Are there no other factors – loss of swing speed, injury, etc? If there’s nothing else that could be causing it, then, yes, I would look at the clubs.
This talk of changing clubs is purely what the top off manufacturers want.
My irons are ping isi copper
My 2 hybrids are 15 year old Conrad
My wedges are worth £5 each
My putter maybe £10
My handicap is 8
My son has the other half of my isi irons
His driver is a 6 year old Taylormadeb8ned
He plays off of 2
Combined value £150 including bags
The best thing to do is to LEARN to play golf properly. An average golfer can very well adapt his play with decent standard sets.
As for drivers, I generally agree– you can’t make the faces hotter or it will be non-conforming. But what about driver shafts? As I get older (I am 52) I am currently experimenting with a Project X T800 to replace the original Aldila Synergy– same weight, but generally a higher launch.
There are certainly improvements in shaft technology over time, but year over year we’re just seeing incremental gains. The real key with a shaft is being properly fit. Look at Henrik Stenson’s 3W that he played forever – same head, same shaft year after year because it worked.
When should I change to graphite shafts
When graphite shafts offer a performance or feel advantage over steel for you. If you’re thinking about it, go see a fitter and try some graphite shafts against steel.
Great article. Thank you for it. I have been rocking Ping Eye 2 irons for years. Distance is not the issue for me, rather (and not surprisingly) accuracy and precision. I am not certain that new clubs are going to be a huge help for me. I have even thought about purchasing a newer gently used set of irons to see if the hype is worth buying new clubs. Just not sure. Appreciate your thoughts.
I have many friends who refuse to consider new clubs because they are “comfortable” and play well with their 20-year-old clubs. Some of them have handicaps under 5. I often wonder how much they might improve with new technology.
It’s said putters don’t wear out. We’ll I have had a centre shaft two ball since they came on the market. I loved it. The white insert face started cracking and flaking. Odyssey refused to put a new insert in. The told me to buy a new putter. So much for their customer service.
40 or more clubs 4 sale
Good thoughts Matt. Question please: I am 60 and some (156) months of age. Two years ago I was on a 9 handicap and now on a 15 and finding it difficult to keep there. I m quite fit except for a lower back issue. I have Titleist 718 AP! irons with the TT Standard RED regular AMT shafts. Would moving to a graphite more GI (I read forgiving) iron (say like G410 pings or equivalent) offer much of an improvement in that I could “swing easier” with similar results? thanks, Mark
The primary benefits of a GI iron are that the ball will go farther on mishits, the ball will launch higher on thin strikes, and, usually, the lofts are stronger which means more distance.
Ultimately, the best answer is to go see a fitter, test some new irons against yours, and see if the results are better.
You forgot the main reason to change clubs is to match your set to your improving game. There are at least four classes of irons today, ranging from high offset cast cavity backs to forged musclebacks. As your game improves you need to try the next level of clubs. You just may be surprised by how much better you play with them than with the old ones you think you are comfortable with. .
Spend the money on a few lessons and maybe practice a little more, Forget the marketing bull shit, today’s 5 irons have the same loft that 3 irons had 40 years ago. Hogan has it right with just lofts on their irons.
Lessons and club fitting are not mutually exclusive.
I was with you right up until…
“However, if you use one of these clubs multiple times per round, you might take shaft wear into account after several years.”
A friend and I started playing golf again after a 20 year hiatus. He’s still using the clubs from then, and mine are as well though the kids have left them in less than good condition. While we were pretty rusty, we still hit the ball OK I guess. He was having problems with the driver, completely missing the ball even, so he goes out and gets a new Callaway Epic driver. Nice looking, adjustable, and he certainly hits the ball better. He still slices, though and his drives are almost the same distance as mine with a 20 year old driver. I went to a large, well known golf store and it was golf club overload. All the different brands and different designs all promising to hit further and more forgiveness to go straighter and be more consistent. I walked out of there thinking I would just be buying a name because at my level any of those clubs would be an improvement. That got me to thinking that if I buy forgiveness then that is stealing away from my ability to “learn” how to golf. I won’t necessarily correct my swing if the club is correcting it for me. I won’t work on swinging faster (not harder) if the club does that for me, though I do like the availability of more angles in wedges. So, for me, when I go out, I’m not out to win the field or even compete against my buddy. I’m out to play golf, to enjoy being on the course and hitting those shots that make you watch floating away while saying WOW! If I hit a bad shot, no biggie, there’s more golf down the fairway. Once I realized that I simply wanted to enjoy the day, I ended up buying a used set of copper clubs…mostly cause they matched my bag. I finally got to take them out the other day, I live in Michigan, and I used every iron 1 through 9, P and S, including my $5 left handed Louisville Rocket Grand Slam 9 iron I practice with for when I am stuck behind a tree. All day, every hole I hit just as well as he did, and my shots were pretty consistent. I hit one drive that went straight off at a 45 degree angle…I adjusted my lie and the next ball went straight as an arrow…that to me is golf. Maybe down the road I will need or want something but I’m in no hurry.
I am such a golf equipment geek that I love reading articles like this – along with the responses.
Personally, I wish that most middle handicappers were as “in touch” with their equipment needs as I am. (No boasting intended.) I look at my bag as a golfing “tool box”…. and from time to time if I feel like there is a tool (club) out there that will give me either some improvement – or, just some added satisfaction….I will give it a try. I actually have buddies who look to me to give them advice and direction on help with their equipment.
Having played for many years – I feel like I understand what works for me and my game. Sometimes . . . solutions in equipment needs ARE NOT typical “standards.” Some examples of what I mean are: not every slow swinging senior needs “senior” shafts. Not every putter who prefers a “straight back – straight thru” stroke needs a face balanced putter. By all means, the new hybrid craze IS NOT the answer for many golfers.
I have begun to categorize players into two groups. . . they either seem more proficient in using irons OR better with wood / hybrid headed clubs. Some of this has to do with swing style.
I would encourage people to contemplate weaknesses and strengths in their games . . . and think thru in their minds what kind of help they need. I realize few typically average golfers are gonna attempt this . . . but, it can benefit.
Illustration – have you ever fixed a swing flaw IN YOUR MIND – away from the course. . ? We can help ourselves – in our golf games – far better than many imagine!
“Shaft wear” jumped out at me as being a factor I don’t know much about and have never experienced to my knowledge. Would like to hear some details about symptoms, etc. Thanks, I enjoyed this article and the comments.
Great article. I am somewhat of an equipment geek as well, and probably shouldn’t buy as much stuff as I do, but, hey, it’s bordering on an obsession. Probably why I have all my new stuff shipped to work instead of home so I don’t end up in the dog house.
After a 17 year absence, I started playing golf again in 2012 after a friend gifted me an old set of Big Bertha irons. I got a knock off driver and some no name fairways and played with a putter that was basically a novelty item, but it played well. After a year, I bought some used Ping Eye2 irons and they immediately elevated my game. Played with these for a couple of years until I switched to TM Speedblades. Couldn’t hit mid or long irons consistently, so I replaced those longer irons with Ping G25 high lofted hybrids, which totally gave my game some credibility. Couple more years, I invested in the TM M4’s which (again) brought me to the apex of my handicap (10.2). Now, I wanted two complete sets of clubs, one for travel and one for home, so last month, I delved into the world of PXG 0211’s since they give a hefty discount to veterans.
So, travel bag is all TM M4 (driver, fairways, irons) and wedges are TM High Toe. Travel putter is TM MySpider custom.
Regular bag is PXG Driver 0811XF, TM SIM Rescue, TM GAPR 4iron, Titleist U510 driving iron, PXG 0211 5-PW, Callaway MD5 wedges (50, 54, 60) and Scotty Cameron California Del Mar putter.
My point is, if you feel that new clubs give you that confidence, buy a club or two and test them out on your own. If you like the feel, invest. I’ve bought many one off clubs before and they didn’t feel comfortable in my game, so I would sell them to friends or what not. The lofts on my PXG’s are weaker and the they feel “softer” (imagine Ping Beryllium’s you will get my drift). Granted I have only played a few rounds with the PXG’s, but I’ll give them their due.
Putter will never change. I’ll always stay with my SC. In fact, I told my wife that when it’s my time to leave the earth, I could care less about any other golf equipment I have, but that Scotty goes to our oldest son. He’ll be able to use that forever.
Keep swingin’ y’all.
Hi Matt, I currently have four sets of irons. I still have my Adams A7 irons, a set of Cobra Blue Bio Cell irons stiff and a set of silver Cell irons regular steel, and just upgraded to the Cobra F6 irons. I’m looking to upgrade one set to Cobra F7 irons. I currently have them in regular steel (the 4 iron and gap wedge). Would it make more sense to just focus on the F6 and F7 irons and keep my better set of the Cobra Bio Cell irons and sell the A7s and regular steel Bio Cells? I do have regular steel in the F6 iron set and stiff steel in the A7 irons. What you’re saying sounds logical. That way I might not need to necessarily upgrade to the F8 irons as well…but it will largely depend on how well I play the F6s and F7s. For me right now, the F6s and F7s are an upgrade. I am also borderline regular/stiff steel and have mixed stiff and regular steel in the Bio Cell irons with good success. So even with leaning more towards stiff steel, that doesn’t mean I will eliminate playing the F6 irons. What are your thoughts?
That is a lot to process Gerald. Upgrading to older models only seems logical if you’ve hit them and love them. But first, please zero in on a shaft that will perform for you regardless of the head.
In reviewing what a playing partner whom I played with and worked with regularly this past summer was saying, he was noticing that when I tried to make solid contact with a stiff steel shaft, I was overcompensating and fighting to avoid my past slice issues. With a regular steel set of irons, I wouldn’t need to hit too hard and the tempo in a regular steel set of irons would be a better fit. The difference would be in the wedges, where I don’t see the difference I would see in regular steel versus stiff steel, especially in the lower irons. I seem to be able to attack the ball better with regular steel than with stiff steel.
As always, thanks for your common sense perspective. I truly believe that trying new clubs out on the golf course as apposed to the synthetic mats and screen is the best way to go. Unfortunately most stores will not let you do this. This results in a lot of trial and error, which in turn, means lots of clubs in my basement or clubs that are traded in for the next experiment.
The question is, how do you know if it’s you or the clubs? Yes, I’ve lost some distance on my 22 year old MacGregor v foil 350cc driver, and a fair amount. is is that my age (63), or is that my driver? Let’s not talk about the fact that a little over a year ago I had a widow-maker heart attack and was dead for five minutes…I’ve been able to play a lot during the shutdown and I’m getting some of that distance back, but something tells me I won’t be getting it all back (I used to average 290). Same goes for my 22 year old snake eyes forge blades. They’re wonderful, but they’re not as long as they used to be, and I believe much of that is me.
That said, I did get a chance to try out some new TaylorMade blades and the first thing I noticed was that they’re a heck of a lot lighter, which might be reason enough to invest in some new irons, blades of course. I completely agree that when it comes to putters I say dance with the one that brought you. I’m kind of a curmudgeon and I don’t like to stop using something just because it’s old, so I will probably keep the old MacGregor v foil driver and 3-wood and maybe invest in some of those new Hogan Icon blades. Thanks so much for a really informative and unvarnished answer..
The way to know for sure is to take your clubs to a high quality fitter and compare them against what’s new. I can almost guarantee that new clubs will be longer and better than what you currently have.
When your 22yr. old son decides that now is a great time to take up golf, and he likes your clubs… it’s the perfect time to get new ones. My wife even agreed. Off to get fitted today.
The best improvement in golf are the hybrid clubs. So much easier to hit than long irons. If matched up with the proper shaft, those long par 4s become manageable. The driver should always be matched up according to swing speed. Technology allows the golfer to “cheat” and place weights to offset tendencies. Irons should have feedback enough for a minimum dispersion of distance and accuracy. For me, I like irons with at least a 10 yard distance difference as I move up or down the bag. The wedges must have good feel and even more feedback as to the shot.. What went wrong, what you did right. The flight of the ball and the control to keep the ball on the low side of the hole. The ball must be soft enough for this to occur, but long enough to get there or close enough in regulation. I won’t play distance rock balls. Can’t score with those. Ball must be butter off the putter. I like the vice tour pro or the titleist pro v. 1x . Control and predictability is the key to a pretty scorecard.
It has always been a real pain to make this decision. When should I actually change my golf clubs? Should I buy new golf clubs or should I keep playing with this one or should I buy a whole new golf set. thank you for explaining all the matters. I think I now understand when to replace my golf clubs.
Great post, but golf companies and all those youtubers and shops will hate it cause you are saying the truth.
But really nice to read this king of honnest non commercial post.
Thank you, I think a bit like that , I bought many sets on ebay, have an old big bertha driver and put shafts that are 3 years old played by the pros 3 years ago and I am really enjoying.
I think there are some changes to make on some irons shafts that I need to try and it will not cost a fortune .
Thank you again
HDCP 3, played 55 years, high school, college, amateur circuit a few years in my 20’s-30’s, as an adult I’ve only had 2 putters, 2 drivers, 2 sets of irons, 4 sand wedges, never a loft wedge (you don’t need one, learn to hit a lob with your SW). 1st iron set for 25 years, 2nd set is now 14 years old. My 1st driver, persimmon I built myself at 18, I retired it just 12 years ago when I got my first metal driver, Callaway HyperX, the driver I still use today. Unusual? I suppose, but it worked for me, now in my 60’s, still bang it out there 285 carry distance, 300+ with roll, keep a single digit HDCP, and play weekly. Do miss the competitive side of the game though.
Bought a new driver(Ping g410 SFT)in the spring of this year, and I AM finding the fairway on every drive now. Kept my 3-wood, which is an Cally Diablo Octane fairway. It has been literally the only 3 wood I could hit of the deck. Kept 2 older hybrids, an 18* and a 21* Snake Eyes Vipers, that do their job to this day. First clubs I bought with weighted tech. Still work! I played Cally X-20’s for the last 10 years with limited success, but, I bought them. I played them. Recently bought the Reva hybrid iron set from Giga Golf. Sold the x-20’s before I got them! Man, gotta tell you, if you have not played an entire set of hybrids, from a 4 at 24* down to the PW at 46*, and you struggle with your game playing irons, you don’t know what your game is capable of! Played 2 rounds with these great clubs, and next year my game is looking up. That being said, dropped my 3 wedge set-up(52*,56*,60*) of Cleveland 900’s that have in my bag for at least 13 years plus, and bought 2 Cleveland CBX2’S, at 52* and 58*. What a difference this is going to make in my short game, and they feel so sweet when you chip and pitch around the green. Finished off my bag remake with a new Cleveland Huntington Beach 11c mallet putter. The c is for center shafted, and it is a game changer for me. Little more practice and game play, and I will be sinking a lot more putts, at least picking up a stroke on every green. Distance control is great with this putter, after playing the same putter(Carbide ZH) for 20 years. Spent close to $1,000, but I have not done an upgrade in quite some time, and I am excited for next season to roll around here in the Chicago area. I spread the spending out through the year, and did a lot of research, and talking to people that work at PGA SS, and Dick’s SG, found the guys that are the certified store pros, and picked their brains on certain clubs. Looking to next season!
Having worked as a club fitter for a number of years I think it is very important that people get fitted properly. Proper length of golf club lie angle and a shaft that is suitable to the swing speed of the player can certainly get the player pointed in the right direction. Too often players get caught up in the hype of the advertisement believing that the mere purchase of the club will bring about better results. That clearly is a misconception. I have maintained a handicap of between 4 and 6 for most of my playing years and now at 71 I continue to do it. Proper clubs are a start to a better game, but the follow up is to develop good golf habits and a practice routine that will lead to better results on the course, otherwise it is a waste of money getting new clubs other then the bragging rights you have when you let your buddies know of your new purchase.
Has anybody ever been to a fitter who has said ‘your existing clubs are perfect for you, you don’t need new ones ?’
Fitting is a sales technique to persuade you to buy new clubs.
For the average mid to high handicapped the money would be better spent on lessons.
It sounds like you either A) teach for a living or B) had a really bad fitting experience.
The fitters at Club Champion show the players all the data and let them decide if new clubs are worth it. The fitters I know have often told players that they can’t buy superior performance and should stick with their own clubs. I watched just such a fitting about two hours ago.
I have played stiff shaft for years. I left my 9 iron and had to use my wifes, with Men’s senior flex. I hit the middle of the green. I then used her irons the rest of the day and hit more greens . It become clear to me, I am not young anymore , put my ego aside and use a more flexible shaft.
Great and more deep resources, it’s the best place to learn golf ideas.
In general, it’s recommended that golfers replace their irons every 3-5 years or every 300 rounds in order to address wear and tear and keep pace with the changes in club manufacturing technology. However, whether or not you need to upgrade your irons depends on a few key factors.
I don’t know too many golfers playing 80-100 rounds/year, and I’m pretty skeptical of “keeping pace” with technology in irons.
I’ve been playing 5 years. I’m 71 and in decent shape. One of the great things about starting late in life is that your game gets better…not worse! So…I recently went through having 2 fittings, both with what seemed to be competent fitters. I listened to both fitters and got the clubs. I decided, on my own, to replace the clubs they suggested after several rounds. The clubs I’m using were not even on their top 10 list. I’m now using 2 sets…Callaway X Forged 21 with graphite regular shafts (MMT) and a combination a 2nd set of Callaway Apex 21 (DCB, 4 and 5 iron) Apex 21, (6 and 7 iron) and Apex 21 pro 8,9,p,a All the shafts on this set are steelfiber 80. Both sets were bought on instinct and as a “deal” ( I did learn from the fitting that 2 degrees flat was a good idea, regular length, not longer for graphite shafts). And I started using a softer ball. I watched a lot of youtube videos and read a ton of articles. I really did a lot of work and a lot of thinking about many golf issues, i.e. strategy, short game, breathing, focus, approach, etc. As you all know there is more to know than I could possibly ever imagined.
I knew that I would improve and that a game improvement iron would reduce something…that something being more precise in my setup, my swing, my concentration, and my execution.
I would say that the “Fitting Process” was very, very helpful…it got me to understand that the fitter wasn’t really going to do the work…it was me!
I had the exact same experience as a kid. I took a few guitar lessons and realized that I was going to have to do the work. I loved the guitar and got a lot better because I simply worked at it.
I think that developing confidence in your self is a really good thing. It’s not anti science or anti fitting…it’s a much more organic thing…finding out what’s right for you and why.
Sorry this was so long, HA!
btw, I LOVE plugged in golf
Was a fitter for 30 years,nothing wil change unless a commitment to getting instruction and and quality practise happen
I’m 15 and I use a bubble shaft OG burner from 1998, it’s a 5 iron. I shutdown the ballpark with the hitting distances on that thing, when I overhear people talking about how their new tech makes them hit further, I pull out my 20 year old clubs and destroy everyone at the range. :laughingface: