If you're in the market for golf clubs and you don't have the big bucks required for new name brand clubs you might be considering used golf clubs. Maybe you think you'll save money, get better technology or just find better clubs than you have now. What if I told you might be wrong on all counts.
If you have old or hand-me-down clubs, sure you probably can find new technology. That's a given. Especially if you are looking for hybrid long iron replacements or a new large headed driver. These new clubs are much better than versions from just five years ago. They are more forgiving and probably will hit the ball a bit longer than what you've been using.
If you are playing with irons that have no perimeter weighting or not much offset or thin toplines, then there are definitely game improvement irons out there that will hit the ball straighter, higher and with better consistency. You'd be a fool not to try them and get them in your bag.
So what's wrong with used golf clubs you ask?
Well nothing. . . maybe. If the used clubs you find are right for your game and fit for your body size and swing speed and swing type, you just might get lucky. But what if they're not? What if they're too long, too short, too stiff, too flexible? What if the grips are not the right size and the driver loft is not enough for your swing speed? What if the lie of the clubs will make you tend to hit the ball to the left or right?
The point is. . . , b>getting the right golf clubs for you requires some fitting. Fitting means having clubs that are adjusted for your height, swing speed, hand size, and typical ball flight. Without clubs that have been adjusted you might just be throwing away your money.
You also want to make sure that your clubs have the right head type for your game. That means if you are a beginner, a woman, or just someone who doesn't play very much, you want forgiving clubs with heads that have game improvement features like maximum perimeter weighting, hosel offset, a wide sole and thick topline. These features help make shots more consistent with greater height and distance. . . especially if you don't hit the ball with the center of the clubface.
Is the shaft right for you? The right shaft will help maximize distance and get the ball up higher especially for slower swing speeds like women, seniors and juniors. You can also find shafts that compensate for low or high ball flight. The wrong shaft could make the ball go low, short and to the right. Sound familiar?
If you are tall or short you may need to get the lies adjusted in your irons. This will make sure the bottom of the club stays flat with the ground during contact. If it isn't. . . if the toe or heel is up in the air it may make your ball go as much as 20 yards offline.
If your new driver has too little loft you may lose as much as 20-30 yards from your drives. New scientific testing has proved that most amateurs are playing with clubs that have too little loft. How do you know what is right for you? You need some fitting.
A correct fitting system will ask questions like. . . what is your height? What is your wrist to floor measurement? What is your hand size? How far do you hit your driver and your five iron typically? If these questions aren't being asked then you may not be getting clubs that are right for you and your game.
Suppose you find used clubs that seem to have all these adjustments that you need. What happens if you find that they don't? Can you take them back? What happens if they break after six months. . . can they be fixed for free? Probably not. No warranty or return policy with used clubs most of the time.
So what's the alternative?
Did you know. . . ? You can buy brand new clubs with a 1 year guarantee and a 30 day money back return policy (and you can try the clubs out). You can get custom fitted and get the exact right club length for your body, get the lie adjusted for free, get the right shaft for your swing speed, and choose from a variety of brand new, first quality grips and shafts. . . all for less than you could pay for a used set of clubs.
That's what you can get with a good online custom clone retailer. It's worth taking a look before you put out that money on clubs that may not be right for you. After all. . . who doesn't want clubs that were made just for them? I guarantee it will help your game and make it more fun.
Rick Hart is a long time golfer and owner of Golf Club Revue where he puts the spotlight on golf clubs.