Hey, I’m right there with you, always on the hunt for new equipment, but not wanting to pay $500+ for a new driver, or $2k for this year’s latest irons. Been there, done that, and I’m here to tell you it’s not fun for me or my wife.
But that situation always leaves you in a difficult conundrum. Do you fork out your hard-earned money for the latest and greatest clubs? Or do you search for something used, or cheaper online.
In this article we’re going to tackle those very questions to help you make the most informed buying decisions for your golf equipment in the future.
Should You Buy New or Used Golf Clubs?
There is no black and white, right or wrong answer to this question unfortunately.
The first thing to consider is what type of golf equipment you’re buying and who the manufacturer is. If you have your eyes on a new Callaway driver, you’re looking at spending north of $500. That’s a chunk of change.
But it’s also important to consider that there are plenty of other reputable manufacturers out there that make quality clubs at a much more affordable price.
If you’re dead set on buying clubs from a premium manufacturer, you can almost always save money trading in your old clubs. Many manufacturers have programs that allow you to trade in your old equipment and put the balance toward the purchase of new stuff.
Another sound strategy to buy top-shelf clubs is to simply wait until they’ve been on the market for a while. For example, most companies release their new drivers at the beginning of the year. They also know that golfers are eager to get their hands on the latest and greatest stuff, and set their prices accordingly.
But eventually, the allure of those new clubs begins to wear off, and demand drops. So do prices. A new driver that cost $600 in January might only cost $300 by the end of the year. You just have to be patient and wait.
Pros and Cons of Buying Used Golf Clubs
Like every purchasing decision you make, there are pros and cons of buying used golf clubs.
- Used clubs are almost always cheaper than new clubs.
- There’s a wide variety of used clubs on the market to fit both your game and budget.
- Used clubs are a great option for beginning golfers that don’t want or need to spend a lot of money on new clubs.
- If you purchase from a non-reputable dealer, you don’t always know what you’re getting. Clubs can either be counterfeit or arrive in worse condition than was advertised.
- You don’t always have the option to get fitted for clubs that properly suit your game and swing.
- Loft and lie angles may have changed during previous use.
- Used clubs usually don’t come with the same warranty as new clubs.
The Best Places to Buy Used Golf Clubs
Local Pro Shop
If you frequent the same course, chances are you’re familiar with the staff and operations in your local Pro Shop. The Head Pro probably knows you on a first name basis, and you’ve likely done some business with them in the past. In short, there’s an element of trust at play. You can feel confident you’re going to get a fair shake on your golf equipment here.
Most Pro Shops have the capability to fit you for equipment too. So, even if you’re looking at a set of irons that’s a couple years old, you can still go through a fitting to find out what your exact specifications are. This information is invaluable if you’re going to find used clubs best suited for your game.
Second-hand stores are another great option for finding used golf equipment. Even though their staff probably won’t be as knowledgeable as the staff at a Pro Shop, these stores generally have a substantial inventory to choose from.
If you choose to go this route for your used golf equipment, make sure you do some research ahead of time so you know what market value is. Just because you’re at a second-hand store doesn’t mean you’re always going to find bargain prices.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Websites
Most major golf manufacturers sell clubs directly to consumers from their website. The only one that has a marketplace for their used equipment is Callaway.
The other OEMs allow you to trade in your old sticks for new ones.
The main advantage of going this route is that clubs purchased directly from the manufacturer almost always come with a warranty.
In this day and age, there isn’t much you can’t find on Amazon. Used golf clubs are no exception.
They offer a wide selection of clubs made for all types of golfers. Whether you’re looking for a club that Tour players use, or want something cheap, you can find it on the website.
Amazon also allows you to click on the “About This Item” button so you can find out more about what you’re buying.
You can also filter your search between new and used products.
A lot of golfers find great deals for used golf clubs on eBay. The key is being diligent about watching the bidding price.
To make sure you know what you’re getting we recommend checking the seller’s history and rating to make sure they don’t have a reputation for selling faulty products.
There’s no shortage of online sellers for used golf equipment. Which one is best is hard to say.
But sites that specialize in golf equipment are your best options.
The key is doing some research on the history of the site and its reputation before you make a purchase.
Craigslist is the most well-known place for online classifieds. There are generally plenty of used golf clubs for sale so it shouldn’t be hard to find what you’re looking for.
Just make sure you know what you’re buying before you make a transaction. Counterfeit clubs are a common occurrence so be careful.
Facebook Marketplace is another great option to find used clubs in your area. The key is to act quickly because the best deals don’t last long.
Other Important Considerations
There’s nothing wrong with buying used golf equipment. When you go about it the right way, you can save a lot of money without sacrificing quality or performance.
But there are some important things to consider along the way though.
The golden rule when it comes to buying used golf equipment is to make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable dealer whether it’s online or at a brick-and-mortar retail outlet.
Do your research ahead of time.
If It Looks Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
We’ve all heard this before, but it’s worth repeating, especially when it comes to used golf clubs. Enough said.
Research Online Websites
As we mentioned above, there are countless online sites that sell used golf clubs. Accordingly, some are more reputable than others.
Before you buy used clubs from one of these sites, research its history. Have customers had positive experiences in the past? Or have they been burned by the site in some way or another.
You Don’t Have to Buy a Full Set
One of the biggest misconceptions about buying golf clubs online is that you have to buy an entire set. While this is certainly an option, and one that’s great for people that are just starting out, such couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Internet is full of individual used golf clubs. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s out there somewhere.
So, feel free to mix and match your bag in a way that makes the most sense for you.
Sell Your Old Clubs
Whenever you’re looking to upgrade your equipment, the easiest way to mitigate cost is to sell your old equipment or trade it in. Even though golf equipment depreciates quickly, you’d be surprised how much money you can accrue by selling your old stuff.
Check Shipping Costs
One of the most common mistakes we see when people buy used golf equipment, especially on the Internet, is forgetting to check shipping costs.
Just because a particular club seems like a great value, doesn’t mean it always is. Depending on the site or platform, shipping costs can vary widely.
Always remember to factor this into your buying decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need to Buy Used Golf Clubs?
This all depends on your motivation. Is playing the latest and greatest equipment important to you? Or do you place greater emphasis on finding a good deal?
If you fall into the latter category, buying used golf clubs is a great way to go. If you do enough research, there are plenty of deals out there.
How Do I Find a Good Second-Hand Golf Club?
As we’ve stated throughout, there are plenty of places to find second-hand golf clubs.
We recommend starting at your local Pro Shop. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, second-hand stores and the Internet are your next best options.
Are Old or New Golf Clubs Better?
Here again, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with most used golf clubs.
But if cost isn’t an issue, you might find some added performance with clubs that are brand new.
Do New Golf Clubs Really Make a Difference?
There’s no question that the new technology found in today’s golf clubs makes the game easier for golfers of all abilities.
While that might be true, just because a used club is a couple years old, doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant. As long as your clubs aren’t too dated, you should still find plenty of performance benefits.
Are 20-Year-Old Golf Clubs Any Good?
If your golf clubs are 20 years old, it’s time for an upgrade. Since those clubs were introduced, both design and technology have come a long way. The golf clubs of today are longer, easier to hit, and more customizable than clubs that are 20 years old.
Just because the best players in the world all play brand new equipment, doesn’t mean you have to as well. In reality, the guys and gals you see on television are paid to play the equipment of the game’s most prominent manufacturers.
For us mere mortals, there’s nothing wrong with playing used golf clubs. As long as you do your research, you can fill your bag with used clubs that are perfect for your game. And the best part is you save a lot of money too.