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The modern budget golfer

Poll Results: What is the best way to gain those extra yards when your on a budget?

Poll expired: May 7, 2011  
  • 17% (5)
    Callaway, Titleist, or Ping clubs with new grips, new balls, and probably a new bag to hold them!!!
  • 82% (24)
    A Lesson on course managment!!!
29 Total Votes  
post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Ok all you callaway wearing, titleist supporting, Membership holding golfers out there. Lets talk budget!!

 

It's no sectret that the economic down turn has affected us all in some form or another. I am not new to this and have greatly felt the squize on the credit card. So i asked myself, Does this game really need to be so expensive?

 

The answer my friends might surprise you! 

 

What is the average price for a driver these days? $300?....$400?... $500? More? For what? an extra 10-15 yrds. Lets face it, were not pro's. This is not how we make a living. My kids will not be put through college on the wagers I bet on sunday afternoon round with my co-workers, thats for certain. So why does it need to be that we spend so much of our earnings when the return is not enough to justify the money?

 

I should say that at one time felt that i needed the brand name stuff to satisfy the ego. To tell the buds at the 19th hole all about the driver, and rub it into my co-workers. But the fact of the matter is that I have spent $50 on a driver from walmart and $400 for a cleveland driver and when comparing the two, i am greatly dissapointed by the margim of difference between the them.

 

I'm not saying that the clevland is inferior. It"s not! It is far more technologically advanced and superior in every way. But the difference can't be seen in the blur of a swinging club. And it can"t be seen in the distances from the tee box.

 

The ten yards difference has not affected my score. it just hasn't! I could see if it was in the ball park of 25 to 30 yrds then maybe it might be worth the extra $. But being 100yrds away from the green versus 110 only means it's a 9 iron instead of a wedge. And with that i havn't spent $500 on a single club! A savings of over $450 means that i'm only loosing out on 10-15 yrds. it just doesn't add up!

 

And for a gain of 10-15 yrds you might be better spending a fraction of the money it costs to by a  new club, and rather go get your old clubs fitted properly, or see a club pro to help you squize every extra yard you can out of those clubs!

 

And another thing. The driver is only one club. We are aloted 14. Thats14!!!! The money is adding up faster than I can work to pay them off!!!

 

And I know alot of you will stomp your feet and shout that this is ludacris and that there is more to it than that.Your shouting to the heavens about how preposterous this is, and how I must be out of my mind! But when you are really on a budget, and the wife is holding the purse string with an iron fist. you'll see that it 's not entirely unreasonable!!!

 

And to further prove my case, look at some of the pro's that we love to watch on tv. Luke Donald is not the furthest hitter on tour. Yet last week at harbour town he went into a playoff after playing amazing golf all weekend long. He didn't use his distance to hit the ball miles and get on the green in one on par 4's, nope!! He layed up and used his spectacular short game.        Layed upHe

 

He layed up!!! So maybe the golf clubs are not what is costing us so much money, but rather our style of game is whats so expensive.

 

Just some food for thought as we head into the up coming golf season and we see all the advertisments for that shinny new club. Stop and ask yourself before you you open your wallat, is it really worth it?

 

Good luck the season

post #2 of 38

i agree 100%, but i am only playing 18 months so many out there will think" what do i know"

 

the only thing i may allow for the is psychological lift someone gets from a new club(s), that could help a lot too.

 

however sports shops and sports equipment manufacturers will try and make you think different.

post #3 of 38

I'm playing 11 year old irons (i3 Blades) that work as well (better actually) than my $1000 Mizunos did. I still pony up for premium balls though, as they DO effect my score.


 

post #4 of 38

First, everyone's budget is different, so what may be considered expensive for one is not for another.  Each has the ability to pay what he/she wants (includes intrinsic value). If you're thorough (or just anal), budget should cover all aspects of the activity (equipment, memberships, lessons, practice fees, tourneys, food/drink,...).  Set the limit to be followed.

 

Second, equipment is only one factor to consider - knowing what your goals are for the game is as important; if you're a weekend warrior who only wants to socialize and be with the boys, then your goals will be different than someone who has the drive and commitment to invest money and time into learning how to play to best of your ability.

 

Instruction is important, and should be factored into the budget, again, depending on your goals.

post #5 of 38

While I don't disagree with anything you specifically said, this insight isn't limited to golf, it's basically any recreational sport or hobby you get involved with.  I'm a long distance runner, there are $50 running shoes and $300 running shoes, there are $10 shorts and $50 running shorts.  When I played racquetball, there were $30 racquets and $400 racquets.  Bowling?  Have you seen the prices of the new high tech bowling balls and shoes.  Same goes for softball, tennis and likely any other recreational sport I haven't mentioned. 

 

The job of sales and marketing departments is to get money out of out of our wallets and into theirs.  They do that in numerous ways, but mostly use the promise of better performance and peer pressure as their main weapons.  No one should sacrifice their kids college funds or go into debt for the latest and greatest, but it's hard not to wonder when you watch all your buddies out drive you, if the new latest and greatest driver might not give you the "edge". 

post #6 of 38

Considering the skill level of alot of us here, the added expense of premium equipment will not translate to better scores. I've hit yard sale drivers and I've hit $500 drivers and guess what? I slice them both the same. If money were no object I would spend some serious cash on all new custom fitted clubs but I would also follow that up with serious lessons & practice. Being just a weekend golfer going out to hang with my buddies, the added expense isn't worth it.

post #7 of 38

Our local pro builds my clubs for me. I tell him the brand of clubs I want and he buys them directly from the manufacturer so the club has the exact same specs as the name brand but don't have the price tag for the name clubs. I have a set being built for me right now that will be the same specs as the Nike clubs I want but I will be having them customized for me and for very, very little. As long as the club can do what I want it to do, I don't care if it says Nike or some manufacturing companies name on them.

post #8 of 38

Pre owned has been an option for me.  I did purchase my irons new-about 18 years ago!  But lately I have wised up a bit--I paid $50 for the 905T that someone paid $499 for at one time; $20 for a PING putter someone paid $90 for.  Ebay, pawn shops, used bins at the mega stores all have fairly recent stuff for 40-50% of new (and less).  New old stock 1-2 model years old is also significantly cheaper and just as good for most of us.

 

But I hope someone keeps buying the latest and greatest or there won't be any used stuff out there for me!

post #9 of 38

This is something that I haven't understood when everyone wants to jump out and buy the new R11.  Why not just buy the R7 brand new (they still have them).  Was that R7 not great when it came out back then.  I'm pretty sure they said it was the best driver blah blah.  But now its two years later and it all of sudden isn't a good driver anymore.  I will doubt it.  I wait a couple of years for newer models to come out then I buy the club a wanted to get when it first came out for 50% off. 

post #10 of 38

well when my dad has an old taylormade from 7 years ago, and he gets 20 yards easy, for him thats huge. His game is his iron play, when he's on, he's more accurate with his long irons than i am with a short iron. So for him thats huge going from 200 to 220, two clubs, big.

 

To me, if it gives two clubs lengths, thats worth it, that means 20-30 yards more. Thats tough sledding. For me, i gained about 10-15 going for a 975D Titliest, to a G10 Ping. But the big thing was i gain like 20 on miss hits. I was also able to play a higher spin ball because the driver was lower spin, and i was able to increase its loft, so i got more carry. So, for me it was an overall better deal, but that was a swith from a 10-15 year old driver.

 

These guys that go around each year, getting the next best thing, waste of money period. Unless some company really breaks through. I think speedline is getting there, there aerodynamics are pretty impressive stuff, but they don't have the face tech like other companies, so there tech is mute.

post #11 of 38

When I buy a driver, I buy it a year old - still new but deeply discounted.  I just bought an Adams Speedline Fast 10 (the 11 is now current) for $132 - brand-new.

 

It almost seems like the OP is an argument that the drive isn't a high priority shot - the old 'drive for show, putt for dough' adage.  I used to think too that until I hooked up with a league that does 'event nights' (see my other thread).  We do one event that is a bit of a reverse scramble - we call it the 'Bramble'.  Teams take the best team member drive and then the individual team members play their own ball from there on in to the conclusion of each hole.  It really opened my eyes to how very important a good drive is.  Individual scores on that night are WELL lower than average - most guys hitting 4-5 strokes better for a 9-hole round.

post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 

I can totally agree with you. I have purchased a set of adams ideas tech A4's that are severl years old but i got them brand new. The price new i'm sure was $600 or $700 but i got them for less that $200. Great deal and they are brand new. cutting corners is what it's all about! this is not a cheap game to play so you have to learn to be thrifty when you can!!

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadman View Post

Ok all you callaway wearing, titleist supporting, Membership holding golfers out there. Lets talk budget!!

It's no sectret that the economic down turn has affected us all in some form or another. I am not new to this and have greatly felt the squize on the credit card. So i asked myself, Does this game really need to be so expensive?

The answer my friends might surprise you!

What is the average price for a driver these days? $300?....$400?... $500? More? For what? an extra 10-15 yrds. Lets face it, were not pro's. This is not how we make a living. My kids will not be put through college on the wagers I bet on sunday afternoon round with my co-workers, thats for certain. So why does it need to be that we spend so much of our earnings when the return is not enough to justify the money?

I should say that at one time felt that i needed the brand name stuff to satisfy the ego. To tell the buds at the 19th hole all about the driver, and rub it into my co-workers. But the fact of the matter is that I have spent $50 on a driver from walmart and $400 for a cleveland driver and when comparing the two, i am greatly dissapointed by the margim of difference between the them.

I'm not saying that the clevland is inferior. It"s not! It is far more technologically advanced and superior in every way. But the difference can't be seen in the blur of a swinging club. And it can"t be seen in the distances from the tee box.

The ten yards difference has not affected my score. it just hasn't! I could see if it was in the ball park of 25 to 30 yrds then maybe it might be worth the extra $. But being 100yrds away from the green versus 110 only means it's a 9 iron instead of a wedge. And with that i havn't spent $500 on a single club! A savings of over $450 means that i'm only loosing out on 10-15 yrds. it just doesn't add up!

And for a gain of 10-15 yrds you might be better spending a fraction of the money it costs to by a new club, and rather go get your old clubs fitted properly, or see a club pro to help you squize every extra yard you can out of those clubs!

And another thing. The driver is only one club. We are aloted 14. Thats14!!!! The money is adding up faster than I can work to pay them off!!!

And I know alot of you will stomp your feet and shout that this is ludacris and that there is more to it than that.Your shouting to the heavens about how preposterous this is, and how I must be out of my mind! But when you are really on a budget, and the wife is holding the purse string with an iron fist. you'll see that it 's not entirely unreasonable!!!

And to further prove my case, look at some of the pro's that we love to watch on tv. Luke Donald is not the furthest hitter on tour. Yet last week at harbour town he went into a playoff after playing amazing golf all weekend long. He didn't use his distance to hit the ball miles and get on the green in one on par 4's, nope!! He layed up and used his spectacular short game. Layed upHe

He layed up!!! So maybe the golf clubs are not what is costing us so much money, but rather our style of game is whats so expensive.

Just some food for thought as we head into the up coming golf season and we see all the advertisments for that shinny new club. Stop and ask yourself before you you open your wallat, is it really worth it?

Good luck the season

If your wife is holding the purse string as you mention, that's your first problem. Man up already!
post #14 of 38

IMO the golf market most closely resembles the cellphone/computer market, every 6 months to a year something bigger/better/longer is coming out.  If you try to keep up there are two scenarios, one, you end up with a really nice set of clubs each year and a closet full of wasted money OR you have really nice clubs each year and fund them by selling people like me your "old technology" for 50-75% off what you paid.  As long as you are thrifty you can still maintain a current bag that gives you the warm fuzzy feeling without coming close to breaking the bank.

 

As someone already mentioned, i scour ebay, craigslist, and the local clearance stores as well as proshop lost and founds.  The largest purchase I ever made was 300.00 for a close out set of ping i-10's, and the only reason I did it was because I needed irons that fit ( i'm bigger than average).  Of the two putters I own the odyssey Duel Force 550 was purchased from a long time friend for 35.00, and I got my Rife IBF tour off ebay for 60.00.  3-wood was a gift, my Cleveland driver was a brand new two year old model from a pro shop for 50.00, GW and LW were picked up from a lost and found after they'd sat there for 5 months, they had maybe been used twice, barcode stickers were still on the shaft.  I buy recycled balls from places like lostgolfball.com so i can afford the ball I feel the most comfortable with.  Clubs should be an initial investment for the average golfer, long term > 3-4 years, not a short term yearly investment in the latest and greatest.  That money should be going to lessons or course/range time.

 

Honestly, if you shop with patience you can have everything you want at the price you can afford.  Currently I'm in school and my wife supports easily 75% of the bills that our two children household accumulates.  You can imagine how small my budget really is, but honestly I'd say maybe less than 2% goes to equipment anymore.  The hardest thing to do is go into Edwin Watts to buy a shirt or just to look around and remind yourself that no driver/iron/wedge/putter will magically turn you from a rookie into a pro.  My scratch golfing mentor says that until you're breaking 80, the equipment has nothing to do with your score (as long as it "fits" you). 

post #15 of 38
I answered course management, although any good lesson would qualify, management is about using the game you have, and I would seek help with improving my physical tools first.
post #16 of 38

Regarding Luke Donald, an average driving distance of 275 yards isn't bad really, especially when his accuracy and consistency are taken into account.

 

I know that lessons and club-fitting are always recommended, but last year I spent £25.00 to be fitted to a 10* Diablo Edge (£190.00) despite having a swing-speed of approx. 80mph.  So I find myself hitting a 17* 4*wood (now obsolete so cost only £80.00) both straighter and significantly further than a driver.

 

I've also thrown money at lessons to simply be told that I need to "release the club-head / roll my hands over" to prevent a straight-fade... and that a draw will travel further because it's struck with top-spin!

 

Best money I've spent on Golf merchandise was the Stack & Tilt book by Bennett & Plummer.  I've found the section on diagnosing faults to be more valuable than any lesson that I've paid for.

post #17 of 38
All of my equipment is used, I spend much much less than retail price. I spent most of my money on instruction and the occasional round away from home. I have don't any clothing with a golf brand name other than a hat or two and shoes. Instruction and playing costs is where my money goes.
post #18 of 38

I don't think the correct answer is in the poll. If I wanted a few more yards on my drives I'd take lessons before I bought a new driver, and especially before I learned better course management. 

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