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Looking into new clubs - advice please

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Last weekend was Demo Day at my home course. I've been thinking about upgrading my clubs for the past year or two, and went there to seriously try some clubs. I mainly wanted to try the Ping G15s, as I've hit them decently in the past, but was highly surprised. I didn't hit the Pings very well, but I did hit the Titleist AP1s very very well. The Titleist rep was very helpful, even going so far as to fit me for custom clubs (he was able to adjust his clubs on-site). Once I got my hands on a 1/2" shortened club with a 2 degree flat lie, every single shot went right where I was aimed, even with the 4 iron, which is certainly not the case with my current clubs. I actually hit the AP1 four iron better than my current 4 hybrid, which really surprised me. There is another demo day near my house this coming weekend and I'm thinking about going to try the AP1s again. If I hit them as well as I did last weekend, I'm going to have a real struggle over wether to buy them or not.


My questions are this: I'm torn between buying clubs and getting a few lessons. I know I should get lessons first, and that lessons are by far the best thing for my game, but I'm still torn on what to do. My current clubs are an old boxed set I spent ~ $300 on four years ago, when I was first getting into the game and didn't know if I'd stick with it. I know lessons are going to be the best thing for me, but I've been really wanting to upgrade my clubs for awhile now, so I'm really really torn. Any advice?


My second question is: Does anyone use the AP1s? If so, what are your thoughts on them? Are they quality clubs?

post #2 of 14
In my humble totally non expert opinion you should just do both. 2011 Clubs are probably 3x as expensive as 2009 clubs but nowhere near 3x better. Used clubs that are rated in near new condition are also just a fraction of the price. It may take some time and energy and needless to say is not as easy as just saying "Hey Mr. Titlist man fit me some clubs!" but if you can shop around for some clubs that fit your needs that are a 2-3 model years behind and or lightly used In my humble non expert opinion you will get a very similar product and have some money left over to have someone who knows a thing or two teach you how to swing em.
post #3 of 14

To the OP: I'm in a similar position that you are. I've been playing about 3 years and have played my grandfathers old Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scots the entire time. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never hit another club before. I went to my local course and hit some of the new irons, and was very surprised in the advances in club design/technology involved in club making. I hit an AP1 and Burner 2.0 6 iron side by side with my 845 6 iron. The difference in distance was 20 yards carry at the minimum (with the Burner 2.0 carrying a little further than the AP1). The 6 iron on both of these clubs has a stronger loft than my current 6 iron (and the Burner has a stronger loft than the AP1), but they ball flight on both these clubs also seemed to produce a much, much higher ball flight. 

My suggestion would be to hit as many irons as you can before you make any decision on purchasing a new/used set. Narrow it down to 3-4 and then hit them all side by side. I traveled 50 miles yesterday to go to a demo were Ping was going to be (one of the few places that I could actually hit a Ping off grass instead of indoors) and didn't like them as much as the AP1's or Burners much like you. Once you've found a set that you like, talk to the people at the proshop at your local course(s). They usually can work a deal with you and get you the clubs well under MSRP. 

It might be difficult to actually hit an older model, as the previous poster suggested. This may just be because I don't really have any major golf stores around me that sell pre-owned clubs. None of the proshops at local courses have older models available to demo, either.

Whatever you decide, get fitted. 

post #4 of 14

Many people might disagree but I think the whole marketing machine of major golf is such a scam. They come out with new clubs yearly and try their damnedest to make sure that you can't get your hands on a properly fitted set of last years clubs. When you do get yourself fitted they try to make the impression that unless all your shafts are .25 inches shorter you'll never be a decent golfer and wave thousand dollar iron sets in front of you. To me its all BS. Shiny new clubs are tremendously fun and exciting and if you have the money to burn more power to you but if its lower scores and better shots your after get some real decent but not cutting edge clubs and spend the leftovers on lessons and a few extra rounds.





post #5 of 14

Well, it sounds like you know you're specs (-1/2" length, 2* flat).  Now you can shop wherever you want because you have a better idea what you need.  You can find some good deals on clubs, even the AP1's.  This makes lessons AND new clubs a reality...


I don't play the AP1's, but they have received some really good feedback...

post #6 of 14

Well i have to personally say that a new set of irons is a must. I had a box set for so long and when i purchased my Callaways 3 yrs ago the difference amazing. I am a big believer in the newer clubs. When i took my lesson the first thing the pro said if this is a sport you are going to play you need to invest on a good set of irons. I was crying all the way to the cash register because of the amount of money i spent on my clubs. Once i felt and saw the difference in my game the dollar number was quickly forgotten. I just convinced my father in law to drop the cash on some irons and the difference in his game is crazy. I am actually smacking myself because now he has been beating me and i know its my fault. If you can feel and see the difference when you hit the Titleist irons just get them. You can still get a single lesson for 60 bucks,but you shouldn't neglect yourself from irons because you feel that you need to take a lesson. That is just my personal opinion on my personal experience.

post #7 of 14

I am also in the same boat ... i bit the bullet & bought new TM Burner Plus irons recently.    Huge improvement over my old Dunlaps.       I know many will flame me, but there are so many online resources, it is possible to self diagnose your swing (without lessons if money is tight).      If you have a digital camera, having a buddy film your swing works wonders as well - you can see what you're doing wrong & correct it.      Youtube is mans best friend for the golfer - tons of instructional video's at our fingertips.     I'm not discounting lessons by any means, but you can go a long way if you put the time into online research & filming yourself...     

post #8 of 14

Just remember that different clubs have different lie angles.  Just beacuse youre 2 degrees flat with titleist, doesnt mean youre 2 degrees flat with callaway or taylor made.  So stick with titleist, or get re-fitted with a few companies.


post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice guys!  I just found out today that my home course is having a fitting day on Saturday, where they will fit you to whatever clubs you like for free (and probably push a sale hard as well).  Besides the free fitting, they're offering 10% off club purchases and 50% more on trade-ins than they would normally give.  I've got an appointment set up and can't wait.  I wasn't quite ready to buy by this Saturday, but we'll see what happens.  I'll let you guys know if I end up getting anything new this weekend or not. 


Thanks again for all the help!

post #10 of 14

I love golf equipment, have more sets of irons than I'll ever need.  But if you really want to get better you'll spend the money on lessons.  I've hit plenty of clubs that I prefer over others, but I don't think I've ever used any equipment, irons anyway, that held me back.  I've got a close friend/golfing buddy who is a terrible golfer, and he's been playing with old outdated equipment.  He really wants to get better and play more consistently, but he also always looks for the easy fix.  I told him the only way to get better is to get lessons and/or practice, but he wants new equipment so he just bought a bunch.  Good stuff, and he's excited now, but unless he starts engaging in serious and focused practice I'm 99% positive I won't see any improvement in his game.

post #11 of 14

If you have to pick, definitely get lessons first. Every time. Going on to the clubs. The AP1's are high quality game improvement irons. My brother hits them and loves them. Something to consider when buying them: There are two differences between the 2010 and 2011 models. One big, one small. The small is that the only thing they changed on them is the color scheme and the removal of one degree of bounce off each iron. The big is the price difference. I'd suggest buying a set off the 2010 models ebay for less than half the price of the 2011 models and getting them bent to your needs at a golf shop. The extra money you save could go towards that lesson you need or a new wedge or something.

post #12 of 14

before you buy look for a local clubfitter who can build a set to YOUR liking and at a very reasonable price.  that fitting yer talking about is a sale.  you'll hit a bunch of clubs, they'll say things like "you need them all one degree upright" or "you need them all a half inch shorter".  i just built a set of irons and hybrids for a guy who drove across an entire state just to have this done.  i met him part way with my van full of clubs with various shafts and lengths.  this was after we emailed back and forth and spoke for over an hour on the phone.  we discussed what his goals are, what his preferences are for heads, shafts, and grips and i made a seven iron based on his input.  he hit it there at the driving range and loved it, straighter and longer than anything he's ever tried.  we new we'd need to get together at least one more time so i sent him home with that club, no charge, to use at his home course while i readied the components for the set and waited on his final input.  the end result is that he wanted the 4 and 5 irons the same length, ditto with the 6,7, and 8 as well as the 9 and wedges.  "swingweight" was not an issue since "swingweight" is an arcane expression of...something that has never been fully explained to me so i sold the scale.  we used light weight shafts that gave him the feel he wanted.  not completely MOI matched, but darn close.  i witnessed him hitting them all the appropriate distances, consistently, straight, in the center of the faces.  i only adjusted the lie angle of the 4 iron. they are not 1/2" different in length and a couple of them have the same lie angles.  he's one happy camper and i made a new friend.

can Nike, Callaway, Titleist, Taylormade, et al do that?

post #13 of 14

Seems like alot of us are in the same position. I was hitting a set of Spalding's that my grandfather passed onto me at the age of 15. I turned 23 on the 19th. Thats 8 years for me and who knows how long he had them for lol. I did some research online seems they came out in 1986, before I was even born. I had never hit any other clubs up to this point and my golf partner has been telling me everyday how good I could be if I just upgraded my clubs. From my hand me down irons, my 50 dollar driver and 25 dollar putter lol.

On the 23rd I went to Edwin Watts and got fitted for a new set of Burner 2.0s after hitting a bunch of different clubs at a demo day here in Jacksonville. Two days ago I played in a tournament on base here and the guy I was playing against was selling his R11 for 250. After talking with him for the whole day and him watching me play. He offered to help my game out by selling me the R11 and his Odyssey backstryke putter for $300. It hits great.


My thoughts on the Lessons vs New clubs: I suggest clubs then lessons. Why go take lessons then switch to new clubs? Get the clubs and get lessons with those clubs. There is no need to change something else after you have figured out your swing or whatever may be tweaked in your game..

Good luck on your decision.


post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, I got fit for clubs today.  The course has my statistics on record, but I did not buy anything.  I did set a lesson up for two Mondays from now.  During the fitting process, they first had me with a Mizuno I could not hit at all and then they set me up with a Burner that was ridiculously flat (the fitter wouldn't tell me exactly how flat, all he said was that "he's never fit anybody with a club that flat before, ever".  The contact on the Burner felt spectacular every single time, but I could not hit it straight at all. Every shot with the burners was slice.  I did not get to hit the AP1s again, but after seeing what happened with the Burners I wasn't to upset.  After realizing that I might have just had a good day last Saturday, I decided to get lessons before new clubs, because I know me, and I know that if I get new clubs and still hit a slice I won't be happy at all.  I figured that for me it was best to figure out why I slice the ball, correct it, then look seriously into new clubs.  I'm hoping to upgrade next spring now, but we'll see what happens.


Thanks again for all the advice, guys!

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