The reason for this post is that I played a round last summer with an exceptionally good player. He holds a course record on a high profile course in Europe. Apart from his game which was really nice to watch, I couldn't help but notice how old his clubs were, even his driver had some kind of a rattling sound like something was loose in the shaft. Yet he managed to drive from the fairway on a long par five to set up an eagle, only thing that was relatively new seemed to be his putter. I always thought that players of this caliber used the latest and greatest in equipment. The same can be said about the pro at my club, that has irons from 2000 and a driver from 95. Still he has claimed numerous championships in the last years.
The majority of the members at my club are replacing irons, driver or wedges it seems every other year. And still their game sucks in many cases. I played 2 seasons ago with a guy who was playing the latest Titleist driver (brand new), and told me he just ordered the latest Callaway also just to have an option. To me just changing a set of irons is a challenge, getting used to the feel and so on. Driver can even be harder, and putter to me is the hardest.
Being interested in new equipment is ok, but the rate the average golfer is replacing his must be more harmful to his game. Maybe I am looking at this just too black and white, and hoping my points gets across, but finding the right equipment must be the dominant factor for golfer should, and not force himself to keep up with the manufacturers of new equipment. Most of it seems like marketing anyway.
(having typed up this post, my 40th birthday is coming up next month, queue in new equipment)