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Club advice for a beginner

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all.  After years of avoiding the sport, I'm finally taking up golf at the age of 45.  I've spent the past couple of weeks doing a lot of on-line research into different clubs.  I'm looking for a set under $400 to start out with and figure I'll get better clubs as I progress in the sport.  One thing I've found that pretty much everyone seems to agree on is that cheaper clubs will hinder your game and make you more frustrated, and therefore less likely to continue playing.  I don't want cheap, but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg either.  Hence the intensive research.  I don't plan to buy anything until after Christmas so I have plenty of time to find the right clubs at the right price.

 

Before this past weekend I had pretty much settled on a set of Walter Hagen XLRs from Dick's Sporting Goods.  I even went so far as to go talk to the "professional" at the store and get his advice as to what a novice golfer should try.  He practically sneered at the Hagen clubs and told me I needed to get a set of Adams Tight Lies.  Throughout the whole conversation he was very condescending and didn't offer to help me find what clubs would be best suited for me.  I thanked him and left feeling more confused than ever.

 

One of the things I've read about new golfers is that they (we) tend to have a slower swing than more experienced golfers and therefore a graphite shaft is recommended to help with distance.  The guy at Dick's snorted and told me this was wrong.  So now I've moved from looking at graphite shafts (with the exception of the driver and the woods) and focused on steel shafts.  But my question is, which clubs would be good?  Most reviews I've read about the different clubs I've researched are running about 50/50, which is not very helpful.  And then there are clubs I can't find any reviews about whatsoever.  So I thought I would try here and see if anyone knew anything about any of these clubs or had any better suggestions.

 

The ones I've been looking at are:

 

Adams Tight Lies

Forgan F 150

Forgan IWD2

Lynx Predator

Orlimar VT Sport

Orlimar Black Ti

Orlimar HE2

Strata

Top Flite XL

Top Flite XL 7000

Walter Hagen XLR

Wilson Ultra

Wilson Pro Staff

Wilson Profile

 

Prices on these sets range anywhere from $180 for the Orlimar VT Sports to $500 for the Adams Tight Lies.  I know I could find used sets, but even a decent used set is probably going to be over my starting budget.

 

I've also thought about getting individual clubs and building a set.  Golf Digest's website has a beginner's guide that lists which clubs a novice golfer must have and could be built upon.  When I mentioned this to the guy and Dick's, he just shook his head and said I needed to stick with a full set.

 

Any advice?

post #2 of 12

IMO, I'd get on Ebay and buy a used set to start with.  There are a lot of older sets of irons - say from the 80', 90's and early '00's that are solid and can be had for a reasonable price.

 

Here are a few for example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ben-Hogan-BH-5-Irons-3-PW-RH-Steel-Shaft-Regular-Flex-Very-Good-Condition-/261110105127?pt=Golf_Clubs&hash=item3ccb600427

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tommy-Armour-845s-Oversized-Irons-3-PW-Dynamic-Gold-S300-Stiff-Shafts-/221136349771?pt=Golf_Clubs&hash=item337cc0ea4b

 

A little more pricey - but excellent irons

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mens-RH-PING-EYE-2-SQUARE-GROOVE-2-9PW-GOLF-IRONS-Black-Dot-ZZLite-CLEAN-/150921593026?pt=Golf_Clubs&hash=item2323a0c0c2

 

The thing you will want to do is go to a retailer (like Dicks) with a launch monitor and have them measure your swing speed.  Just go in and tell them you want to hit some of their demo drivers and get your swing speed.  Once you have it... Then you will know what flex to get in your irons and woods.

 

I'd go with steel shafts in the irons and then graphite or composite in the driver and woods. 

post #3 of 12
post #4 of 12

What you might do is contact a teaching pro through GetGolf Ready.com. You can get some basic lessons, and they will provide clubs for you to use.

http://www.playgolfamerica.com/ggr/

 

Then, you could ask for advice on clubs for beginners. Basically, you would want to test-hit some clubs to make sure they fit you OK. Ask for a basic static fitting, which checks the clubs for length and lie angle, and check your hand size for grip thickness. Also, a fitter can measure your clubhead speed for shaft flex.

 

The pro that gives you lessons might be able to help you find the clubs.

 

The boxed sets are a good way to begin, and even these clubs can be tweaked a little by the fitter if need be. I wrote a column a couple of years back on boxed sets, and many teaching pros recommend them.

http://thesandtrap.com/b/bag_drop/clubbing_up_beginners_should_consider_boxed_sets

 

Brand-name used clubs are a possibility, but you need to know something about the game to make good choices. Again, a pro could help you here.

 

Good luck, and keep us posted. 

post #5 of 12

Imo, any wide soled cavity back super game improvement full set will do, and that seems to be what's on your list above. Bad shots will be all about you, because the clubs are designed to be as forgiving as possible. As you get better and figure out your personal prefernces a bit, you can start swapping out clubs for better, more appropriate ones. Your first buy will probably be your putter, maybe driver.

 

Have fun.

post #6 of 12

I picked up the game a few months ago and was basically in the same boat as you are.  I didnt want to spend a fortune on clubs but also wanted to buy a set that I would be able to play for awhile.  I looked on ebay and every website I could find and ebay really didnt have alot of "great" deals.  I mean sure you could save maybe a few dollars vs a store but most websites are fairly close in price. (this is just what I found, i'm sure people have got great deals)  I found a set of pings on craigslist that fit my budget and what I was looking for perfectly.  I'm not sure about your area but there are several people in my area constantly selling full sets, i'm assuming they work on a course and they are trade ins or something but I would check it out.  just an fyi, you were talking about the adams tight lies, in my area right now http://baltimore.craigslist.org/spo/3331833793.html full set brand new 300$.  Craigslist would be my first go to spot.

post #7 of 12

If you are interested in the Tight Lies, I doubt you could do any better than this. A decent complete set for $220. Its the 2008 model, but should more than suffice for what you are looking for. 

 

http://www.rockbottomgolf.com/adams-golf-2008-tight-lies-11-pc-complete-set-graphite-steel.html

 

 

I just realized that a previous poster linked to the same set on Amazon. If you buy directly from Rockbottom you will ave the $30 shipping.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zooyuka View Post

If you are interested in the Tight Lies, I doubt you could do any better than this. A decent complete set for $220. Its the 2008 model, but should more than suffice for what you are looking for. 

 

http://www.rockbottomgolf.com/adams-golf-2008-tight-lies-11-pc-complete-set-graphite-steel.html

 

 

I just realized that a previous poster linked to the same set on Amazon. If you buy directly from Rockbottom you will ave the $30 shipping.

 

I bought wedges from rockbottom and they were fast and a pleasure to deal with.

post #9 of 12

I just went through this same situation myself went with a used set of Nike Sumo2 Hybrid Irons I picked up off ebay that came with a bag, putter, driver etc.  All in I paid about $300.  That said, in retrospect I would just buy the Adams Tight Lies or Tight Lies Plus full set because I've since had the opportunity to hit them as one of my friends has them and they're solid clubs and I actually like them better than the clubs I ended up with.


I'd say if you can find a good deal the Tight Lies set go for it.  You'll probably end up replacing the driver and the putter relatively quickly but for at least your first season you should be good to go.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses.  I've since gone onto Ebay and looked up the prices on some used clubs.  Most of the prices I've seen are the same as for new, lesser quality clubs.  I still plan on visiting the local Play It Again Sports before I make my decision.  But are there some things I should be loking for when it comes to used clubs?  I don't want to get stuck with a "lemon", so to speak.

 

Also, does anyone know anything about Forgan clubs?

post #11 of 12

That is indeed a great deal on the Adams clubs.

 

I have the XLR clubs the OP mentioned in his original post; my wife bought them for me for Father's Day as I started the summer using the same Dunlop irons and Austad's woods I'd been using since high school (1993). That's also the last time I pretty much played golf, period!

 

The clubs themselves really aren't that bad at all - not a fan of the driver (replaced it with an offset Cobra) or the lightweight bag, but for $199 (or $149 when they're on sale) you can't expect greatness. Still, for me, picking up the game again, they've done me OK. My father and a golfer I was paired up with a few months back both commented on the quality and feel of the clubs, both were impressed with them for that price point. 

post #12 of 12

A year ago I was in almost exactly the same position, except I was 44!  Have now been playing 2-3 times most weeks and have had a few lessons along the way. My advice, I'm sure the Adams clubs will see you fine - they get good reviews.  

 

That said, I bought the Top Flite XL set to start with - they were relatively cheap and fine for me to take lessons with and get some good results.  The driver, fairway wood and hybrids are amongst the easiest and most forgiving I've ever hit.  The irons and rest of the set were just fine.  Just don't expect massive distances to start with as these clubs will help keep you on the fairway pointed in the right direction - believe me, the main aim was minimizing lost balls for some time.  I have now moved on to Mizuno JPX 800HD which gives increased distance etc - but much more expensive and only worth it once you've got the golf bug.  If I ever have trouble hitting my new RBZ driver, I go back to the Top Flite driver and my confidence floods back as it's always good for 180-200 yards in a straight line (although it goes much further in experienced hands).  

 

I also lend out my Top Flite set to my friends who have never played before - the guys universally love them and end up getting the golf bug as well. Incidentally, Top Flite are owned by Callaway.

 

Hope this helps.

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