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Getting New Clubs

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

So, as I mentioned in my "Welcome" post, I am looking into a new set of clubs. I haven't gotten any since about 2006, but those clubs got stolen, so the only clubs I have now are a set I got when I was 13. The trouble is, I am not too sure on what I should be aiming for here. It has been so long since I golfed with any regularity that the specifics for my style are a great unknown, and while I will likely need to go practice at some point, I mostly have to use Internet research to answer questions.

 

There are some of the basic things I could use some input on. I mostly know the answer to the circumstances with things, but not 100% how they pertain to me. Some of those questions:

 

--Is there a big difference between steel and graphite? Is it generally worth the money for the graphite?

--I definitely do not have a fast swing. As such, is the Regular Flex the best bet for me, or does going Stiff Flex offer any kind of advantage?

--Are there generally brands I should, either due to quality or excessive name brand pricing (like and Apple of club makers)?

--Is buying used beneficial/detrimental, beyond price? Are there reputable dealers I should stick to if I consider used, or general guidelines for used club evaluation?

--Considering I am something in the 6'3"-6'4" area, I will likely need longer shafts than are standard. Are extensions functional for this, or should I spend extra on new shafts, and what are the expected prices of each?

 

Now, I am also a bit torn on how I want to approach purchasing clubs. I could go with buying a full set with a bag. I could also go with buying an iron set, a putter, and either a 3W and a 5W or a 3W and a 3H (as most iron sets have no 3i and I'm not fond of using a driver). I'm obviously in the "beginner" realm here, despite having golfed for about 3-5 years in the past, so getting a top-end set is not what I am looking to do. Still, I would prefer to have these last 5+ years for me, and I will hopefully be able to use them every week or two.

 

So, all of that stuff said, there are a few sets I have looked at on the irons front, and I'd like a little input from folks. I have mostly looked at the cheaper end of the TaylorMade irons, checking out the Burner Plus, Burner 2.0, and RocketBallz (the green ones) sets. They varied from $300-450, which is about the price range I'd want to keep it around with the irons. I also looked at Mizuno, Cobra, and Callaway a little, but did not have any models stick in my mind. Just kind of wondering what the folks here think about the TaylorMade iron sets, and if there are maybe superior alternatives in that same price range.

 

Any input from anyone is appreciated, and I'll certainly try to answer any questions as best I can.

post #2 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilfrier View Post

 

--Is there a big difference between steel and graphite? Is it generally worth the money for the graphite?

--I definitely do not have a fast swing. As such, is the Regular Flex the best bet for me, or does going Stiff Flex offer any kind of advantage?

--Are there generally brands I should, either due to quality or excessive name brand pricing (like and Apple of club makers)?

--Is buying used beneficial/detrimental, beyond price? Are there reputable dealers I should stick to if I consider used, or general guidelines for used club evaluation?

--Considering I am something in the 6'3"-6'4" area, I will likely need longer shafts than are standard. Are extensions functional for this, or should I spend extra on new shafts, and what are the expected prices of each?

 

 

- Graphite tends to be lighter and you'll feel less vibration. It's generally not worth it to go with graphite unless these two things are important to you.

 

- Any idea what your swing speed is? If you feel like you don't swing fast, go with regular flex.

 

- Depends on who you ask ;-) I would look at PING, TaylorMade or Callaway, you'll find some great prices on older quality models.

 

- Yes, go with these guys

http://www.globalgolf.com/?utm_source=thesandtrap&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=sponsor-logo

post #3 of 39

I'm on the path to new , or different , irons too.  Now have a set of 10 yr old, or more, Maxfli Revolution with Rifle 6.0 shafts.  A better player told me recently that the shaft is too stiff for me.  That idea and the single 9i of Callaway Legacy forged with graphite shaft that i carry, tempts me to go with cavity back, forged and graphite irons. I really like the 9i, but it's 2 yr old, all sold out and beyond my budget to get newest model. 

 

So i'm considering graphite shafts in the Maxfli heads.  Will that work?  This will give some improvement but not all the benefits as the cavity back forged but will be better than too stiff steel shafts.  That's what i'm telling myself today. Any ideas? 

 

Or should i consider second hand cavity backs, forged or cast, and get graphite shafts? 

post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

- Graphite tends to be lighter and you'll feel less vibration. It's generally not worth it to go with graphite unless these two things are important to you.

 

- Any idea what your swing speed is? If you feel like you don't swing fast, go with regular flex.

 

- Depends on who you ask ;-) I would look at PING, TaylorMade or Callaway, you'll find some great prices on older quality models.

 

- Yes, go with these guys

http://www.globalgolf.com/?utm_source=thesandtrap&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=sponsor-logo


--I wouldn't say that the weight concerns me, though vibration does a little. The thing I'd care most about with it is having shafts that match on the irons and hybrids/woods. It's just a bit of OCD.

 

--No clue on the swing speed. I know it's not fast because I never play(ed) enough to have control over a hard swing. I try to keep it pretty easy right now, while trying to improve my control with the shot.

 

--Yeah, the TaylorMades I looked at were all older models (Burners, RocketBallz), I just didn't know if they were seen as quality sets, and if other manufacturers offered comparable (or better) stuff at a similar (or lower) price point.

 

--I'll definitely be checking around that site a bit. Of the sets I've looked at, only the RocketBallz Steel actually save any money, though. The Burners are the same used there as new at other places, but the RocketBallz are about $100 less in Steel (they don't offer Graphite on there).

post #5 of 39
I add my welcome to you here as well.

Most folks of your age and strength will tend to use steel in the irons, graphite in the driver, and usually graphite in the fairways and hybrids. As MVMAC said, the main advantage of graphite in irons is light weight and less vibration, and golfers of your age and size are generally less concerned with that. In the longer clubs, the light weight allows longer length, and that plus other available performance characteristics make graphite attractive to golfers of all types in the driver, fairways, and hybrids.

On PING's website, they have a fitter tool that would give you a basic idea of what you would need in length and lie, based on your height and arm length. Taller does not necessarily mean longer clubs; it is also a function of your arm length relative to height, and where your hands hang at a comfortable and correct address position. Over 6'2"ish, my guess is a 1/2 or so longer will be indicated, but that is not a given. Since you are starting from scratch, I would get clubs that are the proper length rather than adding extensions or changing shafts, especially in the irons and wedges, where you want a similar shaft through the set, so the cost of a shaft is multiplied by 6-8 depending on the number of irons/wedges. This is less important in the driver, since most are 44-45 anyway, and you are only changing out a couple or so.

Pick up or get online Golf Digest's Hot List from this year and last. It will give you an idea of what is available. I am not hawking it as the word, but it will give you some ideas on what is available.

I am gonna make a sort of off the wall suggestion, just to get you back in the game. Go to the PING fitter and find what your specs would be. Get on Craigslist or Ebay and find a set of PING Eye-2's, ZINGS, or ZING-2's with the color code dot that is within your specs. A set of 3 or 4 through probably SW should cost you less than $200, and if you take care of them you will get most if not all your money back if and when you "outgrow" them. You may find you don't outgrow them.

There is nothing wrong with getting fitted for and buying a new set of the latest and greatest. with this purchase you will take the biggest hit , but you aren't buying clubs for an investment, so that is not the issue. I would put this off for a couple of years, though, as what you would buy now may not be what you will want/need in a couple of years; there is no need to take the hit twice in two years.

In the drivers, fairways, and hybrids, I would look at Callaway, Taylor, Titleist, Adams, and PING (no particular preference). Nice used and 3-4 years old at probably 25-40% of the original price, and new or nearly new but 1-2 model years old at 40-60% of the original price. Most likely you can find something new and suitable at a deep discount, but if you find an older head you like at a good price, changing shafts is not a big deal (except for the huge abundance of available choices).

I like scrounging, tinkering and looking for deals, so if I was in your shoes, I would get a set of used PINGS in 4-PW or 4-SW, a used driver with at least 10 degrees of loft, a 15-16 degree fairway, a couple of hybrids around 20 and 24 degrees, a couple of specialty wedges around 52 and 56 degrees, and a PING Anser, Anser 2, or Anser 3 putter. I would go steel in the irons and wedges, and graphite in the driver, fairways, and hybrids.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 

Lots of helpful information, thanks you.

 

You mention simply getting longer clubs, as opposed to extensions or new shafts. Is that to say that if I order clubs online from the manufacturer, they custom-fit the shafts from the get-go? I'm just wondering how that goes, and how much more it will cost, because I imagine going directly form the manufacturer would mean having to buy newer clubs.

 

I'm not sure about using the Hot List, just because I'm not necessarily aiming at newer clubs. Like I said, the clubs I had been checking out were older models (Burner line, RocketBallz), where as the ones in Golf Digest were about $300-400 more than what I was looking at (for irons).

 

I take it you're pretty-high on PING as your brand of choice, based on the suggestions. My only thing with your suggestion at the end is that I'm not a driver fan. I've never been able to hit one, for whatever reason. Maybe grabbing a higher-loft driver helps there, but I will have to wait to see what the budget allows. My initial intention was to get a 4-PW set of irons (4-PW and a second wedge, if possible), a 3H, and then probably a 3W and a 5W, and a putter. Like I said, I'm not fond of drivers, so I would probably just grab an older one (my cousin has, like, 3 drivers), and try to get a feel for hitting one before putting money into a club I might not have a feel for.

 

Again, appreciate the input. I probably won't go the Craigslist route, though it's definitely worth considering. Part of it is that some of the sets are cheap enough new (like the Burners) that I wouldn't mind spending the extra $100 or so to say that the clubs are 100% mine. These are unlikely to be a short-term purchase, regardless of what I get, so spending now and knowing what I get is unused gives me a little peace of mind.

post #7 of 39
If you order new clubs from most anyone, a +1/2 or 1" longer from the factory will be very minimum if any extra charge and included in the fitting. In searching for used clubs, it might be a little harder to find + lengths, except with PING, but the cost of changing out shafts if you need longer eats up some of the savings at $15-20 or more per club. With PING, the color dot includes the proper length if I am not mistaken. The upside on used nonstandard length clubs is while they may be harder to find, there are fewer potential buyers, which can result in a lower negotiated price in the used market.

The Hot List is one of many, but it is very popular and as I mentioned, looking at last years' or even before if you can find one will give some ideas on what you might get a good deal on now as newer models have come out.

It' not that I am high on PING per se, but some PINGs are safe middle of the road bets and likely to be playable if you don't know exactly what you want. PING Eye-2's have been available used in 3-PW at around $100-150 for several years and probably will be for a couple more. They are an old design but still quite playable and you could use a set while you re-establish your swing and preferences, and probably get your money back in a few months or possibly a couple of years. You might even find you don't want to change. The same thing applies to the PING Anser putter, it is a middle of the road design that is very playable, and easy to move if you want to, but you might not want to. It is also the design that a lot of modern putters are based on.

In the new market, certainly PINGs are a viable choice at all levels, but no more or less than other top brands like Callaway, Mizuno, Taylor, Titielist, Adams, Cleveland, etc.

I agree with your strategy as far as bag mix. Drivers have improved a bit in the last 8 years as far as making them easier to hit. The last couple years have seen recommendations for us mere mortals to "loft up", but I still agree that getting your higher lofted woods first is a reasonable approach.
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

My brother-in-law (who is helping out a good bit with this) talked with people at Golf Discount in-town, and I believe they said that the will lengthen the shafts on some clubs if I buy them. For example, there was a $400 set of Adams clubs that they would go up to 1" on the extension. My problem with them is that it was driver, 3W, 5W, 5H, 6-PW, and SW. I liked that they gave a SW, but I did not like the lack of a 3 or 4 iron or hybrid, so I did not prefer them. Otherwise, I think that their standard was $10/club for re-grip and extension. Dick's said it would be $6/club if I bought there, $12/club if I did not.

 

Looking on CL did not yield good results. Only two sets of PING irons were present near me. The first was a set of Red Dot irons (3-W), Black Dot woods (3, 5, 7), plus a driver and a bag. That was $380, which I have no interest in spending on an unknown set (especially since there were no pictures and the guy is over an hour away). The other set was 2-PW, plus a SW, and they were Black Dots. The guy wanted $225 for them, and said that they likely needed re-gripped. He's also not the original owner (at least, the wording of it sounded like he wasn't). That one isn't unreasonable, since it's adding a couple of clubs, but it still might be a bit over what I want to pay for what might be trial clubs for a year. There is one set that seemed doable, Black Dot 3-W for $190, but that guy appears to be about 2 hours away. Do you have any suggestions of other models of different manufacturers to look for? Any Mizuno, TM, etc. that would be on-par with the Eye-2 set? Not sure which to look for on here, just kind of browsing the lots.

post #9 of 39

With regards to shaft length. Even though your tall, doesn't necessarily mean you need longer shafts, you have to measured to be sure what length you need, i.e. if you have long arms, a standard length may be o.k., if you have shorter arms, then you may need to have longer shafts. My Son who is 6'5" got fitted, and his shafts are on + 1/2" because he has gorilla arms..haha.

 

I think it would be money well spent to get fitted in your case.

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 

The quick measurement that they did at Golf Discount told them I should probably be at +1/2" or +1", though it wasn't a proper fitting. I'm kind of going into this expecting to need extensions or something, just to not be surprised when I have to spend extra money to get that done. Sadly, there isn't a Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith nearby. I'd have to go to St. Louis (2.5 hours or more) to get to one, and I would rather not do that without knowing what I would want (or at least have it down to a few models) beforehand.

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilfrier View Post
 

The quick measurement that they did at Golf Discount told them I should probably be at +1/2" or +1", though it wasn't a proper fitting. I'm kind of going into this expecting to need extensions or something, just to not be surprised when I have to spend extra money to get that done. Sadly, there isn't a Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith nearby. I'd have to go to St. Louis (2.5 hours or more) to get to one, and I would rather not do that without knowing what I would want (or at least have it down to a few models) beforehand.

 

 

That kinda sux...Maybe if you have a PGA pro at your local golf course that does fittings, maybe that's a possibility for you..? I'm just throwing out thoughts on how you could get what you need w/o traveling so far. 

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

See, that's what I find funny. We have Dick's, Sports Authority, and Golf Discount, but that's it. At the same time, we have 4 9-hole courses and 4 18-hole courses in Springfield (some on the outer edges of town). We then have probably 2-3 more courses within 30 minutes of Springfield, so there are plenty of courses to play. I'd hope that to mean we had enough golfing to attract a play like Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith, but that is apparently not the case.

 

And that's just the public stuff. We have another 3-4 private courses in-town as well, meaning Springfield's got about a dozen courses.

post #13 of 39
Even though I have the PING Eye-2 WOODS in my sig, I AM NOT recommending them to you or anyone else unless you are just into classic clubs. I actually like them a lot, but I am into classic clubs and they were given to me by a buddy who got new clubs and knew I liked wooden clubs. The PING Eye-2 irons on the other hand are still playable, and a lot of folks still play them.

That first set you mentioned was definitely high, at least for a playing set. For your purposes, I wouldn't consider EYE-2 WOODS. I wouldn't want to pay over about $150-160 for 3-PW; maybe $175-200 with new grips. Black dot is neutral or "standard" lie. I believe I was wrong about the PING chart, the dot doesn't necessarily include a longer shaft. Black dot is the most common, and the most desirable for resale, but may or may not be what you need. It is middle of the road though, and more playable for most folks than extremely upright or extremely flat. Again, I just proposed this option as a way to get playable clubs at an investment that is at least mostly reclaimable.

These prices are for the standard finish;the Beryllium Copper can go for a lot more, and offers no practical advantage for your purposes.
post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I understood that. It's just that, as I said, the Eye-2 options weren't there on Craigslist. I was asking if there were alternatives to the PING Eye irons to look for, as far as older models worth considering.

 

I'm starting to think a bit more about going used on clubs, though the only ones I saw I liked where I would save was on the RocketBallz. The Burners were no cheaper used than new ($300 either way), while the RocketBallz went from about $350 to $260, if I bought used. On the topic of used clubs and Global Golf, is there a line I should draw on quality from them? Obviously they are all expected to be playable from there, but are any of the qualities a bit extreme on the wear? I think that they only had Very Good for the RocketBallz, but they didn't sound like they'd be bad. That, and is there a level of discount I should have as a measuring stick for whether a set is a good buy used or not? I'd think that $90 off would be pretty solid.

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilfrier View Post
 

Yeah, I understood that. It's just that, as I said, the Eye-2 options weren't there on Craigslist. I was asking if there were alternatives to the PING Eye irons to look for, as far as older models worth considering.

 

I'm starting to think a bit more about going used on clubs, though the only ones I saw I liked where I would save was on the RocketBallz. The Burners were no cheaper used than new ($300 either way), while the RocketBallz went from about $350 to $260, if I bought used. On the topic of used clubs and Global Golf, is there a line I should draw on quality from them? Obviously they are all expected to be playable from there, but are any of the qualities a bit extreme on the wear? I think that they only had Very Good for the RocketBallz, but they didn't sound like they'd be bad. That, and is there a level of discount I should have as a measuring stick for whether a set is a good buy used or not? I'd think that $90 off would be pretty solid.

 

 

can't address a set of irons, but I bought 2 drivers, and a 3 wood from  them. One driver was an older big bertha, listed as fair for an older club, but was in decent condition had no gouges or anything. The other 2 clubs were listed as in good condition, the Razr Fit driver had a few very light scratches on the club head, and the grip was o.k., but I replaced it. The 3 wood was also listed in good condition, yet outside of some Very light scratches on the bottom, and 1 tiny scratch on the face up towards the top of the club, it looked almost new, as was the grip. All 3 clubs had shafts that No flaws at all. I think Global rates their clubs pretty harsh, cuz I would of rated my clubs in very good cond.but maybe I'm not as picky..?

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 

One more question for the moment...

 

So I'm still leaning towards the RocketBallz irons, though I would probably have to go steel shafts. I'd prefer to then pair them with matching driver/wood/hybrid clubs (depending on what I get), but their branding on those clubs is a bit more-complicated. They list the Drivers as RocketBallz, RocketBallz Bonded, and RocketBallz Bonded Chrome, the Fairway Woods as RocketBallz and RocketBallz Tour, and the Hybrids as RocketBallz Rescue and RocketBallz Chrome Rescue.

 

I guess two questions actually came up from the search:

 

1. What's "Rescue," just their way of labeling a hybrid, or something special about that hybrid?

 

2. What's the difference in all of the different variations, anyone know? I'm not sure if "Chrome" just means a different-colored head, and I'm similarly confused as to how "Bonded" and "Tour" affect the Drivers and Fairway Woods, respectively.

post #17 of 39
Why would you want them paired with the matching driver fairway ect.....?
post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 

Is there a reason I wouldn't? I don't have any kind of brand preference, nor have I heard a reason to pick anything other than the matching set. The matching woods and hybrids aren't too expensive (about $80 each new), and the driver's cheap enough ($100 new) that I'd consider getting it and adapting, as I'm not interested in spending a bunch on a driver when I can't hit it. It's mostly because of the aesthetics, and a lack of an explanation as to why I would get something else.

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