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ChetlovesMer

Learn to Play Golf at Least a Little Before You Start Spending Big Bucks on Clubs

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I found this really interesting.

I have people ask me all the time, I want to start playing golf, what kind of clubs should I buy. I always answer "pretty much anything that gets you out there." 

 

Moral of the story. Get a reasonably repeatable swing then go out and get fit for clubs. 

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Get a reasonably repeatable swing then go out and get fit for clubs. 

Unless you have plenty of money to burn...……  Great advice from @ChetlovesMer

My 1st 2 years, I put a set together from the local goodwill type stores. Cost me about $60.00  Once I decided to continue, I went to a local golf specialty store and tried out about 10 different sets of used clubs that some one had treaded in.  Fount the set that "felt" the best to my swing and picked them up for about $200.00. 

Used the cheapest ball I could find at Wall mart, until I stopped losing so many...….

Played the used set for about 3 years before I invested in a new tech fitted set.

Still not sure how "reasonable" my swing is...……  LOL

 

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Hmmmm - this is always an interesting discussion.

Speaking of this summer from first hand observations of 5 new(er) golfers, all in the 21 to 25 year old range.  All getting golf clubs for the first time.

Group 1

2 of them were told "all you need is this" and the "this" were from the bargain bin at 2nd Swing.  Cost maybe $100.00

Group 2

2 of them went to 2nd Swing for an unscheduled semi-fitting that anyone can get walking into the store.  Definitely an above average club fitter working off of a flight scope or similar equipment.  They both spent $1500.00 each on an entire set plus bag.  The putters were Evenroll and Scotty Cameron, both ended up with Mizuno irons, hybrid.  One got the Mizuno 180 Driver and the other got the Titleist T2 Driver - the clubs were all used except the Scotty it was on one heck of a sale!  All of them looked new and would have rated out at a 9+

Group 3 (if you can call 1 a group)

Last one scheduled 2nd Swings Tour Fitting Session - budget $1500 for an entire set.  She ended up with new Ping putter, used Ping irons (Fitter really debated on what to do here) Ping G410 Driver with an aftermarket shaft, it was barely used she did not need a new bag. She "loves" this Driver as well as the putter.

Group 1 has stopped playing golf, they hated the clubs and did not like anything about using them.  

Group 2 plays as often as possible, they go to the range and practice and want to start taking lessons.  They would tell anyone to do what they did for getting their 1st set of clubs, that is until they heard about the final Group.

Group 3 is my daughter, golf is her choice and these are her words.

She just started playing golf this summer, late summer.  She took a few lessons and had 4 different sets of clubs to work with at first. 2 lessons and 2 range sessions before her Tour Level Fitting, that was it.

She would flat out tell anyone that going thru a full fledge Tour Fitting with a Trackman is the only way to go, even if you just started.  She learned more about her swing then any instructor could teach that is not using a Trackman.  She is working with a PGA Instructor.  She literally wants to be the very best at golf!

Her words, going thru the Tour Van Fitting took all of the doubt out of the equipment equation.  She knows those clubs are right for her and she also now knows what to look for in her next of irons when she improves.

Her Fitter said it was easier to fit my daughter into clubs then most golfers who had been playing.  The reason why, she totally trusted what he said and she did not come in with a preconceived idea of what she wanted or needed.  

The irons he almost sold her were Ping I210s - he told her with her swing, even though she is new these were the best fit for her.  But he backed down at the last second, partly due to budget as the Ping G410 Driver while at a used price was still eating into her budget and it was obvious how much she liked that Driver as well as the Trackman clearly stated it was by far the best Driver she had been testing.  He sold her used G400s but made her promise to come back later for Ping I210s.  

5 golfers, all in the 21 to 25 range. 3 are working at the game and really enjoying it, they want to play because their clubs are cool, fun to fit.  2 quit because their clubs sucked.

To top it off, the 2 golfers that quit had more then enough money to get whatever clubs they wanted, they just did what they were told to do because someone who already golfed told them too.

Moral of the story.

You can get high level club fitting with a budget and walk out the door with excellent used clubs.  You can spend less then $1500.00 as well. Bonus at 2nd Swing if you do not like the clubs you can return them.

Golf is hard for anyone at any level, the technology is there to help make it easier even if this is your first day out.  Why would you not take full advantage of everything at your disposal to help make it easer.   

And finally, no one's swing is ever going to have a repeatable enough swing to wait to utilize the technology that is available today.

Get fit,

Get Lessons

Get going,

this is a blast of a game to play

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Pluck a rusty 5 iron out of the bargain bin and learn how to use it.  If that interests you...good.  If it gets really old really fast...find something else to do.  The development of any skill is independent of having the best toys.

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the group I golf with says I am pretty good for a noob...especially off the tee...so I just went all in and bought some new TMs...don't regret it ;).  i'll be doing this for a while...I got time 🙂

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10 hours ago, Piz said:

Pluck a rusty 5 iron out of the bargain bin and learn how to use it.  If that interests you...good.  If it gets really old really fast...find something else to do.  The development of any skill is independent of having the best toys.

But you still can’t drive a nail very effectively with a screwdriver.

If the clubs aren’t at least marginally suited to you, you’re not likely to progress and may get frustrated quickly and never really give the game a chance.

Does someone “need” $3500 worth of clubs to learn/enjoy the game?  Of course not.  But a decent, relatively “full set”, even if used, that are appropriate in terms of physical fit and shaft will go a long way in starting out.

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it's your money, do what you want

(though I agree with the poster, that it's more cost effective to get a used set to learn with.  though do NOT pluck a rusty anything and try to learn with that thing.  I also wouldn't recommend to someone learning to bowl to just start with a cinder block....)

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19 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

it's your money, do what you want

(though I agree with the poster, that it's more cost effective to get a used set to learn with.  though do NOT pluck a rusty anything and try to learn with that thing.  I also wouldn't recommend to someone learning to bowl to just start with a cinder block....)

Yeah, I've always felt that as long as you have something reasonably descent to practice/play with; then get out there and practice/play. In all likelihood your swing will change a lot during your first few weeks/months playing. 

I surveyed my golfing buddies and nearly all of them started with hand-me-down clubs. Oddly, I was the exception to that. I bought a $150.00 set of Knight Centauri Boxed Set. (I literally bought them on the way to the golf course for company league night.) I played the driver/3 wood/5 wood from that set for about a year, and the irons for about 4 or 5. 

I don't think Knight still makes men's golf clubs, but I have fond memories of that set. 

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I think it helps to have a (some what) decent swing before going all out for a set of clubs. I also believe that "all out" doesn't need to be that expensive. (Under $400 easily)

There's alot of club sets being sold today, that as the new golfer's swing improves, their clubs are not easily adjusted to fit their swing improvements as needed.

They can be adjusted, but sometimes they need to be sent back to the manufacturer. A new golfer could find themselves buying a second set of clubs, rather quickly, as their swing improves due to this scenario. 

Another example might be this. I was back in Texas visiting my brother. My nephew wanted to go play some golf, but I was with out my own clubs. 

He took me to a store "Sports Academy" (?) where I purchsed a $99 set of women's clubs. Cheapest set I could find. Added a $20 putter, and was out the door.  My dececent swing made those clubs work. When I left, I gave the set to my nephew's daughter. 

 

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I am on my 4th season now and my swing did not develop until year 2. What it is today is definitely not anywhere near how I was swinging 4 years ago. 

My first set of lessons were purchased through Groupon. I wanted to try it out without commitment so the instructor let me use his old clubs. The problem was they were men’s stiff that were way too long and heavy for me. I struggled for months to make contact and almost gave up trying. I decided to buy a set of women’s club through Costco for $500 and that made a difference. I started making contact and improved quickly. I used those for a few months until the 8i snapped. My instructor felt that I had developed a good swing by then, but was not making solid contact, so he gave me a fitting session for free. It turned out I needed clubs that are 3 degrees flat and 1/2” short. By that time, I knew I was going to stick to golf so I went ahead and spent $1500+ on new clubs and I’d have to say that was the best investment I have made. My game improved and my handicap dropped to mid-teens rather quickly (from low 20s). I have been using these clubs for 2 seasons and have replaced the LW twice and 5w once while my hcp dropped to single digit. I just had another fitting to see if I can benefit from newer clubs and it seems like I will benefit from men’s senior flex, so that’s what I am going to buy next.

I personally feel that it takes time for one’s swing to develop. There is no reason for a newbie to go for a fitting without a repeatable swing and spend thousands from the get go.  You will get so much more out of a fitting session once you know what you are doing, and can feel the difference between different clubs.

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So a buddy at work was VERY excited and learning to golf.  having a hard time, dinking around and going full bore cheap on his clubs.....

I went to Golfsmith as they were going out of business and saw a set of used Mizuno JPX EZs - SUPER GIR for just a couple hundred.  I hit them, noted they had compatible shafts with his swing speed (at least as I thought he needed).

Dragged him to the store to buy them.

Hi old irons were so worn out that they had no grooves (either nearly smooth, or so rusted that they weren't visible).

He improved instantly -

I don't care if you have a totally crap swing - you also can't improve if you don't at least have something worth training on......

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If I had to do it over again, I’d likely have gotten fit.

Even if your swing starts off total crap, your fitted clubs will pretty much work fine even if you gain like 10-15mph. It’s not that big a deal to get fit when you’re a noob then advance to not a noob with a decent swing.

A decent club fitter will take all that into account.

As for getting nice shiny clubs, if you like them, get them. Chances are you’ll be able to use them for years to come...

Edited by Lihu

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I started with a set of Spalding clubs, full set from K-Mart for a few hundred dollars years and years ago, (couldn't afford anything else with family and a low salary at the time). I look at them now and wonder how I ever hit them but they got me hooked on the game. As my salary increased I was able to save up and buy better clubs. Now a days there are tons of 2nd hand clubs available, just look on Ebay. There probably were 2nd hand clubs available when I started but who knew.

I agree with most above that you don't need the expensive clubs to start, hell you may not need them going forward either. 

Talk to your local Pro Shop, they probably have a set for you or can get you hooked up with someone who does. I for example have probably three sets of clubs in my garage, (not including the Spaldings), that I would gladly part with just to clean my garage out. Just wish I knew someone who could put them to good use. I have 11 putters for example, who needs 11 putters!!

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I started out with a bag of hand me downs, mostly MacGregor. I played them for almost 6 years, only changed my putter.  

In 1975, I finally got my first set of new clubs.  I settled on on set from Wilson. I am very glad I got "basic" golf down before I bought them.  Not a lot of options from most brands. Blades only, steel shafts and not much on the basic market of items such as the 30 options I choose from for new grips.  Price was average for the time ($275.00).

If I were new to golf today, I would go try out some clubs.  Then, I would do my best to find a most similar set on many of the sites that deal in used cubs. A phone class my even get you some good advice.

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I am beginning this journey too. For years i played 2-3 times a year due to busy work schedule. My dad gave me an old set of his clubs and they've always got me by for the scrambles or occasional rounds.  

Last year my wife and i moved into our 1st home built together in a golf community.  With the course across the street and some flexibility in my schedule as a rotator, I've started working on my game.  LOTS of practice to build a swing between the 2 or 3 weeks I'm gone has some challenges.  Our PGA pro sold me a package deal on lessons in which I've had 2 and waiting to take the last one next week.  

Now that i have a repeatable and somewhat consistent swing (believe me I've asked a number of fellow players to verify), I've had 2 different fitting sessions using Trackman; one for wedges and one for irons.  Needed a MUCH stiffer shaft for all the clubs which should help my game.  Placing orders today hopefully!

I've done so much reading and watched so many videos i feel confident that this scenario is a good recipe for some.

1) Get a decent set of clubs; trainers, hand-me-downs or loaners from a fellow golfer.

2) Practice, practice, practice.

3) Lessons are a must to determine your weaknesses or focus areas to improve.  Focus on one item at a time and don't get overwhelmed.

4) Get fit for whatever clubs you need to replace or a full set.  Mine will be irons/wedges.  Next will be woods and possible driver (once that CC cools off).

Golf can be a great outlet to meet people and enjoy the challenge of sport no matter your age.  Now that I've been bit by the golf bug, I'll try to pay if forward for people interested in the game when the opportunity arises.  

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Here is my story. When I was around 3 years old my dad cut down a 5 iron from a Sam Snead Blue Ridge set to appropriate height for a 3 year old, so I could start to learn a swing in the yard/house. When I was around 6, he cut down a half set of the same type of club, a little long to account for growth. When I was 10 he did the same thing with the other half of the set. He and I played lots when I was young, but once I could get around on my own (my older friends having cars and stuff) I stopped playing with him much at all and only got out a few times each summer until I stopped playing all together. This would have been 14-20 years old for me, and during that time I used a full sized full set of the same irons I had been playing with my whole life to that point, and persimmon woods that matched. I played about 10 rounds from age 20-30 (this year)

This year I decided to get fairly serious and try for some real improvement. I still had my set of Blue Ridges, but I figured I would go with something newer just to get me excited, but didn't want to break the bank. I ended up buying everything that is in my signature this year, with the exception of the 5 Hybrid that I won at a scramble. The irons cost me about 225 on ebay, the wedges 30 each from 2nd swing, the driver about 100 from 2nd swing, and the 4W about the same. The only thing that is actually new is my putter which was 140. So I am into this bag about 625 dollars, with nothing fitted at all. If I had to go back, I probably would have gone for a fitting if I knew how much I was going to enjoy golf this year (and hopefully for many years to come), but as it stands, I am really happy with my bag. I know I would benefit from a more forgiving set of irons, but I've played blades my whole life, and I have a hard time looking down at anything larger, or any fatter top-lines.

Next year, I will either get fitted, or buy another used set most likely. I have a decent collection of golf clubs in the basement, and don't mind adding. It really just depends on what I can get my hands on, or how I feel in the spring time.

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:06 PM, djake said:

Hmmmm - this is always an interesting discussion.

Speaking of this summer from first hand observations of 5 new(er) golfers, all in the 21 to 25 year old range.  All getting golf clubs for the first time.

Group 1

2 of them were told "all you need is this" and the "this" were from the bargain bin at 2nd Swing.  Cost maybe $100.00

Group 2

2 of them went to 2nd Swing for an unscheduled semi-fitting that anyone can get walking into the store.  Definitely an above average club fitter working off of a flight scope or similar equipment.  They both spent $1500.00 each on an entire set plus bag.  The putters were Evenroll and Scotty Cameron, both ended up with Mizuno irons, hybrid.  One got the Mizuno 180 Driver and the other got the Titleist T2 Driver - the clubs were all used except the Scotty it was on one heck of a sale!  All of them looked new and would have rated out at a 9+

Group 3 (if you can call 1 a group)

Last one scheduled 2nd Swings Tour Fitting Session - budget $1500 for an entire set.  She ended up with new Ping putter, used Ping irons (Fitter really debated on what to do here) Ping G410 Driver with an aftermarket shaft, it was barely used she did not need a new bag. She "loves" this Driver as well as the putter.

Group 1 has stopped playing golf, they hated the clubs and did not like anything about using them.  

Group 2 plays as often as possible, they go to the range and practice and want to start taking lessons.  They would tell anyone to do what they did for getting their 1st set of clubs, that is until they heard about the final Group.

Group 3 is my daughter, golf is her choice and these are her words.

She just started playing golf this summer, late summer.  She took a few lessons and had 4 different sets of clubs to work with at first. 2 lessons and 2 range sessions before her Tour Level Fitting, that was it.

She would flat out tell anyone that going thru a full fledge Tour Fitting with a Trackman is the only way to go, even if you just started.  She learned more about her swing then any instructor could teach that is not using a Trackman.  She is working with a PGA Instructor.  She literally wants to be the very best at golf!

Her words, going thru the Tour Van Fitting took all of the doubt out of the equipment equation.  She knows those clubs are right for her and she also now knows what to look for in her next of irons when she improves.

Her Fitter said it was easier to fit my daughter into clubs then most golfers who had been playing.  The reason why, she totally trusted what he said and she did not come in with a preconceived idea of what she wanted or needed.  

The irons he almost sold her were Ping I210s - he told her with her swing, even though she is new these were the best fit for her.  But he backed down at the last second, partly due to budget as the Ping G410 Driver while at a used price was still eating into her budget and it was obvious how much she liked that Driver as well as the Trackman clearly stated it was by far the best Driver she had been testing.  He sold her used G400s but made her promise to come back later for Ping I210s.  

5 golfers, all in the 21 to 25 range. 3 are working at the game and really enjoying it, they want to play because their clubs are cool, fun to fit.  2 quit because their clubs sucked.

To top it off, the 2 golfers that quit had more then enough money to get whatever clubs they wanted, they just did what they were told to do because someone who already golfed told them too.

Moral of the story.

You can get high level club fitting with a budget and walk out the door with excellent used clubs.  You can spend less then $1500.00 as well. Bonus at 2nd Swing if you do not like the clubs you can return them.

Golf is hard for anyone at any level, the technology is there to help make it easier even if this is your first day out.  Why would you not take full advantage of everything at your disposal to help make it easer.   

And finally, no one's swing is ever going to have a repeatable enough swing to wait to utilize the technology that is available today.

Get fit,

Get Lessons

Get going,

this is a blast of a game to play

Unfortunately the real moral of the story is that your daughter has a well involved and knowledgable father who will encourage her and give her advice so she can enjoy the game as much as possible.  But it still has to be fun for her.

When our twin boys were 11 they saw my old surfboards in the rafters.  For the next 10 years we got out as much as we could and shared waves together.  Our garage became the ding repair shop for their friends and we would shuttle everyone to the beach at least once a week.  Ironically both have ended up in Arizona, but dearly miss the ocean and we try to get out, they’re in their 30’s and I’m 68, whenever they come out.  I think there are still over 20 boards in our garage.

But when they were 10, they got boxed golf sets for Christmas.  We would take them to the pitch and putt.  They have never become as proficient as they did at surfing, but we get out and play at least one round whenever we get together.  They have obviously moved on from those boxed  set clubs, but they play because they are able to do it well enough to enjoy it and have had someone there to play with and encourage them... to make it fun.
 

I’m not advocating no fittings or lessons, but for someone starting out, and they have the athletic ability (a person has to have some physical ability to do any sport), having someone there to help them through is probably more important.

John

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One key to helping friends who have to play iffy clubs, is to play with them, maybe make no more than ONE suggestion, and try not to belittle the clubs they use.

I know and have known many golf snobs who put down far too many beginners.  I know one at the range I most often use, who loved making comments about my driver.  

I knew I needed a new driver, but as a retired person, I am not in a position to whip out the old Master Card and buy a $500 driver.

We all were iffy and poor hitting beginners, well, except for Tiger.  Encourage the beginners, including those who have clubs from First Tee.

Edited by DrMJG

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