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ForePlayAce

When Is It Time for a New Driver?

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For starters, I want to say that I consider myself to be an average weekend golfer. My handicap is +13, so I'm by no means a great golfer. I think that part of my problem lies in the driver that I use. My current driver is the TaylorMade 320 Ti, which released in 2000. I have read some other forums about people that are looking to replace their driver after 6 years, and others had said that it may not be worth it. So my question is, do you guys think that it would be worth it for me to upgrade? I was thinking about seeing if the price for the TaylorMade M5 drops when they release their new 2020 driver.

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Just buy a used driver thats 2 or 3 years old. No need to break the bank with a $500+ driver when you can get almost the same thing for 120 bucks. You can wait til TM releases a new one, but you'll just be delaying the inevitable. I just bought a Titleist 917 for 120 dollars on a used online site, and as far as I am concerned it does just as good of a job as the new stuff. 

P.s. A plus handicap means the you are better than scratch. But a 13 is pretty good if you only get to play on the weekend.

Good luck in your search

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12 hours ago, ForePlayAce said:

For starters, I want to say that I consider myself to be an average weekend golfer. My handicap is +13, so I'm by no means a great golfer. I think that part of my problem lies in the driver that I use. My current driver is the TaylorMade 320 Ti, which released in 2000. I have read some other forums about people that are looking to replace their driver after 6 years, and others had said that it may not be worth it. So my question is, do you guys think that it would be worth it for me to upgrade? I was thinking about seeing if the price for the TaylorMade M5 drops when they release their new 2020 driver.

If you have the money to buy a new driver, you can get one whenever you want.  However, if you're looking at buying a new driver for performance reasons, a driver will be pretty good for about 5 years (give or take) before falling behind.  After all, tech is limited by the R&A and USGA, so there's not much that can be done to clubs; manufacturers simply make small changes over time, and most of those changes are purely aesthetic.  

Get on a launch monitor and test clubs against your current driver.

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Both ideas...buy used and get on a launch monitor...are good. I needed to know what shaft, loft, and other dynamics were best for me as an old, slow-swinging, high HCP golfer. So I worked with a friend at Dick's. Ultimately I settled on my older Cleveland driver that I bought used online after research and comparisons. Best, -Marv

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I have four words for you.

"I LIKE SHINY THINGS"

I buy a new driver when ever I think my wife will let me get away with it. I'll use the same set of irons for 10 years. I will likely keep a putter forever. I like to replace my wedges every other year if I play a lot. When it comes to a driver, however, it's so hard to resist the shiny new ones. 

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51 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Just buy a used driver thats 2 or 3 years old. No need to break the bank with a $500+ driver when you can get almost the same thing for 120 bucks. You can wait til TM releases a new one, but you'll just be delaying the inevitable. I just bought a Titleist 917 for 120 dollars on a used online site, and as far as I am concerned it does just as good of a job as the new stuff. 

P.s. A plus handicap means the you are better than scratch. But a 13 is pretty good if you only get to play on the weekend.

Good luck in your search

I agree, $500+ is a bit too much to afford. If you don't mind me asking, where do you get used clubs online? I've heard stories about counterfeit clubs and stuff like that, so if I do buy online I'd like to avoid that.

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11 minutes ago, ForePlayAce said:

I agree, $500+ is a bit too much to afford. If you don't mind me asking, where do you get used clubs online? I've heard stories about counterfeit clubs and stuff like that, so if I do buy online I'd like to avoid that.

Ive had great luck with 2nd swing (I'm in the USA). My advice if you do go that route, don't be afraid to buy a 7.0 (below average condition) rated club. On the 917s its the difference between 120 and 180 dollars between a 7 and 8 quality, and the 7.0 quality stuff I have bought has been really decent by my standards. Just make sure the shaft flex/weight fit your swing speed. The 12 degree I bought came in ladies flex when I thought I was buying something epse. It always lists the shaft on the club, so I was either being careless or it was listed wrong (probably the former).

I know there are other sites that sell legit clubs but I like 2nd swing lots. Start picking around and checking prices on different sites. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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Used to be a time, I would buy a Driver from the local golf store bargain bin for $30-$50. then it was the best driver I ever used... until it wasn't- then I would go back and get another one. that might be a week later... or two months. I didn't buy a "real" driver until I went all out on a 2 year old brand new R7 from rockbottom. I think I paid $189 for it. And that was the greatest driver ever! Until 2 years later I picked up a leftover Callaway Tour Octane from the same place. Then THAT was the greatest driver ever. Then the R11s went on a flash sale at Golf Galaxy for a ridiculous price. And THAT was the greatest driver ever. Then a few years later a leftover M1 was the greatest driver ever. I had NEVER bought a 'latest and greatest' new model driver until this spring. I had a TM fitting session when the M5/M6 came out, and since the fitting was free, why not. After 1/2 hour of getting numbers with the M1 and then numbers with the M5 (not so good and felt strange), then the M6 (8mph increase in ball speed) I dropped the coin right there. Got $120 for the M1 so it wasn't really a full cost money bomb.

So, yes, you can get increase in performance with a 1 or 2 year old driver without breaking the bank. Plus the technology in the balls working WITH the newer driver face technology will also get you some help.

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What are you getting out of your current driver? Why do you think it is the problem? I personally  think a 13hcp is pretty good for a weekend golfer, and getting a new driver may not magically improve your game/turn you into a scratch golfer/help you drive 300+/etc.

My husband insisted on getting me the Epic Flash earlier this year to replace my XR16, said new technology could help me. I tried it out at Golfmart and for some odd reason, I couldn’t hit that driver and was consistently 15yds shorter than my old driver!

I walked away not getting a new driver, but used that money on some golf lessons and a fitting session. My swing have improved, handicap dropped, and I gained 20yds just by changing my driver shaft. So, new technology may not always help and it all depends on what you are trying to get out of it.

 

Edited by FlyingAce

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I agree with what @Bonvivant posted. Go with a newer "used" club, The caveat being as long as it fits your swing. 

If not a used club, perhap check out having a new club built from components. A component club would save $100s of dollars, and would have the same quality, and playability as a $500+ model. Again, as long as it fits the swing of the user. 

As for when is time to buy a new driver, I am of the opinion that as soon as the golfer starts thinking obout it, it's time to make the switch. Need to get that thought out of your head, and move on. 

Myself, I have two drivers that are several years old. (12+) After trying the new stuff available, a newer driver would not enhance my game enough to justify the price of a new one. It would be nice to have that $600 driver in my bag, to show off to others.  However at this point in my golf journey, my scores would stay the same........as my game deteriorates. 

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When is it time for a new driver????

When Cobra releases a new King Speed Zone driver with 95% more milled face than the King F9....

…. Wait a tick.... Did that just happen?  

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15 hours ago, ForePlayAce said:

My current driver is the TaylorMade 320 Ti, which released in 2000.

I think a modern driver would be of some benefit if you're playing a club from 2000. Before I switched to a modern driver, I was playing a Callaway driver from around 2002/2003 and the switch did make a difference, although not monumental. Modern drivers/shafts won't fix swing issues.

Like others have said, no need to get the latest big brand release for $500 or more, unless you want to. I have purchased all my drivers, fairway woods and hybrids used, in great condition (some with plastic still on the head) from various online shops; Callaway Preowned, 2nd Swing, eBay (from reputable sellers). I usually look for clubs one or two generations old to further reduce cost and end up paying about a quarter of the original price. I have had no issues with counterfeit clubs, but that's not to say they're not out there.

Best thing to do, as @ncates00 suggests is try out different models of heads and shafts on a launch monitor and see which performs best, but this takes a little more effort, and sometimes cost, so whether or not you want to get that involved is a up to you. I will be getting fit for a driver shaft during my next lesson, and when the big brands release their 2020 product lines, I might be tempted to buy a new head from a previous generation, as the prices will likely drop when the new lines come out.

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Yes! buy another one. 4 years ago I started playing again and i Had a Driver from 1999. After a few months of playing i decided that the comback to golf was definiteve so I bougth a new Driver. 
I hit it a little bit longer and straigther, 20 years of technology advances is a lot!

Every time i purchae a club it´s for the long run so i always buy new clubs, don´t like used ones. My now 4 year old Driver it´s more that I need and I´m not planning to buy a new one in at least the next 5 years. 

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I am still using a 2009 Burner.

I am sure I should investigate a new one, but not in my budget.
Looked into a slightly used driver, but stop when I remember 2 things:
1- I still hit my driver 250-260, which is about what I need
2- even a used diver at $200-$300, would be the cost of brewing supplies for 3-4 batches of beer!

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4 hours ago, FlyingAce said:

What are you getting out of your current driver? Why do you think it is the problem? I personally  think a 13hcp is pretty good for a weekend golfer, and getting a new driver may not magically improve your game/turn you into a scratch golfer/help you drive 300+/etc.

My husband insisted on getting me the Epic Flash earlier this year to replace my XR16, said new technology could help me. I tried it out at Golfmart and for some odd reason, I couldn’t hit that driver and was consistently 15yds shorter than my old driver!

I walked away not getting a new driver, but used that money on some golf lessons and a fitting session. My swing have improved, handicap dropped, and I gained 20yds just by changing my driver shaft. So, new technology may not always help and it all depends on what you are trying to get out of it.

 

I usually opt to hit a long iron, but when I do hit driver, it'll go roughly 260. That's based off a yardage app that I use, so it's not dead on, but I would guess that it's within 10 yards. I think that I would benefit the most from better accuracy that new drivers claim to have

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15 minutes ago, ForePlayAce said:

better accuracy that new drivers claim to have

You're buying into the marketing.  Accuracy is about strike and face to path.  A club isn't going to fix that for you, lie angles and fitting aside.  

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17 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

You're buying into the marketing.  Accuracy is about strike and face to path.  A club isn't going to fix that for you, lie angles and fitting aside.  

Fairly accurate but drivers from the last 3 years offer more forgiveness than stuff from the early 2000s, surely. I say that having a bag with irons from that era, so take it with a grain of salt.

Another point, sometimes a new club can make you want to practice with it more. You could probably get the results you want with some good hard practice, but may not want to practice that much with the old club.

The combination really paid off for me this year when I got new stuff. Went to the range a decent amount to work on things and played more than I ever have

Edited by Bonvivant
First paragraph addition

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56 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

You're buying into the marketing.  Accuracy is about strike and face to path.  A club isn't going to fix that for you, lie angles and fitting aside.  

You are correct, in a way. If you hit the ball in the center of the sweet spot, and if the launch angle and path are going to be maxed out, the rules of golf only allow for a given COR (Coefficient of Restitution). Which means the ball speed can only be a given percentage of the club head speed. In theory, any driver made in the last 20 years will have the same COR for the center of the sweet spot. That is not true for the rest of the face.

The area where drivers HAVE improved over the last 20 years is for off-center hits. Divers have gotten better and better at delivering higher and higher COR for hits that are further and further from the center of the sweet spot. When somebody speaks of driver forgiveness, this is what they are referring to. 

In addition, some drivers are more "workable" than others. Which is basically the shape of the face will create some degree of "self-correcting". This is advantageous for some golfers, but a hinderance to other golfers. 

So, while a 19 year old driver will perform just as well or nearly as well (assuming the shaft fits the player's swing) as this year's model on hits from the very center of the face. The newer driver is likely to produce longer "average" drives because most of us use far more than just the center of the face. How much longer depends on a myriad of factors.

Oh, and most importantly … the new driver is shiny... Hmm.... I like shiny things. 

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