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Old Elite Clubs vs. New Starter Set

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I purchased a Strata starter set, and it has served me well.  In fact, I really love the clubs, but am ready to graduate to something better.  Many people say to just buy some good clubs (Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping) off of eBay.  I get it, I get it -  the Strata set was only $150 (including the bag!), and came with D,3W,5H,6-PW.  So, you are getting an entire set and the bag for the cost of a single Callaway iron.  Obviously, the quality of a Callaway XR must be better.

But, with technology always improving, even for clones, do you think that a 2019 Strata set (or even Top Flite) has enough improvements to make it comparable to say a 2006 Big Bertha set?  In other words, maybe a 2012 set of Callaways are fine off of eBay, but once you get down to 2006 or earlier, they are no better than cheap starter clubs from today. Do you think that is true?

I think about TVs.  My cheap 2020 Vizio isn't better than an expensive and tricked out 2018 Sony, but is certainly better than anything that came out in 2006. 

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  • iacas changed the title to Old Elite Clubs vs. New Starter Set

The starter sets are going to basically put you in technology from 20 years ago. Single metal head builds, wide soled cavity backs, basic 460cc driver. Quality of materials and finishes will be less than higher priced sets. Quality control will also be less strict.

They are great for learning with as they will probably get beat up, and are simple and cheap intro to golf.

The Callaway XR or other newer clubs will be made up of better component pieces, have nicer finishes, and be more consistent through the set most likely.

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11 hours ago, ajl said:

technology always improving

Yes, but remember that clubs are governed by the R&A and USGA.  There haven't been that many advancements in the last few years.  Otherwise, they'd be in breach of the governing bodies' rules.  However, I concede that I'm more of an "Indian not the arrow" kind of guy.  I'm not even much of a fitting kind of guy like some folks are.  Sure, there are clubs that might suit you better, but all you have to do is go try stuff out on a quality launch monitor and go buy secondhand instead of paying the new purchase premium.  They're golf clubs.  Golf is about you and your ability.  Clubs, for the most part, aren't going to improve that.  I can go out and play with my playing partner's or even my wife's dusty clubs fine.  I mean it won't be as fun as using my own clubs, but we're playing a game where you hit a ball in a hole in the ground.  Let's not overcomplicate things unnecessarily.

Edited by ncates00
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Thanks to both Adam C and ncates00.  Those comments are really helpful - albeit opposite :-)

Actually, If I'm hearing you right, Adam C, you aren't saying that a set of 2006 Berthas are going to lower my score, but rather be more durable and perhaps more consistent.  Do I have that correct?


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4 hours ago, ajl said:

Thanks to both Adam C and ncates00.  Those comments are really helpful - albeit opposite :-)

Actually, If I'm hearing you right, Adam C, you aren't saying that a set of 2006 Berthas are going to lower my score, but rather be more durable and perhaps more consistent.  Do I have that correct?


You know I used to think that the starter sets were less durable because I would see broken stuff come into the shop frequently. But more recently I have started believing that it's less about the club and more about the beginner golfer swinging it badly and causing more issues.

Are the quality of the materials lower on a starter set, yes. But I am not sure how much less durable they are compared to a more expensive set used by the same quality of golfer. Obviously if the golfer is very fast/strong, these clubs may fail more often but you could say that about any golf club.

However, on the question of consistency, I do believe there will be a bigger difference because the quality control of the specs and component pieces will not be as strict with a starter set.

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I've been playing with Callaway X20 irons for about 6 years now and enjoy playing with them. I came across a set of Titleist Acushnet AC108 with Tungsten inserts that an uncle gave me when I started playing, around 14 years old, he had received as a gift from a client. There is a real difference in the shape and features between the 2 sets. I'm going to take a few of the irons out for a try on the range but curious which set could help my game improve. I'll need new woods because these are Persimmon. Any thoughts?

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