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IceDave

New equipment vs use what you've got

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The reason for this post is that I played a round last summer with an exceptionally good player.  He holds a course record on a high profile course in Europe.  Apart from his game which was really nice to watch, I couldn't help but notice how old his clubs were, even his driver had some kind of a rattling sound like something was loose in the shaft. Yet he managed to drive from the fairway on a long par five to set up an eagle, only thing that was relatively new seemed to be his putter.  I always thought that players of this caliber used the latest and greatest in equipment.  The same can be said about the pro at my club, that has irons from 2000 and a driver from 95.  Still he has claimed numerous championships in the last years.

The majority of the members at my club are replacing irons, driver or wedges it seems every other year.  And still their game sucks in many cases.  I played 2 seasons ago with a guy who was playing the latest Titleist driver (brand new), and told me he just ordered the latest Callaway also just to have an option. To me just changing a set of irons is a challenge, getting used to the feel and so on. Driver can even be harder, and putter to me is the hardest.

Being interested in new equipment is ok, but the rate the average golfer is replacing his must be more harmful to his game.  Maybe I am looking at this just too black and white, and hoping my points gets across, but finding the right equipment must be the dominant factor for golfer should, and not force himself to keep up with the manufacturers of new equipment.  Most of it seems like marketing anyway.

(having typed up this post, my 40th birthday is coming up next month, queue in new equipment)

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If you like making clubs and trying new equipment, why not? It's your right to spend your money as you please.

If you want to get better, new equipment is only going to help marginally compared to lessons from a good instructor, practice and analysis. I will gladly forgo spending full price on a set of irons for a series of lessons with a good pro and range time and practice rounds.

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Well I think you nailed it with helping marginally.  My point was maybe that after having found irons, driver etc. that work fine for you why do golfers, throw out the old for only marginal help if any?

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Seeing that you from Iceland I can only speak for the US when saying that consumerism is fed into our life everyday. Kind of like "keeping up with the Jones," everyone has to have to newest and flashiest looking stuff just to say they have it.

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Originally Posted by IceDave

Well I think you nailed it with helping marginally.  My point was maybe that after having found irons, driver etc. that work fine for you why do golfers, throw out the old for only marginal help if any?


There can be a number of reasons why golfers spend money on equipment for at best marginal improvements

  • Buying new equipment is fun, sometimes a new club adds a little more excitement to their round.
  • We'll take any help we can get, a few extra yards or fewer strokes is always welcome.
  • Keeping up with the Jones - golf is targeted at people with disposable income, so there's always some that want the latest and greatest for status only.


I guilty of buying new clubs for the first two reasons, but could care less about the last.  My score is the only status I'm concerned about.  I learned a long time ago, someone will always have more money, have a bigger house, drive a nicer car and have more expensive clubs than I do.

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Originally Posted by IceDave

The reason for this post is that I played a round last summer with an exceptionally good player.  He holds a course record on a high profile course in Europe.  Apart from his game which was really nice to watch, I couldn't help but notice how old his clubs were, even his driver had some kind of a rattling sound like something was loose in the shaft. Yet he managed to drive from the fairway on a long par five to set up an eagle, only thing that was relatively new seemed to be his putter.  I always thought that players of this caliber used the latest and greatest in equipment.  The same can be said about the pro at my club, that has irons from 2000 and a driver from 95.  Still he has claimed numerous championships in the last years.

The majority of the members at my club are replacing irons, driver or wedges it seems every other year.  And still their game sucks in many cases.  I played 2 seasons ago with a guy who was playing the latest Titleist driver (brand new), and told me he just ordered the latest Callaway also just to have an option. To me just changing a set of irons is a challenge, getting used to the feel and so on. Driver can even be harder, and putter to me is the hardest.

Being interested in new equipment is ok, but the rate the average golfer is replacing his must be more harmful to his game.  Maybe I am looking at this just too black and white, and hoping my points gets across, but finding the right equipment must be the dominant factor for golfer should, and not force himself to keep up with the manufacturers of new equipment.  Most of it seems like marketing anyway.

(having typed up this post, my 40th birthday is coming up next month, queue in new equipment)



There's the problem. Drivers now come in black AND white.

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In a lot of ways, the solid golfers have less to gain from the latest and greatest than do the less skilled.  A lot of the technology goes into making off-center shots fly straight without sidespin, help balls struck with low clubhead speed get up in the air, etc.  If you hit your shots hard and square, that's not something you need.  Sometimes it can even go backwards---controlled sidespin is also called a draw or a fade, so if your club is eliminating it, it'll be harder to shape shots.

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Quote:

... To me just changing a set of irons is a challenge, getting used to the feel and so on. Driver can even be harder, and putter to me is the hardest.

Being interested in new equipment is ok, but the rate the average golfer is replacing his must be more harmful to his game.  ...

I tend to hold onto golf clubs for quite awhile.

  • Won't go all the way back, but I played MacGregor MT irons from 1974-1994, and MT woods (persimmon!) from 1983-1994.
  • Switched out to some Eye2 clones from 1994-2008 (Pro Tour model: company lost a lawsuit to Ping in late 1990s); cavity-backs helped my game, as did 2* flat lie. Played Pro Tour woods until about 2000, then switched to Air Zevo driver and Pro Tour Bazooka low-prolile FW (great clubs). Woods swap-out was for technical improvement.
  • Completely switched clubs in 2008-09 (except for my putter)... I was nearing 60 years of age, and dumped stiff shafts for regular. Got mainly Callaway Hyper-X Tour driver and 3W, and X20 irons. Have played around with wedges, some indecision there. Picked up a TM Raylor 19*. At Christmas, I swapped the X20s for some X20 Tours; had tried out Tours in 2009, but feared it was too big a jump to take.

Right now, I need to fine-tune my swing. I'm confident I can do it with these clubs. Will probably play this stuff until I "hit the wall" and stop improving, and can get identifiable tech boost from the switch.  Whenever you switch clubs, there's a learning curve. So unless something just plain won't work for me, I tend to keep it awhile.

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Originally Posted by IceDave

To me just changing a set of irons is a challenge, getting used to the feel and so on. Driver can even be harder, and putter to me is the hardest.


I picked up a lot of gear over the winter (off ebay and the local thrift shop) so that I could use my current irons when travelling to other courses. Most courses favour a straight shot or a fade and my driver doesn't fade on command that well.  I also don't mind having a less than familiar driver and 3-wood when playing new or strange courses since I tend to play safer anyway.

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Hi yea I totally agree with you Ive never got why people buy so much new equipment.  In my opinion a lot of people do it just to buy the next new thing and to be noticed for it, its an ego thing i think.  Studies have shown that with all this advancement in technology it has done virtually nothing to the average handicap.  There is a guy in a golf shop near me and his clubs were really old and his handicap was 2, about ten years old they were.  I asked him if he was gonna change soon and he said no wasnt really any need to.  There isnt really much point in it, they cant swing the club for you so I dont get why people buy so much so often.It gives them a slight confidence boost as well I guess then when its over time for a new driver! However with the likes of putters and wedges I think it can be beneficial because groves wear down, different feels etc.  Another time for a change I think is going from beginner irons to better ones but thats all i can think off.  I recently got blades and will be planning to hold on to them for as long as possible the same with my driver and fairway.  The only thing i can see changing is my wedges when they wear out or if I find a shaft that will make my driving better.  Its all marketing and it totally works.

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At the municipal courses I play, most players are using clubs that are a few years old with one exception....the putter.  The flavor of the week is vanilla, I'm now seeing a lot of white ones.

I don't know about drivers, they are under cover and only an idiot pulls one on an Executive 9.

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For the same people who go out and buy a New car and decide to put on a new exhaust, intake, Rims, etc.

Does a new set of 2010 irons help you more than a 2011 set. Probably not.

Does a Brand New car really need a new cat back exhaust. Nope.

All in fun.

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Lessons will always benefit you more than new clubs.  New clubs arent going to fix a bad swing.  The only exception to this might be if you have a set of persimmon woods and a 30 year old set of blades.  In that instance, a new get of GI or SGI clubs and a 460cc driver could help out quite a lot.

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Originally Posted by ctclippers41

Seeing that you from Iceland I can only speak for the US when saying that consumerism is fed into our life everyday. Kind of like "keeping up with the Jones," everyone has to have to newest and flashiest looking stuff just to say they have it.


I don't want to change the subject but wanted to tell you a little about us Icelanders.  Even though we are a part of Europe, Icelanders in general have as far as behavioral pattern goes been compared to US citizens, and keeping up with the Joneses is a big thing for many (read all) Icelanders. I lived in Denmark for 3 years and the 2 nations are miles apart in this respect. The rat race has dampened a bit after the 2008 crash which hit us pretty hard, I needed a new 3 wood last year, but ended up buying a 6 year old one, instead of a brand new.  Demand for new grips and shafts has been higher than new sets last couple of years.  Icelanders are often said to be crazy people and strive to do more than they can handle, I hope we learn something from 2008, look around and smell the roses.  Hopefully some will, the rest (read all) will probably go out and grab  a white driver.

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Originally Posted by IceDave

I don't want to change the subject but wanted to tell you a little about us Icelanders.  Even though we are a part of Europe, Icelanders in general have as far as behavioral pattern goes been compared to US citizens, and keeping up with the Joneses is a big thing for many (read all) Icelanders. I lived in Denmark for 3 years and the 2 nations are miles apart in this respect. The rat race has dampened a bit after the 2008 crash which hit us pretty hard, I needed a new 3 wood last year, but ended up buying a 6 year old one, instead of a brand new.  Demand for new grips and shafts has been higher than new sets last couple of years.  Icelanders are often said to be crazy people and strive to do more than they can handle, I hope we learn something from 2008, look around and smell the roses.  Hopefully some will, the rest (read all) will probably go out and grab  a white driver.


White drivers (and to some extent white putters) are hilarious. If people want one, great for them, but I already can't stand how big a 400+ cc driver head looks at address, now it's white? No thank you!

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Originally Posted by Nike Markiie

For the same people who go out and buy a New car and decide to put on a new exhaust, intake, Rims, etc.

Does a new set of 2010 irons help you more than a 2011 set. Probably not.

Does a Brand New car really need a new cat back exhaust. Nope.

All in fun.



Cat backs can improve performance and so can intakes ( very minimally at first stage )

Now, when a guy goes and buys a 1993 Honda Civic 1.6l and does it, then I would agree.

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I can’t really fathom playing with all the same equipment for a number of years.  Getting new stuff is at least half the fun of golf.  To each their own but I need to fiddle around.  Just make sure you get good prices and then if you need to sell you’ll get the majority of your money back and you can roll it into the next toy.

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