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Rick Martin

Is the Golf Equipment Business one big scam?

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I know a Nike rep and he tells me that it doesn't matter the club you hit. They all go about the same. The ones you can adjust to tailor yourself are the ones you should get. The new Nike driver is underperforming to last years model. Just get a set that look good and feel good to you the only difference is maybe 5 yards. Doesn't even matter on drivers. You need to be a good iron player.

I'm a fitter and I can assure you that the name brand you are hitting is the least important part of your golf game, without exception.

Now if you are a touring Pro, PGA card holding club pro or employee, college golf team, etc then you may require something different, but even then it's mostly mental.

For the vast majority of golfers (95%), the weekend warriors or hackers, it means nothing in reality to their game.

First learn to put and pitch for free. Any and every golf club has greens and chipping areas that you can use for free. Start here. Learn to two put without exception and learn to pitch onto the green from 30 yards and closer so that you guarantee yourself a two put, maybe a one put.

Half of all the strokes you will have will be on pitching and putting, why would you not practice at least half the time doing this?

Once you have 'mastered' this, you can move on to your irons.

You only need a few. 9 iron through 6 iron and then go to a hybrid or fairway wood and forget about the driver.

Take a lesson or two but not from one of those 'golf industry' instructors that give you just enough to keep you happy for a week and then you have to come back and pay more for something they could have compressed into an hour class.

Accept the fact that you very well will never shoot par if you are playing by the 'rules' and on a rated course from the tees that are appropriate for your level of capability.

Play it forward in other words.

Shoot for mastering bogie golf. Lee Trevino said back in the 70's or early 80's that for a weekend golfer or 'hacker' to shoot a consistent bogie round of golf is equal to a touring pro shooting par.

Get your 6 through 9 iron fit to your physical dimensions and capability so that each club swings the same, swing weight, and each grip on the club is of a size that is appropriate. Too many people get standard grips when they need mid or jumbo size. Why? Because the golf system says that's what they should use. Bubba Watson is said to have a Jumbo grip with 10 wraps of tape.

So who you going to believe?

Golf club mfgr's? Most people probably don't realize that the majority of tour players clubs have been made not by Taylormade or other top brands but instead by Muria in Japan because of their pure flow steel. So believe it or not, no matter how much money you spend you'll never get the same club that a pro uses on tour.

Golf clubs have been made for decades with half inch increment differences. True Length Technologies (I believe this is their name) has long proved that the irons a person use should all be the same length for the average player due to a 'sweet spot' they have found each golfer has. It's based on the old 24-38 rule from 70 years ago that says a weekend or casual golfer cannot hit consistently an iron that is longer than 38 inches or with less loft that 24 degrees.

The industry has known this for decades and still produces sub-standard sets of clubs for the average weekend golfer.

Golf is a 'game', and 95% of golfers will never honestly shoot par golf. They can still enjoy and improve on their game to get the most out of it.

If you play once a week, you need to be practicing 2 times a week. If you can't practice, then you can't complain because you have to practice to get better.

Understand your limits and enjoy the game. As for clubs other than your irons, try a 5 wood 250-300 cc's.  Maybe a 4 or 5 hybrid.

Hybrid will get you 170 to 180 yards down the fairway with ease.
Most people with a swing can hit a 5 wood 200 or more yards off the tee or off the grass if they are physically capable of creating a good swing which is the foundation of your golf game.

If you can hit the ball twice, 200-230 yards, you'll be 400 to 460 yards down the fairway on any par 4. Everything is within reach now.

Enjoy the game, that's what it is.

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Thanks guys, I just purchased the new Callaway XR irons replacing 10 year old Pings. You mean I didn't need to do that? The darn grooves were worn off the Pings. I know a lot of it is eye candy but you must admit over the years there have been some big improvements in clubs, all clubs, drivers, irons, wedges, etc. I still have the set I had before the Pings and I can't believe I played with them. I took them to the range not long ago and couldn't hit a thing. Over the years there have been improvements, maybe not one year to the next but over the long run. Hell, if there weren't we'd all be playing with real "wood" drivers.

I know a lot of it is bull but I still enjoy reading about the new technology. I still watch Mark Crossfield on YouTube do his reviews, I guess I'm a club ho. But I do understand your point of view.

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I have always been one to dismiss most peoples' positive opinions, who are getting paid for those positive opinions, by the company asking for those positive opinions. I always thought it was better to do a little personal home work before purchasing anything.

PGA pros get paid for their opinions, and the brand of clubs they use. Because of that, I don't trust them. If Callaway doubled what Nike is paying Woody, he'd probably be playing Callaways I suspect.

I was in Texas one time with out my golf clubs. The people I was visiting wanted to go golfing. I went to some place called Academy Sports and bought a clearance set of clubs for $69.00. The set was missing the putter.  I bought a $19.00 mallet putter that had a "Texas A&M;" label on it Except for the driver, the rest of the set play almost like my gamers that were 1200 miles a way. When I left to fly home I left that set with a friend, so his son would have a set of clubs. It was a win-win deal for both of us.

My first set of seriously fitted clubs were purchased as components through a club fitter/builder, who was also a decent swing instructor. When I wore them out, I took my specs to a brand of clubs that were not that well known at the time. Tour Edge Bazookas they were called. Why TEB? They had best warranty, and customer service in the business. When I up graded those due to wear, and tear, I went right back to TE with my specs and received what I ordered.

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Golf clubs have been made for decades with half inch increment differences. True Length Technologies (I believe this is their name) has long proved that the irons a person use should all be the same length for the average player due to a 'sweet spot' they have found each golfer has.

This is sort of a pet peeve of mine. I don't understand why a "standard" which makes so little sense is so accepted as a standard. Even if they went to quarter inch increments, I think that would be a big improvement for many people.

And the "swing weight" standard is flawed as well, MOI matching is an improvement. But clubheads are generally made to produce equal swing weights with half inch increments. I think if you do the math, it works out that they will be just about MOI matched if you instead used .4 inch increments (with a roughly standard shaft weight, anyway).

That seems to me a quick and dirty fix that would offer some improvement, and seems it would be a very easy service to offer for anyone who already offers custom fit shafts, but I'm not aware of any online seller offering or advertising it.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DocParty

Golf clubs have been made for decades with half inch increment differences. True Length Technologies (I believe this is their name) has long proved that the irons a person use should all be the same length for the average player due to a 'sweet spot' they have found each golfer has.

This is sort of a pet peeve of mine. I don't understand why a "standard" which makes so little sense is so accepted as a standard. Even if they went to quarter inch increments, I think that would be a big improvement for many people.

And the "swing weight" standard is flawed as well, MOI matching is an improvement. But clubheads are generally made to produce equal swing weights with half inch increments. I think if you do the math, it works out that they will be just about MOI matched if you instead used .4 inch increments.

That seems to me a quick and dirty fix that would offer some improvement, and seems it would be a very easy service to offer for anyone who already offers custom fit shafts, but I'm not aware of any online seller offering or advertising it.

Here is a link for those who are interested.

http://www.danscustomgolfshop.com/truelengthtechnology.html

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Here is a link for those who are interested.

http://www.danscustomgolfshop.com/truelengthtechnology.html

Their idea of progressive differences in shaft length is interesting, but the math to me suggests it's a pretty minor deal. You could instead just as easily have constant shaft legnth increments, and progressive lie angle increments.

And if you went with half-inch increments for length, for example, the needed lie angle differences (using math alone) would amount to something like .9 degrees on longer irons, .8 degrees for most clubs, and .7 degrees for wedges. Moreover, I'm doubtful anyone actually keeps their hands at the same height regardless of club length. They raise their hands a bit with longer clubs. That's why standard lie angles gaps are smaller on average than the mathematically perfect triangle suggests.

So using about half a degree lie per half inch length (roughly what seems to be standard) probably works out well enough.  I doubt anyone is really struggling due to lie angles being off by tenths of a degree.

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I love to get new clubs that are a year or two old. I got an Adams Super S driver online last November for $75 that was a demo club. I figured it would be a little dinged up, but it looked great when it came in the mail... Never Compromise putter for $49, and a Cleveland Sub 30 putter for $30 brand new. I'll never pay retail again.

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Valid point, but ironically enough, I can't believe you're playing a driver from 1998!

I'm playing a Taylor Made Burner driver from the mid 80's. I may not get the distance that a newer driver gets, but to me, hitting the newer drivers is like swinging a frying pan. I prefer the smaller headed drivers, which feel great to me.

But back to the topic on hand. I don't think it's a scam by companies as I realize that they need to make money. It's the 99% of golfers out there that probably won't get any benefit if any by buying new clubs all the time. They are better off investing in lessons. That way, they could use almost any club and play well. But, people always want new/shiny things and that's the main reason these companies make so much money.

I think most people should find a club they like and then work on their game instead of always looking for the "perfect" club that will somehow elevate their game.

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I might agree that buying new clubs every year will not improve your game.  If it makes you feel good about yourself, and if you can afford it, then by all means - indulge.

Lessons, on the other hand, not so much.  I really question if the money spent on lessons by a mature golfer is going to help him/her to improve.  Most will go back to their natural swing soon after.  Once that happens he/she will start thinking about another lesson - and round and round we go.

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I might agree that buying new clubs every year will not improve your game.  If it makes you feel good about yourself, and if you can afford it, then by all means - indulge.

Lessons, on the other hand, not so much.  I really question if the money spent on lessons by a mature golfer is going to help him/her to improve.  Most will go back to their natural swing soon after.  Once that happens he/she will start thinking about another lesson - and round and round we go.

I do not think the problem is with lessons, it is with people who want to improve but never have a plan to do so  They take random lessons, practice in a random manner, and do not see lasting results or maybe no results at all (witnessed many times over, including with myself).  It is the classic difference between effort (expending energy) and work (expending energy to actually accomplish a purpose) Golf is hard and changing your swing is hard.  It does not happen with the occasional lesson.

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Im with you guys,  I picked up a Adams driver from 2012 the other day for a twenty dollar bill. Best driver I ever owned so far.  Told the guy I would only pay 20 since I would probably play it once and put it in the garage with the rest of em.

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Went to Carls Golfland, they have everything.  New clubs, used, and clearance.  I wanted something new that would last me for years so I bought a clearance set.  They were 25% off and I've had them four years.

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I agree. It's all marketing to get the average duffer to spend more money. I refuse to do that.

I buy and trade for used clubs. Just this past Saturday I traded some old stuff I had laying around, that I no longer use, (a Nikon camera and a hunting bow), for a set of Callaway X18R, new golf bag, and a Titleist D13 driver. When the clubs were new they were about $400 and the driver was $450. They still hit fine and they both look brand new. Driver had no scuffs or dings whatsoever and the irons looked great.

These are going to be replacements for some Ping ISIk clubs that I traded for last year! ;)

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The golf equipment business is just one big (pause) business, period.

If you bought a driver last year, you likely won't be looking this year. The portion of the market who bought new years before, however, might be looking. Someone new to the game might be finally ready to invest in a set. Companies market because a need or desire exists as observed by demand.

There are some folks such as myself who enjoy buying equipment and keeping both primary and secondary markets alive. eBay is a curse worse than Facebook...

As far as advance in technology goes, I find this harder to debate than I once used too. On one hand, modern drivers have been so much more fun for me. My swing is better, and my shaft selection is educated today compared to way back; so this is qualitative at best. Still, I don't fathom hitting an old persimmon as well or as easy as my R11S.

On the other hand, my current iron sets are in stark contrast - TM Speedblades from 2014 and PING Eye 2s from 1987. Speed pocket, weighting, CG, yada yada... the only marked difference is that the PINGS are one club shorter. For example, from the 150yd marker at my course (3950' elevation) I'll hit a TM 9 iron. High draw, finds a near GIR. Same scenario with the older PING 8 iron, same result.

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Comparing golf equipment marketing to the marketing of electronic gadgets is valid. It's all about planned obsolescence -- persuading the golfer to ditch last year's $400 driver for this year's $400 driver and the gadget user to replace last year's $500 gadget with this year's $500 gadget. Like the morons who spend the night outside of the gadget store to be first in line.

I've got a TaylorMade driver from 2012 and one from 2002 -- and I hit them exactly the same distance. I just like the look and feel of the 2012 driver a bit better.

Reminds me of a guy I knew about 10 years ago when Titleist introduced its 973K driver. He bought a prototype on Ebay for $1,200 three weeks before it was available at retail for about $350. Twelve hundred bucks so he could have it three weeks before his buddies. My mother was fond of the expression, "more money than sense . . ."

As long as there are people like that, manufacturers will continue to roll out new clubs every few months. And E-Bay will continue to thrive.

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I just ordered my first set of irons in 15 years.

Titleist AP1, PX 6.0 shafts.  They will cost (around 800-900 for 4 - GW) but the difference during the fitting was night and day.  Take a look at my signature to see what I'm playing now.

My one buddy has the cash, and buys a new driver every 1-2 years.

I'm still playing a Cleveland that I bought around 2010 for 100 bucks.  My putter is 20 years old at least.

I've got limited funds, I try to use the extra for playing golf, not equipment.

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Note: This thread is 1811 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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