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golfingnooob

Has anyone ever made a cheap vs expensive clubs comparison test?

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It all depends on the skill of the mushy human holding the club to be honest. I know far too many weekend and occasional golfers who drop £300+ on brand irons and £200+ drivers and i rock up with my £45 Hippo Beasts and £30 Ping G5 and i beat them (and im a crap golfer :-D).

If you play a lot of golf then you'll benefit from investing in the more expensive clubs and fitting. Rec golfers can do fine with better priced clubs and pre loved clubs.

just a quick note to @The Club Nut, fitting is great for many people but not essential. My Uncle is 70 yrs young, played since he was 10 and was a top amateur in the 60's and 70's (decided not to go Pro as he wanted a family) and he had his first ever custom fit for Ping's last year. His feedback? "Lovely clubs, hit them just as well as my Dunlop back-up clubs", typical Yorkhireman!!

 

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11 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Actually, yes it could!

I've never come close to breaking 100, so my expectations at this point are pretty tamed to say the least, but no harm in trying something new, I suppose. :-)

8 hours ago, Lihu said:

Great clubs. $170 is cheap. I love mine.

Just don't get frustrated with lower trajectories at first. This club with an S300 shaft has a notoriously low trajectory until you get your swing speed up. That said, they're really good clubs, and I think you'll enjoy them as well.

Very good to know for these clubs, I appreciate the advice! Heading out next Saturday to try them out on the course after they arrive next week. Granted, I probably should take them to the range first to get a feel for them, just not sure if I'll have time to do so. Trial and error, if anything, ha. 

Edited by pmack18

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17 hours ago, pmack18 said:

At the moment, I found and am leaning towards a Mizuno MP52, used in Very Good Condition, 4-PW Iron set, which will total roughly $170, so not too shabby at all. 

Of course it is a stiff flex, but that can always be adjusted to, and might even help my game out a little bit, can't make it any worse, that's for sure! Ha 

I definitely advise going used. You're going to get a much better value out of used Mizunos than a boxed set.

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On 8/6/2013 at 3:23 AM, David in FL said:

 

Note that cheap vs expensive has absolutely nothing to do with forged vs cast though.  There are lots of expensive irons out there that happen to be manufactured by the investment casting process.

Very true. As an anecdotal bit to this thread, I have a set of cheap MacGregor cast irons that probably cost 250, tops. Probably even came with a bag. I can outhit or equal all of my other expensive forged and perimeter weighted and cavity back clubs(some are forged) with these irons. I'm starting to think maybe I shouldn't have wasted money on  other clubs. Especially those Cobras. Meh

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I have. And I've really only noticed a huge difference with the woods. Ive hit what some consider cheap players irons (wilson staff i think) and didn't really notice a huge difference in feel and flights from the AP2's i normally use. 

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Something I considered for my first set was resale value. I wasn't sure if I was going to survive that first summer.. So I bought used, name brand clubs. At the end of the summer, I sold them for close to what I paid, and was able to roll that money into a fitting and another used (albeit much newer) set. 

I had an instructor who told me the "weight" on an expensive club was much better than on a cheaper club (as he was swinging a 4-iron around w/ one arm). But then he went on to say Phil Mickleson could "beat everyone here with clubs from the Goodwill". 

 

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the whole sporting world seems to get out of control when you see what athletes are making,and we keep feeding that monster by paying way too much for golf equipment for example,not to mention all these clubs are made in China for pennies on the dollar!

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I can’t speak for clubs but golf balls definitely. $9.99 15 pack of Ultras out played the bridegstones and Titleists i have played. 

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No, expensive clubs in most cases just appeal to the brand nameitus in a lot of golfers. 17-4 or 302 stainless or carbon, chrome plated forged at the same weight and shaft perform the same in a reasonable component club as they do in an expensive brand name.

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I think theres a pretty big difference in the construction quality of woods.  over the last 2 seasons, I've had the x series n415 and n416 3 woods, and while I really enjoyed hitting them, I caved in the face on both.  the n415 i cracked after about a month, and the 416 lasted me one season and I cracked it today at the range.  It's quite possible that these value models are just not meant to withstand the abuse of faster than average swing speeds.  I realize pros crack their drivers all the time, but they hit 100s of balls a day and swing at ungodly speeds.  It's quite unforgivable that someone who hits maybe 5-10 3 woods off the deck during a range session, and maybe twice during a round of golf, would be caving in the face unless something was weak in that clubhead. 

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back in the spring of 2000 i got back into golfing and bought a "cheap" set from McSports i think they was PowerBilts, and by mid summer i had snapped the heads off a couple of the irons and even the 3 wood...    my boss at the time had a cheap set of clubs he wasn't using anymore so he sold them to me for 50$, since he bought a nice set of Callaways ...  that cheap set he sold me lasted till i sold them in 2004, and no lie they was a no-name brand but i could hit them pretty good and they didn't break...     

I then bought another cheap set in 2008 ( dunlop ) and instantly regretted it..... my brother at the time had a old set of Wilson Deep Reds that he wasn't using anymore, since he had bought a new set of Titleists..   And the difference between the two set's was crazy....  even on good hit's the dunlops just didn't feel good, while the Wilson's was like butter...   Fast forward to 2013 lol,  i get back into golfing again...  and I spot a set of Titleist iron's on Ebay and snag them up...  Probably one of the best 4am buy's i've ever had lol... i still have the set and they just work...         I probably will only get rid of this set when the grooves get worn out...     

sorry for the rambling, but with how much turnover there is in golf equipment,  someone either getting into the game or getting back into the game can find used equipment pretty cheap, and wouldn't have to worry about the stuff being junk..    

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On 11/18/2018 at 3:17 PM, downbylaw11 said:

I think theres a pretty big difference in the construction quality of woods.  over the last 2 seasons, I've had the x series n415 and n416 3 woods, and while I really enjoyed hitting them, I caved in the face on both.  the n415 i cracked after about a month, and the 416 lasted me one season and I cracked it today at the range.  It's quite possible that these value models are just not meant to withstand the abuse of faster than average swing speeds.  I realize pros crack their drivers all the time, but they hit 100s of balls a day and swing at ungodly speeds.  It's quite unforgivable that someone who hits maybe 5-10 3 woods off the deck during a range session, and maybe twice during a round of golf, would be caving in the face unless something was weak in that clubhead. 

The one big difference between name brand and knock off clubs is quality control. For the big name brands every wood head is x-rayed to look for voids and imperfections. For the bargain brands it might be 1 in 25 or even 1 in 50. I suppose this is the very definition of "run of the mill!" You may wind up with a good one, and you may not! 

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On 8/5/2013 at 4:08 PM, golfingnooob said:

I know they have machines that can swing a golf club in the exact same place at the same speed using a robotic arm.

 

Has anyone ever done this with a cheap club against an expensive one? Do you think the expensive driver would go much further, or the expensive irons would be more accurate or whatever?

 

My thinking is that these companies like Ping and Callaway invest loads of money in R&D; but then the year after, other companies can just copy their clubs, and I imagine most are made the same way with the same materials. Plus these companies have to spend money on marketing, sponsorship, etc.

 

What are your thoughts?

My feeling is that irons have been at their pinnacle of performance for at least 10 years. They’re trying to do stuff to eek out every last bit, but only by a little. Most distance irons are lower spinning. So, IDK how that would affect other people’s games, but I’m prett sure it’s not so good for some.

Drivers are pretty innovative, but not sure how much performance you really get? Quite a few people I play with use 10 year old clubs and game the latest woods and drivers a try and didn’t really see too much difference. So, it’s possible that driver design also reached their height in performance also?

Off brands likely copy stuff from 3 to 4 years ago to avoid confrontation with lawyers, so I’d guess they’d be pretty comparable to 3 year technology?

13 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

The one big difference between name brand and knock off clubs is quality control. For the big name brands every wood head is x-rayed to look for voids and imperfections. For the bargain brands it might be 1 in 25 or even 1 in 50. I suppose this is the very definition of "run of the mill!" You may wind up with a good one, and you may not! 

X-ray would be done by the shaft manufacturer if requested? Though I haven’t asked about it. 

I’m building a training aide using nice shafts, and it turns out the stock shafts they sell to the $400 to $500 driver market make really big margins. I get them at their cost 😜

I’ll ask how much for that sort or inspection...

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10 hours ago, Lihu said:

 

X-ray would be done by the shaft manufacturer if requested? Though I haven’t asked about it. 

I’m building a training aide using nice shafts, and it turns out the stock shafts they sell to the $400 to $500 driver market make really big margins. I get them at their cost 😜

I’ll ask how much for that sort or inspection...

Not sure I follow. Why would a shaft manufacturer ask for wood HEADS to be X-rayed. 

As far as margin goes, yes, the top of the line usually makes the most money no matter what business you're in. Cadillacs make more money for GM than Cruzes. But, I can't see a knock off club maker paying a premium price to put a good shaft in a so-so club head. 

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6 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Not sure I follow. Why would a shaft manufacturer ask for wood HEADS to be X-rayed. 

As far as margin goes, yes, the top of the line usually makes the most money no matter what business you're in. Cadillacs make more money for GM than Cruzes. But, I can't see a knock off club maker paying a premium price to put a good shaft in a so-so club head. 

Shaft manufacturers would likely be ones with equipment to check their quality since they need to control their processes, but I’m not sure even they do that?

I’m saying knock off brand and premium brands might possibly be using shafts from the same production line? I don’t know for sure, but the shafts I’m using in my training aide are as high quality as ones used in $400 to $500 drivers. Of course, I’ll likely charge the same for those shafts as the driver manufacturers to keep the market stable and such 😁

Edited by Lihu

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Found an old beater set of Sam Snead blue ridge irons in my father in laws shop. Old, rusty and the cheapest shafts I've ever seen, so took them for 9. I'm a ping isi guy so that's the comparison,

   Past the 7 iron they were fairly bad, but short irons were OK. Longer irons were probably my fault and would need to practice with them. They did hit shorter, even on the sweet spot. I began to sense a better feel with the old Sam's after a couple holes. I think i would lose a few strokes a side even if i got in tune with them, but cheap isn't that bad. There was a pro tennis player back in the day that would challenge players using the best equipment to a match while he used a sawed off broom, and he would beat them. A lesson there somewhere.

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On 11/22/2018 at 5:59 PM, Buckeyebowman said:

The one big difference between name brand and knock off clubs is quality control. For the big name brands every wood head is x-rayed to look for voids and imperfections. For the bargain brands it might be 1 in 25 or even 1 in 50. I suppose this is the very definition of "run of the mill!" You may wind up with a good one, and you may not! 

well that may be, but the clubs im talking about are callaway. so unless their quality control drops with their 'value' lines, compared to their higher priced models, that wouldn't apply to my clubs. 

another factor could be that in woods, the envelope continues to be pushed as to how thin the face could be, and how light the heads can be while still withstanding the beating they take, that quality just can't hold up the way maybe they did 10-20 years ago.  I had a piece of crap metal wood from my first golf set that I used for almost 20 years with no problems really, but broke 2 callaways in 2 seasons.  oh well, at least callaway warranties their clubs for 2 years

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