Are More Expensive Golf Clubs Worth It – Ultimate Buying Guide
In recent years, the price of top golf equipment seems to have properly climbed as more technology and time goes into developing new clubs. This kind of work isn’t cheap and companies still need their profits after all. Does more expensive mean better though?
Today, we are going to look at this idea and see if you should spend more money on your clubs. Does that extra premium price mean better performance in the end? Read on to decide for yourself what you think is best for your game.
Does price equal quality?
There they were, PXG irons, they looked like nothing I had ever seen before and I was about to have my first shot with them. This brand had literally come from nowhere and taken the golfing world by storm with their brash marketing and ultra-premium prices. They went miles, just miles, I could see the appeal.
On the other side though, recently I tried some Ben Hogan clubs. This company pride themselves on a direct to consumer business model which means cheaper clubs. I assure you, the price tag certainly makes for incredible value, they are fantastic. So, to answer the question directly, price and quality don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
Will expensive clubs help you improve your game?
It really depends on what level you play at, sorry to be wishy washy about it. If you are a beginner then the answer is no, you don’t need to splurge you need lessons and most importantly, practice. If you are a more experienced player you may see some benefit in spending more dough.
The equipment that top pros use is expensive, shafts can be many hundreds of dollars if not more, and there is reason for this. This is the best that money can buy and they need it for their games, they are elite golfers so that makes sense. Top amateurs will certainly feel the benefit of more expensive clubs too.
What’s the main difference between cheap and expensive clubs?
After price, of course, the main difference between price point in these clubs are the materials used and the quality of the build. Surprisingly, the major golf manufacturers have a very lax approach to quality control in terms of lie and loft of clubs so always get them checked by a pro.
When you buy premium, you are getting the best construction material and new technology which can give you an edge over people who use other equipment. Less expensive clubs don’t always mean poor quality, there are some great companies out there who just do it differently.
Are expensive clubs worth it for beginners?
Probably not, no, as your golf skills will be constantly improving and you probably won’t have these clubs for very long. You will outgrow them and need a new set after only a couple of years so there is no real need to splurge as a beginner. You also won’t be able to appreciate the extra quality.
When you are starting out in your golfing journey, the most important thing is to invest in lessons rather than expensive clubs. The right coach will make your experience more fun and help you get to a good level faster. At this point, he/she will help you find the right clubs for your new skills and then you can spend a bit more.
Do expensive drivers make a big difference?
They certainly can do, however, in the world of adjustable drivers that we live in now, you can get smart with this. One of the best ways to improve the performance of a driver is to get a new shaft for it. You can spend a lot of money on this and the benefits can be great.
Shaft upgrades have become a big deal in recent years and for good reason. They are a worthy investment for most golfers and can help your consistency off the tee. My advice would be to look at upgrading the shaft in your driver as well as looking for a new driver, you may find that this makes a bigger difference for less money.
Will expensive irons make a difference?
I would say that irons are something you should invest more in as they will be in your bag for longer and you use them more than a driver. Expensive irons can really help your game and you should always spend time getting fitted for the right set-up before you buy. Again, make sure to have lofts and lies checked before you go out and play too.
I believe there is a bit of a placebo effect in golf and if you spend more money you will believe they are better for you. This will result in you hitting more good shots, it sounds crazy but I truly believe there is an effect here. Don’t expect these new expensive irons to revolutionise your game though, you’ll still need to practice.
Should I get a fitting?
Yes, you absolutely should. Even though you know your shoe size, you still try on shoes before you buy them, don’t you? So why then, even though you may know what shaft stiffness you need, would you just buy from the shelf?
The golf swing is as individual as a fingerprint and you should take full advantage of the wide-array of options out there that can help you. The best thing is that you can get yourself clubs that are fitted to your specifications and it costs nothing extra. Why would you not do that?
Cheap vs. expensive wedges
Wedges are one of the most underrated clubs in the bag and many just take whatever the manufacturer gives them with a set. That may not help you so much, especially when if you are a good golfer, you may want to look into specialist wedges from your pitching wedge down.
These are made for control and for you to get aggressive with flags, cheap wedges that come with sets are just going through the motions and don’t have any specialist technology in them. By upgrading your wedges you should see an improvement in your approach play.
What about an expensive putter?
According to a study carried out by MyGolfSpy, the average golfer hits an average of 35 putts per round. That means that the putter is the club we all use most, so why not make sure you have the best that you can afford? This is one club that you probably should treat yourself on.
Given that you use it so much, it is worth getting a fitting session arranged and having an expert help you choose the right style of putter for your stroke. Putter shafts have also become more technologically advanced and there are a myriad of grip-types available. Go on, spoil yourself and get yourself something nice for the dancefloor.
What is the best brand of golf clubs?
This is always about personal preference, people tend to fall for one manufacturer or another. For me, Titleist has always been my favourite brand of golf clubs, I think their driver feels better than any other on the market. I love that they keep their clubs looking classic as they add new technology and features.
Other brands of clubs that people seem to fall in love with include PING, Callaway and TaylorMade. I have had conversations with people who flat out refuse to try clubs from one brand or another because they “just don’t like them”. Golfers have affiliations for brands like people do with cars, it’s just all part of the game.
What brand of golf clubs do pros use?
An interesting thing has happened in the bags of pros in recent years. Their bags used to be monopolised by 12-14 clubs contracts meaning there was very little room for anything other than their sponsor’s clubs. However, this seems to be changing and some top players have no club contract at all, they just play what they like.
Brooks Koepka is one of these players and it is interesting to see what makes up his bag. He has always had Mizuno irons which are easily some of the best made and underrated clubs on the market. Tommy Fleetwood is still using old Nike irons which shows how much he loves them.
What are the best mid-priced clubs?
In this category, one brand comes to mind very quickly, that is Wilson. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you will know that they have won more majors than any other club manufacturer and in recent years they have made some incredibly pretty clubs. They don’t break the bank and they deliver a real quality product especially their blades.
Ben Hogan are another company who have a great range of clubs at a reasonable price and top quality. They also look fantastic, the Ben Hogan brand has always created classy looking clubs with a vintage and understated classiness. You really don’t have to spend a fortune to get great golf clubs
What are the best cheap clubs?
Whilst there are some companies out there like Fazer and John Letters who make solid entry-level clubs, I feel that the second hand market can be great here. You can buy a set of second-hand forged irons at a bargain price then have your pro retro-fit them to your swing. Just watch out for counterfeits though.
This will obviously cost a little more, however, I think the overall value for money here is better. You can change the lofts and lies, the shafts so that the length is perfect and then re-grip them all, it’s basically a custom set at a discount.
Why are Japanese clubs so expensive?
The Japanese are by far the finest golf club makers in the world. These artists craft clubs using superior materials and they are often made to more strict specifications. Japanese clubs are also expensive because golf is a very elite sport in Japan, this means that clubs tend to be more expensive because they will sell at premium prices.
Don’t be taken in too much though, they aren’t the magic bullet that makes you a player overnight. Whilst they may be rare and beautiful, if they are the wrong clubs for you then they won’t help you. For me, they are beautiful clubs to stare at and drool over but that’s about it.
Golf club brands to avoid
I have golf brands that I love and I have golf brands I dislike, however, that is just my opinion. Your list could even be exactly opposite to mine, it is just the nature of brands in a market. I certainly dislike companies that bring out a whole new set of clubs every year having given their previous years clubs a paint job and new marketing campaign.
That being said, these companies care about profit as they are businesses and that’s just part of the nature of that. If someone tells you that you shouldn’t like a golf brand, ignore them, it’s probably for some stupid reason so just make your own mind up.
Buying new golf clubs can be an expensive business and it is very easy to get carried away and overspend. You need to remember that golf clubs aren’t forever so you are better buying at a more modest price point. The most important part of all of this is that you get yourself fitted by a qualified technician.
Trying new clubs is fun and you should enjoy it, setting out your budget before you start will make it more enjoyable. Think about what you want to spend, write down a number and commit yourself to it, you will definitely be tempted to break it but don’t. Buy the best clubs you can get for the budget you set and try to buy them from your local pro, they need your business more than ever.