Second Hand Golf Club Buying Guide – Everything You Need To Know
With how expensive golf clubs are many golfers think about purchasing used golf clubs. Buying used golf clubs is very similar to buying a used car. You don’t always know exactly what you are getting, but if you get something great, it can save a ton of money. For most people, the cost savings is enough to convince them that used clubs are a good idea.
While we agree that used clubs make sense for many golfers, there are some things that you should know about used golf clubs before you purchase them. In this guide, we will help answer any question you ever had about used golf clubs and whether or not they will work for your game.
How To Determine Condition
The first step to determining if a used golf club is a good buy or not is to assess the condition of the club. There are three main areas you must look to decide if these clubs are going to be a lemon or if it could be a great deal.
Take a look and see how worn the grip is. Has it ever been replaced? If the grip on a driver is worn, it will probably only cost you ten or fifteen dollars to change it out. If the grips on an entire set of irons or worn, you can imagine how that would add up rather quickly.
With steel shafts, it is relatively easy to tell if they are in good shape or not. Truthfully it takes a bit of work to damage a steel shaft. If at first glance they look straight and not dented in any way, they are likely fine. Graphite shafts are a bit harder to tell; you must make sure there are know splits or cracks in the graphite. Even some knicks by other golf clubs hitting the shaft can eventually lead to problems. Look for a graphite shaft in great shape.
Look at the grooves on the clubhead and make sure they still have some life to them. If the grooves are a bit worn in one area, that is entirely normal and likely will not affect your play. Also, make sure that the club head is securely on the golf club, and there is no damage to the hosel that connects the clubhead to the shaft.
How To Determine Value
Determining the value of used golf clubs gets a bit more complicated. The best thing to do is to look online at websites like eBay or 2nd Swing and look for a similar set of golf clubs. If the golf clubs you are interested in and the ones listed on the website are around the same value, then it is likely a fair price.
One of the problems you will find with purchasing used golf clubs is that golfers will remember what they originally paid for the club. When they think that they paid $2000 for their golf set ten years ago, they will think that it is still worth about $1500. This is not true! Golf clubs decrease in value rather quickly, and they are not an investment.
Make sure you are not paying for someone’s emotional connection to a set of golf clubs!
Also, look online at the pricing of a new set. If there is a two-year-old used set of irons that is priced at $650, but you can get the latest release for $750, it’s hard to justify getting the used set just to save $100.
Should Beginners Buy Used Golf Clubs
Yes, beginners should consider used golf clubs. There are a few things that beginners need to be careful of should they decide to buy something used.
First, you must make sure you know the specifications of the golf clubs you are buying. If you are 5’7″ and you buy a set of used clubs from a guy who was 6’3″ chances are you will need some heels to hit the golf ball solid.
Another aspect that beginner golfers need to consider is the type of golf club they are buying. Beginners need easy to hit, game improvement types golf clubs. If you are a beginner and you choose an old set of muscle back blades because it was a low price, you will have a difficult start to the game.
As long as beginners choose forgiving golf clubs that are fitted at least somewhat close to their specifications, used golf clubs make a lot of sense.
Can I Get Second Hand Golf Clubs Fitted?
Absolutely, if you have a local golf club repair shop, they will easily be able to adjust a used set of golf clubs. For players that are very tall or very short, this is a great option when it comes to used golf clubs. If you can pick up a two or three-year-old set of irons at a great price and then have them fitted for you, it will save quite a bit of money. Brand new custom fit golf clubs are costly.
Another good thing to do is to look for used golf clubs that already have the specifications you need. If you need a golf club that is one inch tall, you should search for used sets with these lengths.
Do Your Research Online
When purchasing a used set of golf clubs, you should research some information about the set and what people have said about it over the years. Another thing to pay close attention to is the length of the clubs. Try to find the original specifications and then match that to the set that you are purchasing.
If somewhere along the way, the person you are purchasing from had the clubs cut down a half-inch that could have a significant impact on your golf game.
By doing online research, you will also find out what the clubs look like. When you go to purchase something, you will have a general idea of what model it is, what it should look like, and if it is in good shape or not. There are some counterfeit or reproduction golf clubs out there, but most of them look different than the standard models. If you are making an educated purchase, you are much more likely to find a great deal.
What Are The Advantages?
Aside from the price, are there other advantages to used golf clubs?
More than the pricing, it is really about what you can get for your money. If you are a great player that needs a set of high-end blade irons, you will be looking at well over $1000. Since that type of pricing may be outside of your price range, you have two choices.
The first would be to settle for a new set of golf clubs that is not quite right for you, but it is less expensive. The second would be to buy a used set even a year or two old and save some money because they have been hit before.
Most great players and professionals would tell you that getting something right for your game even if it has been hit before is the right way to go. It is not just money that you save by buying used golf clubs; it is the fact that you open yourself up to a variety of choices that you may not have had if you only looked for new clubs.
Test Them First
Another great thing about used golf clubs is that you should be able to test them before purchasing. Since these clubs have been used before, it will do them no harm for you to take a few swings. If you are buying an entire set of golf clubs, make sure to swing and inspect each club.
Individual clubs in the set, like the seven iron, probably take a lot more abuse than something like a five iron. If you don’t inspect each club, you may find that there is damage after the purchase.
What About The Shafts – Do They Need To Suit My Swing Speed
When you test the golf clubs that you intend to buy, make sure that you ensure they are the proper shaft for your golf swing. When deciding on a shaft, you must consider flex as well as weight. Golf shafts come in several different flexes, and then within that flex, they come in various materials and weights as well.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow when choosing a shaft for your used golf clubs.
- Stiff Steel: Fast swing speed, strong, mostly concerned with accuracy and workability
- Stiff Graphite: Fast swing speed, medium strength, looking for distance
- Regular Steel: Moderate swing speed, moderate strength, looking for accuracy
- Regular Graphite: Moderate swing speed, moderate strength, looking for distance
- Senior or Light Flex: Slower swing speed, less strength, looking for distance and forgiveness
- Ladies Flex: Slower swing speed, less strength, looking for distance and forgiveness
If you find a great deal on a used set of clubs that happen to be the wrong shaft, this is no longer a great deal. Don’t try and force something to work for your game. You are better off waiting and making sure that the set you purchase is the correct match for your abilities.
Buying Partial Sets
Just because you need new golf clubs does not mean that you need them all in one day. A great way to build a set is to purchase it in pieces. If you can’t afford to spend $2500 on an entirely new set, there are ways that you can piece together used clubs with new clubs to get a great deal.
What about purchasing a used set of irons but pairing it with a new Drive and a new hybrid? This is a great way to give yourself a technology upgrade while still saving money. If your irons are more than ten years old, anything manufactured within the last five is going to feel like an improvement.
What About Second Hand Putters?
Buying a second-hand putter is a bit easier than buying irons or a driver. Chances are the putter that you are looking to purchase has much less damage done to it than other clubs could. Another thing to keep in mind about putters is that they tend to hold their value a bit better than something like a driver or fairway wood.
There are some putters like a Scotty Cameron that could sell for more used than they do new. When purchasing a second-hand putter, make sure you carefully determine the size to make sure it is right for you. Having a putter cut down to size shouldn’t be an issue unless it is a counterbalanced putter, and then you will need a professional club fitter.
If the putter you are purchasing has a worn-down grip, assume that it will cost you about $10-$15 to replace it. This is a small expense that could very likely be worth it.
If you have been playing with a blade putter for a while but want to make the change to a mallet, trying something used is a great first step. This way, you can make sure the decision makes sense for your game and then upgrade to a new putter when you are ready.
What About Second Hand Wedges?
The most important thing to look out for on a second-hand wedge is the grooves. If you see some wear in the center of the wedge, this is not a cause for concern. However, if you see that the grooves are not as clear or as defined as they should be, the wedge probably is not worth purchasing.
Depending on how much golf a person plays, wedges should be replaced every few years. Buying a twenty-year-old Titleist wedge from a person that hasn’t played but once a year is probably not a bad idea. However, purchasing a two-year-old wedge from a person who played every day, you may have some trouble with the grooves.
What About Second Hand Drivers?
Of all the clubs in a golf bag, drivers tend to get the most scuffs and marks. If you have your eye on a used drive and it happens to have a few scuff marks on the top or the bottom, it is probably still going to perform fine.
The area to look out for on the driver is the clubface and the shaft.
Make sure that the clubface is not concave at all and that there are no apparent marks or dings. As far as the shaft is concerned, try to slide your hand up and down to make sure the graphite has not chipped at all or started to splinter. If the shaft is falling apart, you will likely have to put a new one in, and that will sometimes cost as much as the driver itself.
With the pricing on new drivers in today’s golf world, there are times that you can get a $500 driver second hand for less than $250. This is money very well spent!
Should I By A Complete Used Set Or Individual Clubs
Buying a complete used set or purchasing individual clubs is a mostly personal decision. The only advice we will offer is that it is likely going to be quite rare for you to find a person that has exactly what you need for all areas of your game.
Although you may like the irons that someone is offering for sale, don’t be convinced that their driver is going to be an excellent fit for you. It is also a bit of work to buy a complete used set as you much research all of the individual components to make sure you are getting a good deal. Some of the irons could be a year old, but the driver is ten years old.
If you find a great deal on a complete second-hand set, go for it, however putting a set together with everything you need to fit your game is probably a better choice.
What Are The Best Second-Hand Clubs?
As a general rule of thumb, it is good to stay with the major manufacturers like Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Mizuno, etc. when purchasing a second-hand set of golf clubs. These companies make clubs that are intended to last for many years. Just because you are the second owner does not mean that these clubs have no life left in them.
Do a quick search on the release date of the set you are considering. It would not be beneficial to buy a used set of clubs more than seven or eight years old. Even though the set will save you some money, the technology is going to be kind of outdated, and you may need a replacement sooner rather than later.
Conclusion- Should I Buy Second Hand Golf Clubs?
Second-hand golf clubs make a lot of sense as long as you purchase carefully. You could say the same thing about brand new clubs. You must do your research to make sure that they fit your game, you must also make sure that they are the proper fit for your height and swing speed.
You should have all the necessary tools available to you online to research and determine if you are getting a reasonable price on the used set you are interested in. Let us know if you have ever purchased used clubs, did it work out for you?