There are plenty of opinions about buying golf gear online – what to do, what not to do, where to buy, where not to buy, etc. The buying tips in this section combine my personal experiences, feedback in golf forums, and research. I hope (and expect) that they’ll be something in here to help you get what you want for the right price, with as little hassle as possible.
GET THE BEST PRICE
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get the best price is to shop around….very easy to do on the internet. Also, don’t be afraid to ask an online store to price match, particularly on oversized ticket items such as complete sets and new drivers.
Here are some other ways to save:
PRICE COMPARISON SITES
You can look online for the best price or take the lazy way out and use price comparison sites. On these sites, you enter the details of the golf club(s) you’re looking to buy, and they’ll return a list of online stores selling it with the price. It’s not always easy to know whether you’re comparing apples with apples, so these sites are often just a good starting point to narrow your options. Here are a few of the better ones, all of which also include equipment sold through Amazon and eBay:
Many, if not most, online golf stores let you (beg you to!) sign-up to a regular newsletter. While you don’t want your inbox filled with junk mail, you can get some good discounts and special offers if you’re selective.
I signed up for The Golf Warehouse newsletter and was impressed with the value and frequency of their discount offers, including free shipping.
Most online golf stores offer discount coupons from time to time (or all the time). Usually % off or free shipping. There are a few ways to take advantage of these coupons:
o, Visit Coupon Sites: a few sites provide a list of all online stores offering discounts through online coupons. Monkeybargains is one site where you can find coupon codes for discounts or free shipping for many online golf stores (inc. Austads, Pinemeadow, Callaway, The Golf Warehouse, and TaylorMade).
o Use Google: you can find the golf gear you want online, but before ordering, go to Google and enter the seller’s website with the word “coupon” or “promotional code.” You may be able to get a discount on your purchase or shipping costs, or both.
Some websites give you cashback on purchases from quite a few online golf stores. The basic model is that these websites send customers to online golf stores and receive a commission. Instead of keeping the whole commission, they share it with you (the buyer) in the form of cashback. It depends on the program, but you’ll usually receive the cashback by check at certain intervals, e.g., monthly. The cashback isn’t huge, usually between 3%-8%, but better than nothing!
Here are a couple of programs you might want to look at:
o ebates.com – includes Edwin Watts Golf, Pinemeadow Golf, Golfsmith, and Golf Outlet USA
o bing.com/shopping – BING is a relatively new search engine by Microsoft, which consists of a cashback program. The cashback percentage looks to be a little higher than other programs. For example, you can get 12% cashback at Golfsmith. Other online golf stores that are part of this program include Callaway Pre-Owned and Golfballs.com.
GET SOMEONE ELSE’S OPINION
Before you ‘proceed to checkout on your new set of clubs, take some time to read equipment reviews online. There are plenty of sites offering reviews on golf clubs, and some of them are objective! I prefer the reviews from industry experts and actual golfers who have bought and used the clubs. Golf forums (such as those mentioned above) are suitable for straight-talking views on golf clubs. Here are some sites that are worth checking out:
o Golf Review – lots of reviews/comments from golfers who have bought and are playing with the clubs
o Golf Magic – good section on equipment reviews, with feedback from industry experts as well as forum members
o Golfalot – excellent range of golf club reviews, many with video reviews as well
o Golf WRX – a forum section dedicated to equipment reviews. Educated, honest and independent views
GET THE RIGHT SET
Muscleback or Cavity back? Performance Improvement or Performance Enhancement? Before looking too closely at specific golf clubs, it’s essential to understand what type of irons are suitable for your game. There are two main categories of irons, ‘muscle back’ (game enhancement) and ‘cavity back’ (game improvement). Various other names refer to them, but we’ll stick with these for now.
Muscleback irons are so-called because more weight is placed behind the sweet spot on the club. If hit in the club’s center, this produces a longer, straighter ball trajectory, i.e., the sweet spot. Because most of the weight is centered around the sweet spot, shots that aren’t hit pure are challenging to hide…..they’ll be shorter and with an unpredictable trajectory. Muscleback Irons are more suited to lower handicap golfers, who can take advantage of the irons’ more incredible feel and workability.
Cavity Back Irons
Cavity back irons are just that; there is a cavity behind the club’s center rather than the mass associated with the muscle back irons. This design distributes weight around the head’s perimeter, producing a more prominent sweet spot and a more significant error margin. Off-center shots are more forgiving, creating a more extended, straighter ball flight than off-center shots hit with a muscle back iron. Cavity back irons are more suited to middle/high handicappers, looking for more consistent results from their trials rather than working the ball.
If you’re a single-figure handicapper, you may want to consider muscle-back irons. However, consider this…….slightly more than half of the pros on the USPGA tour use cavity back clubs. Sure, they’re custom-made to suit their game, but relatively few pros feel the muscle back is better for their game. If you’re on the fence, you should probably take a set of each out for a test run! Alternatively, you could look for a group of irons that are a cross between the muscle back and cavity back – the Titleist Forged 695CB is such a club that has the feel of power back with some of the forgiveness of the cavity back…..it’s had some good reviews as well.
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