Need new golf clubs? Take into consideration…
Determining the appropriate time to trade in or trade up on your golf equipment cannot be pinned down to one specific amount of time. It is a subjective matter that must take numerous details into consideration. While there are exceptions to very rule and arguments to every theory, before you venture out and buy a new set of golf clubs, consider some of the following suggested criteria.
Frequency of Play
The total usage of your clubs will be a big determinant of when you will need to replace them. Are you a casual golfer who hits the links a few times per year? Or are you a regular on the greens, out enjoying the game multiple times per week? Are you often on the driving range, where wear and tear can occur exponentially quicker? Or do you spend most of your time on the soft grass of the course?
If you are using your golf clubs on a regular basis, it is more likely that they will be exposed more frequently to wear. Key items to watch for as a sign that your golf clubs need replaced soon are:
Club Grips: Are they worn and tearing? Have they lost the ability to do their intended function?
Club Shaft: Is the shaft bent or warped? Are there any signs of cracking?
Golf Face: Are the grooves on the face of the club wearing away? Is it smoothing out?
Bottom of the Club Face: Are there any cracks, dents, or abrasions? Exposure to hard objects and sand will wear away at this area.
Depending upon your skill level now, and the appropriate skill level for the clubs you are currently using, it may be time for an upgrade. Are you using a beginners set of clubs, which offer more forgiveness in swing production, but sacrifice in distance and control? If you are no longer a beginner, and your skills have improved to the point where you have basic control over the ball, it may be time to upgrade to a more experienced set.
Vice versa is also true. If you are new at golf, and you are using high technology clubs that are constructed for expertise level players, you may find yourself more successful using a beginners set of golf clubs until you learn the basics of the game.
Another consideration to make is the player… you. As we age, we naturally lose some of the skills we once possessed. If you are playing with a set of golf clubs that you have used for years, you may be in need of taking a look at how you have changed. With the increase in age, it is not uncommon for us to gain weight, lose flexibility, and lose the power and strength we once had. All of these factors would come into play if you are using the same golf clubs you were successful with in your younger days.
As you and your body changes, getting a tuned up professional fitting for the appropriate clubs might reveal the need to change in those clubs.
New Products on the Market
Every year, manufacturers are working hard to make the latest and greatest advancement in golf club technology. They research the causes behind some of the most common golfing griefs and try to supply the market with an enabling piece of equipment. If you test drive some of the new equipment that is out and some of your old problems are gone, it may be a sign that you need to take home that golf gear with you. Sometimes it is time to let go of the old and bring in the new.
On the flip side of finding new technology to improve your game, if you are finding yourself in the middle of a progression plateau, it may be time to mix up your equipment. If you are not struggling, but just not improving as much as you’d like, or what is reasonable, golf club shopping may be a great way to find the key element to growth.
Down to the Numbers
With all else equal, if you are seeking a definitive amount of time in which you need to be looking at investing in a new set of golf clubs, look towards the three to five-year mark. While the criteria we have spoken about comes into play, if none of them apply, use this time frame as a guideline. It is a common time span recommended throughout the golf professional arena.
For example, Ryan Peterson, the Head Professional at The Wilderness at Fortune Bay suggests, “My general guideline is new clubs will show a benefit once your existing set is 3-4 years old…” Another professional, Assistant Golf Professional Brendan Cody says, “Most experts and golf professionals across the industry would agree that the longest a golfer should go between sets of clubs would be three years.” (PGA Minnesota Section)
Before you rush out to buy a new set of golf clubs, remember that they can be purchased individually. Instead of buying and replacing a complete set of clubs just to replace one or two, consider buying only those that are needed. Not only will this save you a substantial amount of money, but you will also be able to keep those clubs which are still working for you.
For example, because the golf putter is used in a less aggressive manner at all times, once you find a putter that works for you and you feel comfortable with it, you may find yourself being able to hang onto it for years, or decades. The same cannot be said for a club that is subjected to repeated heavy duty use.
If in doubt, simply make an appointment with your local golf professional for knowledgeable advice.