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Suggestions for a new set of golf clubs

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by SW, Oct 21, 2015.

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  1. SW

    SW Well-Known Member

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    A little about me;
    • 53 years old
    • recreational golfer
    • 25+handicap
    • this year 10 rounds
    • next year 20-25 rounds
    • current set - Dunlop Max 100 (purchased 1989)
    • my goal next year is to play bogey ball
    Do you have any suggestions for a full set in the $1,000 range?
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Fitted clubs are more important than the latest/greatest offerings, and particularly now that some OEMs show total disregard for their customers with their ridiculously accelerated product-release cycles, but that's a fight for another day.

    Complete sets still are easy to come by, but as an aspirational player you'd be better off keying on what works best at each level, regardless name or making sure the brand matches through the bag. You want irons -- PW-5, likely -- a hybrid or two, an adequately lofted fairway club of 16 or so degrees, driver and at least two wedges below your PW. You can buy used or perhaps better yet stuff that came out a model or three ago (which means a year or two ago).

    1. If you are serious about this, do an iron fitting. You can do something static like on PINGs website but even if you are "standard" for PING you might not be standard for others. If you want to get "close enough," do that PING static fitting and go from there. If your specs are standard -- and only about 40-50 percent of the market is -- you can buy what you want off the rack knowing the specs should be about right. Fittings are free at demo events and most shops.

    2. More people need lighter shafts than they think, both weight and stiffness; don't be playing S-300s, for instance.

    3. Clubhead styles do matter, so go to your local shop or a demo event and beat a bunch of stuff. Arrows don't make the Indian but you will be far happier hitting a game improvement cavity back iron than a blade.

    4. Modern clubs have jacked up lofts, so that PW is actually your granddads, 7 or 8 iron in equivalent loft. That is why you need several wedges below PW. Game improvement PWs are as strong as 45 and sometimes 44 degrees, so if you just add one "sand" wedge at a standard 56 you're going to have a good 30-yard gap between those clubs.

    5. Most every driver out there in the market is adjustable. Most players don't really get them set right and seldom if ever re-set. So it's a good tool to have but not essential. The best benefit is getting adequate loft into the hands of people who need it.

    6. Hybrids and higher-lofted fairways are most peoples friends, but they don't hit automatically, just something to keep in mind.

    7. Ask yourself, how much are you going to practice and will you consistently see a pro, because if so, your club specs will change IF you are improving. Something to keep in mind before squeezing the trigger.

    OK, that's part of the picture but probably more than you need. My advice in a nutshell is: 1) Don't buy everything at once, you're gonna overpay and play into OEMs hands. 2) If they fit, buying used or a model or three ago but new is a great way to save money. 3) Start with irons that work for you. After you know how your iron play is going you can add a hybrid or two; despite what they think most avid recreational golfers cannot hit irons well beyond the 5 or 6. What you are looking for in hybrids is kinda what you are looking for in your wedges -- clubs that cover specific distance gaps. 4) Find a driver that works for you. Aside from your putter, you will hit this more than any other club in the bag, so make sure you take some time. Buying new but a 2015 or 2014 or 2013 model is fine. Loft and flex and performance are more important than marketing BS. 5) Add a couple wedges, spaced out in even loft increments below your PW. So if you buy two and your PW is a modern jacked-up 46 or 45 degrees, that means a 52 and 58. And bounce is your friend. Don't be seduced by a Mickelsonian 60- or 64-degree lob wedge. 6) You might need a fairway club, but many folks do fine in that regard with a hybrid. Again, look for yardage gaps below your driver and buy what you can get airborne easiest -- for some that is hybrid, for some a fairway club.
     
  3. TheCooler

    TheCooler Professional Gambler and the Best Football Handica

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    Ken offers great advice here. I'd like to share on valuable resource that is www.callawaygolfpreowned.com. They offer a HUGE selection of lightly used Callaway clubs and many clubs from other manufacturer all at a significant discount from buying new. The new trend of accelerating the product release cycles really grinds my gears. It used to be each manufacturer came out with a new line annually, now it seems something new is always being released.
     
  4. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Normally at a 25+ handicap I'd say that the money was better invested in lessons than in clubs. But a 1989 set is pretty behind the times.

    Ken had some good advice.

    If your entire set is 1989, I would say look for a bargain on an off brand or older model modern driver. The head may be 4 times the size of the one you are using, and still lighter with a better shaft. Then look for a high forgiveness set of irons with hydrids for the 3,4,5. These tend to also be among the cheapest.

    Go into the season with those, spend the rest of your budget on lessons early in the year and see how far that gets you. As Ken said, as your swing improves your club needs could change anyway. So for now I'd look for a budget jump into modern equipment, and after taking steps to improve you can reassess for the future.

    Or, if improving isn't such a priority that you want lessons, still spend about the same on clubs and spend the rest of your budget on beer :)
     
  5. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    Agree with above comments...Ken is the man on this subject, but if you are looking for some specific suggestions I'd recommend Taylor Made Speed blades (HL) based on your handicap.

    I have the regular SB's and simply love them....the misses are not as catastrophic and are now playable, that's the difference new technology makes IMO!
     
  6. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    new technology is going to change your game.

    about 5 years ago I was still playing with my clubs from the 90s and I upgraded and it changed my world.

    then this year I upgraded again to today's technology and it changed my world again even more this time.

    everybody's got a fitting system now. they're all free, so try them all.

    pick the clubs that feel the best and show the best on the monitors.
     
  7. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    You didn't say where you are from but there are some golf stores that sell used clubs. In Honolulu, Roger Dunn has a back area which contains used clubs. They have a 90 day return policy (you can try out clubs for up to 90 days) and they usually have slightly used clubs that were returned, they normally mark down those clubs since they can't sell them as "new". I would highly recommend you try out different sets of clubs and brands to see which you feel most comfortable with. While some people like or recommend a certain brand it may not work for you so make sure you test out the clubs before you buy them.

    As Ken mentioned, best to see someone to find out about you and your swing and which clubs and shafts are best for you. In this hi tech era they can check out your swing speed and mechanics and recommend which types of shafts and clubs would be best for you. Using the wrong type of shaft is just as bad you may have a harder time hitting the ball cleanly or getting the right trajectory of your shot.

    The newest models are great to have but are usually expensive, at 25 handicap best to get a decent set of used clubs first since as you get better you may "outgrow" your clubs and may need a better set of clubs if you decide to put a lot of time and effort to improve.

    As Nevyn mentioned, if you are getting "serious" about playing and improving it may be best to seek some instruction to find areas of improvement. Also remember, if you want to improve it isn't only the amount of playing time you put in but you also need to put in a quality practice time to work on your game.
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Anyone will benefit from new modern clubs. They don't have to be October 2015-just-released new, but modern.

    An elaboration on fitting, fitness and improvement: PING this year altered what is its standard orientation, so the new stuff is now a tad longer and a bit more upright than what was black dot (standard) in the years before. The reasoning is simply -- most players don't maintain posture, have bad cores and lose shots to the right, so a slightly longer and more upright club will incrementally move missed shots from the toe (the outcome of those two matters) toward the center and the club face will square fractionally more. Call it a mask or building to the market, but it makes sense.

    I was doing a wad of fittings and fitting articles several years ago, and I was being fitted differently by OEMs and retailers than by my then-instructor. The club folks wanted to work with/help mask my flaws, which makes sense, while John knew what we were working on, so his conclusions were different, and that made sense, too. If I'd just wanted to go with more of a club-fix approach I'd have ended up in these crazily upright and long clubs, and for a few sets I did trend that direction if not as far as the mask-only orientation suggested. This was borne out again the last two times I've been down to Titleist HQ testing and kicking the tires. When I get sloppy and lift, I also flip, and things flare high and often right, until Snappy the Clown shows up. If I keep my chest down, bingo. With my clubhead speed I still can move the ball out there pretty good but the difference in ball flight, traj and speed is shocking when I'm not playing twinkletoes.

    Since going toward the extreme I've been moving it back toward "standard" length and lie, and if/when I replace these irons I'll get rid of that last extra 1/4-1/2 inch in there. I hit more better shots now as a result of, well, being required to, if that makes sense.

    The mention of Callaway Certified Preowned above was golden! :thumbsup:
     
  9. BTSyndrome

    BTSyndrome Low-Roller

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    I'm still playing my 2003 Mizuno MP 30's... Every year they make subtle tweaks and name it something new.
    But imo, I don't think the new MP 5, 15, or 25 would make much difference than what I swing now. But I could be wrong :rolleyes2:

    I bet I have one of the best "still looks new" 12 yo set of clubs.
    Always headcovers, head cleaned after every shot, regripped every year.
    I do go through Cleveland Lob and Sand wedges about every three years, just because the grooves wear out.
     
  10. SW

    SW Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all of you for the great advice! And a special thanks to you ken2v for going into such detail!

    Even as golf season nears an end here in the upper Midwest, I find myself more excited about golf than I’ve been for many years. Golf seems one of the few ways, sometimes the only way, to get together with friends and former co-workers who have now retired. To say I enjoyed the game and camaraderie this season would be an understatement.

    My game has not improved much over the last decade but I hope to change that with the advice you guys provided today.
     
  11. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    you are.

    I recently upgraded from the MP-60 to MP-15 this year and it's night and day.

    the difference in the look is subtle for sure, but the playability is completely changed.

    I hit it farther when pure and it goes much better on off-center hits.
     
  12. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    the grooves wear down considerably in 15-20 rounds.

    you will see a huge difference if you only replace them once a year.

    I decided to go to 6 months because the fresh grooves are addicting.
     
  13. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    It's across the board, even players' clubs. They launch higher at lowered lofts and they are so much more forgiving in a relative sense. The just-released 716 AP2, for instance, is playable by a broader range of players than the first iteration. On the boat anchor end of the spectrum it is even more of the case.

    As I wrote, the product cycle is ridiculous. Companies either emulate TM or they don't. Callaway has tried to keep pace and then decided to go back to a more logical pace. But even a relative dinosaur like PING has turned it up a good half year, but like Titliest is still about on two years, so still not remotely like TM and it's nearly twice-per-year launch. It's one of the reasons why tmag has struggled. It's hard to say with a straight face that the club today promising x more yards can somehow be better than the x-more-yards club of less than a year ago. Go back and add up 10 years of ad copy and we're all hitting it 427 yards if you go by the promises. lol
     
  14. BTSyndrome

    BTSyndrome Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the insight.
    I will have to go check them out now. :beer:
     
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    :thumbsup:

    Take your time, kick a lot of tires.
     
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