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Used vs New Golf Clubs

New vs Used Golf Clubs: Good Idea or Not?

Are you trying to decide between used golf clubs or new clubs? If so, you’re in the right place.

I’ve purchased my fair share of used clubs, new clubs, and sold a lot too. Today, we’ll help you understand what club heads you should buy used and which ones are a poor investment.

When you have the right equipment, you’ll make golf a lot easier and likely have a lot more fun too. Whether you need a new driver, irons, wedge, or bag, we got you covered.

Used Clubs vs. New Clubs

New vs. used golf clubs – this is a debate that we’ll settle today. Some golfers will only buy new clubs, while others wonder what is the point and opt for used clubs instead. Both have their pros and cons – let’s get into it.

Key Takeaways

  • Buying used golf clubs is a great way to save money and pay a lot less for top brands.
  • If you do buy used golf clubs, make sure to check the specifications when you get them (loft, lie angle, etc.). It’s also a good idea to regrip them so you have matching grips within your set.
  • Never buy used wedges, regardless of brand, as the grooves wear down and make them less effective for common short game shots.
  • Always check the website for shipping and refund policy before you buy used gear. Or, buy in person at a local golf store so you can test the equipment before purchase.

Keep reading to learn more about used vs. new clubs to see which ones will work best for you. 

When to Buy New Golf Clubs

Let’s face it – buying new golf clubs is exciting. 

There’s nothing like the first shot you get to hit with your brand-new club or new set. Hopefully, it’s a good one to “set the tone” with a solid shot. No golfer has hit them, made a skymark, or scuffed them up at all.

Buying new clubs is a good idea for some golfers, but not all. Why? 

Because new golf clubs are expensive and not right for all players – especially beginners. Here are the most common scenarios to buy new clubs. 

New Wedges 

If you’re buying new wedges like a pitching wedge, sand wedge, gap wedge, or lob, this is the one area I would skip buying used clubs.

Why? Because the grooves are already worn down when you buy second hand golf clubs. 

Worn down grooves means less backspin, which makes short game shots a lot more difficult. The average golfer already struggles to create backspin and old wedges will only make things more difficult. 

How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball

Professional golfers replace their wedges all the time. It’s been rumored that Tiger Woods uses his new wedges each week so they don’t affect performance. Which, if you think about it – makes sense as they are competing for millions of dollars at the highest levels of golf.

Obviously, this isn’t reasonable for the everyday golfer. But if you play and practice a lot, you should replace your lob wedge (or highest lofted wedge) the most frequently. A single club upgrade a couple of times per year won’t break the bank and can help save shots around the green.

 Players With Old Clubs

Golf is a challenging sport and equipment can make it a lot easier… or a lot more difficult. If you’re someone that is playing with old, outdated clubs (of about five years or more) your equipment is costing you strokes. 

Newer drivers and fairway woods are longer than ever, so don’t play old equipment that limits your distance potential. Irons last a lot longer than woods or wedges, but it’s important to make sure they’re right for your game.

For example, if you were a lot better of a golfer five years ago because you had more time to practice/play, your irons might be holding you back now. If you have clubs that aren’t forgiving, have shafts that are too heavy or stiff, you’ll lose out on forgiveness, distance, and accuracy.

If you’re using old wedges, you’re also making golf a lot harder. Without fresh grooves in your wedges, you’ll not get as much spin and likely struggle around the greens. 

However, putters are the one club that can last a long time – as long as you still love it. 

Certain Types of Players 

Most golf equipment comes in one size fits all approach. But as you know, not every golfer has the same build in terms of height, arm length, flexibility, and more. A male golfer who is 5’5” vs. someone who is 6’2” should play very different equipment.

If you’re someone who is shorter or taller than the average golfer, it’s a good idea to buy new clubs. This way you can do a custom fitting, learn if you need clubs shorter/longer and then get them made for you. This does cost more, but it ensures that your clubs are right for your specifications and sets you up for success on the golf course. 

Golf Club Reviews

What to Know About Used Golf Clubs

Buying used golf clubs is very similar to buying a pre-owned car.

You’ll save money and get most of the same benefits without paying full price. Not to mention, just like buying a car, you can also “test drive” aka hit them, before buying if you find used clubs locally. 

For example, near my house there is a PGA Tour Superstore, Vans Golf (part of Worldwide Golf), and several local stores. Each of them have used club sections and indoor simulators so you can test them vs. your current clubs. Since they’re already used, they’ll let you hit them. 

Here is what you should consider when buying second hand clubs.

Figure Out Which clubs You Need

Start by figuring out which club heads or iron set you need. Buying a driver, fairway wood, putters, and some set of irons is a good idea.

For example, a lot of golfers (like myself) buy a new driver every year or every other year. Then sell the old model if it’s still in good shape. It’s a win-win, as I’ll clear space in my garage and get a good deal to someone else who wants last year’s model.

Iron sets are a little different when buying second hand golf clubs. You’ll want to consider a few things including:

  • Which clubs are included.
  • The club head conditions.
  • The loft, lie angle, and length of clubs.
  • The type of shaft flex and weight (learn more about steel shafts vs. graphite shafts here).

Even golf bags are a good idea to buy if they’re still in good condition.

Find a Reputable Seller

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start searching for second hand golf clubs. Some of the most common places to buy them include Global Golf, eBay, Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, and local golf stores. Even top brands like Callaway have their own pre-owned websites too.

Shipping Costs + Return Policy

Ideally, it’s best to buy used golf clubs in person at a local golf store as you can swing and test them out. You can make sure they are a good match and hit them in a golf simulator. But it’s not always easy to find the right gear locally, especially if you’re looking for some of the latest models.

Buying online – like eBay – is a good strategy as you can connect with golfers around the world. But be aware of the return policy (some have none) and shipping costs. Buying used golf clubs online can result in some big shipping costs, especially when buying irons.

Where to sell your golf clubs

How to Sell Old Golf Clubs 

As you can tell, there are tons of benefits to buying new golf clubs. But what about all the old equipment sitting around in your garage? Sell them online to help other golfers save money and get “new” equipment to them. 

When selling clubs online, make sure to:

  • Clean them thoroughly.
  • Include matching head covers if possible. 
  • Check similar clubs’ value to price them accurately. 
  • Take high quality pictures of head, shafts, and grips (from different angles). 

Make sure to read our full guide about selling golf clubs now. 

FAQs About Buying Golf Equipment 

Do you have more questions about buying used vs. new golf equipment? If so, keep reading through the most common questions and answers now. 

Is it worth it to buy new golf clubs?

It depends on which clubs you’re buying. If you’re a mid-high handicap golfer and don’t play a ton of golf, buying used clubs is a good idea. You can save money, get new technology at a fraction of the price, and 

Do new golf clubs make a big difference?

Yes, new golf clubs make a big difference in your game. Golf club technology changes every year and newer clubs can lead to better accuracy and longer distance. 

Golf Club Reviews

Is there a difference between cheap and expensive golf clubs?

Yes, there is a huge difference between cheap and expensive clubs. But you need to be the right type of player to take advantage of the differences. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money on clubs that might not be right for your game. 

How do you know if golf clubs are worn out?

You’ll want to check the face and head more than anything else. Golf shafts don’t ever “go bad” or get worn down, so they’re fine even years (or decades) later. 

Driver heads and woods don’t break down much either. You can keep these for years without having to replace, but with so much technology, you’re likely losing some distance. 

Irons also last a long time, but the grooves will wear down eventually. You’ll want to check the grooves more than anything else. 

Wedges are the clubs you’ll want to replace the most frequently. New wedges with fresh grooves will create more backspin and likely have a big impact on your short game.

Don’t forget to replace your grips regularly, too. 

Where do you buy used golf clubs?

You can buy used golf clubs all over – from local golf stores, apps, and online. One of the most popular ways to buy used golf equipment is using apps like Offer Up. 

You can easily see who is selling clubs in your area, message them, oftentimes negotiate a lower price, and meet up. Or, you can check out eBay, which has nearly every club you could imagine and a lot of listings also have return policies too. 

Local golf stores or even big box stores (like the PGA Tour Superstore) typically have a used section of clubs too. Other golfers trade in their old equipment to get a discount on new stuff. 

These clubs are usually higher priced than you’ll find online and might be slightly limited in selection. However, a lot of golf stores allow you to hit used clubs first to ensure they’re a good fit, which is something you can’t get online. 

My Experience

Buying second hand golf equipment is a good idea to save money in most cases. Even as a +2 handicap, I’ve bought some used golf clubs to save a couple bucks. But as you get more advanced, you’ll likely need to buy most of your clubs new to meet your specific specifications.

For example, if you’re swinging 110 mph with a driver, you’ll need an extra-stiff shaft. Finding these types of shafts isn’t easy when buying used clubs as most are lite, regular, or stiff flex. They might not also be the right weight as well.

I play and practice a lot, so I make sure to regularly replace my lob wedge. I’ll only replace my sand wedge once per year but my lob wedge two or three times. This ensures I have fresh grooves for competition.

Also, make sure to sell your clubs to clear up space and offset some costs with new equipment.

Final Thoughts on Buying Second Hand Golf Clubs

When it comes to golf gear, buying used clubs is a good idea to save money and get better gear (in most cases). To recap, make sure to:

  • Never buy used wedges.
  • Shop around to compare prices.
  • Check the return and shipping policies.
  • Check the lie angle and loft of each iron.
  • Sell your old clubs online using apps like OfferUp or eBay.
  • If selling, only allow people to purchase with cash to avoid any payment issues.
  • Don’t sell your putter – it’s a good idea to have a backup just in case your current putter gets cold. Putter technology doesn’t change like drivers or irons, so they can last a long time.

It’s also a good idea to get new grips when you buy second hand golf clubs. This way all your clubs have the same grip which will improve your consistency on the golf course.

Picture of Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael is an avid golfer of 25 years who played in high school, college, and now competes in Arizona amateur events. He is a full-time writer, podcast host of Wicked Smart Golf, and mental golf coach.