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Soaring Club Prices too Much For Van Sickle

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http://www.morningread.com/features/20286b8d-0ed8-453b-b1d0-ec5578c12b7f

 

Oh great....Another story in a mainstream publication that golf club prices are too high.   There's no doubt they have risen over the past ten and even five years as Van Sickle says.  But he spends much of the article complaining that prices are too high, and golf participation is dying, which is another argument in of itself. 

I'll continue to beat the drum, of golf is as expensive or inexpensive as you make it.   If you buy a set of brand new irons--or OK maybe two----alright----three sets each year, and take destination trips to places like Pinehurst, Bandon or even Scotland, then yes it's going to cost a fair amount of money.   But if you're perfectly content playing a driver and/or irons that are several models old, chances are you're not going to be giving up too many yards or fairways to your extravagant friends. There are many great daily fee municipal courses, where you can play a round of golf for less than the cost of a meal and beer at Outback--I should know, i work at one---golf course that is---not an Outback!

We by nature on this forum are equipment junkies, and I know many of you who have said they will never pay $500 or even $300 for a new driver, and be very content, and I know a few who will think that the newest $500 driver just has to be better than that $500 driver you just bought 3 months ago--I may or may not be looking in a mirror when I say that 😁

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts, are you more in line agreeing with the Author or have a different take. 

 

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I agree 100% that golf is as expensive or inexpensive as we want to make it. My personal set of clubs has cost me a total of $85. It took a couple years and some patients but there are definitely ways to get around the “high club cost”.


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Prior to really getting engaged into this and other golf forums I played used equipment that I keep in my bag for a long time. I found and still find most of the balls I play on the course; I can’t remember the last time I bought golf balls. I can walk 18 at the local public course for
If I was putting together a set of clubs, I am pretty sure I could put a decent bag together for about $250.

Golf can be expensive if you want to make it expensive. As you mentioned I can make a dinner with my wife expensive if I start to add alcohol to the bill.

Any hobby can be expensive depending how you approach it. People, at least in the US, have a tendency to live beyond their means so yes, you can make golf a really expensive endeavor if you continually buy new stuff and have to play the best courses.

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As GolfSpy T often points out, there is absolutely NO data to support the idea that equipment costs influence participation. None. 

It's a convenient, albeit flawed argument to make, but correlation isn't causation.

And, as T correctly points out, the existence of a PXG doesn't mean a lower-priced alternative is wiped off the board. 

Jeff from Hireko Golf told me last year that loft-for-loft and shaft-for-shaft, a lower priced version of a Hireko model will perform so close to a "name brand" iron that most of us non-professionals (and non-plus handicaps) couldn't tell the difference. And seriously, I want to learn more about Sub 70, started by Diamond Golf's owners. Stuff looks pretty sweet at a nice looking price. 

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16 minutes ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

As GolfSpy T often points out, there is absolutely NO data to support the idea that equipment costs influence participation. None. 

It's a convenient, albeit flawed argument to make, but correlation isn't causation.

And, as T correctly points out, the existence of a PXG doesn't mean a lower-priced alternative is wiped off the board. 

Jeff from Hireko Golf told me last year that loft-for-loft and shaft-for-shaft, a lower priced version of a Hireko model will perform so close to a "name brand" iron that most of us non-professionals (and non-plus handicaps) couldn't tell the difference. And seriously, I want to learn more about Sub 70, started by Diamond Golf's owners. Stuff looks pretty sweet at a nice looking price. 

I agree with Tony--and as a result you as well--we see it at course, the only thing that slows down our number of rounds is the weather.  We had  historically high record rainfalls last year in this region, and even at that surpassed the previous years rounds played.   it's been that trend for several years.  

Added to that, even though we aren't a real high volume sales course in equipment, we have also had year over year increases in equipment sales the past three years.  Sure we don't stock PXG, but I bet if we were to carry a couple of it's $585 drivers, i know we would sell them--and no I'm not counting myself in that 🤣

But I guess it's--the Van Sickle piece--is an easy article to write when you're deadline is coming up and you're stuck on ideas. 

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The paragraph below personifies me and I couldn't agree more...especially the thrifty part.  😃  I cannot imagine ever buying a brand new golf club.  I've done it once (a set of irons and a hybrid) and to this day I would tell anyone it was a bad investment.  I've played used clubs and the new ones are not one iota better.  different, but not better.  perhaps this is because I'm just an average player and I cannot discern the differences...

Quote

It’s not up to me to say what will sell and what won’t. Customers decide that. A lot of golfers, like me, are value-conscious. You could say we’re cheap. I prefer to think of myself as thrifty. I can’t see crossing the Forbes Line to buy a new driver … unless I’m going to pick up 25 yards off the tee. Then, yeah, I’m all in. I’d pay any price for that. But if I can save $300 on a driver that I hit only 2 yards shorter than the high-priced one, I’m probably not going to pop for the expensive one.

 

Below is where he kind-of lost me.  
The game is hard, but not too hard; it's certainly not bowling (no offense bowlers!) but it also doesn't take an extreme amount of skill to play.  Like anything if you want to play well you've got to practice.

Hard to disagree with it taking too long but there are many causes for that.... poor golfers losing balls, too many people on the course at once, slow players, etc., etc.

Costs too much?  This depends a lot on where you live, when you play and how you play.  As I said above, I'm "thrifty" so I use the discount hot-deals, play during the week and walk when I can...you can save a lot of money doing that...but if you live in an expensive area there's not much you can do about it.  The start-up costs don't have to be high, but there is a barrier (500?) to getting started but you also don't need an entire set of clubs - you can start with fewer than 14 clubs and take your time 'building' your bag.  And there's no requirement to join a club...especially if the membership fees are too high.

Quote

Golf has three areas of crisis. The game is too difficult, it takes too long to play, and it costs too much. The latter problem includes green fees, club memberships and equipment (including shoes, balls, bag and travel cover).

 

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I don’t know...

Nearly $400 for a 3 wood? I mean I like Taylormade clubs a lot, but I got my SLDR on sale for $75 brand new.

I don’t think I’ll gain $325 worth of performance.

Someone needs to stop the madness.

Brands like Hogan will be more on my radar because of the price increases.

Can’t honestly tell me there’s $50 of yardage in those new drivers over last year??? Or are we paying by the half yard?

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There's two reasons you buy anything - either you need it or you want it. And either reason is valid. At that point, it's what price are you willing to pay. If someone wants to buy a $400 fairway wood, that's their business and they sure as hell don't have to justify their decision to me. Unless, of course, they come to me to borrow the money. 😉😉

I am learning, as I get older, that spending a bit more for something of better quality or for something I just like the look/feel/fit of, or even something that I enjoy owning and using, is worth it to me. The same stuff may not be worth it to someone else.

IMO, golf equipment isn't any different -- I'm still trying to find the official Yards-per-Dollar Matrix, but I'm beginning to doubt it exists because if it did, that Tour Edge HL-3 driver we tested last year would have been by far the number one seller. It gave you more yards per dollar than anything else in Most Wanted. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

There's two reasons you buy anything - either you need it or you want it. And either reason is valid. At that point, it's what price are you willing to pay. If someone wants to buy a $400 fairway wood, that's their business and they sure as hell don't have to justify their decision to me. Unless, of course, they come to me to borrow the money. 😉😉

I am learning, as I get older, that spending a bit more for something of better quality or for something I just like the look/feel/fit of, or even something that I enjoy owning and using, is worth it to me. The same stuff may not be worth it to someone else.

IMO, golf equipment isn't any different -- I'm still trying to find the official Yards-per-Dollar Matrix, but I'm beginning to doubt it exists because if it did, that Tour Edge HL-3 driver we tested last year would have been by far the number one seller. It gave you more yards per dollar than anything else in Most Wanted. 

 

 

image.jpeg

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LOL.

Last year I wrote into the MorningRead Inbox about an article that Van Sickle wrote (forgot the topic), but in the next article he wrote, he referred to me as "an internet troll"; not by name mind you!

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I hear you. But a $100 bump for the same category FW metal? Just changed the number on the bottom. To 6 or 5 or whatever it is.

I like quality too. But was last year’s any less good? Same materials...

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13 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

LOL.

Last year I wrote into the MorningRead Inbox about an article that Van Sickle wrote (forgot the topic), but in the next article he wrote, he referred to me as "an internet troll"; not by name mind you!

Love it when the media refers to anyone that disagrees with them as a troll...Ha Heaven help it if you have your own opinion.   Maybe I should copy and paste my post and send it in, to see if I can earn the same distinction....😀

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Not clicking that link because I don't want to send someone internet traffic for such lazy writing.

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Same old stuff over and over and most arguments have been debunked. Name a consumer product that hasn’t increased in price. Technology, innovation, materials, labor, marketing, etc all have to be taken into consideration and none of that is going down.

golf is hard but it can still be enjoyed at all skill levels no different than most sports.  

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14 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Not clicking that link because I don't want to send someone internet traffic for such lazy writing.

At least I didn't click, it just came to my morning inbox.  Maybe I should write back threatening to unsubscribe if that's the best writing they could offer.   

1 minute ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Same old stuff over and over and most arguments have been debunked. Name a consumer product that hasn’t increased in price. Technology, innovation, materials, labor, marketing, etc all have to be taken into consideration and none of that is going down.

golf is hard but it can still be enjoyed at all skill levels no different than most sports.  

Don't be a Troll 🤪

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Where’s the article bemoaning how rising car costs have stopped people from driving?

Every year at this time there’s a few articles like this. Such laziness.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Typical "news" reporting...🙄

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47 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Love it when the media refers to anyone that disagrees with them as a troll...Ha Heaven help it if you have your own opinion.   Maybe I should copy and paste my post and send it in, to see if I can earn the same distinction....😀

If you don't, I'd be happy to "troll" again!!

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31 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

At least I didn't click, it just came to my morning inbox.  Maybe I should write back threatening to unsubscribe if that's the best writing they could offer.   

Don't be a Troll 🤪

Gotta do what I do best 🤣

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....I don't know much about this Van Sickle character but it seems like he has a reputation; although, in this case, I think he makes a fair point.... yeah, yeah, it's the same point that's been made the last few years but until things kind of level out then I think you'll keep seeing it.

I also hear each year how the USGA (and others) want to "grow the game".... you can't have it both ways.

...and remember, I'm the thrifty guy.... I'd never buy an 800-1000 dollar phone either but that's how much they go for now.  :0

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