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Used Equipment Strategy = Better Lottery Ticket ?


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I have been listening to a backlog of podcasts recently and just finished the "Used Clubs" Podcast on No Putts Given. I also recently upgraded my driver and irons and did so with used clubs. I deployed what for me seemed like a logical strategy.  I still understand it is all a bit of a lottery ticket (especiialy the irons due to quanity of shafts) but for me this made sense and fit my budget. I ultimately bought newer irons ( ie technology) than I thought I could because of money saved from doing a $200-300 fitting into $600-1500 clubs.(which was out of the question) I am curious what strategies others use to make informed used purchases ? 

 

1. Have a basic understanding of swing speeds/tempo and play a few differnt shaft flexes from differnt brand clubs I already owned or borrowed. ( also be honest with oneself about club head type...those Hogans are pretty though)

2. 3 years or less on the Irons and Driver upgrades. Fairway woods up to 8 yrs. ( I don't have hybrids yet.)

3. I needed to get a good enough deal on the driver that a shaft change wouldn't break the bank.

4. Adjustablity ! ! ! I needed a driver that I could adjust as much as possible since I was purchasing  first without a full fitting. 

Final Assumptions: I planned from the beginning to get fit into my driver at my nearby Dicks (which happens to have a rather good golf dept. in our area) and I planned to let a fitting determine the upper end of my bag ie hybrids, utility, fairway woods.  Their prices are reasonable and are free if you buy a similar amount of merch (any merch). My plan is to wait when I am stocking up on balls or apparal and do the fittings at those times. Keeping my current Fairway Woods for another 2-3 yrs and I will need to see compelling tech and shaft combos to make the shift. 

Boop bop be bop boop and out came: 

$85 - Wilson Staff Triton Driver w/ Weight and Sole Kit, stock shaft - truly like new condition from Ebay. 

$350 - Cobra Fmax One Lenght 5i-GW - gently used, steel shafts, appeared to be only mat use, from Ebay.

 

Future Needs / Hopeful Budget: 

1-2 Hybrids/Utility Clubs - $85-120 each 

1 - One Length SW - $60-85

 

*** In an effort to be above board and provide all the info I used and am using I did a $30 per 90 min session on a trackman at a nearby GC. Of course I did this after buying my clubs (totally illogicial but I lucked out and swing speeds, dispersion etc. genreally affirmed my shaft  choices and head types) 

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Edited by CCRyder
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Driver:  :wilson_staff_small: Triton 10.5 degree Regular Flex;  
FW Woods:  :taylormade-small: R580 3 & 5 Stiff Flex 
Irons::cobra-small: 5i-GW Cobra Fmax ONE Length Regular Flex Steel ; 
Wedges:  :wilson_staff_small: Harmonized 50, 56, 60 Steel Wedge Flex 
Putter: :nike-small:  IC 2015A w/ Winn Jumbo Lite; :odyssey-small: DF 552 w/ Winn Jumbo Lite 
Ball:  :wilson_staff_small: 50 Elite; :wilson_staff_small: Zip 
Bag: :ping-small:  late 90's Hoofer; mid 60's Spalding Canvas Bag
image.jpeg.f0b1d1d2bc3b2ec6880dd6c9a3b096e9.jpeg      image.jpeg.231a9c2f1e7b1dc46388ceac1039351a.jpeg      image.png.32ebfd5998dc591ff68ab71bb6d09b08.png

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I truly believe in fittings, over the years I have been fit enough times that I have a pretty good understanding of what will and won't work for my swing.  It's hard to stomach the couple hundred dollar cost of a fitting but if you look at the benefit in the long run it can easily save you money.  I'm lucky enough that I live in an area with a few high quality fitters near me so I have options there, but I try to go when they have a deal like 50% off a full bag fitting or something like that.  

If you've been fit a few times and see trends or even the same results it makes it much easier to buy used equipment with a high degree of confidence that will work for you.  For me a fitter does a much better job of finding proper length, lie, swing weight etc that you can then apply to your club purchases.  Just realize that when buying used you may have to take the clubs in to get adjusted to get them just right.  It also helps if you can do your own club work to save some money.

Glad your used club journey is working out well for you, just don't rule out a fitting down the road.  You are paying for the information and specs of a fitting, nothing says you have buy brand new clubs from them.

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Driver: :callaway-logo-1: Epic SZ w/ VA Composites Raijin 65 04

3w: :taylormade-small:'16 M2 hl w/ Diamana D+ 82

5w: :cleveland-small: Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Yellow

Hybrid: :cleveland-small: 22 deg. Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Black

Irons: :ping-small: 5i-UW G700 w/ X100 soft stepped once

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 54 & 58 CBX w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Putter: :odyssey-small: Red 7s

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The Wilson Staff Triton is the most adjustable Driver made. You have two sole plates, multiple weights for three locations and an adjustable shaft. No other driver can say that.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EXS w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft BACKUP DRIVER: Cobra F8 w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft  Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Wilson D7 GW(50*) & SW(54*) w/Recoil 460 regular shafts; Cleveland RTX Zipcore(58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  Putter: 33" Slotline SSi 693 mid mallet Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).

 

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Absolutely nothing wrong with used equipment and, in many ways, makes good sense - particularly if your inclined to switch up the bag often. Last generation clubs can be had new or near new for significant discounts.  My recommendation, if you have not done so, is to get fitted and establish some specs.  That way you can really zero in on finding used gear that meets what you need... at least be much closer to center target.  Not sure where this outfit is, but those look like 1970 prices.  A Truespec full bag fitting is north of $350.00.  Presuming they have Skytrack or GCQuad LM systems and good reviews, I'd jump all over that.

image.png.95dc989e5e3ec0d6f3cc575c7d8e4d9e.png

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:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver | Official 2019 MGS Tester

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:ping-small: G410 Irons 4-UW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:ping-small: B61 Putter

 

 

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7 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Absolutely nothing wrong with used equipment and, in many ways, makes good sense - particularly if your inclined to switch up the bag often. Last generation clubs can be had new or near new for significant discounts.  My recommendation, if you have not done so, is to get fitted and establish some specs.  That way you can really zero in on finding used gear that meets what you need... at least be much closer to center target.  Not sure where this outfit is, but those look like 1970 prices.  A Truespec full bag fitting is north of $350.00.  Presuming they have Skytrack or GCQuad LM systems and good reviews, I'd jump all over that.

image.png.95dc989e5e3ec0d6f3cc575c7d8e4d9e.png

I saw these prices and thought "are they from the 1970's" lol. 

No idea how they make any money out of club repair and adjustment services either - but the old adage "you get what you pay for" is probably ringing alarm bells if you think you're getting a quality fitting at those prices. Maybe they have Elves to help or something?

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Absolutely nothing wrong with used equipment and, in many ways, makes good sense - particularly if your inclined to switch up the bag often. Last generation clubs can be had new or near new for significant discounts.  My recommendation, if you have not done so, is to get fitted and establish some specs.  That way you can really zero in on finding used gear that meets what you need... at least be much closer to center target.  Not sure where this outfit is, but those look like 1970 prices.  A Truespec full bag fitting is north of $350.00.  Presuming they have Skytrack or GCQuad LM systems and good reviews, I'd jump all over that.
image.png.95dc989e5e3ec0d6f3cc575c7d8e4d9e.png
Right on, yeah I plan to get fit into the Triton in the few weeks, this spring I will also have the irons loft and lie checked for quality control.

One of the biggest lessons I learned based on what I was sharing above was to maximize my initial strategy I should not have started to look at clubs until I went and got the specs.

I cannot stress that enough I was mistaken to start looking at them on eBay because then I just got sucked in to buying a set before I'd implemented my full strategy of establishing some baseline statistics.

The pricedis above or the posted prices at my local Dick's sporting goods which I would normally be suspect of using but my local Dick's in Frederick Maryland has a pretty strong reputation and a pretty full-fledged golf section with club repairs and lessons and simulators.

I'm not under the impression that my local Dick's sporting goods is going to be as thorough as a boutique or independent brick and mortar fitter but I believe they can get me fit into that Triton driver.

Sent from my Pixel 4 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

Driver:  :wilson_staff_small: Triton 10.5 degree Regular Flex;  
FW Woods:  :taylormade-small: R580 3 & 5 Stiff Flex 
Irons::cobra-small: 5i-GW Cobra Fmax ONE Length Regular Flex Steel ; 
Wedges:  :wilson_staff_small: Harmonized 50, 56, 60 Steel Wedge Flex 
Putter: :nike-small:  IC 2015A w/ Winn Jumbo Lite; :odyssey-small: DF 552 w/ Winn Jumbo Lite 
Ball:  :wilson_staff_small: 50 Elite; :wilson_staff_small: Zip 
Bag: :ping-small:  late 90's Hoofer; mid 60's Spalding Canvas Bag
image.jpeg.f0b1d1d2bc3b2ec6880dd6c9a3b096e9.jpeg      image.jpeg.231a9c2f1e7b1dc46388ceac1039351a.jpeg      image.png.32ebfd5998dc591ff68ab71bb6d09b08.png

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I appreciate your feedback and overall agree with you that the fittings and fitting processes is the ideal situation.

I truly believe in fittings, over the years I have been fit enough times that I have a pretty good understanding of what will and won't work for my swing.  It's hard to stomach the couple hundred dollar cost of a fitting but if you look at the benefit in the long run it can easily save you money.  I'm lucky enough that I live in an area with a few high quality fitters near me so I have options there, but I try to go when they have a deal like 50% off a full bag fitting or something like that.  
If you've been fit a few times and see trends or even the same results it makes it much easier to buy used equipment with a high degree of confidence that will work for you.  For me a fitter does a much better job of finding proper length, lie, swing weight etc that you can then apply to your club purchases.  Just realize that when buying used you may have to take the clubs in to get adjusted to get them just right.  It also helps if you can do your own club work to save some money.
Glad your used club journey is working out well for you, just don't rule out a fitting down the road.  You are paying for the information and specs of a fitting, nothing says you have buy brand new clubs from them.


Sent from my Pixel 4 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

Driver:  :wilson_staff_small: Triton 10.5 degree Regular Flex;  
FW Woods:  :taylormade-small: R580 3 & 5 Stiff Flex 
Irons::cobra-small: 5i-GW Cobra Fmax ONE Length Regular Flex Steel ; 
Wedges:  :wilson_staff_small: Harmonized 50, 56, 60 Steel Wedge Flex 
Putter: :nike-small:  IC 2015A w/ Winn Jumbo Lite; :odyssey-small: DF 552 w/ Winn Jumbo Lite 
Ball:  :wilson_staff_small: 50 Elite; :wilson_staff_small: Zip 
Bag: :ping-small:  late 90's Hoofer; mid 60's Spalding Canvas Bag
image.jpeg.f0b1d1d2bc3b2ec6880dd6c9a3b096e9.jpeg      image.jpeg.231a9c2f1e7b1dc46388ceac1039351a.jpeg      image.png.32ebfd5998dc591ff68ab71bb6d09b08.png

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- Use online tools like PING's webfit, a lot of fitters (especially at big box stores) pick iron length and lie off static charts which you can easily find in these online tools. 

- Go in and demo clubs in the winter when stores aren't busy (obviously a challenge with COVID). One night a store rep (who wanted to make a sale) basically did an iron fitting at no cost for me - I hit the PING G400 and G700 to see the differences (had previously demo'd Srixon, TM, Cobra, Titleist). He gave me different lie angles to try and 1 or 2 shafts. I had pretty much narrowed it down to the G400 or Mizuno Hot Metals after previous demos.

(I paid for an iron fitting in 2020 and ended up fit into the G410 as opposed to buying used, which I almost regret because the fitter was average at best and we never discussed swing weights (my fault). If you look like "a golfer" its not hard at most big box stores to ask them to throw a demo club iron together from the fitting cart, especially if the demo set on the wall doesn't have the shaft you want. )

- Time permitting, buy the demo clubs at the end of season, next season or 2 years down the road after you were fit to them to some degree. 

- I signed up for a Titleist Thursday and compared TS2 and TS3, Callaway demo day and got fit into an EPIC Flash, then tried the PING G400 & TM M5 (MGS True Spec online driver fit), and Cobra F9 in store. After I whittled down those results, I hit the 2 top performers: G400 (tried 2 different shafts) and F9 after an 18 hole round where I hit driver well. The F9 won, so I grabbed my gamer from the trunk (Callaway XR) to make sure the monitor wasn't "juiced". The Cobra was  20 yards longer with tighter dispersion due to lower loft, heavier and shorter shaft. I then got lucky when the F9 was 40-50% off for a 2019 end of season sale in Canada. So I paid $300 for a new driver that I was able to compare to 6 other heads, some with multiple shafts (the sales rep even let me swap shafts when I bought it). 

You get what you pay for... These driver demos took place over 2-3 months with an eventual purchase 4-5 months later. That was the better part of 4-5 hours hitting balls on different monitors and travelling to courses and stores (5+ locations). I could have paid $100-150 and hit all those drivers in one day to same time and gas, but if I was swinging poorly that day, it might not have been the best fit. 

DISCLAIMER: my irons are +0.5" long (1 degree upright) but standard length/lie is no problem for me to play. Driver swing speed is 95-100mph with smooth transition so most mid-mid, 60g, stiff shafts work well for no cost options. If you swing 120mph, need X flex, and are interested in upcharge options, I couldn't have pulled this stuff off dropping into demo days and stores. 

:cobra-small: F9 Driver 9*

:cobra-small: Baffler 2H/5H

:ping-small: G410 4-UW, Glide 2.0 54, 60*

:EVNROLL: ER2.2

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The key thing for me is patience. Not jumping on the first set or club you see once you decide what you want, but setting up watch lists. setting yourself a price point your happy to pay and also a condition you are happy to accept. If you do this then chances are if you don't get on with them you will at least be able to get your money back by moving them on again.

I've played enough that I know generally what will fit me in terms of length lie and shaft weights and im happy to pull shafts to replace, add swing weight etc to get a club to my specs and feel preferences.

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