View Full Version : Buying Irons
06-14-2002, 06:59 PM
I am beginning to think about starting to buy some new irons. I know that actually getting to demo the clubs is probably the most important, but I was wondering if anyone had suggestions and/or experiences, reviews etc. that could help me out.
06-17-2002, 09:48 AM
There are a couple of different ways you could go. First, if you've played for a while now and can get around the course, but you're looking for some new clubs, many people would suggest you go to a local pro and get fitted for a new set. The pro can help you with both the type of irons as well as the lie (i.e., flat or upright) and shaft, etc. Having said that, many pros probably have a preference and may steer you to a certain iron.
Another option would be to have the pro fit you and tell you what type of irons would be best, then go onto an auction site and try to find them. A lot of times you can get the exact type of club for half the price of new. If you're like me (an 18 - 20 handicapper), hitting used clubs feels no different.
Now, for my own personal iron preferences: Callaway Big Berthas, Ping i3, and Titleist 822 oversized are all good choices for the average golfer who wants some "error margin" in their irons.
Good Luck, and keep it in the short grass! :)
I bought Wilson fat shafts a couple years ago and I've been very happy with them. Not the most glamorous brand, but a good, solid club. Fairly forgiving on mis-hits, slightly above-average distance. Not too expensive.
A few general recommendations:
If you play fairly regularly, I highly recommend getting a club-fitting. And get fitted by more than one pro (it's not an exact science).
Be wary if the club seller immediately tries to steer you to one brand. It may be a club that's overpriced for your needs. Or worse yet, they may lead you to a club that's about to be phased out. This will cause problems if you ever need to replace a shaft.
If you have a decent game, choose steel shafts over graphite. You may loose a little in distance, but that will be more than offset with improved accuracy.
06-17-2002, 10:19 AM
Personally, I play an old set of Titleist DCI irons, 1" extended shaft (i'm 6'4"). I paid a premium back in the day for the clubs. I never knew what a difference a club could make until I startig playing these. Before, i had only had crappy sets that you could find at the local Sportmart (or whatever sporting goods chain is popular in your area). I played much more frequently back in the day also, though, so I could justify the expense. I was shooting in the mid 80's pretty regularly, and would break 40 on a given 9 about 10% of the time (could never put two of those nines together, though, to break 80!).
Now, I hardly ever get to play - it's hard to shuffle off and play golf when the wife has to stay home with the kids.
That being said, I know some golfers who are much better than I am who play knock-offs of some of the more popular clubs. Advantage obviously is cost, but they don't seem to think that they sacrificed anything in terms of quality. So I would go that route. If you absolutely want Callaways or whatever, you are going to pay for them.
I also just saw an article on the local news about building your own clubs (with the help of professional clubmakers of course). You can save a lot of money that way, too.
And, in my opinion, you are a big sissy if you're hitting oversized clubs. Those are for women and old men.
06-17-2002, 09:28 PM
Thanks for your comments! I have been playing for several years now, and am probably in the bogey golf category. I have shot 40 on 9 holes before, but never broken 40, and broken 90 on 18 only a few times. I definately wanted to get fitted.
That seemed like one of the biggest reasons for buying new clubs from a shop. Can you get fitted from the shop if you do not buy from them? I would have thought that they probably did not go through that much trouble if you were not going to buy from them.
The idea of getting fitted and then buying slightly used sounds good, but I didn't realize you could do that. I guess the same would go for getting fitted at different shops, and then making a decision based on those different opinions.
Also, do they usually let you take them to a range, or course to hit some first. Or just into the net at the shop?
I have seen Ping I3 and Titleist 822, and was considering both of those. I would think that the oversized irons would help although I have never hit them before. I am not a woman nor an old man, So will these clubs make me a sissy, or turn me into an old woman? Now that I think of it, my golfing buddy sometimes says that I hit it like an old lady, or calls me Alice or Sally, etc.
Maybe they ARE the clubs for me!
An additional piece of advice. Don't buy clubs based on whether or not someone will question your manliness. Buy what you hit best and ignore the comments (even if they are oversized irons). Here's an example: One of my golfing buddies has a single digit handicap and he has a 7-wood and a 9-wood. These used to be considered old man clubs. Another example: One of the more popular golf balls late last year was the Precept Lady - being purchased by men. This ball has a soft feel on short iron shots. I've seen guys buy the ball and cover up the logo with a black marker.
06-18-2002, 11:26 AM
I found a used set of Ping Eye 2's advertised in the newspaper about 12 years ago. They were the best investment I ever made and I would never buy new irons, just re-grip and re-shaft the old ones when needed.
Spend the money you saved buying used and get a nice new golf bag.
My driver is a Taylor Made Burner that I got used at Play-it-again-Sports for about one-third the price of a new one. Most golf equipment is used so rarely that the only difference is the price. For golf balls, go running on golf courses early in the morning or late in the evening. I have about 1,000 balls now from the canyons around Torrey Pines. There are always a lot of leftover tees laying around too.
Call me MacFrugal but the game did originate in Scotland.
Dr T Non-Fan
06-18-2002, 11:58 AM
Will you be opening your driving range soon, sb_jim?
06-18-2002, 01:05 PM
There's already a range in my neighborhood, right next to the Del Mar Fairgrounds off I-5 at the Via de la Valle exit. Maybe I can sell them some of my surplus. With the fair on right now it's hard to get to the range so they are issuing some great coupons on buckets of balls.
06-18-2002, 01:09 PM
I'll retract my "manliness" comment from earlier. Use whatever you feel comfortable with is the bottom line. I always feel weird standing over a ball with oversized clubs. Almost feels to me like more can go wrong.
For a practical argument against oversized clubs.....if you are the occasional golfer who knows you're never going to be a 5 handicapper, then oversized may be the way to go. For the few times you golf per month or whatever, they will be forgiving, etc. etc. But the fact is, if your swing sucks, no matter what club you got in your hand, you are not going to be a good golfer. If you want to be a truly good golfer, work on your swing. I think your swing will improve more using standard sized irons because you'll be able to notice what you are doing incorrectly more often.
06-18-2002, 02:35 PM
One of my golfing buddies has a single digit handicap and he has a 7-wood and a 9-wood. These used to be considered old man clubs.
Smart guy. Most amateurs shouldn't carry any iron longer than a 5. For that matter, most amateurs shouldn't carry a driver either, for all the trouble it's going to get them into. A 3-wood off the tee can save a lot of strokes and lost balls.
I agree with WW about not spending too much on equipment (balls or clubs) -- I'm pretty sure Tiger could score in the low 70s with garden implements and scuffed-up range balls on most of the courses I play. Spending a few hundred dollars on lessons from a well-recommended instructor will take off more strokes than any equipment.
06-19-2002, 12:07 PM
Good advice all. One more piece of advice for Budder (that I'm trying to follow myself): If you're good enough to shoot 40 or even near that for 9, and have broken 90 a couple of times, you probably have a good enough swing to get by. If you can't spend a lot of time on the range (even with those new irons), then take your short irons and putter, go to the chipping and putting greens, and practice, practice, practice! I've been charting my rounds this year, and it's amazing how many chips and putts I take! If I can shave even 10% of those shots off my round, I'd drop my handicap by 4 or 5 strokes!
06-19-2002, 01:04 PM
RTackle - The best advice I've seen so far.
It is really sexy to be able to boom a drive 300 yards, or pump a 3-iron into the heart of the green from 220, but the fact of the matter is that "par" is designed so that half of your shots are putts. And considering you aren't going to hit the green every time, you need to be able to get up and down when you do miss.
This is why golf can be so frustrating to the guy who maybe plays every other weekend. Those shots are all about touch and repetition. If you don't play a lot, you'll never really have that touch that you need around the greens to really separate yourself from your buddies. So spend a half hour after your round putting and chipping. If you can NEVER three-putt and can get the ball within 12 feet or so on chip shots or from bunkers, you will shave many strokes from you handicap.
06-19-2002, 03:06 PM
This is true. The times when I have scored the best, I was playing once a week or even more sometimes. Of course I wasn't taking exams then either.
I'll have good days and bad days with the full swing, but when I play well it is usually because I might have chipped one in, got the rest within a few feet and/or rolled in some decent putts. Short game can be a life saver.
But that touch leaves quick if you haven't played in weeks!
As for the irons, I'm starting to look around and get as much input as possible. The longer it takes me to scratch the dough together, the longer I will be researching before making a decision. (Good Thing)
Thanks to everyone. I figure the best thing to do is get as much information as possible, so I am using this as one of my sources!
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