Ballpark Estimate: $50 to $300 per club
Want to improve your golf game? One of the easiest, and often most effective, ways to do this is to invest in a new set of custom fit golf clubs. This can maximize your performance and help you lower your score.
Par for the Course
Perhaps you’re an excellent golfer already, or maybe you want to start learning the game and don’t know where to start. In either case, the golf clubs you have will make a big difference in how well you play. Of course, your natural ability to golf, the amount you practice, your level of concentration and focus, and even your understanding of the game can all be important factors that affect how well you do. And even very experienced golfers can have an off day (or off days). But to help you do your very best every time you head for the green, you’ll need a good set of golf clubs.
Look at the Hole Picture
When determining what quality golf clubs you want to buy, it can be helpful to identify your goals up front. For instance, if you golf no more than once or twice a year and this is just for fun, not a serious hobby, then an average quality set of golf clubs will probably do just fine. But if you take your game to heart, you’ll probably want to adjust your budget accordingly and invest in a high-quality set you’ll be happy to use for years to come.
The quality of the golf clubs you select is only one factor to consider. Even the best set of golf clubs won’t help you golf well if they aren’t the right size. That’s why most experts suggest you get professionally fitted. Even if you already know your specs, it doesn’t hurt to have them double-checked before you invest. The length, lie and loft of the golf clubs will play an important role in your overall performance. These variables impact how far your ball travels, how well you’ll be able to control its direction, and how accurate your aim will be. It’s always a good idea to shop at a store with a practice room so you can try them out and see how well the golf clubs you’re considering work for your ability, style and form.
What you select for your golf club material can also have a big impact on your game. Some golfers prefer to buy steel or titanium clubs, while others want graphite. This usually just depends on your personal preference, since steel is heavier, titanium is a little lighter, and graphite helps to diffuse the energy of your swing. The stiffness (or flexibility) of the shaft of the golf club itself can vary as well, depending on the speed of your swing. Finally, you’ll also want to pay attention to the size of the grip for each golf club, since a grip that’s too small, or too large, will affect your hand’s involvement in the swing, throwing it off.
You can bear these details in mind when you select from the ready-to-buy sets of golf clubs, or you can have them custom fitted for your specifications. When you opt for the latter scenario, the professional who fits you will take into consideration your height, arm length, swing angle and speed. He will also perform an analysis of your ball flight to get an understanding of exactly how you golf and what golf club features will take your game to the next level.
To better understand the dynamics that go into making a golf club, you may want to do some research about what’s involved before you shop. Most golf club manufacturers offer a variety of specifics on golf clubs and what to look for, depending on your needs and goals. For instance, Titleist offers a custom fit golf club for serious golfers who want to really maximize their performance. You can take advantage of this feature either through local retailers or custom fit vans that travel to designated areas. Ping also offers custom golf clubs, but this manufacturer makes them readily available to the masses throughout its online fit feature on its website. Users just need to enter in some personal specifications to get back customized recommendations. In addition, Calloway offers a directory to find local retailers in your area who can perform a golf club fitting, and they also provide specialized tour van fittings at select locations and events. Nike and TaylorMade are examples of the many popular golf club brands to consider when looking for custom or ready made golf clubs.
What You Will Need
Whether you decide to buy a basic set of golf clubs or prefer to have a set custom fitted for you, there are some standard golf clubs you’ll probably need. These include:
Under each of these golf club categories, there are more specific variations, such as sand wedge, 9 iron, hybrid, large-head driver, etc. Most golfers have a selection of these, depending on their game style and preferences. A typical set has at least 12 golf clubs, but many golfers also purchase some extra options as well. Just keep in mind that golfers are limited to no more than 14 golf clubs in their bag at one time on the playing course.
Where to Shop
You can buy golf clubs at most sporting good stores and chains. Some of the popular ones include Sports Authority, Modells, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can also shop for golf clubs at pro shops through most golf courses. You can also order golf clubs online through golf manufacturers and suppliers.
What It Costs
What you decide to spend on golf clubs really depends on how serious a golfer you are and how much you are willing to invest in this hobby. Most golfers are continually looking for new ways to improve their game and lower their handicap, regardless of the cost of the golf clubs. But if your budget is small or you don’t think you’ll golf often enough to splurge on some high-end custom golf clubs, the experts say that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice results. In fact, while you should get great quality golf clubs, you don’t need to get the most expensive to achieve this goal. You can buy anything from a good set of basic golf clubs that offer the same features as the prestigious brands, to the cream of the crop custom fitted with all of the bells and whistles. Most golfers decide to go with something in the middle.
Here are some average price ranges to consider if you buy golf clubs individually:
- Drivers: costs $100 to $600
- Woods: costs $50 to $400
- Irons: costs $50 to $150
- Hybrids: costs $50 to $200
- Putters: costs $50 to $300
In addition, you can buy sets of golf clubs. Basic golf clubs cost between $200 and $400 for a complete set with the golf bag included, on up to a price between $800 and $2,500, or even more for a set of premium golf clubs.
Up the Score
For the ultimate in custom fit golf club, you can also consider visiting the Titleist Performance Institute. There are two locations, including California and Massachusetts, and they offer serious golfers the chance to undergo the same intensive fitting process that PGA golfers use. The cost for this service is $100 to $125 per golf club. This is in addition to the cost of the golf clubs themselves.
Calloway Performance Centers are located in more than a dozen locations throughout the United States and abroad. This is an appropriate option for golfers of all abilities. Any level can benefit from Callaway’s custom golf club fitting analysis. The cost for this service costs about $150 for a session, in addition to the price for the golf clubs themselves.
While investing in such personalized golf clubs may sound like a splurge, many dedicated golfers believe that the expense is well worth the improved performance they get in return.
Second Time Around
If you want high-quality golf clubs but are working with a shoestring budget, you might want to consider buying a used set of golf clubs. Often you can buy a bag of 12 or more golf clubs for a price of $100 or less, which is about what you can expect to spend on a single new golf club. You can find used golf clubs online through auction sites like Ebay, as well as advertised on Craigslist and Golfbidder.
More Expensive Clubs
If you are interested in the other price extreme, the most expensive set of golf clubs available today are made in Japan by a company called Honma, which offers complete sets of custom platinum and gold golf clubs at a price of $32,000. If you would prefer just want one over-the-top golf club, German manufacturer Barth & Company makes a custom golf putter in 24 carat gold. A diamond-adorned version sells for a price of $150,000 for this single golf club. Although you might be afraid to let such a valuable golf club actually touch the ground!