What are your tips for buying Used golf clubs?
Those golfers on a budget or who do not get to play too much will find that used golf clubs are a very good option. This is especially true for new golfers. When you take up the game initially you may find that you are not yet certain whether you'll like the sport, how well you will play, and whether you would want to stick with it. So, if you do decide to go with used golf clubs, what are you looking for?
It is worth pointing out that used golf clubs are not much different from other used items. Like a used car, they are not going to be in as good condition as when new and are more likely to have some faults with them. Like a used car, they do depreciate in value. But unlike a used car, a lot of used golf clubs are just as good in terms of performance as when they were first used. This is especially true for steel clubs, which are the most durable.
The first thing you should check is the club head. You are looking for evidence of face wear. If they have been used a lot and for a long time then you may find a shiny spot in the centre of the face which is worn. Do not buy these except for a very cheap price as the clubface will not hold the ball as well as it originally did. The grooves are vital for clubs, and they need to be well defined to be effective. If there are any indentations in the club face you should also stay away as this may affect the flight of the ball.
Check the shafts of the clubs, especially if they are graphite shafts, which are less durable. If shafts have worn areas or visible indentations you'll find that this can cause weakness in the clubs. You should twist the grip and the head in opposite directions, and you should expect great resistance when you do. If you don't get that it is a sign of weakness in the club. If it is a steel shaft you should look straight down the shaft to check it hasn't been bent back in shape. Finally, make sure all the shafts are the same otherwise the clubs will feel different with each shot.
Look for cracks and splits or worn areas in the grips as each re-gripping of the clubs can cost around $10 per club.
In general you should make sure that all the clubs are from the same set - this is important for loft progression and for your feel and trust in the clubs.
Most of all - try the clubs - if you can't, don't buy them.