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Golf equipment is getting too expensive...


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It's only expensive if you decide to make it expensive.   If you need to have the latest and greatest, then yeah it's gonna hit you in the wallet.   If you're fine with trying mult

If you think Putters are overpriced...what about their headcovers?  Would you pay $500 for a Hula Girl Embroidered on a piece of leather?

Maybe it's just me, but I think new golf equipment prices are getting out of control.   With the introduction of PXG, then PING Blueprint, P7TW, and now both new Callaway releases, are we of

In an sense it is just supply and demand, except that all prices in an economy in which the money supply is constantly inflated are distorted.  

Golfers tend to be affluent, and money policy has transferred vast wealth to the already wealthy, so the price of many things from high end cars to Swiss watches to golf clubs to equities have gone up out of proportion to a lot of other things.

 

The entire “tech” thing  also appears to me to be something of a scam, so prices are kept high by the many who fall for it.  Most people would  be just as well off with clubs from circa 2005.

 

Ego driven wealthy folks who think they can buy a game equals high prices.

 

The game itself be damned.

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So a week ago in nz..716mb 4..pw sells $1300nz,say 850us...4 years old...so string demand.. a set of T100 ex demo similar price,so i can agree with ex demo price...

2020 18 July mid winterNZ
Ping Rapture 2006 10.5
Nike VrS 3wood
Callaway Razr Edge5 wood

MP100=33 9876 5/mp63
54     RTX2
60     RTX2
ProPlatinum NewportTwo
2002 325gram +8.NewGrip
Dont hesitate to buy one!






 

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I am minded to agree but also remember either the Great Big Bertha or the Biggest Big Bertha back in the 90’s came out with a RRP of $500 or £500 over here in the UK. That said, that was something of an outlier with not many of the big name brands getting close to that price whereas now, the likes of Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist, etc are all much of a muchness.

Titleist TS3 8.5 Stiff Diamana D+
Titleist 915Fd 15 Stiff Rogue Black 
Titleist 915Hd 17.5 Stiff Diamana S+
Titleist T100 4-PW Stiff Project X LZ
Titleist Vokey SM6 50.08 & 54.10
Titlesist Vokey SM7 60.04
Scotty Cameron Futura 5S
ProV1x 2019

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Driver prices have gotten out of control, but only if you think you need to upgrade every year.  Still decent value(relatively) to be found with some irons like Srixon Z585/785, JPX Hot Metals and Ping G and i series.  Hope Srixon stays reasonable with their new irons.  Putter prices are a bit absurd as well.  When Ping put out its Karsten series you got a great putter for $79 - now the entry point is the Sigma 2 at $199.

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7 hours ago, tgoodspe1991 said:

I'm still young, but even I remember a time not too long ago when buying a $200 Scotty Cameron was a big purchase
 

 

There's never been a $200 Scotty Cameron.

 

I paid $275 for mine in 1996.

 

Other than that, all of my clubs have been purchased new or like new, but 2-3 years old, for 50% or less of new prices.

You can buy prior model drivers for ~$200, fairway woods for ~$100, and iron sets in the ~$500 range, in new or like new condition.

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I disagree.

 

https://www.costco.co.uk/Sports-Spas-Leisure/Outdoor-Sports/Golf/Callaway-Edge-10-Piece-Golf-Set-Right-Handed/p/273385

 

I don't recall a time when I could get a full set of Callaway clubs and a odyssey putter for £490.

 

Off the rack drivers (before mainstream custom fit) were always £350-£500. Custom fitted clubs back then when they had glued hosels were £800 all in with the shaft+labour. 

Now you can get one fitted for RRP as long as you don't go for an upcharge shaft.

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I agree

 

Prices here have gone through the roof, a new driver now is the same price as a great set of irons way back when. And some putters actually... And the problem with looking at 2nd hand stuff here is people charge too much or the stuff is in terrible condition... might find a good deal on the rare occasion.

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Taylormade RBZ Stage 2 tour 14.5°
Taylormade Rocketballz tour 18°
Callaway ApexMB '18 4 - PW
Vokey SM7 52° + 58°
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2 hours ago, Tommyj said:

Driver prices have gotten out of control, but only if you think you need to upgrade every year.  Still decent value(relatively) to be found with some irons like Srixon Z585/785, JPX Hot Metals and Ping G and i series.  Hope Srixon stays reasonable with their new irons.  Putter prices are a bit absurd as well.  When Ping put out its Karsten series you got a great putter for $79 - now the entry point is the Sigma 2 at $199.

Wilson Harmonized putters are $50. It's crazy.

 

I think the whole tech and upgrade every year thing helps drive a perception of higher price. Back when every iron was some variation of the blade and every wood some variation of the sculpted wooden block, there was no need to buy a new set of clubs every year, much less every season, and some pros' woods became legendary for how long they'd been in the bag. 

 

If I just dropped $499 on a brand new SIM, and now next year Taylormade introduces the 2IM for $549 and it renders the SIM obsolete, there doesn't seem to be any value in my purchase. The expectation that a club will give you multiple years of service is not there.  Everyone talks about just buying 2 years ago's clubs for 50% off, but someone had to buy that club new, and for them it depreciated 50%. Makes the high price feel artificial. 

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Sometimes I think that too, but really its just certain club types:

 

Drivers - I bought a brand new Great Big Bertha in ~1997? for $500. I bought a SIM and a Speedzone xtreme for essentially the same price 20+ years later

 

Balls - Titleist Professional were $50/box when they came out!!!

 

BUT

 

Irons - I bought new MP-14's in 1997 for I think $699, new Mp-20 are what almost double

 

Wedges - THEEEE wedge to have in the 90's were $80 588's, again now almost double

 

Putters - The Black Cameron's (1998ish) were <$300, basic Bettinardi's are $300

 

 

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New Level M 49*
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Let's all remember that inflation is still a thing and I'm not sure people account for that. @spring7 mentioned a lot of prices and dates. That GBB he bought in 1997 for $500 would be $820 now. That's insane, you know the kinda driver I can build today for that price vs an OTR GBB? That box of ProV1s back in 2000 would be $72 now, imagine paying $72 for your favorite ball. The iron set about $1200 which is reasonable, about on par with the MP-20s today.

 

So in some cases prices have gone up, in some case prices have gone way down. Just be smart about your buying, do you need a new driver and iron set every year? If you do cool.  

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Lefty WITB

Driver: 9° Ping G410 Plus - Tour 65S

3W: 13.5° Ping G410 LST - Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75X

3H: 19° Ping - Tensei CK Pro Orange 90TX

Irons: 4i - 7i Srixon 585 / 8i - PW Srixon 785 - AMT Tour White S300

Wedges: 51° MD3 - 56° Glide 2 - 60° PM2

Putter(s): TP Mills Handmade - SIK Pro Tour Proto - MannKrafted MA/66 LN - and more. 

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3 hours ago, Tommyj said:

Driver prices have gotten out of control, but only if you think you need to upgrade every year.  Still decent value(relatively) to be found with some irons like Srixon Z585/785, JPX Hot Metals and Ping G and i series.  Hope Srixon stays reasonable with their new irons.  Putter prices are a bit absurd as well.  When Ping put out its Karsten series you got a great putter for $79 - now the entry point is the Sigma 2 at $199.

 

1 hour ago, xkilgorextroutx said:

It's only expensive if you decide to make it expensive.

 

If you need to have the latest and greatest, then yeah it's gonna hit you in the wallet.

 

If you're fine with trying multiple OEMs and you don't feel the need to upgrade your bag every year, then it's not expensive at all.

 

If you're fine with buying used, it's even less expensive when you take a minute or two to shop around for deals.

 

No one said you needed to rush out and buy new top end clubs the second they hit the shelves.

 

As the two above posts, it's only expensive if you want to make it so and want the newest gear every year. My clubs are all from 2016/2017 and all bought used, and I see no need to replace them - they fit me and my swing pretty well, and given the amount I play and practice, it works just fine.  So if you factor a 4 year lifespan, yearly costs aren't that much even if you buy new. Of course there are some brands/clubs/shafts  that charge a premium but that's just market forces at play and you can choose to go that route or cheaper if you really want new.

 

Me, personally, if I were to go custom fit and new, I'd want it to last me at least 4-5 years (maybe wedges about 3 but I've never worn out a wedge to be honest).

 

Don't forget - unless your custom fit clubs have some really out of the ordinary specs, you can recoup a lot of the cost in the used market if the clubs are in decent shape.

 

I'd counter the annual cost to play courses is getting quite pricey with memberships and green fees if you want variety and not stick to your same home course all the time.

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No need to buy new if you like trying lots of clubs. New sets are like new cars — they drop in value immediately after you buy them. The used market is full of good deals. 
 

Or, it’s easy to buy new equipment from 2-3 releases ago for half of its original retail price. There is no difference performance wise vs the current models. 
 

Or buy new from the direct to consumer companies — Ben Hogan, Sub 70 and New Level all have great equipment at much lower prices. 

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There could be an interesting side effect.....

 

In the 90s and early 2000s, component clubs were a viable alternative to OEM purchases, with price being a not insignificant player in the decision for many.  I'm not talking about the clones, but the product found at GolfWorks, Golfsmith, Dynacraft/Hireko, the artist formerly known as SMT, and so on.  

 

A fair number of the advances in clubs came from the component world.  400cc and up drivers being a notable mention.  Carl Wolter, anyone?

 

The acceleration of product cycles in the OEM world, and the resulting effect on the used club market, reduced the component allure for many.  Especially for those entrenched in the Club Ho world.  Now, with prices rising as they are, component options are looking more attractive than they were a dozen years ago.

 

Personally, I've picked up a few wedges from GolfWorks, a couple from Hireko, and even built a Pinhawk SL set for myself just to see what it was about.  

 

It also doesn't hurt that the new gear doesn't catch my interest all that much.  😉

 

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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, Matrix 8m3 X, 42"
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, NV105 S or DGS400

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft pending); 1-PW Golden Ram TW282 or Vibration Matched Golden Rams, RIP Tour 115 R (coin flipping for the reshaft project); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, DGS400; Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; Ram Watson Scoring System 55*, DGX 7i shaft; Ram TG-898, DGS400; Ram TG-898, NV105 S; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS300; Ram 1982 Commemorative Nickel 58*, Dynamic S; Ram TW282, DGS; Ram TW276, DGS; Ram Troon Grind 58*, Dynamic S; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, DGS400; Maltby Design 60* mid sole, NV105 S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or TaylorMade TP5

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There is no law saying that you HAVE to buy clubs brand new.  I've been playing this game since 2000 and USED clubs have never been more affordable and more available.  Thanks to local classifieds like Craigslist once can get a decent set of clubs made within the last 10 years for under $500.  I personally got my blades in a 2-PW from that site for $80....CDN (from a former staff pro of all people)!  Unfortunately, because of the resurgence of interest of golf because of this pandemic it has driven up demand for clubs (new and used) and thus prices, especially for the used market.  Golf tech has stagnated for years so you're not missing out on anything of you buying used clubs within the last 15 years.  

 

Above all, lessons and practice trumps all.  A club's performance is only as good as the person using it regardless how old the club is (within reason).

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Rife Island Series Aruba Blade Putter

 

"Loft for loft, length for length, and shaft for shaft, the ball will go the same distance when hit on the sweet spot regardless how old the iron."

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Just like many other hobbies and industries...once a price goes up and people keep paying it, the manufacturers go "Well, look at that...." and it never goes back down. As is economics, you can expect prices to keep going up until they reach an uncanny peak of slowing sales then it will plateau. Maybe the data is already there for that - I'm not sure. But super premium product line off-shoots from the standard product lines are already a thing and you'll see more of it as other people have mentioned.

 

 

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Yea, I  remember seeing the first 400 dollar driver and getting confused about the direction of these prices. I thought they were trying to get more people into the sport not price them out. 

 

Either way, if you are not trying to get fit then there are still deals to be had. If you buy used and buy 2-3 year old models you can build a bag reasonably.

 

Just this year I picked up:

Titleist t-mbs 4-pw for 299

Titleist ZB forged 3-pw for 165

2 Sets of Callaway xprotos - conforming 5-p heads for 225 and non conforming 2-pw for 450 

Taylormade m2 (2017) driver head - 135 

Taylormade M2 3w (picked up one with an addi for 180 and another for 95 bucks)

 

I even ventured off my rule and got a new club! Sim TI 3 wood for 250 with 2 upgraded shafts. Felt like a good deal considering they retail for 400 and are rarely under 300 used right now.

 

Now, when I write out all of this it is kind of alarming... but I digress. All of these clubs perform as well or close enough as their modern counterparts. They are affordable and they are classic and cool clubs IMO.

 

 

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Used market is where I dwell, SIMs are 699.99 otr here.... 1000-1200 for a fitted one with aftmrkt shaft. P7MC 4-pw here are 1649.99 off the rack. 620mb 3-pw 1879.99.

 

I'm only makin tradesperson money ova hee. lol But I agree the prices have gone up fairly consistently along with inflation and increased wages. New golf clubs were a big purchase then and they are still now. 

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Cobra Baffler 16*

Ping G30 22*

TM R-11 5-PW

Mizuno MP-T5 50* 54*

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There are touring pros still playing G400 drivers, 818 and even 913 fairways and hybrids, etc.

 

Just because a new driver exists for $600+ doesn't mean that that is the only way to play good equipment. I saw somebody comment that Taylormade replacing the SIM would make the SIM obsolete. Hardly. There may be some tiny incremental improvement, but nobody on here is limited by the quality and technology in a SIM or virtually anything else sold. 

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Putters. The most overpriced club. I can understand driver prices creeping up as the technology has continued to advance with multiple material composition, specialized machining and the use of unobtainium. Putters are a block of steel, some with minimal multi material composition. Huge markup on material and labor to produce. I don't even want to talk about "stability shafts".

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5 minutes ago, gripandrip said:

Putters. The most overpriced club. I can understand driver prices creeping up as the technology has continued to advance with multiple material composition, specialized machining and the use of unobtainium. Putters are a block of steel, some with minimal multi material composition. Huge markup on material and labor to produce. I don't even want to talk about "stability shafts".

 

I have nothing wrong with a putter being the most expensive club in the bag considering it's the club you use the most and if playing very competitive golf can be the difference between wins and losses. 

 

Now mark ups for metal like GSS or similar I'm not for that and find it to be pretty stupid, more GSS than anything else. 

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Lefty WITB

Driver: 9° Ping G410 Plus - Tour 65S

3W: 13.5° Ping G410 LST - Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75X

3H: 19° Ping - Tensei CK Pro Orange 90TX

Irons: 4i - 7i Srixon 585 / 8i - PW Srixon 785 - AMT Tour White S300

Wedges: 51° MD3 - 56° Glide 2 - 60° PM2

Putter(s): TP Mills Handmade - SIK Pro Tour Proto - MannKrafted MA/66 LN - and more. 

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Yes to the statement.

The talk about buying used is not what he asked. 
Reasons: The market allows for it. The club R&D costs. Overall costs of making a club goes up, which includes wages, factory costs, materials, etc. And Greed. 
No particular order on any of these reasons. 

 

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6 hybrid Big Bertha 26 degree 
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