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Golf equipment is getting too expensive...


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It's hard to complain about price when golf has as many options as it does.

 

If you want to pay high price, you can. If you want to pay low price equipment you can. If you want to buy nice equipment and a lower price, you can.

I find it frustrating when in a market with no realistic competition to push prices down. In this case, there is plenty at all levels.  Name brand, non-name brand. Game improvement sets, etc.

Also, golf clubs aren't exactly a consumable. You can keep the same clubs for a very long time, and from a competitive design standpoint, I don't think you'll see any groundbreaking designs that will magically play better in 3-5-10 years that will be significantly better than what you buy today.

 

I'm more frustrated by pricing for items you need to buy monthly, or every couple years (cars if you need to drive a lot), where prices continually rise.

Golf equipment isn't one of those areas.

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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

Prices will go up as long as the consumers continue to make it profitable. Fundamentally, these are luxury goods. 

 

When in the new market, these are not "tools" like you buy at the hardware store, where working professional contractors demand value for price, and the competition is fierce.

 

Personally, I refuse to participate in the new market. I'll wait a few years (or more). But I know this is not what the OP said. I agree that they do not deliver value for the price - not even close. Not even remotely close. But I understand fully why they do it.

 

 

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This thread comes up every 3-6 months. As others will and have pointed out, by comparison you could argue golf was actually MORE expensive 20+ years ago with some of the MRSP's of new clubs back then. 

 

There are still many options at prices that i would consider fairly standard. When i started playing roughly 16-17 years ago a good iron set was like 899-1299 CAD or so for an 8 club set going from lower end to higher end. I think my first set was Tommy Armours which cost 799. I bought my G410 irons (a 9 club set) last year for 1300~ . That's not much more expensive. The G410's i bought last year were cheaper than a set of forged Titleists would've cost you 2 decades ago

 

You can get Cobra Forged TECs this year for 1399 CAD with any shaft you want pretty much. I mean if you wanted an upgrade like MODUS 130s 20 years ago (or the like, those nippons weren't around then LOL) , the price of irons pretty much doubled. 

 

For Drivers too, 15-20 years ago you got a Big Bertha 454 with a junk shaft for like ~450$. A couple of years ago you could buy a Cobra F9 with a Fujikura Atmos TS Black for 550$ brand new. 

 

Consider that you have waaaaaaay more shaft options and the prices aren't much higher if you aren't super picky about brand....I'd disagree with the overall comment

 

I think people tend to look at PXG or the pricey Callaways and get mad at those specific sets

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4 hours ago, Emthree said:

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.

Yes, you can get value sets now, but I think the median cost of all new clubs has certainly grown significantly. In fact, you could say that set you mentioned may be a reaction to the higher average price of new clubs these days. 

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11 hours ago, NotThatGuyorAmI? said:

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.

 

Excellent !

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7 minutes ago, Luke'sdad said:

Who ever thinks that there are so many great bargains out there for used clubs must not have bought many used clubs lately. My friend owns a chain of Play It Again Sports franchises, and reports that since Covid, golf has become a go to sport for so many. He literally has trouble keeping a decent stock of good condition items in stock. Used prices thus have gone thru the roof. Check E bay, etc to see for yourself. A great example for me personally was selling a new/mint Nike Vapor Speed driver for over $200. I paid less than $100 for the same driver pre Covid. That's just one example. Used club  prices simply reflect today's supply and demand.

 

I agree. I think you are just as well off buying new compared to used at a small savings.

With that said, if someone wants to get into golf at a low price point, there are plenty of options out there that are not name brands.

 

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   You can find high prices for any sporting equipment, but you can also find good deals on used stuff.  I would have thought with ebay, facebook and craigslist the new club market would have taken a hit, not so around here. The Nevada Bob's cash registrar is constantly   ringing up sales. In Wisconsin you can find great deals on clubs as well as places to play that don't cost much, we bought a couples membership at a course this year for $280 unlimited play, its not Whistling Straights but its good enough.

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33 minutes ago, MtlJeff said:

This thread comes up every 3-6 months. As others will and have pointed out, by comparison you could argue golf was actually MORE expensive 20+ years ago with some of the MRSP's of new clubs back then. 

 

There are still many options at prices that i would consider fairly standard. When i started playing roughly 16-17 years ago a good iron set was like 899-1299 CAD or so for an 8 club set going from lower end to higher end. I think my first set was Tommy Armours which cost 799. I bought my G410 irons (a 9 club set) last year for 1300~ . That's not much more expensive. The G410's i bought last year were cheaper than a set of forged Titleists would've cost you 2 decades ago

 

You can get Cobra Forged TECs this year for 1399 CAD with any shaft you want pretty much. I mean if you wanted an upgrade like MODUS 130s 20 years ago (or the like, those nippons weren't around then LOL) , the price of irons pretty much doubled. 

 

For Drivers too, 15-20 years ago you got a Big Bertha 454 with a junk shaft for like ~450$. A couple of years ago you could buy a Cobra F9 with a Fujikura Atmos TS Black for 550$ brand new. 

 

Consider that you have waaaaaaay more shaft options and the prices aren't much higher if you aren't super picky about brand....I'd disagree with the overall comment

 

I think people tend to look at PXG or the pricey Callaways and get mad at those specific sets

 

Also the technology and advancements today vs before in shafts is night and day. In reality you're getting more for your money today than 10-20 years ago. 

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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It seems used clubs are pricier this past year and with all the people returning to golf because of Covid thats not surprising. 

Have no idea if new clubs have gone up accordingly too? 

 

Golf was always a well off person's diversion and thats still the case.

 

He has never seen so many 30 year olds playing golf midweek at 7:30 am. Courses are packed. Cant even get on some courses unless its 4pm...

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If you really need clubs customized to your exact specs then it's going to cost you a pretty penny.  I do agree overall that clubs are getting a bit too expensive.  For me personally,  I can't really buy clubs off the rack because I fit into x-flex and I like my face angle for driver 2-3 degrees open and my 3 metal 2 degrees open.  Also, stock shafts be it that they are x flex, usually don't fit my swing as I'm a high spin player that needs a tip stiff shaft so whether I like it or not,  I usually have to go a club fitter who offers extensive inventory of clubs for me to try. 

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12 hours ago, tgoodspe1991 said:

With the introduction of PXG, then PING Blueprint, P7TW, and now both new Callaway releases, are we officially in an era where $200+ per iron is the new normal?

Some perspective: In 1974 I bought a set of demo irons for $130. These were1971 MacGregor MT forged blade irons (flat sole), and only the 7i had been hit. In 2020 dollars, this would be be $686.

 

12 hours ago, NotThatGuyorAmI? said:

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.

 

The tech hoopola masks another factor that may be upping the cost above inflation:  tighter inventory control. The November 2019 PGA Sectional sale came at the start of Callaway's phaseout of the MD4 wedges. Except for a couple of used wedges, the only MD4s left were lob wedges.

 

This summer I tried to get a Rogue 4W, and the only one I could find in R-flex was a recent trade-in at a local shop.

 

A Callaway rep told me circa 2015 that Callaway was going from a push to a pull inventory/marketing system. Under push, Callaway would decide two years out that they will release model X+1 in January of 2021. Then, they would push it onto the market regardless of how model X was doing. With pull, they would release X+1 when model X was starting to dwindle in the inventory system, and overall demand would pull X+1 to the stores.

 

I became interested in getting some Rogue Pro irons in summer of 2019. I wanted 4i-PW in lightweight shafts. Normally, Rogue Pros would phase out in maybe November 2019. But, Rogue Pro irons were already backordered for stock sets, and custom sets (i.e., lightweight shafts) were hard to arrange. 

 

This makes waiting for price cuts risky. Let's say you tried model X during a demo day, and you really like it. If an early phaseout occurs, the shaft and loft you wanted may no longer be available. The OEMs don't give price cuts on items that are sold out. This means that the starting price model X has much greater chance of standing firm than in past years. And, this enables higher starting price on future merchandise.  

Edited by ChipNRun
Correct price typo.

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5° set +1°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges:  Calla MD3: 48° and 54°... MD4: 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced)

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

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The one benefit of today's clubs vs a decade or so ago is if I upgrade to an aftermarket shaft for a Driver/FWY/HYB I can generally easily swap the shaft into my new club provided I stay within the same manufacturer.  I upgraded my driver and 3W this year and didn't have to fork out any additional money for new shafts or having them pulled.   It does somewhat say my buying decision, but I didn't really see any gains on the other two brand of clubs that I tested out.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, MattM97 said:

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.  

...also the stock shaft that came in the GBB was the all-time worst shaft of all time - I am pretty sure that singular OEM offering launched the entire re-shaft market along with the ProLite 35 that EVERYONE had put into those heads.  My Speedzone has a nice performing HZDRUS Smoke.

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Just now, spring7 said:

...also the stock shaft that came in the GBB was the all-time worst shaft of all time - I am pretty sure that singular OEM offering launched the entire re-shaft market along with the ProLite 35 that EVERYONE had put into those heads.  My Speedzone has a nice performing HZDRUS Smoke.

 

 

Yeah I have no idea what shafts were like way back then but seeing how fast technology is advancing now can only imagine. Plus a lot of companies are offering top level shafts as stock options or small upcharges. Most stock shafts are still flaming hot garbage water. 

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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4 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

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.  😉

 

agree, and I think the price increase on irons have really helped the DTC market.  The Sub70, New Levels and Hogan iron lines have risen in popularity, if you are not looking for MMC type irons, these offer the same performance in forged irons and wedges as ANY of the OEM's for a portion of the price

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Cobra Speedzone Xtreme 10* HZDRUS Smoke Yellow 60
Titleist 917F2 15.75* Diamana 70
Titleist 816H1 18*/24* Diamana 70
Sub70 699U Pro 22* DG105
Ping G15 5-P Ping AWT
Callaway MD5 54*X DG115
Cleveland RTX4 60* DGS400
Cleveland Designed by
 

 

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1 hour ago, hwturner17 said:

Yes, you can get value sets now, but I think the median cost of all new clubs has certainly grown significantly. In fact, you could say that set you mentioned may be a reaction to the higher average price of new clubs these days. 

In 2002 I bought the 975J for £299 then swapping the shaft out and a new grip was another £300 (Thru bore was a pain in the backside).

This month I got a TS2 fitted with a launch monitor for £320

 

In 2003 the RRP of my 680's was £999 for 3-PW (8 clubs) and another £20 per club to have them swing weighted properly and loft/lies done (fortunately i hit the X100's well).

This month i've got a set of T100s 4-48* (8 clubs) coming fully spec'd with fitted shafts for £1149.

 

My original scotty was £299

This month, my new scotty was £349 (a fair uplift for some tungsten weights)

 

The modern clubs have far more manufacturing processes involved in them and equipment invested to make them.

 

Compared to the prices of cars (A 320d starts at £35,000 now) and phones, I really do feel golf clubs have kept the busting prices at bay. What companies seem to be doing are launching "higher tier" products like PXG and Titleist Concept and Taylormade TI.

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Its all relative. Everything is increasing. Until you see your gas prices at your local gas station cheapen the price on a gallon of gas, the price of golf clubs gonna get more expensive. It has always been a pricey hobby to play but if you really think about it, it is an investment that you typically hold on to for at least a couple of years. So you break down the cost and it actually is not too bad. Now with that being said, I wouldnt spend the money on PXG's but that is more personal preference more than anything. 

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If you look at what the Big Bertha/Great Big Bertha cost and adjust for inflation into today's dollars you might be surprised.

 

However, like Callaway at that time, PXG did show that a segment of players are willing to pay premium prices for what they consider a premium product.   Others follow.

 

Test the new stuff against what you have.  If the new stuff is better, decide if it's better enough to justify the extra cost.   If it is, great.   If not stick with what you have, look elsewhere, or wait.   It will eventually come down in price or available used.   The newest isn't always the best for you.

 

It's no fun, but being analytical and patient usually gets the best value.   Emotions usually are what trick us into overpaying or buying more than we need.   Most of us have demoed and concluded we could live happily with club X, but want club Y.     

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26 minutes ago, MattM97 said:

 

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. 

I guess it's not a question of whether it's acceptable if it makes you a better putter, but rather if the price you pay based on the cost to produce is reasonable. I currently have two SC putters in the closet, as I have found putting nirvana with an old odyssey tour rossie. I think it was 79 bucks new. Of course the new rossie just release is $300+

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3 hours ago, MattM97 said:

 

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. 

Agreed, I hit the putter more than any club in the bag per round, makes sense to spend a little money on it. Meanwhile I do feel a little stupid spending top dollar on a driver that I hit maybe 4-6 times per round on avg......

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3 hours ago, Luke'sdad said:

Who ever thinks that there are so many great bargains out there for used clubs must not have bought many used clubs lately. My friend owns a chain of Play It Again Sports franchises, and reports that since Covid, golf has become a go to sport for so many. He literally has trouble keeping a decent stock of good condition items in stock. Used prices thus have gone thru the roof. Check E bay, etc to see for yourself. A great example for me personally was selling a new/mint Nike Vapor Speed driver for over $200. I paid less than $100 for the same driver pre Covid. That's just one example. Used club  prices simply reflect today's supply and demand.

For real. I just got into the game this past year and bought a set of old Mizuno TC-29s midsize (btw does anyone know what midsize means in this case?) that came with some crappy woods for $100. This was at the beginning off all this and thats kinda steep for 30 year old clubs. Wanted to buy some newer (and more forgiving) clubs so I came here to check user reviews. Everything was around 50% higher on eBay etc. than quoted here in threads less than a year old. Picked the perfect time to start golfing 😅 

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23 minutes ago, TheIncelGolfer said:

For real. I just got into the game this past year and bought a set of old Mizuno TC-29s midsize (btw does anyone know what midsize means in this case?) that came with some crappy woods for $100. This was at the beginning off all this and thats kinda steep for 30 year old clubs. Wanted to buy some newer (and more forgiving) clubs so I came here to check user reviews. Everything was around 50% higher on eBay etc. than quoted here in threads less than a year old. Picked the perfect time to start golfing 😅 

Midsize is what it means.  It is not quite as compact as a player's blade, but not as big as a oversized iron.  It's a medium sized iron that was commonly offered in the 90's  Welcome to the forum.  Take all the reviews with a grain of salt and make your own decision.  But remember this, club technology has plateaued because of USGA and R&A regulations so get the newest clubs you can afford.  Lessons and practice will help as well.  Don't listen to those people who says "get fit".  Getting fit off a trackman or GC quad will be a waste of time for new players like you since you are most likely to hit the club all over its face.  They're mostly for those with grooved, consistent swings who want to squeeze off a few extra yards.  A static fit will do for now.

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1999 Ben Hogan Apex Blades (3-PW) with stock Apex 4 Steel Shafts
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"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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Seems like new 'premium' brand price points go in lock step across the big OEMs.

 

Drivers are generically $500, irons have gotten silly, now about $1200 a set.

 

Why I don't go latest and greatest, I get last years model at far less than retail, when I get something different, which is rate anymore.  I've been playing long enough to know it's the archer not the arrow for most part.

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I think you are right.  Equipment costs are increasing and so is the pressure on publicly owned companies to return increased profit quarter over quarter.

 

The machine exists (and ironically so does the online sport forum) to influence people to buy more and better.

 

More yards, more forgiveness, more options...

 

Lots of money being spent to separate us and our dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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