Building a bag of golf equipment for under $200

Today we continue the series on building a golf bag under a budget. The first one took a look at getting started and kept the budget under $100. That bad is enough to get someone started.

Todays bag is for someone who is taking the game serious but still has to work on a budget. I have had to do this and there is no shame in it! This bag will perform great. I have added some clubs while also upgrading some.

Driver:

Titleist 905r

The Titleist 905r is constantly rated as one of the top drivers ever released. It was ahead of its time. When the driver was released it couldnt be matched and to this day it is still known as one of the best drivers of all time. For $25 I wont find anything better

Fairway Wood:

Adams Super LS

Every club in my bag has been replaced over the last 3 months. The lone exception to the rule is my trust Adams Super LS. Thats right the club I recommend is one in my bag. I have tried it against everything that has come out in the last 3 years. Nothing has even come close. I hit this 3 wood almost as far as my driver. This 3 wood is unbeatable at any price point let alone for $20

Irons:

Ben Hogan BH-5

When thinking of Hogan beauty these are not the first irons to come to my mind. With that being said though Hogan has always meant a quality golf club. It means a great performing club. Hogans have always been something other people aim to be. The BH-5 irons follow this tradition. The Hogans could be in your bag for a long time.

Wedges:

Callaway Forged Vintage

Dont be fooled by the name vintage. That just means the finish is raw. These wedges will rust and honestly look pretty sweet in the bag.  They have a nice little grind to them. I had one of these for a few weeks before moving on. They wernt magic wands around the greens but they did their jobs. At the $200 price point I was able to get us 2 wedges. A 54* and a 58*. This allows for varying trajectories and roll out situations. For the price you wont find better I can promise you that.

Putter:

Cleveland Classic

I wont lie to you on this one. I splurged on the putter. Its a milled putter for $30. You will have this putter for years. This is the type of putter you will be able to build your bag around. If you buy this club you wont have to worry about budgeting for a new putter. This putter looks great too.  You will love how soft it is. I would put this putter up against a fancy Scotty Cameron. Its a great putter.

This bag is something you can go out ot the course with and grab a few compliments. The negative to getting this bag is no longer being able to blame it on your clubs. When you go get a lesson you will ask the pro “Should I get new clubs?” he will tell you no. These clubs should last you a few years. This bag is better than a lot of bags I See out on the course.

 

Building a Bag Under $100

A few weeks/months back I did a post on how to build your bag. One of my readers/friends told me he enjoyed it but gave me an idea. He told me the post helped but it didnt go deep enough. He needed tangible ideas. I took this as a challenge and wanted to do a series on it. I will be doing a $100, $200, $250, $500, $750, and $1000 challenge. Today I will start with the most difficult one.

When building a bag of clubs for $100 I assume a few things. First, I assume the bag will be for a newbie. This bag will be for someone who wants to go to the range and see if they want to “stick with it”.  The bag will be very low frills and wont have some things. With a $100 bag a person will only need the basics. A set of irons, sand wedge, putter, and driver.

Driver

https://www.3balls.com/shop/1001189/used-titleist-975d-driver-golf-club/?lft=8

We start off with the driver. Every serious golfer needs a Titleist in their bag somewhere (I dont but whatever).  This driver is not the newest technology by any means but it is considered one of Titleist’s greatest “woods”. It was ahead of its time in terms of performance. Many people still play the 975 because they prefer the smaller head and get great results with it. A perfect club to take to the range and have at it!

Cost: $14

Irons

https://www.3balls.com/shop/1011192/used-adams-ovation-iron-set-golf-club/?sub=32

Look, I am not going to sit here and try to bullshit you into believing these irons will change your life. They wont I promise. What they will do is get you to the range. The irons will help you get the ball in the air consistently. They will work great for you. Buy these and go spend some money on range balls and a lesson. Id rather see a person play these and struggle than show up with the newest Titleist blade and struggle.

Cost: $40

Sand Wedge

https://www.3balls.com/shop/1022278/used-taylormade-rac-tumble-chrome-wedge-golf-club/?dxt=2&sub=4

I actually played the Taylormade RAC wedge when I firs tmoved away from my beginner box set. Its a great wedge. It sets up nicely behind the ball. I could make almost any shot I wanted with this club. Anytime I see one I am tempted to buy it. Back in its day it was a top of the line club. I did notice that this one was an inch and a half over length. While thats not a good thing itll be manageable.

Cost: $14

Putter

https://www.3balls.com/shop/1003514/used-never-compromise-milled-series-3-putter-golf-club/?sub=216

I wont lie to you, when I first saw this putter for this price I was half tempted to buy the thing myself. These Never Compromise putters had a cult following. They feel great. The black and silver color is well known.  Of all the clubs I have listed this is the one that has the best chance of staying in your bag and being upgraded last. Putters dont advance much in technology like a driver does.

Cost: $20

How did I do?

$14+40+14+20= $88

Not too shabby. Throw in shipping for $6. That gets us right around the $100 mark. Take your remaining $6 and go buy some tees so you can hit driver!

 

Tour Gate Training Aid

Anyone who has either played golf with me or follows this blog knows I am a TERRIBLE putter. The SKLZ putting arc was too big and bulky. After spending way too much money at the PGA Superstore they took pity on me and gave me a rewards coupon. I decided to spend the money on a putting aid.

The idea

The Tour Gate training aid is designed to help you work on the classic gate drill. It is not overly complicated. You put two tees in the ground and dont let the putter hit the tees. The problem for me is I never get the tees straight. I also dont make them wide enough or I make them too wide. I spend more time setting up the drill than I do actually practicing. The Tour Gate makes set up simple. Its got 8 holes to place your tees. A set of wider ones to make it easier or for larger club heads.  Its also got a little cut out to place the ball.

Keep it simple stupid

I hate to say this about something so simple but I love it. Like I said earlier the set up for the drill is a huge pain in the butt. I almost never did it. As soon as I started I could feel a difference right away.  I was able to find the middle of the club much more consistently.  The ball rolled better and didnt seem to stop. Putts I thought would come up short kept rolling into the bottom of the cup. My stroke got les wristy and much more controlled. I was able to really figure out my path and how to keep it straight. I loved the fact that if I set up putt with not enough break or too much break all I had to do was remove one tee and pivot the tool. Its not the most sturdy feeling tool but it doesnt need to be. It feels like it will last. For 10 dollars I can honestly afford to have it break.

Did it work?

In my first round since working with the Tour Gate I walked away with 28 putts. That is a whopping 5 strokes below my average. In my second round since I used it, the putts went up one to 29. I am hitting better putts. I am finding the center of the face more often. It is disgusting how simple the tool is but its beautiful how easy it is to use.

Final Thoughts

I love everything about this training aid. Its small so I can throw it in the bag and not worry. The only other thing it needs is two tees which I can almost guarantee every golfer has in their bag. The results I am seeing are incredible.  I have actually gotten some compliments on my putting stroke. One putter rep said ” Wow, you got a nice little stroke” another golf pro at a course saw me drain 4 straight and said “Do you even need to practice?” .The results are great. For 10 dollars what do you have to lose?

 

Mizuno MP-18 Irons

On my most recent trip to the PGA Superstore I got hands on the new Mizuno MP-18 line. I got to hit all 3 models with  Nippon Modus Tour 120.

MP-18

The blade has a classic look. It has the thin top line better players like but it wasnt too intimidating. I was expecting to look down and see a butter knife but I was surprised. The blade didnt look like a JPX EZ iron but it wasnt razor thin. I hit 5 shots and came away impressed. It wasnt as hard to hit as I thought. When hit perfectly you wont find anything that feels better.  The problem is when you dont hit it well. It hurts like hell. The ball launched low and produced some good spin numbers.

The Mizuno  demo iron is a 6 iron. I normally hit my  iron 170 yards. A perfectly struck shot with the MP 18 went 170. It didnt add yards. The big problem is when I mishit my irons the shot goes 165. The mishit with the MP 18 goes 160. They also wernt the easiet clubs to hit straight. I know its usually the golfer not the club but a cut turned into a slice and a draw turned into a hook. The distance and accuracy loss is expected with a blade. To be fair, I’m not exactly the guy for the blade market.

MP 18 SC

Going into the testing i thought these would probably be my favorite. After 2 swings I knew they were going to be my favorite. The ball flew high and straight.  Well struck shots felt like the blade. Mishits didnt hurt as much but they also did a good job of letting you know you didnt hit it perfectly. I was able to tell where I mishit it. A few times I knew I was hitting it off the toe and the ball marks on the face confirmed it.

Again the demo was a 6 iron and well hit shots traveled a whopping 173 on average.  The mishit is where this club truly shined. On mishits I lost fewer than 5 yards. The club was very workable. When I wanted to hit a cut I was able to do that .When I wanted to hit a draw I was able to do that as well. Workability can affect (effect?) forgiveness but that wasnt the case here.

MP 18 MMC

You may recall from this post that MMC stands for Multi Material Composition. To many Mizuno purists putting anything other than carbon steel in an MP iron is like wearing a black belt with brown shoes. It shouldnt ever be done.  If anyone feels that way I  challenge them to go hit the MP 18 MMC.  The MMC keeps the traditional MP feel that people are used to.  Where it really shines is in its ability to hit the ball high, straight, and with a ton of spin. The 6 iron didnt hit the ball noticeably further than my current clubs but they did launch higher. Mishits flew high and straight as well. If you think youre not good enough for an MP club but want that soft Mizuno feel, the MMC may be what you want.

Final Thoughts

The MP 18 line has taken an already great series of clubs and made it better. My favorite feature is the care Mizuno has taken to make sure you can set these up as a combo set. They all feel the same. They all look the same and with the different heights you get between the clubs it allows you to play with that as well.  I would probably play a 4 and 5 iron in the MMC with a SC 6-PW.  Between the MP 18 and the JPX 900 lines, getting the world famous Mizuno softnesss in a forgiving package shouldnt be difficult.

Cobra F8 King Driver

It looks like today Cobra put up their new King F8 driver up on their website. We dont have many details but the one picture I’m seeing it looks nice.

Milled Face?

The biggest rumor with the driver is its new milled face. People who have seen it are saying it will have a face that almost resembles a nice milled putter.  That should affect spin and make for a softer and quieter driver

 

When we know more Ill let you know!

 

Talking Golf Equipment