How to get good equipment on a tight budget

Today starts my series on getting good equipment for a good price. Golf can be an expensive game but if you do it right you can get a lot of good quality for cheap. That means you can spend money on golf not on equipment. I will make this a 5 part series. I will go over Thrift Stores, Big Box Stores, Independent Stores, Internet, and how to clean up a “diamond in the rough”. Lets go ahead and start with my personal favorite. The Thrift Store.

When you head out to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or local church thrift store there are a few brands to look out for:

Macgregor– Leading club manufacturer in the 60’s and 70’s. Claims the second most major wins ever. Beautiful classic forgings

Wilson Staff– Another classic golf club. Claims to have won the most majors of all time. Be aware of some of their 90’s game improvement stuff. generally regarded as not very good. Stick with forged blades and you will be all set.

Walter Hagen– Has been bought out by Dicks Sporting Goods. Classic look. Be on the look out for clubs marked Haig.

Ben Hogan– Anything Hogan you can usually either play or sell and make some money. I like Hogan woods and irons.

Any Current Big Brands– Ping,Cobra,Titleist,Taylormade. Look out for things made in the 1995 range. It was filled with super mass produced junk. Its just not worth picking up. The best find in this group would be a Ping putter. Never pass up a Ping putter for less than 20 bucks.

Now that you know what to look for its time to tell you how to look for it. It may seem as easy as looking at the club heads but as you will learn in this series it is much more than it seems. I have a fairly simple process.

  1. Look through the club heads and see if anything catches your attention.
  2. Squat down and look at the shaft of the club. Do you see any Dynamic Gold Shafts? If you do grab it and pull it out of the holder. Check to see what club it is attached to. Usually a good quality shaft like that is attached to a good quality club head. Most people don’t use that shaft on a set of King Snake irons.
  3.  This is the most surprising one. Check the grips. If I find a club that interests me I will grab the club out and check to see the grip on it. Then I look down and see if their are any matching grips. This could lead me to more matching golf clubs.
  4. Leave the golf clubs and go shop a little. Go check out the furniture or the home goods ( thats how I ended up with an espresso machine I used exactly 1 time. It was a disaster. Please don’t mention it to my wife)
  5. Return to the golf clubs and do it again just to make sure.

I do have some requirements for me to purchase a club. I will not just buy a single iron. The chances of me running into an 8 iron of a Haig Ultra from 1973 is very slim. Rust does not scare me unless the face is heavily browning.Grooves must still be in good condition. These are going to be my main requirements.

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You’re thinking “Thats a ton of work”. No it isn’t. Also if you think its a lot of work let me go over some of my accomplishments that you should be able to get with some patience.

Full set of Hogan Bounce Sole Irons 1-E- Bought for .80. Sold the set for $50

T.P. Mills Mizuno Putter- Bought for $2. Sold Scotty grip on club for $25. Sold putter with 2 dollar grip for $100

Adams Pro Black 20* hybrid-  Bought for $1. Currently resides in my bag.

Hogan Edge Irons in a gorgeous Hogan Staff bag with 12 ProV1 balls- Bought for $15. I used the balls. Those are worth 45 bucks. Sold irons for $75. Bag is sitting in my storage area because its awesome.

Hogan BeCu Sand Wedge- Paid .25. Sold for $25.

4 FJ Polos-  Bought for $8 each.  Sold each polo for $20.

BeCu Ping Eye 2 S Wedge-  Bought for $30. Sold for $90. I bought this one at a flea market

Odyssey Versa 7- Bought for $30. It is in my bag as my putter.

Putter with a foil UH Helmet- Paid .10. Too cool to throw away.

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Go search this weekend. See what you can find. I think I enjoy the search more than the finds. I enjoy going to those stores. I always find something. Even if it isnt golf clubs. If you need any more pointers let me know. I’d love to help you. That is of course unless you are near me. I can’t let you take my good finds! Look out for the next how to guide on Big Box Stores.