Golfers are always looking for better equipment that can help them shoot better scores.
However, better equipment doesn't always mean brand spanking new equipment -- the stuff that sells for top dollar and is on the cutting edge of research and development. You can get great, well-conditioned used equpipment for a fraction of what you would pay new, getting the technology that you want while saving money that you can use on green fees!
Before you go looking for used golf equipment, it's important to know what to look for so that you find the right clubs at the right price.
The condition of the used golf clubs you're buying is the most important factor. You have to know what you're getting, how well it's been used and what to expect when you open up the box.
Used golf clubs are typically rated into one of three buckets: excellent, very good or good.
An excellent club has been used somewhat sparingly, with all facets of the club -- the face, sole, crown or topline, shaft and grip -- only showing modest signs of wear and tear.
A very good club might show some more signs of wear, particularly with more dings in the paint and original visual components.
A good club will have been hit a good amount, will likely need a grip change and sport more scratches on the sole and face. However, it'll still be good to go from a performance perspective.
While the trusting consumer might accept the ratings offered by a club seller, it's important for a golfer to see the club themselves as best they can before purchasing. Make sure you see a handful of photos of the club from muliple angles, allowing you to take inventory of the potential issues with the look of the club. That way, you know just how many scratches and paint chips there are.
This might seem like an afterthought to golfers, but knowing that the used golf clubs you're buying are legit is important. There are plenty of knock-off clubmakers in the world, and their work, while not nearly exact enough to discerning eyes, can pass muster to unsuspecting golfers.
A scrupulous used golf club shop verifies the authenticity of the used equipment it sells and will guarantee it.
Ultimately, you're making an investment in your game. If you're unhappy with your purchase, you should be able to return it. Make sure you're buying from a seller who offers a generous return policy. Ideally, you'll be able to return the club for any reason within 30 days for a full refund.
Many used golf club sellers are happy to let you trade in your old golf equipment for credit toward a new purchase. The PGA of America produces an updated guide that will show you the value of your equipment based on what it is and what condition it's in. A trade-in may only mean a few bucks per club, depending on how ancient your current clubs are, but that's still a discount toward improving what's in your bag.
Being just a few years behind the cutting edge of technology isn't an issue for most golfers, who can often go 5 years or more before buying replacement clubs. Buying used golf equipment is a great way to improve what's in your bag -- or match what's already in your bag -- without having to shell out the big bucks for new clubs. With that extra money in your pocket, you can enjoy the game at a savings.