There are plenty of opinions when it comes to buying golf gear online – what to do, what not to do, where to buy, where not to buy, etc. The buying tips in this section are a combination of my personal experiences, feedback in golf forums and research. I hope (and expect) that they’ll be something in here to help you get what you want for the right price, with as little hassle as possible.
GET THE BEST PRICE
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get the best price is to shop around….very easy to do on the internet. Also, don’t be afraid to ask an online store to price match, particularly on big ticket items such as full sets and new drivers.
Here are some other ways to save:
PRICE COMPARISON SITES
You can look around online for the best price, or take the lazy way out and use price comparison sites. On these sites, you enter the details of the golf club(s) you’re looking to buy and they’ll return a list of online stores selling it, with the price. It’s not always easy to know whether you’re comparing apples with apples, so these sites are often just a good starting point to narrow your options.
Here are a few of the better ones, all of which also include equipment sold through Amazon and eBay:
Many, if not most, online golf stores let you (beg you to!) sign-up to a regular newsletter. While you don’t want your inbox filled with junk mail, if you’re selective you can get some good discounts and special offers.
I signed up to The Golf Warehouse newsletter and was impressed with the value and frequency of their discount offers, including free shipping.
Most online golf stores offer discount coupons from time to time (or all the time). Usually % off or free shipping. There are a few ways to take advantage of these coupons:
o Visit Coupon Sites: there are a few sites that provide a list of all online stores offering discounts through the use of online coupons. Monkeybargains is one such site where you can find coupon codes for discounts or free shipping for many online golf stores (incl. Austads, Pinemeadow, Callaway, The Golf Warehouse and TaylorMade)
o Use Google: you could find the golf gear you want online, but before ordering, go to Google and enter the seller’s website with the word “coupon” or “promotional code”. You may be able to get a discount on your purchase or shipping costs, or both
CASH BACK OFFERS
There are websites that give you cash back on purchases from quite a few online golf stores. The basic model is that these websites send customers to online golf stores and receive a commission for doing so. Instead of keeping the whole commission, they share it with you (the buyer) in the form of cash back. It depends on the program, but you’ll usually receive the cash back by check at certain intervals, eg monthly. The cash back isn’t huge, usually between 3%-8%, but better than nothing!
Here are a couple of programs you might want to look at:
o ebates.com – includes Edwin Watts Golf, Pinemeadow Golf, Golfsmith and Golf Outlet USA
o bing.com/shopping – BING is a fairly new search engine by Microsoft, which includes a cash back program. Cash back percentage looks to be a little higher than other programs. For example, you can get 12% cash back at Golfsmith. Other online golf stores that are part of this program include Callaway Pre-Owned and Golfballs.com
GET SOMEONE ELSE’S OPINION
Before you ‘proceed to check-out’ on your new set of clubs, take some Vclub tel time to read equipment reviews online. There are plenty of sites offering reviews on golf clubs, and some of them are actually objective! I prefer the reviews from not only industry experts, but actual golfers who have bought and used the clubs. Golf forums (such as those mentioned above) are a good place for straight talking views on golf clubs. Here are some sites that are worth checking out:
o Golf Review – lots of reviews/comments from golfers who have bought and are playing with the clubs
o Golf Magic – good section on equipment reviews, with feedback from industry experts as well as forum members
o Golfalot – excellent range of golf club reviews, many with video reviews as well
o Golf WRX – a forum section dedicated to equipment reviews. Educated, honest and independent views
GET THE RIGHT SET
Muscleback or Cavity back? Performance Improvement or Performance Enhancement? Before you start looking too closely at specific golf clubs it’s important to understand what type of irons are suitable for your game. There are two main categories of irons, ‘muscleback’ (game enhancement) and ‘cavity back’ (game improvement). They’re referred to by various other names but we’ll stick with these for now.
Muscleback irons are so-called because more weight is placed behind the sweet spot on the club. This produces a longer, straighter ball trajectory if hit in the center of the club, ie the sweet spot. Because most of the weight is centered around the sweet spot, shots that aren’t hit pure are difficult to hide…..they’ll be shorter and with an unpredictable trajectory. Muscleback irons are more suited to lower handicap golfers, who can take advantage of the greater feel and workability of the irons.