Should you buy second hand golf gear? The pros and cons of used equipment
Just like buying a used car, second hand golf gear needs a bit of thought and research if you're to come away with clubs capable of helping your game.
Here's seven things to help you make the right decision.
Go and see Golfbidder
It's not possible for everyone to get to Golfbidder's HQ in Chessington, Surrey, but if you can rather than buying online you'll be handsomely rewarded. Golfbidder's showroom is like buying from Argos. Shoppers access the company's whole in-store club inventory. Staff happily grab any clubs which catch your eye, so you can see and get a feel for everything before paying.
Think about the fitting
No, we don't mean get fitted for your purchase. We're referring to how, depending on what you're buying, it might have been custom fitted to its previous owner. Pay attention when buying Ping equipment secondhand, as a good percentage of their clubs get fitted to their first owner.
But also don't be afraid to ask questions about shaft type and length as well as enquiring about lie angles, as upright or at (Ping's colour coding makes this easy to spot) irons can have a huge impact on how you hit them. And don't forget to consider the shaft in any prospective purchase. If any clubs are non-standard fit at Goldbidder, there will be notes to state this on the item page.
Get the accessories
New adjustable drivers, fairways and putters come with headcovers and a wrench to allow you to make adjustments. Make sure if you're buying secondhand both are included in the sale. Trade your purchase in again in the future and you're highly likely to lose value by not having everything that came with the product originally.
Be prepared for a regrip
The grip is your only contact with the club, so it's worthwhile making sure it's in good shape and gives the feel you like. We're not saying every secondhand club will need a regrip, but just be prepared to make a switch. It's also the best way to make a used club feel new again.
Putters are a great buy
Any seasoned golfer knows that putters can go cold, so it's great having a back- up to switch to when you're not holing your fair share. Golfbidder has a huge selection of used putters, and buying secondhand is a great way to reinvigorate your form with the flatstick. If it doesn't work out you've not lost the world, simply trade it up again.
New brands within reach
Golfbidder is careful about what it buys, so stock what golfers are most likely to want to purchase. It means they don't sell every brand. Honma, though (thanks to them signing Justin Rose) has just appeared on their approved list and it sounds like PXG might well be next. Like a new BMW or Mercedes, both these premium brands are not on most golfers' radars, but buying used might just bring them within reach.
Be wary of wedges
Our testing over the years has shown how groove wear on wedges can reduce spin on full and half shots by 1,000rpm or more. So think twice before considering wedges that show any sign of face wear. That doesn't mean don't buy a wedge from Golfbidder – along with checking and grading the condition of each club, they take clearance stock from some of the biggest brands, which means you could pick up last year's model, in brand new condition, for a substantial saving.
Try them first
Golfbidder offers a seven-day trial, so if you're not 100 per cent happy with your purchase you can send them back to them for a full refund. It means you can try your new equipment on the range or golf course risk free.
• In the latest issue of Today's Golfer, we visited golf bidder and came up with a guide to the best second hand golf clubs YOU can buy right now.
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