The golf club market can be a confusing place for consumers, no matter their skill level. The latest and greatest products that are designed by modern manufacturers are usually the best performing options when properly fit to your swing. The only problem is, new clubs are also typically the most expensive options.
In a sport that’s already quite expensive, is making the investment on new clubs always worth the high price tags?
Here at GolfWRX.com, we believe that whether you’re buying expensive new equipment or more affordable used options, you should get a proper club fitting from an expert fitter. Factors such as club length, loft, lie angle, overall design, weight settings, shaft flex, shaft weight and even grip size can all make a drastic impact on how the club feels and performs to the individual golfer. It’s not easy trying to figure out all of that by yourself, so working with an expert is imperative.
Now, when it comes to deciding on buying old versus new clubs, the conversation becomes a little more personalized to your specific budget and performance needs.
When you look at the clubs that are being used on the PGA Tour, most professional golfers opt to use the newest equipment possible, or they have clubs that are customized and prototyped to their exact liking.
That’s not always: the case, however. Sometimes, PGA Tour players use golf clubs that were released several years ago, and they are still available on the current market for a more affordable price. Although the clubs are older designs, some Tour players still find benefits because the designs have managed to withstand the test of time.
I call these clubs the “Modern Classics.”
The benefit for consumers when it comes to these Modern Classics is that they’re currently available on the market for a fraction of the cost of new equipment, but they’re still viable options to use – even on the PGA Tour.
For our new 8-part club testing series in partnership with 2nd Swing Golf, I chose 8 classic golf clubs that are still used on the professional level, and each club can still be found online at 2nd Swing Golf’s website, or at 2nd Swing Golf retail outlets. Although these used clubs can be found at other third-party retail sites, as well, we chose to conduct this testing at 2nd Swing because, in my personal opinion, they have one of the largest selections of used equipment on the market, and they certify the quality of each club that they sell.
Also, the 2nd Swing store in Scottsdale has over 15 fitting bays that are equipped with launch monitors, and they have a team of expert club fitters to help analyze the numbers.
The first club that I chose to test in this 8-part video series was a TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 4-iron that was first released to the public in 2011. As we’ve discussed at length at GolfWRX.com, PGA Tour player Daniel Berger still uses a set of TaylorMade TP MC 2011 irons.
For this specific test, I pitted a used TaylorMade TP MC 2011 4-iron (22 degrees) against my current gamer 4-iron (24 degrees) from my set of golf clubs; each club was shafted with an extra stiff steel shaft. I hit 5 shots with each club, using a high-end tour golf ball. We deleted any outliers, and then we analyzed the numbers with the help of 2nd Swing expert fitter Cliff Walzak, who is a well-respected and long-time club fitter in the industry.
In the video at the top of the page, we break down the entire test, the launch monitor numbers, and then I assign a value rating to the club. Just a heads up, not every club tested in the series will score such a high rating, but we happened to start off with an especially top-tier Modern Classic.
If you’re interested in testing/purchasing the TaylorMade TP MC 2011 irons for yourself, they’re currently available on 2nd Swing’s website for $84.99 for an individual ironor: $339.99 for an entire set.
What other 7 clubs do you think I chose for this Modern Classics video series?
*Credit to Saeyae for the video production.