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How To Pay Less For Your Next Set Of Irons
Your next set of irons will undoubtedly set you back a fairly significant amount of money. Irons are the most populated club in the bag and, aside from your putter, will be your most used clubs on the course. The typical life span for a set of irons is around four years so - although an expensive investment at first - the best golf irons will often pay for themselves by the time you're done with them. While that's all well and good, that doesn't stop irons from costing a lot at the first point of purchase.
Even the best budget irons can cost a significant amount of money, so what are some ways can you pay less for your next set of irons? By using some savvy shopping methods, timing your purchases right and doing some homework, there are loads of ways to save some extra dollars on your next set of irons.
Know your game
This is a vital part of the iron buying process that requires a little bit of self-reflection before you head to the store. Do this correctly, and you'll save plenty of money in the long run. If you're a 20 handicapper, it's no use buying a set of blades with a view to get down to single figures as quickly as possible. Ultimately, they won't be the right clubs for your game and you'll be selling them for a significant loss pretty quickly. Whether it's a cavity back iron, players distance iron or blade, make sure your purchase irons that best suit your game.
Admittedly, it becomes a bit trickier to judge this when you're trying to future-proof a set of irons - especially when you want to keep them for a number of years. For example, if you're a player currently using cavity back irons, when do you know you're ready to step into a players distance club? There's no exact science to this unfortunately, but a simple test at your local store between a cavity back iron and players distance iron should allow you to work out if they suit your game. Failing that, ask your pro or golf teacher what kind of iron they think you should be using and whether they expect that to change in the near future.
'Tis The Season
Picking and choosing the time of year to invest in you next set of irons could save the major holiday sale periods. This includes things like Black Friday, President's Day, Labor Day and Christmas where golf retailers and pro shops will release some significant sales prices.
The best time to look to buy is around the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Here you've got the perfect combination of holiday sales and retailers wanting to get rid of old stock for the upcoming new season. With new irons often coming to retail in the Spring of a new year, you should be able to find some great deals on older stock that is still brand new. On the other end of the spectrum, the worst times (money-wise) are around February and March when new irons have just been launched and holiday sale stock has diminished.
Buying second hand
Buying second hand will save you a significant amount of money when it comes to your next set of irons. Don't presume that second hand means old and tired - in fact you can get irons that are barely a year old on most second hand websites. Buying used golf clubs can lead to very similar performance versus brand new clubs and will also come with a significant saving. Ex-demo clubs can also be a great way to get cheaper irons - check with your local pro or retailer if they offer up such deals on clubs that had previously been on display.
Be sure to check the specifications of the clubs though, as some second hand clubs may have been fitted for someone a lot taller or shorter than you!
Ditch an iron or two
How often do you find yourself actually pulling your four-iron out of your bag during a round of golf? Once, maybe twice? With the average iron costing around $100 per club if you get custom fit, this can be a great way to make your next set of irons cheaper while not losing out on any performance on course. A good way to work out whether you actually need a four iron in the bag is to compare the distances you hit your four and five iron out on course. Most mid to high handicappers will find that the distance difference between a four and five iron is minimal at best, thus making the four-iron a fairly redundant in the bag.
Remember, you can always add an extra iron or wedge later on if you find yourself with a gap in the bag. Wherever you get fitted for your clubs, they'll save your specs and be able to order the matching four-iron at your convenience at a later date, Missing out on the four-iron at your initial point of purchase will save you some money and then you can decide later whether you want to add it to the bag or not.
Buy off the wall
While we always recommend a good custom fitting when purchasing a new set of irons, it can be more cost effective to buy them 'off the wall' - straight off the rack at the shop. Irons that aren't available for custom fitting are often much cheaper and can still be purchased brand new straight from the store.
Buying a 'standard' set will mean the clubs are very likely to be standard length and standard lie. Once you find out what length of golf club you should use and how lie angle affects golf shots, you'll be able to decipher whether a set 'off the wall' will suit your game. Don't worry if the specifications aren't precisely what you would go for if you were getting custom fitted as a degree of lie angle difference either way will still be fine for your swing.
Look after your old set
Looking after the irons you're currently using should help save you some extra dollars on your next set. Keeping them clean, looking after the grips and even using iron headcovers will help protect the resale value of your current set. The more money you get for your old irons, the cheaper your new set will be!
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Dan is a Staff Writer and has been with the Golf Monthly team since 2021. Dan graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and primarily looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes since he joined Golf Monthly and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 7.8 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands.
Dan is currently playing:
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2
Hybrid: Ping G425
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro
Putter: Wilson Staff Infinite Buckingham
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x Pix
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