5 Signs You Need New Golf Clubs

Has your equipment seen better days and is holding you back? These are five signs that your gear might need an upgrade

5 Signs You Need New Golf Clubs
(Image credit: Future)

New golf equipment can be fairly costly, but if your clubs and golf gear is starting to look a little battered and bruised, then it may be hindering your performance and undoubtedly making the game less enjoyable that it should be when out on the course. The likes of a cracked driver face and other major damage to your gear are obvious signs that you should upgrade your equipment but it's often small instances of wear and tear that as golfers, we ignore, or don't appreciate how much they are affecting our performance on the golf course.

While there is no set time on when equipment should be renewed, there are often a few telltale signs that your gear is in need of an upgrade. We've comprised below a list of things to look out for, that let you know it's time to swap out ‘old-faithful’ and treat yourself to some of the latest and greatest equipment on the market.

Losing Distance From The Tee

5 Signs You Need New Golf Equipment

A driver with old technology may be causing a lack of distance and accuracy from the tee

(Image credit: Future)

While distance off the tee mostly correlates with a golfer's physical capabilities and swing mechanics, some of it will come down to the driver you are using. Having one of the best golf drivers is an easy way to ensure you have the best chance of getting the most out of your swing and out-driving your buddies on the weekend. If you're used to keeping up with your regular partners, but suddenly find yourself 10 yards behind them after a well-hit drive, now could be a good time to recoup this deficit with a new big stick.

Finding the right driver for you, however, can also be relatively tricky and so having a custom fitting and/or consulting your PGA Professional is definitely something you should do prior to purchasing one. If you’re not able to go for a fitting and you want to purchase one off the rack, it’s worth reading through what driver you should be buying without a custom fitting to ensure you are playing something that will compliment your game.

Lack Of Control On Approach Shots

5 Signs You Need New Golf Equipment

New wedges give you more spin and more control around the greens

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

If you’ve noticed your chip and pitch shots releasing out more than you'd like, there’s a good chance the grooves on your wedges are worn out and need replacing - it's one of the most common signs you need new wedges. When the face smooths out and friction reduces on a wedge due to excessive use, the ball will ride up the face upon contact and often produce a higher ‘dead’ feeling shot with little spin and more roll out. Bob Vokey and the Titleist team recommend swapping out your wedges after roughly 75 rounds, as after this point you will likely be losing performance in thi area of the bag. Adding one of the best wedges in your bag is an easy way to create more spin and consistency around the greens and help you get your scoring clubs back to where they should be. Aside from this - make sure your wedge faces are always clean and dirt is removed from the grooves after every shot.

Inconsistent Distance Control

5 Signs You Need New Golf Equipment

There's a lot of technology in game improvement irons that you won't find in forged muscle back irons

(Image credit: Future)

If you find yourself missing greens long or coming up short more often than not, then reviewing your equipment can often be a great place to start. Having the right set of irons in the bag is key to hitting more greens and while that doesn’t necessarily mean purchasing the newest set of irons, having some that compliments your ability is vital to sticking that ball on the dance floor more often.

There isn't anything much more frustrating than striping an iron shot right down your target line and seeing it come up short or in some instances fly the green. If you've had the same set of irons for a long time and are someone who practices, particularly from mats, then there is a good chance that firstly your grooves will be worn down and secondly your loft and lies will be altered from the countless times your club interacts with the ground. Worn down grooves will alter the spin rates on your iron shots and more often than not result in a lack of spin on the ball. This will then see your ball either fall short of your target as with a lack of spin, may not stay in the air long enough but you may also find yourself flying greens as the ball may have more velocity through the air and lack of spin will see the golf ball cut through the wind.

For those who struggle with consistency of strike or have slower swing speeds, checking out some of the most forgiving irons or best golf clubs for higher handicaps is something you should be doing. Technology has moved on a long way, even in the past ten years and so if you're encountering some of the issues mentioned above, it could be because of the lack of MOI in your irons. MOI (Moment Of Inertia) is essentially forgiveness and irons with a much lower MOI will produce different ball speeds and therefore different distances, depending on where the ball is struck on the face. More modern cavity back irons have a much larger sweet spot and therefore produce a much more consistent carry distance regardless of strike location, in comparison to irons built over a decade ago.

Visual damage

old Nike golf club

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

The odd scuff, chip or dink isn't going to make a big difference to how a golf club performs but the more they accumulate, the greater this risk becomes. As grooves become more degraded, they are less able to channel away moisture and dirt from the contact with the ball to maintain spin. You might start to see rust forming on your shafts or paint coming off the clubheads. Perhaps the clubhead has an annoying rattle that gets on your nerves or the badge has come out of the back of your irons - these are all hints that perhaps now is the time to change your equipment. It's worth pointing out, it doesn't need to be with new clubs either - a more cost-effective route would be buying second hand from a reputable retailer.

Losing Grip

5 Signs You Need New Golf Equipment

Playing with worn or split grips will massively hinder you performance on the course 

(Image credit: Future)

If you find your grips have got that shiny look to them and start to become a little slippery, especially when playing in the heat and humidity, then it might be time to opt for a new set. There are many types on the market that come in different sizes, textures and some even have alignment help like the Golf Pride Align. The grip is the only part of the club we actually have contact with and so making sure you have life in your grips and the right spec for you is very important.

Hopefully you’ve learnt a few things from the tips above and if you think your equipment may need a refresh, then these points I’ve mentioned will hopefully confirm your suspicions. For information on all golf products head over to the reviews section on our website or head over to the Golf Monthly YouTube channel to keep up to date on all things gear and golf game tips related in video format.

Sam De'Ath
Staff Writer

Sam has worked in the golf industry for 12 years, offering advice on equipment to all levels of golfers and as Staff Writer, he tests and reviews equipment throughout the bag. Sam graduated from Webber International University in 2017 with a BSc Marketing Management degree while playing collegiate golf. His experience of playing professionally on both the EuroPro Tour and Clutch Pro Tour, alongside his golf retail history, means Sam has extensive knowledge of golf equipment and what works for different types of golfer.

Sam is a member of North Hants Golf Club in Fleet, Hampshire, where he won the club championship 3 times in succession from 2015-2017. His golfing highlight to date is shooting a round of 10-under 60 at his home club, narrowly missing a wedge shot for a magical 59.


Sam’s current What’s In The Bag?


Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2, 9°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus, 15°

Hybrid: Ping G430 19°

Irons: Titleist T-100 4 iron, Titleist 620MB, 5-PW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54°, 62°

Putter: Scotty Cameron Select GoLo

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x 2021