Old v new clubs

Is using old clubs costing you shots? We found out...

old versus new clubs

We pitted clubs from five and ten years ago against their modern-day equivalents to see where the real differences in performance lie and whether you need to upgrade.

Golfers tend to split into two camps. Those in the first are sold on the advantages of modern technology and believe that to look and play their best, they absolutely have to have the latest kit.

Golfers in the second are content with the more experienced clubs in their bag. They are cynical of marketing claims of 'x' more yards or 'y' more fairways found. They are comfortable and familiar with what they’ve got, and it would take a particularly untimely incident involving a rock hidden under the fairway or a locker room looting for them to bite the bullet and upgrade to a shiny set of new clubs.

But what if you knew your old clubs were actually costing you shots – would that be the wake-up call you needed to shell out? It seems new gear is being launched all the time, but it can be difficult to know when the right product for you has come along. Our experience testing equipment suggests that when compared with clubs that are two-to-three generations older, new models come into their own. Still, many golfers persevere with clubs much older than this, and still expect to improve.

old clubs v new clubs

We took matters into our own hands and pitted a five- and ten-year-old set against the clubs of today. For this trial of old versus new, we teamed up with Golfbidder – an online second-hand golf equipment retailer – which provided sets that were in good condition. Admittedly, they were not custom fitted for us and had the usual dents and dinks you’d expect from clubs of this age, but the specs were very similar to what we currently employ.

We compared the clubs on our Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor and out on the course over 18 holes at West Hill Golf Club to see where the real differences in performance lie, and whether the latest iterations present a tangible scoring advantage over previous generations.

So would the golden oldies prevail, or would they flounder in the face of modern technology? Watch the video to find out...

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x