Over the past month I decided that it was time to upgrade my golf gear. Not having the cash to go out and buy a £300 driver and a £700 set of irons I decided to figure out what I really wanted and then hunt it down on eBay at a fraction of the cost. This post is just to tell you what I did, what I achieved and how you can all do it given at little time and a little effort. Initial spend on the Irons and Driver which were in my bag for the last 4 years (both eBay purchases) was £50 R7 425 Driver and £205 TaylorMade combo irons (-£255).
I’ve been hitting a Taylormade R7 SuperQuad driver for over 3 years. I originally had an R7 425 which cracked and TM replaced with no questions even though I was not the original owner. They didn’t have any 425 heads so I got a new R7 Superquad which at the time was a £275 driver. It helped change my game and I was suddenly up £20. Lesson #1 If you don’t have a quality driver, then you need one. But first find the right one for your eye, I firmly believe that the big players make the best drivers. TaylorMade, Titleist, Ping & Nike are the drivers I would take on the range at your local golf centre.
I like the TaylorMade drivers and once the R1 was launched I started monitoring the R11 prices. The head is pretty similar in depth to the R7 so for me it was about finding a bargain on eBay then starting to fit it to my game.
I brought a regular shafted one on eBay for £70 – cheap as it looked untidy on the bottom (the black paint had come off with range use or links course use) (-£50). I have a 100mph driver speed I knew a stiff was needed anyway, I also knew I was going to pick the shaft so wasn’t concerned I’d brought a driver with the wrong shaft. #Lesson 2 - Sell anything you dont need.
My TaylorMade combo irons have served me well but the heads were getting on a bit and I wanted something more modern. The blade and muscle combo suited me well. I am a solid ball striker and really don’t like the lack of feedback from some of these cavity back irons. Having played with a few clubs in shops I decided the main thing for me was a stiff shafted iron set with thin top lines from either titleist or mizuno. I wasnt going to be too fussy apart from that 2 to 3 years old was the max.I removed the shaft and tip and sold on eBay for £30 (-£20). Then visited the range and found the shaft which felt best for me. I could have and probably should have hit launch monitor but opted for a mid to high kick point, low torque stiff flex shaft. I brought a new TaylorMade R11 tip on eBay (£10) and my local repair shop fitted me an Aldila NV shaft and along with a golf pride multicompound grip with 5 layers of tape for £50 (running total of -£80). So, the Driver is sorted… I hope
Lesson 3 – Don’t buy on impulse. I missed out on a few sets which I was watching and nearly bid on, they went cheap enough but didn’t have great grips or shafts for me. I then saw a few sets of Titleist 710cb irons on eBay and started watching. I managed to get a great set which again had a few imperfections. But my links course will only add more! I got a bargain as I waited until the last seconds to bid – cost £130 (Total Spend now £210). Lesson 4 – be brave and wait til the bitter end
When I was convinced I’d made the right buys I decided to go about selling the old stuff. Honest eBay listings are key here. Lesson 5 – give your listing a chance & pick the right price. Good pictures are important. Don’t just take one picture, take multiples and write a good description.
In my opinion it is far safer to sell using buy it now on eBay - auctions are a risk unless you have something modern and with a wide appeal. So, with this in mind I chose Buy it now and did my research and ran through recently completed listings to see what I can realistically ask for. Setting my prices fair my irons and my driver went up for sale and both sold within hours of being online.
Golf stuff is either brought on impulse or by people who know what they want, so if the price is right, someone will find it and buy it. Total recouped £125 [less eBay fees - £12.50].
So, with thanks to eBay I have had 4 years use from a set of irons and a driver, and have now got more modern equipment and only spent the equivalent of £97.50. A little more if we don’t count the bonus I had on the R7′s. But either way, its cheap golf.
I may not have ended up with brand new / latest season gear, but its not changed that much now has it?
Oh… one last lesson – Lesson #6 – Research and be aware! There is a lot of fake stuff out there, if it looks too good to be true, it will be so avoid it. Read sellers feedback and make contact with them if you feel the need to. Proceed with caution and use PayPal!