What are the Best Cheap Golf Clubs in 2018?
Let’s face it:
The Global Recession has had an impact on both golfers and the golf industry as a whole.
Although interest in the sport remains quite high, not all is well.
Club sales are falling.
Courses are steadily closing down all over the US.
But as they say, every cloud has its silver lining.
The “Game of Kings” has become somewhat more inclusive in recent years, thanks to a gradual decrease in course fees and club membership fees.
But golf remains an expensive proposition. Brand new clubs from top manufacturers can set you back by thousands of dollars, especially if you buy into all the marketing hype and rush out to buy the latest and greatest clubs on the market.
Rather than reviewing the latest technical wizardry conjured up by golf club manufacturers, let’s take a look at some of the “diamonds in the rough,” with our review of the best cheap golf clubs.
Our shortlist includes:
When To Buy Cheap Golf Clubs
Golf club purchases can be a serious investment. Before we get into any debates about the wisdom of buying cheap clubs vs. the folly of buying overpriced new clubs, let’s settle the issue of need vs. want. Of course, if you are a beginner, this question is quite redundant.
You do need a set of clubs to learn the game, and best cheap golf clubs for beginners (or even used clubs) are the way to go. But if you already have a full set of clubs in your locker, it is always a sound plan to think twice before making any costly purchase decisions.
In several situations, an upgrade can be essential and unavoidable. If you have a broken driver or bent irons or something like that, you can always find some good buys among the best budget golf clubs online.
Also, if you are a not-so-beginner golfer who has outgrown your starter set, an online search into the good golf clubs for average player segment could give you several leads on what you seek.
Age is also another important factor that can prompt the need for a change of clubs. When you enter the senior category, you might find that those trusty irons that served you well all these years simply don’t work as well.
A cheap set of easily workable hybrids might be the best golf clubs for the money when you reach the “golden years.”
But if you are a mid-handicapper experiencing a massive improvement in your game, even the best affordable golf clubs may not cut the mustard for you.
If you manage to get a great deal on the best golf clubs for intermediate player, that is fine.
But otherwise, it might be a better idea to just and save up some extra cash for a competitive priced newer set with all the latest bells and whistles.
Used Clubs And The Risk Of Counterfeits
If we were asked to name just one thing the recession has changed in the golf clubs market, we would have to mention the used clubs market.
The passionate golfers never stopped playing their game, but a lot of the casual and recreational players did, and a booming used clubs market has risen in recent years.
Buying a used golf club is not as risky as buying a used car for obvious reasons. But even if the risk of ending up with a lemon on your hands is considerably low, you still have to be cautious.
There are a lot of sites online dealing with used clubs. While many of them are legit, the same cannot be said about many of the clubs being advertised as “used clubs.” There is a lucrative counterfeit market these days and there is a real risk of ending up with fake clubs when you shop online for used clubs.
Manufacturer sites are the safest source of used clubs these days. Since the seconds market became big business, brands like Callaway have launched their dedicated portals for certified pre-owned clubs. Even the PGA has a dedicated service that deals in used clubs, aimed at promoting golf among the public by offering cheap clubs.
If you are set on buying some used gof clubs, check out this YouTube video for some helpful tips:
Closeout Sales: A Much Better Option
An article of Forbes back in 2016 highlighted how manufacturers like TaylorMade were struggling to sell of old merchandise due to low demand and over-saturation of the golf club market.
This a phenomenon that works in favor of golfers seeking the best golf clubs for the money spent. As newer equipment arrives on the market, unsold stock of older clubs get moved to the closeout section.
And TaylorMade are not alone in having a lot of unsold inventory these past few years. Almost all major manufacturers have their older models doing the rounds on discount and closeout sales.
If you want to buy the best golf club sets for the money, or even the best cheap golf club sets, check out the discount/closeout market before looking at used clubs.
You might easily find great deals on clubs in mint condition that were released a few years ago. Unless you are a competitive golfer, you don’t really need the performance bump offered by the latest golf clubs.
Most new golf clubs offer small incremental increases in performance over older clubs, nothing more. Beginners and mid handicappers can realistically expect a similar level of performance from a brand new club and its predecessor released in 2013 or 2015!
Is There A Time Of The Year For Good Deals?
Yes, because like any other organized manufacturing industry, golf clubs also have a regular release calender that all brands stick to.
For instance, the newest clubs hits the market around the fall, or immediately into the new years. For example, you can expect to see the earliest 2017 editions of major clubs arriving from October 2016 onwards.
This is not the best period to buy a brand new club, though you might find great deals on its predecessors. Prices of clubs tend to fall as the release date of newer clubs draw nearer, usually a year after their initial release.
So you can expect the price listings for best cheap golf club sets to start appearing in the second half of every year.
Best Types Of Clubs To Buy On A Budget
Individual clubs like drivers and hybrids come to mind when looking at the kind of clubs that you might want to buy on a budget. Drivers tend to be the most expensive single clubs on sale, and you can often find great deals on older models.
Hybrids work great as replacements to any long irons or woods you already own, and you should really get one if you find a good deal online.
By the same logic, wedges are also good choices, especially since most iron sets do not include the higher lofted wedges. Individual irons are also nice buys if you have gaps in your set, but we.
The Bio Cell was one of the highest rated drivers released in 2014 by Cobra Golf.
Named after the honeycomb patterned Bio-Cell design inside the clubhead, this game improvement driver can be found at retailing at at fourth of its launch price or less. For a driver optimized for distance, that is a fantastic price.
And to make things sound even more crazy, this driver has the MyFly adjustable loft settings, SmartPad sole, and E9 clubface, features that are still found on the latest 2017 drivers from Cobra. If you are on the hunt for a driver in the best golf clubs for intermediate players list, look no further.
What we like
- A really good looking driver, available in nearly a dozen different head colors.
- Class leading distance shots in the game improvement category.
- Settings be altered to suit different swing styles.
- Meaty feedback on shots, with a crisp sound on impact.
- Outstanding accuracy and forgiveness, the E9 face really shines here.
What we dislike
- Some golfer struggle to get the settings right.
- A few fail to get good height on shots.
If 2013 sounds old to you, just remember that the first club in this series was launched decades ago in 1995. And these game improvement woods stay true to their name, providing admirable workability from all kinds of fairway lies.
The sole may look a bit odd, but it has been designed that way to improve CoG and the ability of the clubface to connect well with the ball in tough lies. The higher lofted versions provide performance similar to hybrids and might be great choice if you prefer swinging longer woods but need the extra versatility.
And being a 4 year old version, you can scoop these up for a steal if you can find them on sale.
What we like
- One of the clubs for slow swingers, great for tricky situations on the fairway.
- Forgiveness is also on the higher end of the spectrum.
- Excellent distance from bad lies.
- Feedback is vivid and smooth thanks to the stock Mitsubishi graphite shafts.
- Elegant looking clubs with a black finish, small profile and slot in the crown to help with alignment.
What we dislike
- Distance is not its strong suit from regular lies.
- Stock shaft is not suitable for faster swingers.
If there is one place where hybrids lag behind the longer fairway woods, it is in the distance game. TaylorMade launched these rescue clubs back in 2013 with a bunch of features that improved their long distance performance, making these one of the “hottest” hybrids in business.
If you want an easier to hit club to replace your aging woods, this could be considered a suitable choice. With a lower CoG and higher launch, this hybrid can get some serious launch height when you need it.
And with a speed slot, and a thin, fast flexing steel face, this club is from the category of good golf clubs for average player.
What we like
- Easy to swing from all lies, works really well in fairway bunkers.
- Decent forgiveness allows you to get good distance even on mishits.
- On good hits, the distances are comparable to some fairway woods.
- Good impact, the power behind shots is easily recognizable, even on mishits.
- Graphics on the crown offer excellent aid in shot alignment.
What we dislike
- Draw bias is somewhat on the higher side.
- Mishits get good distance at the cost of accuracy.
If you want an upgrade to your old irons, these cavity back Callaway irons might be the best golf club sets for the money.
For a two year old release, they offer excellent distance performance, with technology borrowed from the highly regarded Callaway XR drivers and fairway woods.
You get the 360 degree cup face tech that guarantees distance on all shots, along with a lowered CoG and MoI thanks to the Standing Wave feature ensuring higher forgiveness and accuracy.
The irons are available from 3-9, as well as a PW, SW, AW and LW.
What we like
- Simple “point and shoot” clubs, high and straight is what you get on the fairway.
- Available in both steel and graphite shafts, with multiple flex levels.
- Best in class forgiveness even on long irons, thanks to all that face technology.
- If you need distance from your iron shots, you cant do better than these XR irons.
- Classic looks with an understated style, looks great even with the oversize cavity back design.
What we dislike
- Feedback is not its strong point, though not surprising considering the forgiveness on offer.
- The large cavity back design is not very popular among many golfers.
The Wilson brand is guaranteed to figure prominently in any list of the best budget golf clubs and the best cheap golf clubs.
We simply couldn’t have list without including at least one club from a brand that is a mainstay for beginner golfers everywhere.
While the prices are extremely low, you still get commendable durability and performance on almost all of their products.
The Harmonized series offers some of the best cheap golf clubs for beginners and are highly recommended if you want to add some specialized wedges to your starter iron set.
The wedges are available with steel shafts, in 50, 52, 56, 60 and 64 lofts, covering the usual GW, SW, AW and LW slots.
What we like
- Excellent balance between performance and price.
- Polished chrome finish with classic looking heads.
- Tour grinds make them versatile, with good performance on all kinds of lies.
- The performance is often better than other top brands that cost times as much.
What we dislike
- Some golfers find the clubs a little too heavy to suit them.
- The grips are smaller than average.
With the current state of the economy being what it is, we feel that current trend of budget golf clubs is set to continue in the near future.
Club manufacturers are still trying to shift to a longer release cycle, and until that is fully adopted, you will still find last year’s top clubs selling for bargain prices come fall/end of the year.
In our shortlist of some of the lowest priced and highest performing top brand clubs, we simply couldn’t look past the Cobra Bio Cell driver for the top spot.
For the extremely low asking price you get one of the best golf clubs for intermediate players or mid handicappers out there.