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There is no way around it, golf is an expensive game. But you can mitigate those costs in a number of ways. One of the best is to buy used clubs instead of new. You can sometimes find deep discounts on clubs that still have plenty of life in them.
Golf-club manufacturers have a steady stream of new products coming out. Some golfers must have the latest and greatest in golf-club technology. Indeed, there are times when these new offerings can make a difference in your game.
Also, there are golfers who have given up the game and no longer need clubs, or those that are facing a financial crunch and look to their little-used clubs as a way to get some extra cash.
For these reasons and others, know that there will always be a large market for used golf clubs. Here are some of the best places online to find them.
Two avid golfers and college students joined forces to sell used golf clubs on eBay. Eventually, those efforts became online reseller Golf Avenue.
While Golf Avenue also now sells new equipment, it has become one of the largest sellers of used clubs online, with more than 50,000 clubs for sale.
All clubs go through a four-step process before Golf Avenue lists them for sale. First, a PGA professional verifies the authenticity and quality of the club. Then, the clubs are steam cleaned, photographed from at least six different angles, and graded.
Golf Avenue knows that used clubs are going to have blemishes and does not hide this from view, with its close-up photography allowing you to identify scuff marks.
Like other online retailers, Golf Avenue offers plenty of incentives to buyers, including free shipping on orders greater than $150 and a 30-day return policy.
Like other large used-clubs retailers, 3balls has a large selection of used clubs. At this writing, its website claims more than 60,000 clubs for sale with an average savings of 44 percent. These numbers, along with the number of used clubs recently added to the inventory is continuously updated near the top of the website.
One of the ways 3balls acquires that inventory is through a trade-in program, where you can upgrade by trading in your old clubs.
Anyone who has shopped online for other items will recognize some of 3balls’ tactics, including alerts, gift certificates, a members rewards program, and coupon codes.
At the moment, 3balls is offering a 15 percent discount on clubs, with a 20 percent discount on apparel and accessories.
Spend $200 or more on any order qualifies you for free shipping, so long as the shipping address is within the United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina and in business since 2006, Global Golf aims to provide the same kind of service you receive in any brick-and-mortar golf retailer. To that end, Global Golf employs PGA professionals who help match your specific needs to the proper set of clubs.
With almost 15 years as an online retailer, Global Golf has mastered the art of selling clubs online. This expertise means you can expect your clubs to arrive as promised in the condition advertised. That kind of trust and experience has made Global Golf an industry leader.
As with other online retailers, Global Golf has a number of ways to save. Currently, it is offering 20 percent off your entire order with the easily accessed coupon code, with some restrictions on certain products.
Other amenities include a buy-now and pay-later program, a rewards club, up to 30 percent on trade-ins, and a chance at a subscription to Golf Digest magazine.
Rock Bottom has been an online supplier of used golf clubs and other golf-related accessories since 2002. That is a long time for online standards, but the company’s roots go back much further.
Like a lot of high school students, Tom Rath wanted to find a way to earn some spare cash. He did so by diving into water hazards at local courses, recovering and reselling balls that had found an unfortunate and premature end.
While that was fine for a teenager and even helped pay his way through college, Rath realized it wouldn’t do for a real business. First, Rath sold at local markets and on the road at trade shows, adding used clubs to his repertoire. He later joined forces with his brother, Todd Rath, and friend Shannon Smith to start selling on eBay. A year later, Rock Bottom was born and quickly turned into a leader in the market.
Rock Bottom prides itself on stellar customer service, fast shipping, and low prices. It always has some sort of bargains available and has free same-day shipping on orders of more than $150.
Beginning life as The Golf Warehouse, TGW first opened its online doors in April 1998, making it one of the first online golf retailers.
The business has grown quite a bit since then, including a name change that reflects the tremendous growth of the company from four employees to more than 250.
TGW shares many of the same traits as other used-club online stores, carrying a large number of clubs from many top manufacturers. One way that TGW stands out is a free shipping offer for most orders more than $99, quite a bit less than most of its competitors. TGW also has a 90-day return policy, giving you plenty of time to try out your new old clubs.
You may not think of Minnesota as a golf mecca but there are plenty of them in the state best known for its many lakes. A few of those teamed up to start 2nd Swing, an online retailer that boasts an inventory that rivals any of its competitors.
With a 30-day play guarantee and free shipping on orders of more than $200, this company provides the services you would expect from an online retailer. What you might not expect is a club-fitting service.
Usually the domain of brick-and-mortar stores and pro shops, 2nd Swing takes plenty of variables into account to help you find the right clubs for you. Included in that are the golfer’s measurements, skill level, price range, and other traits. You can even schedule a visit to the company’s mobile van to get even greater scrutiny and detail.
As you can see, there are several great choices for buying used clubs online. As with any other purchase, you should take care that you are buying from a reputable company. This is even more important online than if you were shopping at a traditional store. All of the ones listed above certainly qualify as a great place to buy used clubs.
It’s possible that you can find even greater bargains searching through online ads at places like Craig’s List, or even driving around town visiting garage sales. Of course, none of this offers ease, convenience, and reliability than shopping at one of the above retailers.
Amazon & Ebay
We haven’t mentioned Amazon, the online behemoth that sells everything from toothpaste to tires for your car and just about anything else you can imagine. You can definitely find used golf clubs at Amazon, or the aforementioned eBay. These are often sold by individuals, meaning you will need to exercise a great deal of caution before hitting the checkout button.
Whatever you think about the ongoing argument between shopping online and buying locally, there is no denying the ease and comfort of buying golf clubs from the comfort of your own home.