Brand loyalty is big in golf, if not huge.
As a player, you go through many a set of clubs until you find that perfect mix of woods, irons, wedges, and putters. It's borderline hilarious when you see someone at the tee box with a $2500.00 set of clubs, all the same brand and they finish off the hole +8. There's no need to spend that kind of money when you're just starting out. However, this article is more geared towards the seasoned player looking to switch it up for 2010 and stay within their budget.
Let us start with the "Big Dog", the Driver.
Again, it's always a good idea to keep value in mind. While you can pick up a Nike Victory Red Tour Driver for $399.99 , the King Cobra S9-1 M Speed is also rated a perfect five-stars and is $200 less than the Nike at $199.99. It features King Cobra's exclusive "Hotter 9 Points" technology which promotes both a higher ball speed and a consistent ball flight across the entire club face. In other words, it's forgiving. All golfers love a forgiving club, especially in a driver.
To keep with the five-star rating, as well as brand, the King Cobra S9-1 M fairway wood is also priced nicely at $149.99. Compare that to the ever so popular Taylor Made R9 TP. A great club in it's own right and again, with a perfect five-star review, the Taylor Made is selling for $299.99.
The hybrid is a club that has grown in popularity in recent years as substitute to the 5 wood and the 2 iron. Nike's SQ Sumo hybrid is going for $89.99. It's a steal when compared to the Titleist 909H that's $100.00 more at $189.99. Both are winners with a perfect rating, both are great clubs. The simple fact is that the Nike is a much better buy.
Now for the irons.
Mizuno's MX 200 set is a fantastic deal at $699.99. One of the best irons to play, Mizuno's Y-tune technology expands the sweet spot on the face of the iron, giving more ball control and amazing forgiveness on mis-hit shots. Once again, all golfers love the forgiveness factor. Callaway's FT I-Bird set might make you look like a pro when you whip them out at the driving range. With a $1299.99 price tag you better hope you have some game or people just might poke fun at you.
Now for everyone's favorite, the short game!
"Drive for show, put for dough." We've all heard it but it goes a bit deeper than that. To phrase an early 90's hip hop song, "you gotta get up to get down."
The Cleveland CG 14 Black Pearl wedge is amazing. Cleveland's Zip Grooves technology optimizes ball spin and control. At $89.99, Cleveland has a gem here. Compare that with Titleist's Vorkey Spin at $119.99 and you have two quality wedges with one being $30.00 cheaper.
The one club that has yet to be mentioned is the putter. For the putter is just a putter and the player putting is the one in control. Though there is a difference between crap putters and good putters, a whole other column could be dedicated to that bastard instrument of doom.
As spring approaches, many of you will be looking to switch it up. The ratings and prices came from www.golfsmith.com but you can demo any of these clubs at Golf Discount in Overland Park. Estimating the cost of tax and shipping, look to spend about $1300.00 to revamp the golf bag with fiscal responsibility compared to spending $2300.00 to look like a Tour Pro. Looking like a pro definitely doesn't make you a pro, especially in this sport!