I have bought new clubs that seemed to work just fine on the monitor, but fizzled when I took them to the course. A couple of years ago, I went to Golftown with four or five old three woods that I had acquired over the years, but didn't particularly love anymore. I asked to conduct the Pepsi challenge, telling the salesperson that I would buy a three wood if he could give me one that worked better than the old ones I already had. He agreed and I spent the better part of an hour testing the new models against my old ones. At the end of the testing, he had to admit that the ones I had, though probably ten to fifteen years old, worked pretty much as well as his shiny new ones, and therefore, he wouldn't suggest I waste my money.
I haven't bought a new club since, though I'm as tempted as the next guy by the new and improved models that come out every year like clockwork. My bag now contains a Cleveland Hi-Bore driver of a certain age that I obtained from an obliging Korean I met at the Bay of Quinte GC. I traded him a Taylor Made Burner that I had got in exchange for a Ping that no longer seemed to work. I have a Tour Edge Exotics three wood that I got out of a barrel in Hilton Head for thirty bucks, Cleveland 22 and 25 degree fairway woods that my buddy couldn't hit and was happy to give me, and a set of Hogan blades that I got in a Beaufort, SC Salvation Army Thrift Store for three dollars a club. I also have two rusty Callaway forged wedges that were previously-enjoyed and cost me thirty bucks a piece. The set is rounded out by a Bulls Eye putter I got out of a barrel in a Play It Again Sports store for five bucks.
I've bought new in the past, but this set seems to get me around well enough that I don't lose too much money. So I've ended my days of searching for something better. That is, until today when I received some sage advice. I was playing with someone new and he observed me playing the blades. He said, "You should really choose your golf equipment the same way you should choose your lovers; with a large capacity to forgive."
He may be right. Has anybody got any more-forgiving clubs, previously enjoyed, and going cheap?