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Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500



You have a golf trip planned in two weeks. One day after work, you head to your car to hit the range and get some grinding in for the trip. As you walk to your car you notice your car has been broken into and your clubs are gone. Not good. You need new clubs for the trip but aren’t in a position to shell out the $2,000-$3,000 for a brand new set. What are your options? I recommend hitting the used market.

Every year, thousands of used golf clubs go on the market. Some of the clubs had a rough life and some have barely been hit. As an exercise to see what you can get for your dollar, I browsed one of the web’s largest used golf equipment sites ( with a budget of $500 for a full set of clubs in my specs. What I found was really interesting.

Rules: 14 clubs for under $500 shipped. As close to my specs as possible.


Since I play a low loft driver with a low launch, low spin shaft, I knew I was in for a challenge with finding a driver. Once I took a minute to search, I found this beauty of a driver. I remember hitting the Ping G10 back in the day, and it was one of the most forgiving drivers at the time. Plus, it was very close to my specs at standard length, 7.5 degrees, and a mid-launch Grafalloy shaft.


While searching for a 3-wood, I had two things in mind, I needed a X-stiff shaft, and I needed it to be heavy. After about five minutes, I found this great Titleist 913 with a heavier X-stiff shaft. Normally I play a 13-degree 3-wood, and this 3-wood would allow me to loft it down to get the desired flight. Really a solid deal for $50.


In an ideal world, I’d be hitting a 2-iron or a driving iron here. The problem is that driving irons can sell for $100-plus fairly easily, so that was out of budget. After searching, I found a nice 17-degree hybrid from Ping with an X-stiff shaft. The shaft is a little lighter than I would like, but it is not a bad pick up for 80 bucks.


I knew I would want to spend the majority of my money on some solid irons. After searching, with the parameters being a 3-PW set with X100 shafts, I found this great Titleist combo set. I current play a MB/CB combo from another company, so this set fits well with what I am looking for if I was to replace my current set. All of this for $200.


Wedge shopping was hard because I needed a lob wedge with good grooves and a gap wedge that wasn’t trash. I got really lucky with the Ping lob wedge. It is in very good condition which is really what matters for the grooves since I will be using it greenside. Since it is blue dot, I can get it sent to ping to be adjusted for my specs. For the gap wedge, I picked up a heavily used 52-degree. Ideally, I would have more money for a slightly better grooved GW.


Can’t go wrong with a White Hot in my preferred length. Not much more to say.



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Trey is a former D1 golf recruit and the owner of College Golf Mentors, a consulting business helping kids achieve their dreams of playing golf in college. When not golfing, Trey is either paying the bills with his advertising job or powerlifting.



  1. Duncan Cheslett

    Dec 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    This guy went one better.

    A set of clubs for £25 ($30)

  2. Big White Eggplant

    Dec 20, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    The guy talking about the Wal Mart set is trolling. Don’t take the bait. It would have been a better experiment if the clubs had to be made in the 1999s.

  3. ChipNRun

    Dec 20, 2018 at 12:27 am

     It’s hard to play this game with the limited graphics of this Comment box. I assembled a set for $632 – including a bag which is a handy way to carry clubs. The specs were for someone who wanted basically S-flex, right-handed clubs.

    I can’t paste the JPEG summary grid for the set with Comment box limitations. Here is line-item report:
    * Titleist 909D3 Driver 10.5°/ $49
    * Tour Edge Exotics EX9 4W 16.5° / $51.99
    * Tour Edge Exotics EX9 3H Hybrid 19° / $51.99
    * Titleist CB 714 Forged Irons 4-PW / $244.99
    * Edel TRP Trapper 50* & 55* & 60* Wedges / $99
    * Ping ANSER 2 Putter / $49.00
    * GoPlus Blue 4-Divider Stand Bag / $45.99

    (Shipping costs, when not free, totaled $41.00

  4. Rick

    Dec 17, 2018 at 1:03 am

    I can afford a better driver if I spend less on those Hybrid and fairway 3 wood. Maybe enough for a Golf balls, tees and shoes… don’t forget lunch!

  5. Loc

    Dec 15, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Don’t you need a bag to carry these, lol!

  6. Kirk

    Dec 15, 2018 at 1:12 am

    Very easy to build a great bag for cheap, golf clubs drop off quickly once you move away from current year….after owning all current stuff last 5 or yrs now my gamer bag is all 3 yr or older clubs…(do have new stuff but not played consistently) and there is no loss anywhere in performance….can buy brand new set of Hopkins cb irons for $199, new gear is nice to have but extremely highly over rated usually by those who have inconsistent games….anything within last 10 yrs is sufficient if you have anything that resembles a decent swing….

  7. bj

    Dec 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    905R 8.5
    Vsteel 16.5
    Adams boxer 20*
    R9TP irons 4-pw
    TM Y Cutter wedges 50,54,58
    cameron futura or odyssey 2ball 33″

  8. Maxflier

    Dec 14, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    “Bargain” condition clubs can be pretty rough sometimes…

    • shawn

      Dec 14, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      … particularly the chipped and scarred graphite shafts on the driver and fairways. Be prepared for a clubhead flying off the shaft or snapping the shaft at the hosel. Never a s s ume the graphite shafts are secure and solid. Caveat emptor…

    • Shallowface

      Jan 14, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Agree completely. $500 is a lot of money if one ends up with a bag full of junk. When I read something like this I come to the conclusion that it’s no wonder so many people are broke if this is any example of the decision making process they use in making purchases.

  9. Jagbor

    Dec 14, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    OR you could just go to a reputable custom clubmaker,like me, and I can build a set that is actually fitted to your game/swing etc. All the shafts would be the same instead of a mixed bag of…… Anyways…a bit ridiculous in my opinion…sorry

  10. Dave r

    Dec 14, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Hey Ogo are you the Smiz in cogneto . Relax buddy

    • ogo

      Dec 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Who is “Smiz”? … in congeto[sic] …. lol

      • Dave r

        Dec 14, 2018 at 7:35 pm

        Sorry ment to say incognito the Smiz sometimes went postal on here (lol) also

  11. Scott

    Dec 14, 2018 at 11:31 am

    You need better car / home insurance. You should be able to get your set replaced with a $250 or $500 deductible instead of sorting though a rummage bin.

    • SkiBum

      Dec 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      It’s a hypothetical, it’s not about car insurance. And the clubs he acquired are hardly “rummage bin” quality. Hey, it’s everyone’s choice. If people want to open your wallet and overpay for new release, they’ll add 10 yards, overhyped clubs, have at it. The club makers are hoping people will fall for the hype. But as Trey showed, with a little searching on the internet, you can put together a whole set for about the same as that new driver.

      Hell, if that Q school guy could shoot 63 and qualify for the tour using a made up set after his clubs were stolen, it helps to prove the old saying, “it ain’t the wand-it’s the wizard wielding it”

      • James

        Dec 15, 2018 at 8:04 pm

        If your insurance covered replacement clubs would you buy the same clubs you already have?

    • Speedy

      Dec 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm


      • Gerald Teigrob

        Dec 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm

        I would stay away from Ping myself and I was able to get some demo Cobra irons from my golf course as an employee for trading in my own clubs – Adams Redlines and Adams A7 irons. So I ended up with better clubs (Bio Cells and Baffler XLs) than I came in with.

  12. Sydney

    Dec 14, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I think you can do better than “bargain” condition…. unless you are brand new to the game, why buy woods with sky marks and irons with worn grooves?

  13. joro

    Dec 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Newer is not alway better, just more expensive.

  14. golfer

    Dec 14, 2018 at 10:55 am


  15. fanboy

    Dec 14, 2018 at 9:46 am

    had to do this in college after a mishap with clubs. Put together a bag built around some nice used ping irons and hand me downs from teammates for less than 400$ and used it in competition.

  16. James

    Dec 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I’m thinking the author got a skewed deal on his clubs… usually clubs that are senior flex, EXTRA STIFF FLEX and left-handed are significantly less expensive to buy used. I’d like to see a similar set-up with Stiff shafts. Bet we’re talking around $800 now.

  17. Cyril Zupan

    Dec 14, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Good work….
    Nothing wrong with those setups!
    Lots of good shots left in those sticks!

    • shawn

      Dec 14, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Not for a 15 y.o. boy who is just starting the game! Get him new clubs from Walmart and he will be happy.

      • Dad

        Dec 28, 2018 at 3:39 pm

        Shut the hell up Shawn. Literally no one wants to read your shit comments.

  18. Rob Ever

    Dec 14, 2018 at 12:27 am

    Everything in my bag is used. My bag is used. I don’t buy much from shops like 3balls as their trade in prices are low and their resale prices are high. Find a local shop that deals in used clubs and you’ll walk out with a full set of clubs and a bag too!

    • ogo

      Dec 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Obviously you are not a WRX forum gearhead who looooves his exotic golf clubs… all made in China even though they are branded with a USA or Japanese company.

  19. Simms

    Dec 14, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Whats really sad is to take that same idea and look at the trade in value places sale used clubs offer verse what they sell them back for…that $500 comes at about $250 or less in trade in value…..if you have any time at all Ebay will save you the most…

  20. Aristotle

    Dec 13, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    “I recommend hitting the used market.”


  21. Tommy

    Dec 13, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    A few months ago I took on the challenge to put together the best set I could for a friend’s 15 year old son who is taking up the game. Here is what I was able to purchase, mostly on eBay (including from some larger resale companies). All of the purchased clubs are in excellent 9/10 condition and the driver and 3 wood were virtually new. Here is what I was able to put together for $290

    TM Burner Superfast 2.0
    Cobra Bio-Cell 3-4 FW
    Adams 9031 Pro Black Hybrids- 20*, 23*
    Taylormade R7 Irons 4-9, SW
    Cleveland CG10 PW- 46*, 54*
    Cleveland 588 Black -60*
    Ping Karsten Anser 2
    New SuperStroke TX-1 Grips
    Titleist Stand Bag
    Includes all headcovers, etc

  22. Robert S. Sewell

    Dec 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    What about a bag?

  23. ogo

    Dec 13, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Why is the Odyssey putter $65 while the full set of Ti tleist 3-PW irons only $200 ?!! You can buy a brand new $25 Walmart zinc die cast knockoff that will do the job equally well… unless you are ashamed and need a used status putter for your fragile ego!!!

    • ogo

      Dec 13, 2018 at 6:12 pm


    • RJ

      Dec 14, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Hey OGO – Are you sponsored by Nitro Blasters Golf from Walmart?
      Shopping for golf clubs st Walmart is like saying a Yugo is the same as a Corvette.

      • ogo

        Dec 14, 2018 at 12:54 pm

        … and you are obviously a gearhead who has impeccable taste and solid opinions on overpriced OEM clubs…. from Japan.

      • ogo

        Dec 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm

        I bet you looove to shop for new golf clubs on a weekly basis at yer local big box golf store… and you know all the sales people with whom you can discuss all the technical stuff.

        • Funkaholic

          Jan 17, 2019 at 8:43 am

          OGO just say you are too poor to play this game even at a discount and move on.

  24. ogo

    Dec 13, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Why is the Odyssey putter $65 while the full set of Titleist 3-PW irons only $200 ?!! You can buy a brand new $25 Walmart zinc die cast knockoff that will do the job equally well… unless you are ashamed and need a used status putter for your fragile ego!!!

  25. JP

    Dec 13, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Best and most spot on article I’ve seen here in a while. Good job.

    Hard to debate any of those choices. All well done

  26. Chris Stallard

    Dec 13, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Fantastic choices…. only query I have is hybrid is $80 and driver is $50…. I’d try to flip that around and perhaps get a better driver

  27. ht

    Dec 13, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    love this! I have this conversation with my buddy all the time and, in my opinion, I think it can be done cheaper

  28. Adam

    Dec 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Fully endorse the Odyssey. I game an Odyssey White Hot that I bought on eBay for $22 and it’s awesome and works for me like magic. Would not give it up even if someone handed me a $500 putter right now.

    • ogo

      Dec 14, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      … but how can you flaunt your status clubs if they are not bought new?

  29. Seth Mischke

    Dec 13, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Would totally bag that set up and feel great about it! Overrated technology CAN be.

  30. Shu

    Dec 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I started this same experiment last year and my original goal was under $100. I quickly realized this would be harder than I thought so I raised it to the price most spend on a new off the rack driver ($400). Goal was to shoot around my handicap (4) with the setup. Mainly to prove to my friends that keep blowing money on new clubs that learning how to hit them is more important. Current setup is Titleist 910 driver, Adams rpm 3 wood, Adams hyrbid, Titleist 762 3-P, Cleveland 588 wedges, Oddyssey putter. Total cost was around $350. It’s actually been a pretty fun project.

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Accessory Reviews

Talking with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish…and a look at the insane headcover they made GolfWRX



We last talked with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish in November of 2017 after the Nashville-based company launched a custom headcover and accessory builder on its website.

The company has been producing custom headcovers, yardage books, and other accessories since 2013 when it entered the market with its signature wool headcovers.

We wanted to see what was up, and Guess was kind enough not only to answer a few questions, but to design a pretty incredible GolfWRX driver cover using some raw assets we sent over.

BA: What’s new at Sunfish since we last talked? 

AG: 2018 was a great year for innovation at Sunfish. We worked hard to develop new design and construction techniques, and it has been really exciting combining these new creative elements into one of a kind headcovers and accessories. 2018 was our eighth year in business, but it was probably the most significant in terms of innovation. We’re excited to see where we can go from here!

BA: Looking at your websites, I know one of the new things you developed is something you call Photoflux. What exactly is Photoflux?

AG: Photoflux is our proprietary high-resolution printing process, that gives us the ability to apply to our products anything from photos to complex patterns to intricate logos. The level of resolution and detail is truly unmatched, and can’t be achieved with embroidery. We apply it to our leather and Duraleather products, even our hand-made copper ball markers and divot tools! Those are really exciting, because we can make custom copper ball markers with full color logos, on demand

BA: How the heck did you come up Photoflux?

AG: A customer ordered a scorecard holder with his family photo to be embroidered on each side. We made the piece and weren’t happy at all with the result. The embroidery process couldn’t do justice to the photographs. It was clear that there were certain limitations to embroidery, and we were motivated to overcome them. After months of trial and error, long hours and strenuous testing against sun, rain, and wear, we developed the current process.

BA: What are ways the Photoflux process can be used?

AG: Photoflux is perfect for applying photos, but can also be used for intricate logos or family crests. Really any graphic element can be expressed accurately using Photoflux, including shading. Recently we’ve had fun developing custom patterns such as tiger fur and using them as stripes on headcovers. The sky’s the limit!

Photoflux is best in concert with other design techniques, such as embroidery, laser engraving, and precision cutting and sewing. The featured piece (shown in this feature) incorporates Photoflux, precision cutting and sewing, laser engraving and embroidery. The result is as much artwork as it is a functional golf accessory.

BA: What are the limitations of the technology…what products can you apply Photoflux to?

AG: It’s great for leather and Duraleather headcovers, putter covers, scorecard and yardage book holders, alignment stick covers, cash covers, valuables pouches, wine bags, barrel style tartan headcovers…and even copper ball markers and divot tools!

BA: Tell me about this headcover you made for GolfWRX. I suggested the use of a graffiti wall, a GolfWRX logo, and skeleton hand holding up one finger to denote one club/driver, and you really went to town!

AG: So for the headcover you have, we used Photoflux to apply the graffiti wall image to the top of the cover (did you notice the ‘GolfWRX’ spraypaint in there? We threw that in there for you as an Easter egg!). On top of that, we embroidered the skeleton hand. For the stripe, we laser cut the outline of a typical urban skyline, and laser engraved the chain-link fence pattern over the top, than sewed that down. The bottom portion is a Photoflux image of GolfWRX that you sent over.

With so many new ways to decorate and manipulate the materials, we’re really excited about combining it all for our fans and customers to create really unique products. We feel the sky is the limit, and we hope this headcover illustrates that.



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New XXIO Prime woods, hybrids, and irons aim for lightweight power




XXIO’s latest club offerings, XXIO Prime, looks to offer easy distance and easy accuracy for the moderate swing speed golfer, according to the company.

XXIO Prime woods


XXIO Prime Woods feature a new re-designed hosel structure, and reduced stiffness at the tip of the driver shaft, which is designed to help moderate swing speed golfers to close the clubface through impact.

Forged from Super-TIX PLUS Titanium, the new cup face includes a sweet spot that is noticeably larger than previous designs, which aims to increase distance performance significantly. The Super-TIX PLUS Titanium Cup Face is thinner, lighter and stronger than previous additions, creating a maximum COR across the face, which aims to increase ball speed and distance.

According to Chuck Thiry, Vice President of XXIO USA

“The speed increases, higher launch angles, and draw bias of the new Prime will show immediate results from swing one. It’s legit lightweight power for the players that absolutely need it the most.”

Featured in the XXIO prime woods is the SP-1000 shaft, with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin, which creates a strong but lightweight club. Along with the lightness in the shaft, XXIO has made weight savings in the grip and club head, which aims to produce woods that are both fast and easy to swing.

The XXIO Prime woods feature an expanded toe and narrowed heel, a tungsten-nickel inner weight that is low and deep, a lighter hosel repositioned closer to the center of the face, and reduced stiffness at the tip of the shaft, all with the aim of offering golfers with maximum forgiveness from their woods.

The XXIO Prime woods will be available from March 1 and will cost $579,99.

XXIO Prime hybrids and irons

The new XXIO Prime hybrids feature an expanded COR and a lower center of gravity, which is designed to increase distance and ball speed while delivering a straighter ball flight.

The hybrids from XXIO contain a Forged Maraging Steel Cup Face which includes a large sweet spot which aims to increase distance performance.

Just as with the woods, the XXIO irons also feature the Super-TIX PLUS Titanium Cup Face, though along with this, they also contain a CNC milled speed groove, which significantly increases the COR, creating a larger sweet spot, designed to provide greater distance, ball speed and accuracy.

Both the hybrids and irons include the SP-1000 Shaft, with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin. The hybrids and irons also feature weight savings in the grip and club head, with the aim of increasing swing speed.

With an expanded toe and narrowed heel, plus a crown step that moves weight low and deep, XXIO claim that this is their most forgiving suite of Prime hybrids. While with two high-density tungsten nickel sole weights and an overall profile that is 3mm shorter than the previous model, the company also claims to have created their most forgiving irons yet.

Speaking on the new XXIO Prime series, Chuck Thiry stated

“XXIO Prime is, quite frankly, the most unique and beneficial product ever available to moderate swing speed players. Period. People might think that is marketing hype, but they simply haven’t hit Prime yet.”

Both the XXIO Prime hybrids and irons will hit retail stores on March 1. The Prime hybrids will cost $379.99, while a single graphite iron will be available for $259.99.





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SPOTTED: 2019 Mitsubishi shafts




The Diamana shaft line from Mitsubishi Chemical is probably one of the most iconic in the sport. Released in 2005, Blueboard, Whiteboard, and Redboard, were the first generation of shafts.

Photos of the full fourth generation Diamana lineup, offering new materials and technology, along with new names, have surfaced in the GolfWRX forums. Like previous generations, each color shaft offers different ball flight and spin characteristics.

“RF” is the highest launching and spinning in the Diamana line, offering high launch and mid spin, while the “BF” is the mid-launch and mid/low-spin model. Finally, the “DF” is mid/low-launching and the lowest-spinning shaft in the lineup.

All of the fourth generation Diamana shafts use updated technologies and materials that you would expect from a premium lineup. DIALEAD pitch fiber is helps reduce shaft deformation, while still producing exceptional energy transfer.

Each shaft contains MR70 carbon fiber that is 20 percent stronger than conventional materials and Boron fiber for its compression strength and shaft reinforcement. ION plating has been done before in the Diamana line, in vacuum chambers — silver alloy ions are bonded to the shaft to give it a chrome-like finish that can’t be replicated by paint.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying in the forums.

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19th Hole