Using 20 Year Old Clubs - What to buy next?

DrGolfer

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So I got back in the game after a 16 year absence playing 3-4 times a week and 1-2 trips to the range for the last month. Trending towards a low 20s/high teens handicap currently. With that being send the irons I’ve been using are a set from nearly 20 years ago - Nike Slingshots (steel) - and a Big Bertha 9* Driver.

This past month I bought two used hybrids (Titleist 3H 585 19* and a Cobra FlyXL Z 25*) and a Ping i3 SW. I had a couple of lesson and my instructor suggested that in the next couple of months (Christmas yay) I should consider new clubs because I’m losing distance/forgiveness and shaping ability relative to the quality of my technique with the older clubs.

So what do I get next? I really haven’t looked at clubs and technology for 20 years or so until I bought these last 3 clubs 2nd hand.
 

Backsticks

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The first thing to do is dump the instructor. Low twenties handicap, and he is talking about shaping ability ??? If he got you down to 5, with those clubs, and he was suggesting then it was time to try new sticks and these ones might be holding back your shot shaping, I might listen. But to do so now - he hasnt a clue.
 

DrGolfer

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The first thing to do is dump the instructor. Low twenties handicap, and he is talking about shaping ability ??? If he got you down to 5, with those clubs, and he was suggesting then it was time to try new sticks and these ones might be holding back your shot shaping, I might listen. But to do so now - he hasnt a clue.

To be fair to him I used to play a much lower handicap 10-12 range but that was an era ago. Also I can hit a controlled draw and fade now still but my short game is abysmal!
 

CliveW

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There's nothing really wrong with 20 year old clubs. Technology has moved on but not that much. I did replace my 2009 AP2s this year and they in turn replaced my 1984 DTRs. I went for "Game Improvement" irons as my swing speed is now considerably slower than when I was initially fitted thirteen years ago, and my handicap has risen too. The new irons are easier to hit and more forgiving.
 

RichA

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I'm a mid-teens handicapper after 2 years of regular golf. Will modern clubs really help your short game, if that's where your problem lies?
I just sold my 1-year old Ping G425s. They're good for bashing irons 20 yards further than you'd expect but I'm more consistent and accurate with 20 or 40 year old clubs that are theoretically beyond my ability range.
 

DrGolfer

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I'm a mid-teens handicapper after 2 years of regular golf. Will modern clubs really help your short game, if that's where your problem lies?
I just sold my 1-year old Ping G425s. They're good for bashing irons 20 yards further than you'd expect but I'm more consistent and accurate with 20 or 40 year old clubs that are theoretically beyond my ability range.

That’s really helpful. I suppose one question is that my irons in particular were relatively entry level in the Nike range (Slingshots) at the time I got them.

So would a more mid-level ‘modern’ set of irons make a difference in terms of both distance and forgiveness? I’m thinking 6 - PW/SW as I actually really like the used 3 and 5 hybrids I recently bought.

Right now I’m averaging 140 yards with a 6 iron and coming down in roughly increments of 10 yards from there - I’m in my late 30s so no mobility/flexibility issues.
 

BiMGuy

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The standard answer is any set of Ping G irons in the specs that suit you. They hold their value very well.

If you don’t want that level of game improvement then i200/i210 are slightly less forgiving but smaller and nicer to look at.

Then you have i500/i525 which are a bit of a combination of game improvement and traditional clubs.

Other brands are available.
 

DoubleD

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If you really want new irons then test as many as you can. I would be tempted to get a couple of new confidence inspiring wedges to help out your shirt game in the first instance.
 

DrGolfer

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So my local range/shop offer a free fitting service. I’m thinking of trying that out and at least getting some idea of the ‘specs’ that do/don’t work for me.

Been around a few golf stores now and it’s hard to not be cynical about whether I’m being sold to or given genuine advice since they all say I’ll get 15-20 more yards with ‘intermediate’ clubs compared to the set I have from 20 years ago.
 

Crow

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20 year old clubs are far too modern.

Start looking 40 years plus, there are some great sets of irons from back then by top brands like John Letters, Slazenger, Dunlop, Wilson, etc that can be had for under £50.
And get some proper wooden woods, there's no sound better than a well struck tee shot with a 1 wood.

Then you can really start to enjoy golf as it should be played, not just blasting the ball as far as possible. :)(y)
 

DrGolfer

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20 year old clubs are far too modern.

Start looking 40 years plus, there are some great sets of irons from back then by top brands like John Letters, Slazenger, Dunlop, Wilson, etc that can be had for under £50.
And get some proper wooden woods, there's no sound better than a well struck tee shot with a 1 wood.

Then you can really start to enjoy golf as it should be played, not just blasting the ball as far as possible. :)(y)

Don’t think I have the skill or patience for that ?
 

DoubleD

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It is a minefield. I am in the same boat. Using older but good irons and feeling that I should have something newer. I have given up on comparing club distances as there are so many variances in lofts between manufacturers so a lot of the time not comparing apples with apples. As long as you know what you hit your irons then job done.

Good luck, new things are nice though.
 

DrGolfer

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It is a minefield. I am in the same boat. Using older but good irons and feeling that I should have something newer. I have given up on comparing club distances as there are so many variances in lofts between manufacturers so a lot of the time not comparing apples with apples. As long as you know what you hit your irons then job done.

Good luck, new things are nice though.

Agree, on that point. I’m trying to keep a track on my yardages and that’s been making a difference on the course. Still can’t help looking at the numbers and wondering what if…
 

Lee762

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I am a bit of a club hoe, I have just got a set of Cobra Norman Grind irons, circa 94. Compared to my pings there is very little difference in distance.

Yes more modern clubs are more forgiving but I really like the Cobra and being able to work the ball seems easier
 

DrGolfer

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So quick update. I’ve decided to stick with my Nike Slingshots but adjusted my set slightly since there are more forgiving clubs these days.

I’ve dropped the 3-5 irons and the 3&5 fairway woods I had. Instead I’ve added the 3 and 5 hybrids and replaced my original big Bertha driver with what seems to be a far more forgiving Cobra Fly-Z XL to help my confidence with driver generally.

So far so good!
 

Voyager EMH

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Don’t think I have the skill or patience for that ?
No extra skill or patience is necessary.

I do not subscribe to the view that 40 years of golf club development and manufacture has produced less skilful and more impatient golfers or that lower levels of skill and patience is a requirement to play with modern clubs.
 
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