When do you upgrade equipment?

sunshine

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There have really only been four developments in golf clubs in the last century; the move from hickory to steel, from knife blades to perimeter weighting, from wooden woods to metal ones and as a subset of that from metal drivers to 460cc Ti ones, and the replacement of low irons by hybrids. All the rest is just colourways, swirls, and go faster stripes. So the upgrades are truly there and it is worth replacing them about every 25 years or so on average. Or more frequently if the colour of the lipstick arc you are looking down at at address is important to you.
No.
FIVE: turbolators
 

road2ruin

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I tend to upgrade when I fancy and I am well aware that it's generally not to improve my golf but because I quite fancy the club!! My particular weakness are putters, I do like buying a new putter......
 

HPIMG

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You sound like every club pros dream.

For me there needs to be a valuable gain to warrant change. By the sounds of it there isn’t with the tsr,s
Yes I played today with my g425 there’s no gains with the tsr so just going to order the speed sticks are work on my game then look at new clubs probably next year.
 

Backsticks

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Correct though. The truly 🥱 🥱 🥱 are the continued claims, and people genuinely deluded into thinking that changing clubs from the last 20 years will offer some design or technology improvement to their performance. Hickory to steel shafts was a really big jump for sure. The last growth spurt was the approx 1995-2005 years. I think people whose take up of golf dates to that window are still conditioned by it, and havent realised that the improvements offered year on year stopped 20 years ago.
 

Crow

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Correct though. The truly 🥱 🥱 🥱 are the continued claims, and people genuinely deluded into thinking that changing clubs from the last 20 years will offer some design or technology improvement to their performance. Hickory to steel shafts was a really big jump for sure. The last growth spurt was the approx 1995-2005 years. I think people whose take up of golf dates to that window are still conditioned by it, and havent realised that the improvements offered year on year stopped 20 years ago.

Hickory to steel is debatable, it certainly changed the golf industry but the performance difference was actually negligible, where it did help was in uniformity of shafts.
If you were good enough and had the time to do it you could hone a hickory set to have similar shaft characteristics, although the majority didn't bother as such thoughts didn't enter most people's heads back in those simpler times.

I'd also say that for most golfers the introduction of perimeter weighting isn't a huge benefit, it's just made them lazy as they can get away with strikes further from the sweet spot so don't feel the need to practice.

The first metal woods offered negligible gain over wooden woods and it was only really when titanium came in and head size ballooned (coupled with lighter graphite shafts) that wooden woods were left behind.

I agree that hybrids have changed the game for golfers, damn them! ;)

The biggest change has been in the ball, and that was in two phases. The first was at the very beginning of the 20th century when the Haskell wound rubber ball appeared and quickly replaced the gutty, requiring courses to be stretched. The second, not quite so dramatic was the move away from wound balls to quality solid balls such as the ProV1. Although as we don't keep balls long enough to need to upgrade them that's a bit of a red herring!
 

Backsticks

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Hickory to steel is debatable, it certainly changed the golf industry but the performance difference was actually negligible, where it did help was in uniformity of shafts.
If you were good enough and had the time to do it you could hone a hickory set to have similar shaft characteristics, although the majority didn't bother as such thoughts didn't enter most people's heads back in those simpler times.

I'd also say that for most golfers the introduction of perimeter weighting isn't a huge benefit, it's just made them lazy as they can get away with strikes further from the sweet spot so don't feel the need to practice.

The first metal woods offered negligible gain over wooden woods and it was only really when titanium came in and head size ballooned (coupled with lighter graphite shafts) that wooden woods were left behind.

I agree that hybrids have changed the game for golfers, damn them! ;)

The biggest change has been in the ball, and that was in two phases. The first was at the very beginning of the 20th century when the Haskell wound rubber ball appeared and quickly replaced the gutty, requiring courses to be stretched. The second, not quite so dramatic was the move away from wound balls to quality solid balls such as the ProV1. Although as we don't keep balls long enough to need to upgrade them that's a bit of a red herring!
I thought the big gain from hickory to steel was being able to muscle the swing more due to the lack of twisting that hickory had, hickory requiring a more carefully timed, and even restrained swing speed to actually get best distance and direction ? Have never swung one though.
 

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I thought the big gain from hickory to steel was being able to muscle the swing more due to the lack of twisting that hickory had, hickory requiring a more carefully timed, and even restrained swing speed to actually get best distance and direction ? Have never swung one though.

That's true to a degree but distances hit didn't change significantly. I guess a smooth swing achieved the same speed as a muscled swing, and maybe they set up with the club toed in?
There were certainly more "rubbish" clubs out there in the hickory era but if you got a well made club with a good shaft (shafts were very variable with many poorer quality ones being sold) it could definitely keep up with steel.

Distance was one of the reasons that the R&A had been deliberating for so long on the legalisation of steel shafts as they didn't want another episode of course lengthening as had happened with the Haskell ball. It was only after assurance from the USGA (who approved steel shafts 5 years earlier than the R&A) that distance hadn't become an issue that the R&A made them legal for play.
 

Hobbit

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There have really only been four developments in golf clubs in the last century; the move from hickory to steel, from knife blades to perimeter weighting, from wooden woods to metal ones and as a subset of that from metal drivers to 460cc Ti ones, and the replacement of low irons by hybrids. All the rest is just colourways, swirls, and go faster stripes. So the upgrades are truly there and it is worth replacing them about every 25 years or so on average. Or more frequently if the colour of the lipstick arc you are looking down at at address is important to you.

I think you’re being a little simplistic in your assessment there. Yes, there’s only been a limited number of major changes that have led to significant improvements. I’m not going to argue the toss on turbulators and other marketing hype but more on analogies. Is Boeing’s 707 on a par with their latest transatlantic jet - it’s still just a jet with the same number of wings etc. Ford Cortina ‘v’ the current Mondeo?

I think marketing over hypes the improvements/excessive claims but there are improvements, just not worth changing clubs every couple of years.
 
D

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Correct though. The truly 🥱 🥱 🥱 are the continued claims, and people genuinely deluded into thinking that changing clubs from the last 20 years will offer some design or technology improvement to their performance. Hickory to steel shafts was a really big jump for sure. The last growth spurt was the approx 1995-2005 years. I think people whose take up of golf dates to that window are still conditioned by it, and havent realised that the improvements offered year on year stopped 20 years ago.
🥱🥱🥱
 

Voyager EMH

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There have really only been four developments in golf clubs in the last century; the move from hickory to steel, from knife blades to perimeter weighting, from wooden woods to metal ones and as a subset of that from metal drivers to 460cc Ti ones, and the replacement of low irons by hybrids. All the rest is just colourways, swirls, and go faster stripes. So the upgrades are truly there and it is worth replacing them about every 25 years or so on average. Or more frequently if the colour of the lipstick arc you are looking down at at address is important to you.
I do not dispute this, but I do have a view with similarities and differences.

In 1973 I changed from wooden shafted clubs to metal shafted. This did not bring about a change in my golf very much apart from the rubber grips felt much more secure in my hands than the wound leather ones on the wooden shafted clubs.
So I would add the leather to rubber grips as a major development in golf clubs.
I have never viewed hybrids as long-irons replacement. I see them as alternatives to the more lofted woods.
Very lofted woods, typical numbers 6,7,8,9,11, started to appear in the 1970s. Players choosing these would typically have no 3 or 4-iron in the bag. Very lofted woods still sell in numbers - so I see hybrids as an alternative choice, but not a developmental change as they have not "killed-off" the other choices.
Blades and perimeter weighted irons is not a developmental change, but an offer of an alternative choice. Many very good players continue to use blades, but it is 30 years since a player won a major pro tournament with a wooden-headed driver.
The thick-soled very lofted club called a wedge was a major development.

My choice of 4 developmental changes to golf clubs in the 20th century would be,

Wooden shafts to metal or graphite shafts.
Leather grips to rubber grips.
Invention of a wedge.
Large metal-head woods.
 

Voyager EMH

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Correct though. The truly 🥱 🥱 🥱 are the continued claims, and people genuinely deluded into thinking that changing clubs from the last 20 years will offer some design or technology improvement to their performance. Hickory to steel shafts was a really big jump for sure. The last growth spurt was the approx 1995-2005 years. I think people whose take up of golf dates to that window are still conditioned by it, and havent realised that the improvements offered year on year stopped 20 years ago.
I've been a very active golfer through a lot of changes. It is the lack of significant developmental change in the last 20 years that has lead to such a huge increase in marketing BS.
And the huge increase in prices in brand new clubs is not serving the amateur golfer very well.
1968 to 1988 was another fairly static period. Then came a surge and rise in popularity of graphite shafts, perimeter weighted irons and metal-head woods.
I agree that we have been fairly static since 2005.

I'm using Cobra 1 and 3 woods and Cobra 16° and 20° hybrids from approx 2005 and Ping irons from 2008.
I won't be spending £3,000 to replace them with brand new stuff any time soon.
Newer stuff, maybe, but not brand new stuff.
 

Voyager EMH

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Marketing BS in that period as well.
Those three adverts were for very good clubs at the time. Not the cheap rubbish that was available.
But if you get hold of a good set from 1950s and compare it with another good comparable set from 1970s, you won't find much of a significant difference in performance.
We are in a similar period again right now.
 
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Do you think companies like Callaway etc would invest huge amounts of money in R&D if they weren't producing new/improved equipment?
If there was no change they wouldn't bother, they'd just make something slightly different and tell you it's better, without any addition costs at their end.

They use different materials which give lighter/stronger/springier characteristics etc.

For example - If the ERC wasn't a major improvement over what cam before they wouldn't have banned it.
 

Jason.H

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Yes I played today with my g425 there’s no gains with the tsr so just going to order the speed sticks are work on my game then look at new clubs probably next year.

I have a TSR3 and am longer than my SIM 2 max. Though I did a bit of speed training over the winter which accounts for most of my gains
 

Crow

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Do you think companies like Callaway etc would invest huge amounts of money in R&D if they weren't producing new/improved equipment?
If there was no change they wouldn't bother, they'd just make something slightly different and tell you it's better, without any addition costs at their end.

They use different materials which give lighter/stronger/springier characteristics etc.

For example - If the ERC wasn't a major improvement over what cam before they wouldn't have banned it.

Or you could look at that another way and say that everything is now maxed out and the only way they can achieve gains is by breaking the limits. :)
 

Teebs

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They reached the limit on ball speed a while back from memory (drivers).
Biggest gains now are down to spin rates, understanding of spin rates and how they affect each individual and forgiveness for off-centre hits.

Lots of people out there that would benefit from more or less spin with their longer clubs (and irons to an extent). Finding the right spin rate for how you deliver the club to ball is pretty key.
 

Imurg

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Centre strikes on drivers have been maxed out for some time..everyone knows that, anyone denying it is living under a rock. The only way to eek out a few yards is by manipulation of the CoG to lower spin but we're not talking many yards.
Almost all tech advances are on the off centre strikes where we hit ....
If you take a driver from 10 years ago and hit a low heel shot, replicate the swing conditions and strike with a 2023 driver and you'll get 20+ yards more out of it.
Simple as that
Same goes for toe strikes and low strikes.
That's where the focus is.
 
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