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Whether we’re looking to add to our armoury or offload some of our old and no longer-needed gear, buying and selling golf equipment is something we all do.

In this article, we’ll look at what to look out for when getting involved in the second-hand market—whether that be buying or selling golf equipment.


The dos and don’ts of buying and selling golf equipment

Paul Snowden has been running Eagle Golf in Leeds since 1980. Here, they’ve always been in the business of re-selling used clubs alongside new ones—providing a brilliant opportunity to get your hands on some quality equipment at far more affordable prices.

We quizzed Paul on what things to be aware of when either looking to offload some old gear or, indeed, buying second-hand.


What should you be aware of when buying from a private seller?

selling golf equipment

When it comes to golf clubs especially, look for things like bent shafts, and inspect them from a 90˚ angle both ways, checking for dents. Sometimes, there may also be a bend in the hosel, as clubs can be knocked about at the range.

Also, look out for shafts that might have been replaced, and that might not match your set. Many clubs will have been fitted for the previous owner, so check how they have been put together and ensure they work for you.

Rust spots don’t tend to affect anything from a performance point of view—that’s more cosmetic.


What won’t you buy in?

Pretty much anything that we can re-sell, we will buy in.

There won’t be much interest in odd irons or cheap package deals as they’re mostly alloy metals, so we wouldn’t buy them. We also have to be wary of fakes. For example, the Scotty Cameron putters are worth a lot, so people often make copies.

However, there are fewer fakes about than there used to be. The more recent models have a serial number on the shaft, near the grip—which helps you identify genuine ones.

A lot of fakes can still be quite difficult to spot, though. I had someone in the shop a couple of years ago who had bought a set of clubs abroad for his wife. They weren’t expensive but certainly weren’t cheap either, and when you swung them, a couple of the irons were ridiculously heavy—so we could tell they were fakes.

Sometimes, the difference between a genuine club and a fake can be very subtle.


What are the benefits of buying golf gear from an established business?

selling golf equipment

You’re always taking a chance if you’re buying equipment from an individual. But if you’re buying from an established retailer, they’ll have vetted everything closely.

With us, you have to buy the product before taking it away, but you get a 14-day exchange period, so if you don’t like it, you can exchange it.

We’ll also advise you and fit you for second-hand clubs so you can save quite a bit of money on a new set. Technology moves on but in reality, a lot of equipment that was produced 5-10 years ago will have very little difference to what’s being produced today. One thing that has changed, though, is lofts, which have got stronger.

My biggest piece of advice if you’re buying second-hand clubs is to do so from somewhere you can actually try them out


What types of savings might we expect from buying second-hand gear?

selling golf equipment

If you’re looking at a previous driver model, you’re probably looking at savings between £100-150 for a club in good condition. So, you’ll still be getting a premium driver from a couple of years ago but for around half the price.

A fairway wood, for example, that was made 10 years ago will still perform well today, too. However, beware of buying at the end of a selling cycle for top-end clubs, as there are often even further price reductions of around 20-30% at the end to make way for new models.

The TaylorMade driver cycle is usually 12 months, while Ping is around 18-24 months.


How does part exchange work when buying and selling golf equipment?

This varies. What we do is work out what we can sell a club for depending on its condition. If a driver is worth £300 in the shop, we might give you £300 if you were spending £700 on top. If you were spending £300 in the shop, we might give you £200-225. Customers can spend any money they get from clubs on whatever they like with us.


Are more people buying second-hand now?

selling golf equipment

I’d say we probably sell more second-hand clubs than brand-new ones. The price of irons has changed significantly in the last couple of years, and they’ve become very expensive.

Currently, it’s probably about 75-25% in favour of second-hand purchases, but that’s our business model. People often think that buying second-hand gear just means taking a club away, and that’s it—but we can provide proper feedback on how a club is performing for them. We can measure the clubhead speed and do a static club fitting with irons to determine what lie and shaft length customers need.


Are second-hand clubs more suitable for beginners and high handicappers?

selling golf equipment

You could go to a great fitting centre and, of course, that’s the best way to do it if you have the money, but you can also get lucky and find a set of second-hand clubs that are suited to you (or are even better) elsewhere.

Every club has different characteristics, but if you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to buy some top branded ones—a set of irons from 10 years ago might cost £100-150, and you know that the quality will still be there. 

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All of us should probably play more golf in winter. It’s far too easy to over-eat and under-exercise during the winter months, but you’ll certainly reap the benefits if you make yourself play more.

We say this year after year, but it rarely happens—however, be sure to make this winter your busiest golfing one yet.

Here are 10 reasons to keep playing golf in winter.


1. Extend your season

golf in winter

If you live in the UK, you’ll be considerably shortening your season by putting the clubs away over the chillier months. Pick the right day and wear the right clothes, and it doesn’t have to be the miserable experience that some often predict.

If your course is open to start with, that’s generally a sign that you should be out there having a laugh, racking up a few pars and making the most of the game. 


2. It’s the perfect form of exercise

golf in winter

You’ll appreciate this after even just a couple of holes. The blood will be pumping, and you’ll be so pleased with yourself that you’re no longer stuck to the settee.

Many of us spend large chunks of our weeks sitting in offices, in front of laptops or glued to our phones, but golf is the perfect stimulus to declutter your brain and forget about all of that.

You don’t need to check your emails every five minutes—they’ll still be there when you’ve tidied things up on the 18th after a five-mile walk in the great outdoors.


3. Play whatever you want

golf in winter

Golf doesn’t always have to mean 18 holes. During winter, courses are unlikely to be packed, so you can get out there, play your favourite loop of holes and call it a day.

Clubs will often put on shorter competitions and introduce fun formats at this time of year, which makes a welcome change from banging your head against the medal brick wall. There’ll be team competitions, perhaps a chance to meet some new faces, or even to try and rattle up 80+ points in a two-from-four better ball (and then discover that you’ve still come up 10 points short!)


4. Lighten the load

golf in winter

Winter golf is a great opportunity to use a half set and familiarise yourself with what’s in your bag.

Go with your even-numbered irons one week and then the odds the next. You’ll soon start seeing your home course through a different set of eyes, and you’ll need a bit of creativity and strategy to tackle certain holes.

You could even leave the driver at home and hit some different clubs into some greens. Hit chips with different clubs, take two extra clubs on the par 3s and learn a bit more about your game. Also, it’s a lot easier to carry a bag with seven clubs rather than 14, and it will speed up your decision-making, too.


5. Winter golf is flattering

golf in winter

You might not be getting any run, and it might only be a few degrees in temperature, but the course will be set up shorter and still be very playable.

Be sure to pack your pitchmark repairer, though, as the ball will generally stick wherever you’ve put it.

Hit a great shot, and you’ll get a great reward. Get the right conditions and you can shoot some very tidy scores playing golf in winter, with balls staying on fairways, the odd bunker being out of commission and preferred lies in operation. Fill your boots!


6. Golf in winter is cheaper

golf in winter

You don’t have to try too hard to find a great deal at this time of year and play a great course at a fraction of the summer green fee.

If your local course doesn’t cope too well in the winter months, you could do much worse than heading to the coast and treating yourself to a day on the links. If you strike it lucky with the elements, you won’t regret it, and you can tick off a fantastic day out, too.

Many clubs will even have deals with other local clubs for a Play and Stay Sunday-Monday offer where you can chalk off two great tracks.


7. The afters

golf in winter

If you can get out to play golf in winter, you should be pleased with yourself. Your mental and physical health, friendships and golf game will get a huge boost when you might otherwise just be sitting at home.

And as such, you can treat yourself accordingly with a couple of well-earned drinks afterwards, or even take advantage of the club carvery. Your work is done for the day. Not to mention, you’re also getting more from your membership.


8. Perfect lesson time

You may hear this a lot, but winter is the perfect time to finally sort your game out. Again, there will be offers, and, more importantly, there is time to take advantage of them.

Many clubs now have indoor facilities so you can grab a coffee, block off a midweek evening, and improve your golf. You can work on any element of your game to start knocking shots off your handicap. The technology these days is incredible, and the PGA pros will tailor your lessons to your requirements.

For many of us, golf is our favourite hobby, and golf lessons are an investment to enjoy it even more.


9. Break out the winter wardrobe

The chance to layer up and still look great is one of the game’s great pleasures. You’ll generally know if you’re going to get wet, so you can dig deep into the wardrobe and make the most of your insulated tops.

Modern golf gear is spectacularly good—so much so that there’s almost more chance of getting your temperature right in the winter than when the sun’s out. And who doesn’t love a good golf bobble hat?


10. Get your money’s worth

Last but not least, being a golf club member can be a pricey affair, and if you’re only going to play for seven or eight months of the year, that makes it even more expensive.

However, even just by getting out two or three times a month during the winter, you’ll be doing yourself a favour on many levels.

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The article below was written by Jack Backhouse of National Club Golfer.

Getting out of bunkers should be fairly straight forward, but so many golfers struggle with it.

Bunkers are the marmite of golf. Some players love them and have no issue at all getting the ball out and near the flag, and others play in fear of ever entering the sand, knowing they are just as likely to leave the ball in the bunker than get out of it, and there isn’t often anything in between.


Getting out of bunkers every time

The first place to start when having a hard reset in bunkers is figuring out where your golf club first makes contact with the sand at impact. This is really the most important factor when it comes to getting the ball out of the sand and onto the green with control.

How you can do this is, without a golf ball, is draw a line in the sand about 3 feet long, and then make some swings trying to hit the line with your club. By doing this, you will clearly see where you are entering the sand and if it is too far forward or too far back from where it needs to be. Ideally, the golf club would hit the sand 1 inch behind the ball, and this is the same regardless of whether there is no sand, loads of sand, or if you are standing on any kind of slope.

Golfers should train themselves to hit the sand 1 inch behind the ball, keeping the ball position the same and then control their distance by varying the length of swing and club head speed, but always hit the sand in the same place. A great drill for this is to put an alignment stick down in the sand roughly 4 or 5 inches behind the ball and hit some shots trying to avoid hitting the stick. Moving your sand entry point closer to the ball will allow you to hit the ball high with spin and with more control than you have ever had before.

It also helps to have a specialised wedge to use in the sand, not just the sand wedge that comes as part of an iron set. This is because they are designed with specialised grinds and lower leading edges that help the club move through the sand smoothly and not dig. Keeping the divot shallow and even helps get the ball out more often too.

You can then train your touch and feel out of bunkers by hitting a lot of shots to varied targets at different distances. Knowing how hard to hit the ball is a skill that can only be developed by hitting the sand correctly, and then by hitting a lot of different length golf shots.

Learning how to get out of bunkers every time will help you play with more freedom and confidence, as you won’t be struck by fear when hitting shots to a green surrounded by them. Tour players often prefer to be in bunkers than on grass because of the spin control the sand allows you, so get out into your practice bunker and nail your sand entry point.

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The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

Green fees are on the rise again. But how much would you shell out to play 18-holes at an iconic venue?

It’s starting to become an annual tradition at the Home of Golf. Green fee prices for the Old Course at St Andrews are increasing yet again.

Golfers will have to shell out £320 for a 2024 high season tee time at the game’s most hallowed ground.

It represents a rise of £25 on this year’s prices and is the latest in a series of hikes imposed by St Andrews Links Trust over the last few years.

In 2021, the equivalent price was £195. That rose to £270 in 2022 and £295 in 2023.

It means players who want to tee it up between April 15 and October 13 next year at the historic course will have to pay 60 per cent more than they did three years ago.

The move continues the trend of top courses rapidly raising their green fees. At the start of this year, NCG reported that 25 of our Great Britain & Ireland top 50 ranked courses charged £250 or more.

Nine of the top 50 were over £300 in 2023 and the Old Course has now joined that number. But they are far from the only big-hitting outfit to stick up their prices for 2024.

Royal Portrush have upped their green fees from £295 to £340 and Carnoustie and Royal St George’s will both also hit the £300 barrier.

Tee times at many of these courses are available at lower rates at other times of the year.

But all of this begs the question, how much are you willing to pay for green fees? Will you continue to fork out ever increasing sums to have an unforgettable experience, or has a line been drawn?


Green fees debate: What is the most you’ve ever paid to play a round of golf?

I set a poll on X asking this very question and, of the 680 votes received, just over 41 per cent of respondents said the most they had paid to play was under £100. Thirty seven per cent said it was between £101 and £200.

With just 22 per cent saying they had spent either £201 to £300 or £301 or more, it seems most are unwilling to pay the green fees demanded by the very elite courses in GB&I.

On X, Michael Verity wrote: “It is mental when rack rates for ONE round of golf start to surpass the annual country/distant membership dues at really good golf courses.”

Mike Dodgson added: “I know they don’t want all and sundry playing their course but you can’t justify that amount of money for a round of golf.”

But Dave Allen countered: “My view is ‘it is what it is’. Like a lot of things in life you have a choice, if you think it’s worth it by all means go ahead, if you think it’s obscene then don’t.”

Here’s what the top 10 courses on NCG’s GB&I’s Top 100 list will cost during peak time summer in 2024:

  1. Royal County Down: (2024 fee not set, £325 in 2023)
  2. Muirfield: £340
  3. St Andrews Old Course: £320
  4. Turnberry Ailsa £495: (£595 during Open week)
  5. Royal Portrush: £340
  6. Royal Birkdale: £340 (£370 on Sundays)
  7. Carnoustie: £300
  8. Royal St George’s: £330
  9. Portmarnock: 275 euros
  10. Royal Lytham & St Annes: £320 (£380 weekend & Bank Holidays

But do these poll results and comments belie an overall trend of golfers spending more money on once-in-a-lifetime trips?

In the latest GCMA Insights episode of the Golf Club Talk UK podcast, BRS Golf’s Kevin Murray and Karen Moss revealed visitor bookings on Golf Now had passed £11 million in revenue so far this year, with some 737,000 rounds played – a 14 per cent increase on the same period last year.

With the industry having braced itself for a tough year in the face of the cost of living crisis, Murray said that “people are actually spending more on their visitor golf and more often”.

Moss added the effects of increased mortgage and energy costs may not have been fully felt for a lot of people yet, but said many golfers were also looking for bucket list experiences.

Could that demand be helping to drive up prices?

She said: “The feedback that we get from our golfers is that golf is a priority for them. It’s not just a luxury. It’s something they make room for in their budget, that they account for, so they can continue to do it going forward.

“The feedback we got, when we surveyed people in Q2, is that they wanted to play more high-end courses, more expensive courses.

“They’re not just looking to play golf, they were ‘we need an experience. It has to be bucket lists and it’s got to be the whole nine yards’.”

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The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

A real life example for you to ponder. 

In a fourball betterball, my partner and I both played our approach shots on the 3rd hole. Each of us missed the green and landed in the rough.

When we arrived, our balls were side by side – they were in fact touching – and, clearly, the question was: ‘What now?’

How would you proceed in this situation?


Golf ball interfering with play: What do the Rules of Golf say?

Before you all start shouting that the answer is easy, there are a couple of things you still need to be careful about.

Clearly, my ball, which was closest to the hole, is interfering with the play of my partner’s.

Rule 15.3b says interference exists when another player’s ball at rest might interfere with the area of intended stance or swing, is on or close to the line of play that there is a reason chance their ball in motion could hit that ball, or that it is close enough to distract a player in making their stroke.

So if my partner reasonably believes my ball may interfere with his play, as is obviously the case here, he can require me to mark the spot and lift the ball.

Note the word ‘require’. If he asks, I have to comply.

Here’s where it can get a bit sticky for me. When I lift the ball, I am not allowed to clean it.

And cleaning is a bit more specific than you might think. It’s not just wiping it down with my towel. Putting it in my pocket can be construed as cleaning if it rubs off any materials that were on it.

That’s why you’ll often see players holding their ball as if it’s diseased. They’re worried about being seen to clean the ball.

If I clean it, or fail to mark the spot before lifting the ball, I’ll pick up a penalty stroke.

What if my marker is then interfering? Rule 15.3c comes into play. As you’d expect, I can move that out of the way – or be required to do so – to a new spot “measured from its original spot, such as by using one or more clubhead-lengths”.

All with me so far?

My partner hits hit shot and I need to replace my ball on its original spot. Only that spot, as it was, is no longer there.

He hit a wedge and he’s completely destroyed the area where my ball had been. What now? Do I have to hit it out of a divot?

Now we move onto another rule, this time Rule 14.2d (2). This looks at where to replace the ball if the original lie is altered.

When it is anywhere except in sand, I have to replace the ball by placing it on the “nearest spot with a lie most similar to the original lie”.

That needs to be within a club length from its original spot, no nearer the hole, and in the same area of the course as that spot.

If I hadn’t been paying attention, and didn’t know what the original lie was, I must estimate and then replace the ball.

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The article below was written by Matt Chivers of National Club Golfer.

Sean Foley believes the PGA Tour owes Tiger Woods “everything.”

The 15-time major champion’s former coach says Woods’ career has had a larger influence on current prize money than the tour’s own “business development aspects.”

Foley worked with Woods from 2010 to 2014 after successful stints with Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair.

Describing himself as one of Woods’ “biggest fans” to No Laying Up, Foley also admitted his “arrogance levels” as a coach might’ve been high by the time they joined forces.

“To be able to spend time with him like that and get to know him and just see the sheer difficulty of his life, that type of fame and that type of notoriety,” he said.

“You wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

“And I think the game of golf, especially the PGA Tour, they owe that guy everything because purses are not here today because of the business development aspects of the PGA Tour.

“It’s all due to a kid in a red shirt from Orange County, California.”

Woods returned to World No.1 and won eight times under Foley’s tuition, but he also suffered back trouble and underwent a procedure to repair a bulging disc.

The pair parted ways in August 2014 and Foley described it afterwards as a “lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport.”

“I think we did a pretty good job together,” he added on the podcast. “I think what I would have done much more, that I understand now is I would’ve probably spent less time coaching him and more time just being his friend as I was.

“Like how arrogant was I to think ‘Did you actually teach Tiger Woods about golf?’”


What was it like to be Tiger Woods’ golf coach?

Woods had already won 71 times on the PGA Tour by the time Foley came along, having previously worked with Butch Harmon and Hank Haney too.

Foley first helped Woods during the 2010 PGA Championship, six months after the golf star made a televised statement concerning the widely reported issues in his private life.

“You’re dealing with someone who’s incredibly wounded, probably embarrassed, just in a way different place than he’s ever been in his life,” Foley said.

“I mean it was like going from a deity to a punchline almost overnight.”

The Canadian-born instructor now has a performance centre in Florida, hosts Playing Lessons with the Pros on Golf Channel and produces content for Revolution Golf.

But despite also coaching Lydia Ko, Cameron Champ and Danny Willett, nothing could’ve prepared Foley for being a staple in Woods’ life for four years.

“Being on the range and watching helicopters fly over and film us and stuff. Justin Rose, Sean O’Hair and Hunter Mahan are pretty well known, but we got to like a Prince/Michael Jackson level.

“I would imagine 99 out of 100 people in the world who have never touched a golf club or even been on a golf course still know who Tiger Woods is.

“I had to deal with a lot more, there were the fans of what we were doing and the people who hated it, so I ran into both of them at the airport.

“But look, I was the one who said ‘yes’ to doing it and so basically, because I chose to do it, I’m responsible for whatever occurred after that.”