Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask: When is the best time of year to buy golf equipment?
Welcome to Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask, a GOLF.com series produced in partnership with Cleveland Golf. This week we look at the best time(s) of the year to purchase golf equipment.
Golf equipment sometimes mirrors how cell phones are positioned in the marketplace. There’s usually a new iteration every calendar year, with the latest version touting new improvements and incremental upgrades in features and benefits over previous models.
What makes cell phones particularly more egregious in their positioning is something quite controversial called “planned obsolescence,” which allegedly means cell phone manufacturers, whether intentionally or not, design and build cell phones they know will be obsolete after a certain period of time.
What about golf gear, though? Is your new driver destined for obsolescence after a period of time? At GOLF.com, we think not — your boomstick has the potential to last as long as you want it to, barring unforeseen wear, damage or changes in your ability to wield it. On the other hand, we also believe that new equipment generally stays true to its claims when it comes to improving on previous iterations, making it easy to develop what could be a very expensive habit of buying new gear on the regular.
To help you make better decisions come time to buy new gear and — perhaps just as important — buy gear at the right time to save a few bucks, we’ve got some sage advice for you right here.
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Srixon’s ZX metalwoods
1. Buy because you need it
Maybe you need a set of irons that are more forgiving or a driver that promotes a flatter trajectory. You should consider a new equipment upgrade when the time is right for you, not when new products are unveiled. It’s okay to look and check new stuff out — we encourage you to do so every year with ClubTest — but be realistic about what you need and want. And, by the way, if you’re in the middle of a swing change or a lesson series with your local pro, buy that new gear after you’ve made your swing adjustments. Not during or before.
2. Release cadences are unpredictable
For many years, new product introductions coincided with the annual PGA Merchandise Show held early in the calendar year, with products usually available a few months later in early spring. But, we’ve seen new gear unveiled in every season. Case in point: Srixon just debuted within the last few weeks its new Q Star Tour Divide golf balls, with a two-tone Urethane cover for improved visibility and better visual feedback.
3. Close-out deals can be found in the fall and winter
The golf season may be coming to a close for many of us come October and November (unless you live in year-round warm weather climates), but this is when you can find some great deals on closeout equipment — the gear retailers are trying to clear out to make room for newer stuff coming the following season. Take that with a grain of salt, though — closeout equipment can sometimes be found in the spring and summer, too. It’s just way less common.
4. Other sales dates to keep in mind
Winter holiday sales are obvious, but the savvy shopper also knows that golf equipment sales can pop up around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Furthermore, there are sometimes new product unveilings and sales geared around popular Tour stops, most notably during the four major championships.
5. New equipment doesn’t have to be new
A great way to save money is to not only buy last year’s model, but also buy it pre-owned. Many online and brick-and-mortar shops sell used golf equipment that is both inspected and graded. This is so you know exactly how “used” they are and will help eschew any doubts you may have as to whether “pre-owned” is just a fancy way of saying “doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.” The used equipment business is a booming industry — good deals can be found on some really great stuff.
Want to overhaul your own bag for 2021? Visit the expert fitters at our sister company, True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, make sure to check out our recent Fully Equipped podcast in the Spotify link below.