How to Buy Golf Irons

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How to Buy Golf Irons

There's a different club for almost every eventuality on the golf course, and Irons are the most often-used clubs in the bag. Their purpose is to move the golf ball from the fairway to the green, with a typical distance range of 210 yards (male golfers using a 2 iron) to 55 yards (lady golfers using a lob wedge).

This guide takes you through all the essentials of club selection and purchase - the 'must have' information which will help you buy the irons you need, whether you're a complete beginner, or an improver wishing to hone your skills.

Golf Irons come in a range of weights which influence the distance the ball will travel. Basic club classifications are standard irons, Hybrid irons , Wedges and Putters.

You will find all sorts of tables which indicate the loft angle for each type of golf iron. You can safely ignore most of these because there is no consistent rule and manufacturers are free to make clubs with a variety of loft angles. Loft angles ultimately affect the height and distance you achieve with your shots. These are of course also influenced by individual golf swings, which vary enormously. As a very rough guide however, have a look at the tables below under each of the classifications.

Despite European moves towards standard metric measurement, golf courses continue to count in yards.

Standard Golf Irons

Standard Irons are graded according to weight and loft, which is dictated by the angle on the face of the club head. Standard irons are numbered 2 to 9, although 1 irons and 10 irons are also available.

Hybrid Golf Irons

Hybrids are starting to replace the heavier (2 to 6) weight irons, which can be quite hard to control.

In shape, the head of a hybrid is a cross between an iron and a wood but the shaft is the same length as an iron. This makes hitting the ball easier when it is lying either on the fairway or in the rough.

Golf Wedges

Wedges are mainly used for approach shots from within 120 yards of the green, where accuracy and height are favoured over speed and distance.

They may also be used tactically as rescue clubs on any part of the course where the lie of the land prevents the use of a longer-distance iron.

The most common type of wedge is the Pitching Wedge, which is mainly used for final approach shots to the green.

A Sand Wedge is the club to use specifically to get out of a bunker, remembering that you aren't allowed to rest the club behind the ball before you take your shot.

There's also a more severe wedge variant - the Lob Wedge - which will give your shot more height for more delicate pitching and chipping, particularly where you need to clear a high obstacle such as a shrub or tree immediately ahead of the ball.

The fourth type of wedge - the Gap Wedge - is somewhere in between the Pitching Wedge and the Sand Wedge.

Putters

This is the final club in your bag; it moves the ball across the green to the hole.

There are various designs of Putters but, as with all clubs, choose the type which is most comfortable for you to use and gives you the greatest confidence. Make no mistake - putting is a difficult art and accounts for about half of all shots taken on the golf course. As an American golf professional once remarked - 'you drive for show and putt for dough'.

A Basic Set of Golf Irons

The rules of golf limit you to a maximum of 14 golf clubs in your bag at any one time.

At the very least, you need a couple of woods, or one wood and one driver, a 7 iron, a pitching wedge and a putter. You might then add a mid-range hybrid iron - say a 4 or a 5. As your game develops, you can extend your range of clubs according to your playing style and budget.

Buying Golf Irons

If you strip away all technical stuff, golf is the art of moving an object from A to B. You have to treat your body as a machine. The club is an extension of that machine so the club must be matched to it.

Try lots of different clubs. Talk to your golfing friends, talk to your club professional, borrow clubs and find out what works for you.

You will find that the clubs that work best lie completely flat as you address the ball. The technical measurements have nothing to do with your height - it's all about the distance between your wrist and the ball.

The main difference between clubs for men and ladies is the length of the shaft.

The point to note here is that you can easily adjust your grip by moving your hands up or down the shaft so that the club lies at the correct height for your swing. Nevertheless, although most clubs come in standard sizes to fit all, different shaft lengths are available.

What to Look Out For

Watch how the ball travels according to your swing with different irons. The angle of the face of the iron, measured in degrees from the vertical plane, is worth remembering. When you find a golf iron that suits your swing, make a careful note of its weight and angle of loft. Broadly, the greater the angle, the higher the ball will fly, causing it travel a shorter distance.

Your swing style may change the actual angle when your club connects with the ball because everybody's grip is fractionally different. This means that your grip could increase or decrease the actual angle at which you strike the ball. This helps to explain how one golfer can hit the ball further than another using the same club.

Buying Pre-owned Golf Irons

There is nothing wrong with buying pre-owned golf irons . They often represent good value because the seller has found them difficult to use or simply found a more suitable club.

Some people simply have to have the very latest equipment, which is great news for those who don't mind buying pre-owned. There's always plenty of choice in the market.

New clubs do not necessarily improve your game although they might give you a psychological boost. As with all sports, the technology advances all the time.

Manufacturing materials change; this affects the weight of club heads, the flexibility of club shafts and the wind-resistance of the club as a whole. The club is an extension of the body and we all have a unique playing style.

Find clubs that are comfortable for you to use and buy within an affordable price range.

Technical Information

This short guide helps you understand what some of the abbreviations and descriptions used on eBay stand for:

Abbreviation / description

Definition

LH

Left hand

RH

Right hand

22*

22O or 22 degrees, the loft angle of the face of the club

Flex

Flexibility; Regular or Reg., Firm, Stiff

Weight

1 to 10 Iron, 1 being the heaviest, making the ball travel farthest

PW

Pitching wedge

SW

Sand wedge

5+PW

5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Irons + Pitching Wedge

3+PW

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 + Pitching Wedge

31''

31 inch shaft length - most often given for putters

ATV

All-terrain versatility; can be used with tee or in rough

80

A number like this usually refers to club weight in grams

Huge Range of Options

The key brands for beginners to look out for are Nike, Wilson, Mizuno, Benross and Taylor Made. Ping, Titleist, Callaway and Cleveland also have great reputations.

No single brand is guaranteed to make your time on the golf course any more enjoyable - you have to select the clubs that really work for you based on comfort, the confidence they give you, and affordability.

How to Buy Golf Irons on eBay

Now that you've worked out which golf iron you want, find them quickly on eBay. While you shop, don't forget balls, tees, shoes, and appropriate clothing for the course. To start shopping, go to the Sports and Leisure category. Click the Sporting Goods portal and click Golf.

Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Accessories, Apparel, Bags, Balls, Books, Videos, Golf Club Components, Footwear, Golf Carts, Cars, Schools, Lessons, Experiences, Tee Times, Green Fees, Training Aids, Vintage, and Other Items. As you refine your search you'll be able to narrow down your choice by subcategory.

Product Finder: Use the Golf Iron Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by type of club, brand, model, condition (new or used), and shaft material.

Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find new right-handed golf irons for men, type the keywords ''rh men golf iron new'' (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click ''Search title and description'' to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you're looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy Golf Irons with Confidence

Make sure that you know exactly what you're buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your item

Read the details in the item listing carefully.

Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you're buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.

If you want more information, click the ''Ask seller a question'' button on the seller's profile or the ''Ask a question'' link at the bottom of the item listing page.

Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.

Never pay for your eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.

* What is the seller's Feedback rating?

* How many transactions have they completed?

* How many positive responses do they have?

* What do buyers say in their Feedback?

* Are they positive about the seller?

Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.

* Do they offer a money-back guarantee?

* What are their terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection your purchase price plus original delivery cost.

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