The Complete Guide to Buying Golf Clubs on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying Golf Clubs on eBay

Golf Clubs

Surprisingly little has changed in the basic appearance of golf clubs from the early days of the sport when clubs had hickory shafts, to the high tech materials used in modern clubs. This is partly because the governing bodies of the game - The Royal & Ancient in St Andrews and the USGA in America - have established rules on design, but mainly because the early designs of golf clubs evolved so quickly into effective tools.

Nowadays on eBay it is possible to buy the very earliest golf clubs through to the latest in golf club design.

Today golf clubs fall into four main groups:

Golf Woods

Woods have longer shafts and bigger heads than other clubs. Originally made in very hard wood, usually persimmon, these clubs are still called woods even though the modern versions are made from a variety of metals. Golf Woods have two main purposes. They are used to drive the ball off the tee at the start of a hole, and are used for long shots off the fairway.

Woods are numbered according to their degree of loft. The most straight faced with a loft of between 8 and 12 degrees is the Number 1 Wood or Driver. In the hands of golf professionals a driver can launch the ball well over 300 metres from the tee. Amateurs find it a much harder club to manage because of the long shaft and different swing plane to shorter clubs. eBay has a vast range of new and used Drivers to suit all budgets and abilities. The newer models have large metal heads with a bigger ‘sweet spot’, offering greater degrees of forgiveness to the slightly off centre drive.

The 2 Wood is not a common sight in the golf bag, but is often carried by golfers instead of a driver. Most golfers will play with a Driver, a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood – the 3 and 5 Woods being very useful for shorter tee shots and for long fairway shots.

A search on eBay will also reveal the existence of the 7 Wood, 9 Wood and even the rare 11 Wood. These very lofted clubs are useful for the golfer that struggles with mid range irons, or for the golfer that prefers them to Hybrids or Rescue Clubs as they can be used when the ball is in the rough because of their smaller heads

Hybrid Golf Club or Rescue Club

Hybrid Clubs are so called because they combine features and benefits of both woods and irons, without really being one or the other. Simply put, the Hybrid has a shorter shaft than a wood, like an Iron making it easier to hit, but with a larger head than a long Iron, more like a small fairway wood. The club face and sole of the Hybrid is also more like an Iron in that it can cut through grass when a ball is in the rough. Hence, the name Rescue Club because it is often of use after a wayward drive finds the rough.

Many amateur golfers and many touring professionals too have abandoned the longer Irons – from 1 to 4 – in favour of this style of club

Golf Irons

To most golfers a golf iron set consists of a 3 iron to 9 iron – 7 clubs – plus Wedges. Some manufacturers also offer a 1 iron and a 2 iron for professional and low handicap players that are able to hit these very straight faced clubs.
The categorisation and numbering system refers to the degree of loft on the club. So a 3 Iron is relatively straight faced and used for hitting the golf ball relatively long distances - say 180m - 190m - with a relatively low trajectory and more run on the ball when it hits the ground.
The degree of loft increases with each number so that a typical pitching wedge has a loft of 48 degrees and is used for hitting high trajectory shots over a relatively short distance up to 100 – 110m and with less forward run and even backspin on landing.
The length of the shaft increases as the loft decreases, thus a 3 Iron is longer than a Wedge. This extra length puts extra pressure on the golfer’s hand/eye co-ordination and swing, making a 3 Iron considerably harder to hit correctly than a more lofted club.
Golfers tend to choose a matched set of Irons – all the same type from the same manufacturer - rather than purchasing odd individual clubs. This is in order to have a consistency of feel and performance from one club to another. Different shafts, grips and even lofts would make it harder for the typical player to select the right club and get consistent results on the golf course. eBay has a vast range of complete sets available from a wide range of manufacturers.
The Pitching Wedge and Sand Wedge found in the traditional Iron set have been supplemented by a range of lob wedges and extreme lob wedges to help the golfer extract the ball from a variety of hazards from thick mud to thick grass. Designed to transfer swing energy into height rather than distance, they are also used to fly the ball over hazards between the golfer and the hole. Proponents of these clubs, like the American Phil Mickelson, have generated huge demand from club golfers keen to emulate their heroes. Many golfers now carry at least one extra wedge with a loft of anywhere from 56 – 64 degrees for these troubleshooting situations.


Golf Putters are used to putt the ball on or around the green. Straight faced, and sometimes with a compound insert for ‘feel’ the putter used to have a short shaft. Today the golfer has the additional choice of the ‘belly’ putter and the ‘broom handle’ putter the former known because the top of the putter is anchored in the navel when the putt is being made and the latter because the long length of the club reaches to just under the golfer’s chin.

These clubs are often the resort of the older golfer suffering from the ‘yips’, a tendency to stab at the ball caused by nerves rather than a smooth putting stroke. Although these new putters have saved many a golf career, they are currently being investigated by the R&A and the USGA who are about to review the legality of these clubs.

Features to look for when buying Golf Clubs

There are a range of additional choices to consider when buying new golf clubs or used golf clubs on eBay. Features to look for include:

Carbon Graphite v Stainless Steel shafts

Irons used to me made with wooden hickory shafts, then stainless steel shafts and now woven strands of carbon fibre graphite shafts. The proponents of graphite shafts point to the reduced weight in the shaft which allows for an increase in swing speed of the club-head and a corresponding increase in the distance the ball is hit. Fans of steel shafts argue that the flex in carbon can lead to the club head twisting and sending the ball off line and prefer the stiffness of steel.

Shaft stiffness

Most shafts are produced as Regular but low handicap golfers with a very fast swing speed will often specify stiffer shafts. High handicap and elderly golfers will sometimes have a greater flex than regular to counter a slow swing and help maintain some distance.

Iron head – Cavity Backed, Perimeter Weighted and Blades

Blades are so-called because they offer a uniform thickness of metal at the back of the iron. Used by low handicappers and many touring professionals they offer greater ‘feel’ off the club face though at the cost of a slightly smaller ’sweet spot’. Generally less forgiving than other styles of Iron which offer more help to the high handicap player

Cavity Backed Irons have a thin face that is bolstered by weight at the heel and toe at the back of the iron on the basis that this extra weighting will increase the sweet spot and prevent off line shots

Perimeter Weighted Irons are a style of cavity backed iron with weight all around the outside rear of the club. Also designed to improve trajectory and increase the size of the sweet spot.

The key thing to look for here is that the size of Grip is appropriate to hand size. Check different sizes until a comfortable size is found and if buying used clubs ensure the grips aren’t worn, or get them replaced.

Features That Might Suit Different Types of Golfer

Handicap Level

Shaft Type

Shaft Stiffness

Head Type

Novice/High Handicap




Experienced/Mid Handicap




Experienced/Low Handicap




Buying New Golf Clubs v Used Golf Clubs

The Rules of Golf allow the golfer to carry a maximum number of 14 clubs on the golf course in a competition.

The modern golf bag will now typically have three woods – maybe Driver, 3Wood and 5 Wood, plus 2 Hybrids of different lofts, 5iron to 9iron, a Wedge, Sand Wedge plus another Lob Wedge and a Putter. While a completely matched set from one manufacturer would be ideal, most golfers are comfortable with their woods as a set and their hybrids and irons as a set. The Putter and Wedges are often unmatched.

Rather than buy a traditional set of clubs and then throw the 3 Iron and 4 Iron away it makes sense to take a look online with eBay. The ability to source individual clubs on eBay makes it viable to build your own matched set of 5- 9/SW and then supplement it by buying separately the Hybrids and Wedges.

Certainly when starting to play golf it is worth buying second hand or hardly used clubs on eBay. If you are buying used clubs just make sure by checking the photographs or asking the seller to confirm that the club face is undamaged and the shafts are sound. New or second hand, either way is better than making the mistake of buying a complete set of clubs that you can’t hit and don’t get on with.

The time will come when manufacturers develop yet another piece of equipment that capitalises on an advance in technology and it will become a ‘must have’. With eBay it’s not such a gloomy and expensive scenario. Those current much loved clubs can be offered for sale on eBay and go to a new owner while part funding the trade up to the new ones. Or you could take a chance and hang onto those old irons. Who knows, in the future they could be really collectable as the modern day equivalent of the hickory shafted clubs that sell so well in the Sporting Memorabilia and Antique sections on eBay.

Vintage and Modern Golf Clubs on eBay

If you are looking for modern golf clubs make sure you search for them using the Sporting Goods Portal. For vintage clubs, the best results come from a search in the Sports Memorabilia Portal.

When you find a seller with an item that you want for sale, eBay also offers a great facility to check out the other items the seller has on offer, perhaps a new golf bag or that extra club you wanted or maybe some other piece of equipment you need - and the chance to save on postage costs if you are buying more than one item. The best thing of all is if you try a particular club or even set of clubs, and for whatever reason you don’t like them, just put them back onto eBay as a for sale item. With thousands of individual golfers and businesses selling and buying on eBay there’s lots of choice.

When you are comfortable with the product information you can consider how to pay for your selection and proceed to purchase. In an Auction the buyer has to place a bid in order to buy the golf clubs at auction by the date in the listing – it may take more than one bid to ensure you are the highest bidder. Use ‘Buy It Now’ if it is offered as an option and you would like to buy the clubs immediately or to put down your ‘Best Offer’. Buying through PayPal will ensure the transaction proceeds directly between the seller and buyer. eBay users are protected by the Buyer Protection Programme.

The eBay Shopping Experience

Delivery and shipping of the golf clubs to you is provided by the seller.

It is recommended that you only purchase from sellers which are authorised through eBay.

It is always worth having a look at a seller’s other products for the chance to pick up another bargain and also save on postage costs.

Conclusion on Buying a Golf clubs on eBay

When choosing to buy golf clubs on eBay the buyer must consider their individual needs in terms of the age of the clubs, the features, new or second hand, the fit to their golf ability and brand that they prefer. Buying a complete set may leave you with one or two clubs that you can’t hit very well, but assembling your own perfect set make take longer to find all the components. Whichever route you choose for buying golf clubs, buying them on eBay will deliver a huge and unrivalled range of choices for you to select from in the comfort of your own home with the protection of PayPal and eBay.

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