How Often Should You Really Get a New Set of Golf Clubs?
Did you know that most pro golfers get a new driver every one to two years? In a recent study, 58% of PGA Tour pros changed drivers from 2020 to 2021. That statistic may leave you wondering how often you should change out your driver or any other golf clubs.
Should amateur golfers get a new set of golf clubs as often as professionals? We’ll answer this question and do a deep dive into how long each golf club in your bag should last.
Table of Contents
- How Long a Driver Should Last
- How Long Your Woods Should Last
- How Long Your Irons Should Last
- How Long Your Wedges Should Last
- How Long Your Putter Should Last
How Long a Driver Should Last
You may have noticed that all the big golf manufacturers like PING, Callaway, TaylorMade, Cobra, and Titleist seem to put out a new driver every year. That doesn’t mean that golfers need to upgrade their drivers every time a new one becomes available.
As a general rule of thumb, a new driver should last most amateur golfers about five years. However, that number assumes that the golfer is playing 30 to 40 rounds per year. You can adjust that rule of thumb based on the number of rounds you play in a year.
Common Signs It’s Time to Invest in a New Driver
1. You’ve Had Your Current Driver 5 or More Years
Golf manufacturers are working round the clock on the research and development of their clubs, especially their drivers. This is because the driver is usually the top revenue generator for most brands.
After a five-year period or longer, most of these companies make gigantic strides with their club-making technology. These advances can give you a few extra yards off the tee and that may make investing in a new driver worth it.
2. You Notice a Huge Drop in Distance
One tell-tale sign of needing a new driver is an extreme loss of distance off the tee. If you suddenly see that you’re getting 10-20% less yardage from your drives, it may be time for a new driver.
What causes this sudden loss of distance? Most of the time, there is a small crack in the face of the driver that you may not even be able to see. That small deficiency can render your driver obsolete.
3. There’s Damage to the Shaft
The shaft of your driver takes a pretty good beating on a regular basis. This is especially true if you generate a lot of swing speed. The sheer impact of simply making contact with the golf ball can wear out the bottom of the shaft over time.
If you notice any small nicks or cuts in the shaft of your driver, it may be time to find a new one. You could choose to have a new shaft put on but even that process is quite pricey. Most of the time it makes sense just to invest in a new driver.
Looking to Buy a New Driver?
Need help buying a new driver? You’ve come to the right place! Check out some of our previous articles on different brands of drivers:
- The 10 Best & Easiest Drivers for Beginners
- The 10 Best Drivers Under $200
- The 8 Best Women’s Drivers
- An Honest Callaway Rogue ST Driver Review
- An Honest TaylorMade M4 Driver Review
How Long Your Woods Should Last
Fairway woods usually last anywhere from 150 to 200 rounds. So, in theory, these clubs should last about as long as your driver, which is around five years (again, assuming you average 30-40 rounds per year).
The answer all depends on usage, however. For example, you may use your 3-wood quite a bit but hardly ever take the cover off your 5-wood. That means your 5-wood could last much longer than five years because of the less usage.
Common Signs It’s Time to Invest in New Woods
1. You’re Having Trouble Getting the Ball in the Air
A fairway wood can be one of the most difficult clubs to hit for high handicappers. This is because even with the large club face, your margin for error is smaller because the ball usually isn’t on a tee when you’re using a fairway wood.
If you’re constantly struggling to the ball in the air, you may need some new fairway woods with more loft. Simply going from 14 degrees to 15 degrees on your three-wood can have a huge impact on your success.
2. There is Damage to the Club Head
Like drivers, fairway woods have to absorb quite a bit of impact. In some cases, fairway woods take a worse beating than drivers because they come in direct contact with the ground more often.
If you notice any type of dents or severe scratches in the club heads, consider getting some new fairway woods. It’ll make those long par 5 holes much more fun.
How Long Your Irons Should Last
There’s nothing better than a good set of irons. If you purchase a new set of clubs, you’ll typically get seven irons (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW, SW). A new set of irons can be expensive but the good news is that they should last at least ten years.
Common Signs It’s Time to Invest in New Irons
1. The Trajectory and Distance of Your Shots Change
Do your approach shots seem to be traveling higher and farther than they used to? If so, the grooves on your irons may be getting worn out. This will lead to a decrease in accuracy, less forgiveness, and less spin when you don’t strike the ball perfectly.
That being said, don’t just rush out and buy new clubs. Most of the time, the grooves get dirt in them and simply need a good scrubbing. If after thoroughly cleaning the grooves of each iron you notice lots of wear and tear, it may be time to hunt for some replacements.
2. Your Iron Shots Don’t Sound the Same
There’s nothing quite like the sound of a crisp, pure iron shot. Even a casual golfer knows when they’ve struck the ball well because of the distinct sound. However, if your irons shots are starting to sound hollow, it may be time to upgrade to new irons.
How Long Your Wedges Should Last
Since wedges are just shorter versions of irons, they should also last about ten years. However, as we’ve said before, it all depends on how often you use each club.
For example, I use my pitching wedge quite often on the golf course for approach shots, chip shots, and pitch shots. I rarely use my gap wedge, so it may last up to 15-20 years because of the reduced usage.
Common Signs It’s Time to Invest in New Wedges
1. The Shafts Are Looking Rough
Shafts tend to hold up really well on wedges. Since the clubs are shorter than standard irons, there is less opportunity for damage. Nevertheless, it may be time for new wedges if you notice any type of scratches or nicks in the shafts.
2. You Feel Lots of Vibration After Wedge Shots
When wedges start to go bad, golfers will start to feel more vibration than normal after striking the ball. While a little bit of vibration is common after a shot that is hit too fat, this shouldn’t occur at all on shots that are hit well.
Looking to Buy Some New Wedges?
Getting a new set of wedges will give you better feel and performance on the golf course. If you’re in the market for new wedges, check out the following articles:
- 52 Degree Wedge: What It Is, Best Time to Use & Best Brands
- 56 Degree Wedge: What It Is, Best Time to Use & Best Brands
- 58 Degree Wedge: What It Is, When to Use It, & Best Brands
- 60 Degree Wedge: What It Is, When to Use it, & Best Brands
How Long Your Putter Should Last
A well-built putter can last 15 to 20 years, which is longer than any other golf club in the bag. This is because putters never have to deal with lots of torque and swing speed. The grip on your putter will usually go bad before the club itself.
Common Signs It’s Time to Invest in a New Putter
1. There is Damage to the Face
While it may take a long time, the club face of the putter can become damaged, or at least too worn for optimal performance. This will lead to lots of inaccurate putts, even from short distances.
2. You’ve Changed Your Putting Stroke
Many golfers like to change their putting stroke if they’re in the midst of a slump on the greens. When you make swing changes, your current putter may no longer be the best fit for you. Consider going to a PGA professional to be fitted for a new putter based on your new stroke.
3. You Want to Try Some New Technology
Let’s face it, sometimes you just need a change. If you’re not putting well even after lots of practice time, you may just need a new putter with a better feel. Golf club manufacturers are making constant technological advances, so getting a new putter may be the best course of action.
Looking to Buy a New Putter?
If you are looking for a new flat stick, the following articles may help you on that quest:
- 10 Best Putters for Beginners
- Single Bend vs. Double Bend Putter Shaft: Which is Better?
- Flow Neck Putters: Pros and Cons (+ Top 3 Recommendations)