Are 20 year old golf irons still good?

Unless you play a lot and close the shooting range every night, there's no reason a set of irons shouldn't last five to ten years. In terms of technology, it depends on what you want in your irons. If you play with traditional wrought irons, nothing substantial has changed in decades. There is no evidence that golf clubs deteriorate over time.

Well-maintained clubs will last a lifetime. Golf irons wear out over time. The sticks that will most often be the ones that wear out first. This is because they are the ones that hit the most.

For an average golfer who plays golf several times or practices several times a week, you should get a good 7-10 years with a set of irons. For me, the second-hand market is too good to pass up. If I had 20-year-old irons, I would definitely get new ones. Personally, I think the technology improves enough to guarantee new irons every 5 to 10 years.

After 5 years, they are getting old. I recommend buying used clubs from 2 to 4 years old. That 17-year leap in technology will go a long way. And as you get better, you'll find that you could get away with 6-year-old forged sticks because you're looking for feel and flexibility anyway).

Golf clubs surely don't change that often and I've always been a firm believer in improving through the practice street rather than through the credit card. And if you don't feel like buying a full pot for a new set, try a used club outlet like Global Golf and consider a set that's only two or three years old. Michael Johnson, has covered the golf equipment business for decades, and few people know the equipment industry better. It can be purchased online at the Golf Galaxy or PGA Tour Superstore or at any number of reputable retailers.

But a good quality installer will always try to give you the best advice and if they feel that your current clubs are OK and the different results you get are simply due to the inconsistencies in your golf swing, they will tell you. Of course, that's a legitimate option, but some golfers are wary of custom adjusters, thinking it's a fair way for manufacturers to sell more clubs more often and complain that when they go regularly they seem to get different results every time. These irons used to be better club players that had marks and deformations in the center of the club face. It seems like every week I read about a new “revolutionary” golf club design that will make a difference.

Just like irons, and particularly if they are wrought irons, only keep an eye on slots, lies and lofts every other year and they should be fine for several years. There is also the U-Try program on GlobalGolf, where you can try new sets for a small fee before making the decision to buy. Golfers with wrought irons, especially professional ones, who play very often, however, regularly find the lie of their clubs altered between 2-3° and the lofts change 1 or even 2 clubs over the course of a couple of years. For the golfer who plays golf every day of the year, it can only take 3 to 4 years before a set of irons starts to lose some of its jump from the face.

If you're like me, you're constantly thinking about upgrading and buying new clubs and equipment to improve your game and a new set of irons will be high on the list of any golfer who improves. A lot of people will automatically say that the answer to checking if their clubs are too old and ready to be replaced is to go and get a professional fit.

Marjorie Mitchell
Marjorie Mitchell

General coffee advocate. Hardcore social media scholar. Unapologetic travelaholic. Freelance social media ninja. Extreme tv evangelist.

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