Golf clubs are known to last a lifetime when they are well-maintained. There is no evidence that golf clubs deteriorate over time, as the pure blade designs have not changed much since their inception. The biggest difference between vintage and modern golf clubs is that vintage clubs tend to have the center of gravity closer to the heel and a more square leading edge. If you can consistently hit the sweet spot, there is no reason why you cannot use vintage clubs.
You can have your irons reconditioned through the original manufacturer, who will be able to renew them and conduct tests to ensure that they continue to function as they should. Golf technology is always changing rapidly, so irons older than five years are likely to be outdated and not perform as well as the latest models. If you are serious about golf, you can benefit from replacing your clubs every five years or so, if your budget allows. The U-Try program on GlobalGolf allows you to try new sets for a small fee before making the purchase.
The axes in older clubs are usually a long way from the current axes, and if you have had your irons for more than five years, you may not be taking full advantage of the latest technology. It is recommended that amateur and occasional players change their clubs every two or three years. Surprisingly, Titleist recommends replacing your clubs every two or three years, even though they usually don't play the over-the-top game of technology when it comes to club marketing. Wrought irons use softer steel than cast irons, but unless you play golf several times a week, the average player won't notice much difference in terms of longevity.
After years of hitting the same clubs in the same places, hundreds of shots a day, the irons may start to wear out. It will take some time for the average golfer to learn how to replace their clubs more often, but it is important to be aware of what can go wrong if you don't do it as often as recommended. Used clubs can be a great option if you do some research and consult a knowledgeable friend or a good salesman. In addition, stainless steel alloys are used today that provide more “elasticity” when cast iron sticks need to be bent.
If you notice any signs of wear and tear on your clubs, it could be due to other issues related to your swing, so be sure to consult with a professional before fully deciding that your clubs are ready. You can purchase new golf clubs online at Golf Galaxy or PGA Tour Superstore or at any number of reputable retailers.