Amazon makes life easier. Everything is a click away, and people order all kinds of things daily that they never would have expected to get online just a decade ago.
So what about golf clubs? There certainly are plenty of clubs for sale on Amazon, but should golfers go that route?
Except for purchasing a starter set for a beginning golfer or a well-researched single club here or there, golfers should steer clear of purchasing golf clubs on Amazon or at least use a credit card in case it gets nasty with a return.
An easy online click doesn’t make up for being able to see, feel, and swing a club in person before making an expensive purchase. Like cars, golf clubs should get a test drive before leaving the lot.
Here are a few potential problems that can arise.
What are potential problems with buying clubs on Amazon?
There’s no substitute for being able to use a golf club before deciding to make a purchase.
Many, if not all, physical golf retailers allow for customers to take some swings with sample golf clubs and compare them to other brands and models.
Going a step further, other retailers do club fittings to make sure that the buyer is getting clubs that are precisely the right length but also match what the golfer should have in terms of things like loft and shaft rigidity.
These seemingly minor improvements can have big outcomes, particularly for golfers looking to get more serious about improving their scoring out on the course.
Unless someone knows the exact clubs they are looking for, and they are available on Amazon, an online purchase would likely result in receiving clubs that aren’t perfect for the purchaser.
There are other concerns with buying online, such as potential damage in transit, receiving an item that isn’t correct, and the potential for the item to not be legitimate.
Case in point, many consumers have purchased iPhones from Amazon and have received an item that looks exactly like an Apple product that wasn’t in fact made by Apple.
Buying clubs at a trusted local retailer prevents all of the above.
One further concern is the revelation of recent years that many products on Amazon have fake reviews.
Getting a quality product online isn’t as simple as trusting the star rating or statements from unknown reviewers.
This is an ongoing problem that Amazon is still trying to combat.
When is it appropriate to buy clubs on Amazon?
A couple of cases in which it might be appropriate to buy golf clubs on Amazon:
- When a starter golf set from a trusted brand is desired
- When a single club is sought as a replacement or additional club for the golfer’s existing set of clubs.
Golf brands such as Wilson, Strata, and Top Flite historically have featured full starter golf sets online, complete with a golf bag and perhaps extra equipment.
These brands are all known for low-cost, good-quality clubs for golfers that are getting into the game. This is an appropriate online purchase, as these sets are rampant throughout the golf retail world and can easily be compared to sets being sold through other sources.
Such sets are a one-size fits all option for beginners when the technical detail of each element of the club is not a big concern.
Buyers should ensure that clubs they buy on Amazon are sold through either the brands themselves (Wilson, Strata, Top Flite, etc.), or a trusted sports retailer, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example.
Unfamiliar sellers should make customers wary.
Sometimes a golfer may look to replace a broken club from their set or may seek an additional club that has a unique loft angle or is a specialty club not included in their set, such as a putter or a hybrid. This could be a decent case for an Amazon purchase.
It’s much safer to risk a bad buying experience going after one club rather than a full set. Golfers who know exactly what they’re looking for may just find it on Amazon for a very competitive price.
Single putters are commonly listed on Amazon, as are other unique clubs that may not fit into a golfer’s regular set of clubs.
Again, some vetting of the seller should happen before the purchase button is clicked.
What research should you do before buying clubs on Amazon?
As alluded to above, the key to making a good golf club purchase online is to know exactly what one is looking for.
Combining real-world, hands-on experience with the convenience and competition of the digital market, it could be a good idea for a golfer to go to a golf retailer, get fitted for clubs, and then head online to see if those clubs can be bought for a better price.
The worst scenario to buy golf clubs on Amazon would be for a golfer who doesn’t know much about golf or what they’re looking for.
It sounds laughable, but an aspiring golfer could make a hasty purchase online and end up with clubs that have the incorrect handedness or size. Imagine being a 6-foot-2 adult looking for a first set of golf clubs and ending up with a child’s set.
At least in that case, the buyer could likely return the clubs for a refund. What would be even worse is if the clubs were just slightly wrong in a more subtle way, such as not having the loft for the golfer’s stance, or not having the desired level of rigidity.
The golfer would likely take the new clubs out on the course and play a few rounds before deciding they had just shelled out hundreds of dollars on the wrong clubs to save money.
Any time you buy clubs online anywhere, there is an inherent risk.
When purchasing off of Amazon, it is helpful that they have a super awesome return policy. I have never had issues returning anything on Amazon. In fact, there have been times when I was credited the amount I paid and could keep the product because it would cost too much to ship back to them (that is rare)
Regardless, if I could recommend anything, always buy with a credit card. That way, if you do get in an unfortunate situation where you need to get your money back, you can go to your credit card company and worst case, they pay for the item and you get your money back as they fight it.
Follow the few rules we have in this article and be sure to check out more reputable places like Global Golf. That is one of the best places I go to buy clubs online and they have even more robust return policies and testing out policies that I have seen on the internet. Read their review here.