How Often Should You Replace Your Irons?
It’s a common question for golfers. How long should they keep their golf equipment? Maybe you have a set of irons that have been tried and trusted for years but lately, they just aren’t all that. They’re not performing as well as you’d like them to and you see newer, shinier models coming onto the market all the time. Add into this the fact that your playing partners seem to be improving their golf game despite doing very nothing different other than changing their golf clubs.
- How Often Should You Replace Your Irons?
- What is the Lifespan of a Set of Irons?
- Is it Worth Upgrading for New Technology?
- Should You Get Custom Fit?
- Distance Isn’t Everything!
- What Time of Year is New Equipment Released?
- How Long Will It Take for New Irons to Bed In?
- How to Look After Your Irons
- Consider Buying Used Irons
- How Often Should You Replace Your Irons: Summary
- Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
In this article, we will look at everything you need to know about getting a new set of irons. We will answer questions such as the lifespan of a set of irons to the benefits of custom fitting and give our best tips for caring for your clubs.
What is the Lifespan of a Set of Irons?
There is no exact science for outlining just how long a set of irons should last. Some say a minimum of 5 years and others say a maximum of a lifetime. A general rule of thumb seems to be around 8 years though. Of course, this also depends on how many times a week you play golf and how well you look after them. After all, someone who is playing two or three times a week will need to change their clubs before someone who plays once or twice a month.
Upgrading your irons every year or two is pointless and expensive unless you are a tour pro or your swing has changed massively. To be honest, I haven’t changed irons very often. Usually every 10 years or so. I play a fair bit of golf and haven’t noticed too much wear and tear. Given the price of clubs these days it becomes increasingly difficult to justify changing for the sake of changing.
If your swing or physique has changed then you might need to buy new golf clubs to suit but otherwise you might be better off investing that money in some lessons.
Is it Worth Upgrading for New Technology?
If your clubs are over five years old then there is a benefit in upgrading them. Golf manufacturers are constantly making improvements and figuring out how to make their clubs hit the ball further and with greater accuracy. A lot can happen in five years!
If your clubs are over five years old, then it’s likely you will see a marked difference between some new irons over your old ones. If your clubs are over ten years old, then you’re really missing out. The difference between an iron in 2023 compared to an iron in 2013 is stark and could really help bring your game to the next level.
If you do have old clubs, you run the risk of being left behind by players with the latest and best new golf irons on the market.
Should You Get Custom Fit?
Yes, yes and YES! Custom fitting is great. Getting clubs to suit your individual swing and style just makes sense. Buying clubs ‘off the rack’ in a store can lead to a lot of different problems. They mightn’t be the right length or weight or the shaft mightn’t be suitable. But with custom fitting, you get to try out a variety of clubs and a variety of combinations finding what works best for you. It’s also really fun to just hit a few balls and get all your stats and metrics from state-of-the-art technology.
But while a club fitting is a must, it won’t necessarily improve your game or fix your swing faults. And that’s where golfers should be careful because while they should definitely get custom fit at some stage, now might not be the right time. If you are going through lessons or swing changes, there is no point in getting custom fit until those changes are complete or your teaching professional gives you the all-clear.
If you do get custom fit before you are ready, you might end up with unsuitable clubs. They will fit your old golf swing, but not your new ones which means a waste of time and money. But getting a custom fit after introducing swing changes can help you see rapid improvements on the golf course.
Distance Isn’t Everything!
Beware of the draw of new golf equipment because you hit it farther. Modern irons tend to be much less lofted than clubs from even 10 years ago so that 7-iron that goes 20 yards further than your current set actually has the same loft as your old 5-iron!
What Time of Year is New Equipment Released?
Christmas comes for most people on December 25th but Christmas comes for golfers in January and February when most manufacturers bring out their latest equipment lines. This is a very exciting time as it highlights the latest and greatest innovations thought up by manufacturers. Sometimes these new clubs are underwhelming with little difference between them and their predecessors, or sometimes they have the potential to usher in a new era of the game, such as the Carbon-faced Taylormade Stealth released in 2022.
Golfers might also want to keep an eye on this period as manufacturers tend to heavily reduce the prices of old models as they release their new ones.
Buying a better game with new golf equipment can be tempting but eBay is full of slightly used clubs that didn’t suit the original buyer.
How Long Will It Take for New Irons to Bed In?
How long is a piece of string? Some players get accustomed to their new clubs from day one, others take more time. For some, new irons mean a slight adjustment, for others it could be light years away from what they had previously used.
There is a variety of online information regarding this on the internet with some people reporting that it only took them a few range sessions to get used to their irons while others took around 3-4 months to get fully dialed in with them.
But no matter the duration, just be aware that there will be an adjustment period as you get used to your new irons.
How to Look After Your Irons
The best way to ensure your irons perform at their best for the longest period of time is by looking after them properly. If the clubheads are caked in mud how do you expect to hit the golf ball properly? Cleaning your clubs can help prolong their life and help you shoot lower scores.
There are a number of ways to do this.
Wash Them Regularly
Washing your irons regularly ensures that no debris gets stuck to them. Simply use washing-up liquid and a nylon brush. Soak them for five minutes in warm water before cleaning and drying.
Don’t Leave Them in Damp Places
If your clubs are left somewhere damp, they will start to rust. Among the worst offenders are garages and the boot of the car. After you finish your round of golf, do the right thing and take the clubs inside!
Dry Your Clubs
After a day in wet conditions, all we want to do is jump into the shower and relax for a bit. Your clubs don’t get the same type of treatment. Leaving them to dry slowly can result in damaged heads, damaged shafts and grips. After a round in the rain, take a towel and dry them off.
Clean Your Grips
We can’t forget about the grips. Using a soft-bristled brush, scrub the edges of the grip before patting it dry. This helps remove any dirt and debris that might be stuck in it.
If you’re thinking about trading in your old set of irons for something shiner, sleeker and more modern, we say go for it! The change could have a fantastic impact on your game and now that you are equipped with the information in this article, you know how to make the best use of them!
Consider Buying Used Irons
With the large manufacturers charging around $1000 for a set of six irons now it might be worth considering the used market. If you know your specifications then you might be able to pick up a set that’s not been used much for well below the usual price from someone who didn’t get on with those clubs. If you tend to need many changes to your irons then you might need to stick to buying new though. Alternatively, old models can get deep discounts as new models get released so you get new irons for much less than their original price.
How Often Should You Replace Your Irons: Summary
How often you change your irons will really depend on your budget and how much time and effort you put into golf. If you play only once or twice a month then you probably won’t feel any great impetus to change. If you play in competitions every week and work on lowering your handicap then you will probably want to replace your golf irons fairly regularly.
If your irons are 10 years old then there’s a good chance that you need to upgrade your golf gear.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
How Long Do Golf Irons Last?
If they are well looked after then a decent set of irons could still be playable for 10-20 years. Obviously, with the rate of change these days you might want to upgrade
Should I Get Graphite Shafts?
Graphite shafts are particularly good for slow swingers as they can generate a little more clubhead speed. They also help reduce the vibration which can be useful for people with tendonitis. These days even tour players are going graphite in their irons. If they will improve your distance or accuracy then why not?