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Golf Stores

Golf stores are not all equal. Shopping at each type has its advantages and disadvantages. To make the most of your money, you need to understand which golf stores are right for buying different types of golf equipment.

    You may be wondering how the type of golf stores you buy from can affect how well your equipment performs. Think of it this way. Would you buy fresh produce without feeling it and smelling it for ripeness? Or would you buy a suit without trying it on to make sure it fits? Hopefully, you answered no to those questions. Likewise, there are certain golf items that you must tryout, feel and experience before buying. Because not all types of golf stores allow you to tryout products or customize products, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you bought certain types of golf equipment from them.
    There are several different types of golf stores, and they each have advantages and disadvantages. If you understand the differences between them, you'll be able to make the most of your time and money when shopping for golf equipment. To make it easy for you to evaluate golf stores, here are the basic types and their strengths and weaknesses.

Golf Super Stores

    Golf superstores are kind of like a golfer's wonderland. With world-class selection, on-staff PGA Pros, realistic putting greens and indoor driving areas, they offer almost everything a golfer could want. The big selection and knowledgeable staff are definite advantages over other types of golf stores. Also, the fact that customers can see, feel and tryout products before buying is another plus. Despite having PGA Pros on staff, most golf superstores can't match the personalized one-on-one attention of a small golf shop. Also, most can't replicate the experience of taking full swings outside and seeing your ball's flight, which makes it more difficult to test clubs. All in all, golf superstores are a good place to buy equipment, just make sure that if you're buying clubs that you take full swings and hit some balls before you buy.

Online Golf Stores

    The greatest advantage to shopping at online golf stores is the wide selection. You can find almost anything you'd need with just a few simple clicks. Also, there is the convenience factor. It doesn't get much easier than shopping from your home. However, because you are only seeing products on your screen, it will be hard to tell exactly how a piece of golf equipment will work. Also, you aren't able to get custom fit for golf clubs. Yes, there is software on some sites that size you up and help you determine your club specifications. But that can't compare to having a trained professional see you in action and tailor a custom set. If you already know your club specifications, then you can order your clubs online. But if you don't know your specifications, you should get fit by a professional. Bottom line, if you need to feel, try on, test or experience in person any type of product, don't buy it online until you are sure it's what you want.

Golf Pro Shops

    If you want personal attention and expert advice, pro shops are a good place to go shopping. Because of their smaller sizes, they are able to provide top-notch service, which makes it easy to get help finding the best golf equipment for you. The tradeoff is that you won't find as wide of a selection as what's available online or at superstores. You have to decide which is more valuable to you, selection or personal service.

Sporting Goods Stores

    Sporting goods stores that don't specialize in golf are great for buying golf accessories such as tees, balls, umbrellas, apparel, gloves and shoes. But for highly personalized equipment such as clubs, most golf experts advise against shopping at sporting good stores because many don't have trained golf professionals on staff to fit you for clubs (Puett). Of course, if a professional is on staff, then no worries. Just make sure you can try out the clubs and that they fit you properly before you make a purchase.

    Golf stores come in many varieties, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You can use those to your advantage when shopping for golf equipment. You'll have an easier time finding the right equipment if you are shopping in the right type of store.


Puett, Barbara and Jim Apfelbaum. Golf Etiquette: Revised Edition. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003), 149-150.