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Thursday, October 6th
For more than 30 years, Fairway Golf has been a family-owned business with two retail locations in San Diego. You can find all of your favorite brands here, and if you're particularly interested in Japanese clubs from makers like Fujikura and Mizuno, Fairway Golf is the right store for you.
Solid inventory, not-great shopping experience
The shopping experience with Fairway Golf isn't the smoothest. Besides spotting a few typos (like "Mirua" instead of "Miura" ), we had to click around a lot more to get to the golf clubs we wanted to consider. You have to start by selecting a category or manufacturer, and even then there was no way to filter by hand, gender, loft, or other common features. Results could be sorted by manufacturer, price, or keyword - but that last one was in Japanese. Still, the inventory here is solid, with more than 500 golf clubs to choose from, so it might be worth it to deal with the less-than-perfect site navigation.
Once you click on a club you're interested in, you'll be able to specify the hand, loft, shaft and flex. Most products have plenty of photos to see the golf clubs from multiple angles, a detailed description of features, and some also have videos from the manufacturer. Fairway Golf gives customers the opportunity to leave product reviews, but we didn't spot any on the clubs we selected.
Shipping fees are spendy
Your shipping fees will be calculated based on your order and your delivery location. Don't expect any free delivery here; we were quoted shipping costs of $14.99 for UPS Ground, $54.62 for 3-Day Select, and $68.59 for 2nd-Day Air. You'll have to start the checkout process to find out exactly how much your delivery fees will be. We had a glitch the first time we entered our shipping address; it took a couple of tries before the Fairway Golf system accepted the information.
30-day "playability guarantee"
How about returns? You can get a full refund on new and unused clubs within 30 days of purchase. Otherwise, you're covered by Fairway Golf's "Playability Guarantee" : use your clubs for up to 30 days, and as long as it's in "normal use condition" and your clubs meet the minimum price threshold ($180+ for fairway woods, $140+ for hybrids), you'll get 100% of what you paid as a store credit towards your next purchase.
Strong reputation with long-term customers
Fairway Golf is "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau, and there were no complaints filed there over the last three years. This smaller-than-most store doesn't have as much shopper feedback as some of its competitors, but what we've found is almost always positive. Several customers said that Fairway Golf is a good "secret weapon" if you're looking for hard-to-find items, frequently carrying clubs and covers that are out of stock at the big name stores. Many golfers started out as a brick-and-mortar customer of Fairway and then stayed loyal via online purchases even after moving across the country.
Fairway Golf isn't a bad option for buying golf clubs, especially for popular or rare products that may not be in stock elsewhere. Their customer policies are just average, and we'd like to see some options for free shipping with a minimum purchase. Still, if you like the idea of shopping with a more mom-and-pop golf store, give Fairway Golf a look.
One thing that can make all the difference between golf being "a good walk spoiled" (source unknown) and "a universal language" (Ben Hogan) is the right golf clubs. Whether you're exploring this popular sport for the first time or a seasoned player looking for an edge, you need golf clubs that are a good fit for your height, strength, and experience - not to mention your right- or left-handedness.
If it's possible where you live, you should try to go in for a fitting before you buy your clubs. A professional will take your measurements, check your swing speed, and figure out your average trajectory, then recommend the wedges, drivers, and other golf clubs that are best suited to you.
If you don't have a golf store nearby that can fit you, don't worry. Many of today's top online golf shops have tools you can use to assess yourself, and a small number will even do a live consultation with you over the phone or video call (usually at no charge).
Once you know what you need, your best bet is to buy your golf clubs through an online retailer. You'll get the best possible inventory - since local shops may be sold out of the clubs you need or not even carry the brand you want - and typically the best pricing too. Look for price matching and trade-in programs as an additional way to make your purchase even more affordable.
What if your golf clubs are delivered and they just don't feel right in your hands? Or worse: you discover the first time you hit the links with them that you made a mistake in your measurements? That's where satisfaction guarantees come in (often called "playability guarantees" ): while policies vary from one retailer to another, you can usually count on having anywhere from 30-90 days to try out your clubs. At the end of that period, as long as they're just in good used condition and not damaged, you'll either get a refund or a store credit towards a purchase of replacement golf clubs.
Overwhelmed yet? Don't be. Here are several criteria that can help you choose where to buy your golf clubs:
To help you play your best game ever, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's top golf club stores. While we can't guarantee your new gear will get you that elusive hole in one, you're sure to find clubs that are the right fit for your playing style. Fore!
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