Leigh bader, co-owner of Joe and Leigh's Discount golf shop in South Easton, Mass., made 3balls.com the No. 1 golf seller on eBay and spearheaded PGA.com Value Guide and the PGA Trade-In Network. The retail visionary fields questions from Mike Stachura.
Q: Is trading in clubs becoming as common as trading in your car?
I'd say it's now ubiquitous, or maybe just one serif away from ubiquitous. Mass merchants, specialty stores and golf pros are all likely to take a trade. For every 10 metalwoods that get sold today in a mature specialty store that takes trades, seven have a trade attached. It's five of every 10 iron-set sales.
Q: You think of reselling clubs as a way to grow the game, right?
Your clubs do have an extended life, and if you trade them in, you can maybe let someone else who can't afford to buy new clubs buy your used ones. So I think what we've done is make golf, especially the new technology, more affordable to more people.
Q: When a player like Brandt Snedeker wins with old clubs, do you see a bump in the used club market?
We haven't found any correlation between a tour player using an older club and a spike in demand for that particular used club. It appears that people look at that as anomalous behavior, and they still continue to seek the new stuff.
Q: What club has held its value better than any other over the years?
We haven't tracked that, but asking around and independently of each other, we're all pretty convinced it's the Ping Eye2 irons.
Q: What's the oldest club in your bag?
It's a Ben Hogan 53-degree wedge, and I've been hoarding them for years. It's not in the Value Guide right now, so I can't trade it in, because it doesn't have a value. Or at least that's my excuse.