For a beginner with no access to golf clubs, the Northwestern golf clubs are decent options to start with. However, these 30-year-old muscle-backs will not do you any good in the long run, especially if you want to improve your game, because they’re much less forgiving than most modern clubs.
There’s indeed no proof of golf clubs getting bad with age. However, when you want to invest in a set, no matter how cheap, you like to know if it’s any good at all. Recently, I received mail from a reader trying to find a used set for his 15-year-old son’s first club and considering the Northwestern irons.
This piqued my interest because I once used them as a beginner in my college days. After more research, I realized that many others want to know if these Northwesterner clubs are good enough to start the game or if it is encouraged to begin with higher-end ones.
I have put this article together to share all the vital information you need to know about using Northwestern golf clubs.
How Good Are Northwestern Golf Clubs?
Some players may have sentimental value or comfort with older clubs, but modern clubs offer improved performance. If you’re a casual golfer, the 30-year-old Northwestern clubs may still be usable, but upgrading to newer technology could enhance your game.
Of course, this brand has been making vintage golf equipment since the early 1900s, with over five decades of manufacturing experience.
The sound you get from the impact when hitting Northwestern clubs is almost second to none. Also, the appearance is excellent. A closer look at the top paint reveals the club’s resistance to chips and scratches.
The fact that you can get a set of Northwestern iron for half the price of a single modern club is also a key advantage, but in terms of performance, they are not really good. As a beginner, you will need something with newer technology and improved forgiveness actually to improve your game.
But for the average beginner who is totally starting from scratch and doesn’t want to spend too much on golf gear, northwestern golf clubs are decent starters.
Key Features of Northwestern Golf Clubs (Ti Matrix Driver in Review)
The sole of the golf club reads “Northwestern Titanium Matrix,” which is, by the way, an excellent way of saying aluminum, along with the wood number.
The club head
- It has two diagonal little flutes on the sole.
- It features a Callaway knockoff gery painted all the way around the club face.
- The face is designed with tons of grooves, which the manufacturers expect players to hit out of the rough.
- Aluminum oxidation layer on the club face
- A triangle icon on the top line
- A little plastic feral at the edge of the club head connects the shaft.
- Northwestern Golf Club uses a graphite shaft (x101), which I don’t see as really spectacular.
- The Northwestern golf club under review features some aftermarket grip with no markings, even on the butt.
- It simply has concentric circles at the bottom of the grip.
- The grip of Northwestern golf clubs has been the trouble of many users.
Images credit: The Vintage Golfer
I’ve had the opportunity to use the northwestern irons since I first started, which today can be purchased for around a dollar each.
These decades-long clubs worked fine, but the only bad thing about them, based on personal observation, was the grips, which I believe will easily be a struggle for beginners.
In terms of ball movement, especially compared with the set of tailor-made drivers, I did notice the same big, sweeping slice off into nowhere.
That shows it’s often more about the player than the club.
So, if you’re considering Northwestern golf clubs, it would help if you prepared to invest in some name-brand clubs after getting good at hitting those old Northwesterns.
Meanwhile, the “ping” sound that comes as feedback upon impact with the Northwestern golf clubs is lovable.
Pros and Cons of Using Northwestern Golf Clubs
Using 30-year-old golf clubs like the Northwestern golf clubs, especially when purchased preowned at a lower cost, comes with both advantages and disadvantages. So keep these in mind before deciding on buying them:
- They are often available at a fraction of the cost of newer models, making them an affordable option for budget-conscious golfers. You can see a set of Northwestern golf clubs for around $50.
- The classic design and feel of the vintage clubs
- If well-maintained, these clubs can withstand the test of time and still perform reasonably well on the course.
- The less forgiving technology can force you to develop a more consistent swing and better ball-striking ability.
- You will miss out on advances in materials and design that could have contributed to forgiveness, distance, and overall performance.
- Northwestern golf clubs are now primarily preowned. So be ready to put up with possible scratches, dents, or worn-out grips, which can impact your ability to play at your best.
- Older clubs, including Northwestern Lines, generally have less forgiving designs compared to modern clubs.
- It is not from a renowned brand, so there is no collectible value.
Who Can Use Northwestern Golf Clubs?
The Northwestern golf clubs look visually pleasing, especially with their vintage appeal. They are okay to start with if you’re getting into golf and don’t want to spend too much on your first set of golf clubs.
Northwestern clubs will be much less forgiving than most modern clubs. So you’re making golf harder. But when you’re starting, you almost never strike the ball well enough for it to really matter.
Golf is hard enough without having to learn on a mixed bag of random 30-year-old muscle-backs.
So, if you’re really invested in improving your game, you could quickly get a decent set of used irons from a name brand for $100 or less.
For an average golf player (either for leisure or otherwise), they are crap. But $7 is a great price to get started.
If you enjoy the practice of gathering vintage clubs and playing them as a beginner, I recommend you stay away from brands like the Chichi Clubs, as they are generally hard to hit.
Where Can I Buy Northwestern Golf Clubs?
You are likely to find Northwestern golf clubs sold on platforms like eBay. The average seller will place the price point at between $75 and $100 for a complete set of, say, the 3-PW Concorde Oversize RH Men’s Steel, while a club can cost a buck each. Some with new grips can cost a little more.
You can also find them at KMart, especially those J.C. Snead muscle back blades. It is safe to say that half the clubs at Goodwill are Northwestern clubs, too.
Each time I look at these clubs, it brings a certain nostalgia as I reflect on the past when inexpensive clubs were actually affordable but built like tanks.
Indeed, the dollar value of these older clubs is meager, but they could, today, mean a lot to a kid who doesn’t have access to clubs.
The ProSelect line of Northwestern golf clubs is offered at limited-access clubs directly to a select group of 2,000 customers.
The brand also supports celebrities like Gary Player, J.C. Snead, Bob Murphy, Judy Rankin, and Nancy Lopez, who use and endorse the product.
If you’re looking to buy Northwestern clubs as a beginner, my candid opinion is that they are not so great. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use them.
It’s a good starter, but you can always upgrade later.