Re: Golf Clubbing
CE - here's my story/advice about golf clubs. Lets just say I'll echo Paint's advice here.
I was in your shoes. Tons of money to burn on new clubs, so I spent big for some new Mizunos. I loved the look and feel of them - they were going away my favs when I was shopping and I spent a pretty penny getting custom fit for them. One day I saw my neighbor down the street was having a yard sale - she had a full set of Ping Zing 2's in excellent condition & stunningly - only wanted $50 for the entire 3-SW set. I ran home and grabbed some cash - not with the intent to use them, but I sure as heck knew they were worth more than $50.
Anyway - long story short- I started hitting and the range with them and loved them. Absolutely loved them. It took a while to make the full switch - I mean we're talking the difference between a set that I paid nearly a grand for against a set I paid $50 for - but once I did I've never looked back. I ended up giving my Mizunos to my younger brother when he was trying to get into golf and he uses them a lot.
So my end lesson - don't be caught up with prices or labels. I chose - and still stick with despite constant flirtations with other iron sets, a 10 year old set that cost 1/10 what my expensive custom set did. My long time golfing buddy bought the Tour Edge Iron Set. Not the biggest name brand out there but they always fair well I've seen in the Golf Digest Club Wars and he swears by them.
As for some tweaks - I pulled the 3 & 4 iron and replaced both with Cobra Bafflers - and have found both to be much easier at getting up. I pulled my 8 iron and replaced it with an extra wedge. I have my Ping Zing 2 PW - and a 50 & 58 Deg Callaway Forged Plus Wedges - and a 54 Deg Cleveland 588 Wedge that was a gift. I use the 54 way more than the others just due to comfort & circumstance. Not that I don't hit well w/ my Callaway Wedges, it's just I'm that much more confident and a better striker w/ the Clevelands. When it comes time I'll replace all 3 non Cleveland wedges with Clevelands.
I'm also a putter freak. I've had a Ping Doc 17 for a long time now, but I had a Ping Pal 2 & a Ping Anser I swapped back and forth forever. My putters get clipped down to 32" with Winn Grips replaced every few months for tackiness and are adjusted to just the right lie angle. Everyone always snickers and laughs - the Ping Doc 17 is the biggest putter your allowed with on the golf course, but I have found it to be sound, and once I adjusted to the bounce the ball has off the face my putting increased dramatically.
I also have a Cobra 460cc F-Speed Driver and a set of Cleveland Sport 15 & 19 Deg woods that I also pack - would recommend both.
For reference sake - i'm about 5'6 & 195lbs, and a 18ish handicap. All my clubs get clipped down several inches from the factory standard (From the drivers on down).