Buying a set of used golf irons is a cost-effective way to add new clubs to your golf bag without paying full-market price. Because golfers routinely upgrade their equipment, it's relatively easy to find many used clubs on the market at different price points and degrees of use. Buying used clubs isn't the same as buying new clubs. When the clubs are used, you must be vigilant about inspecting their condition prior to purchase.
Seek a set of used irons that meets your budget requirements. Although used irons are a fraction of the price of a set of new irons, they vary drastically in price according to make, model, age and condition. Upon finding a few sets of irons that have a suitable price, you can begin inspecting the condition of the clubs.
Inspect the grips of the clubs for signs that you might need to replace them after purchase. Worn grips are not necessarily a sign that you shouldn't buy the clubs, but you should factor in the price of regripping the clubs before agreeing to buy the irons. Worn grips might appear smooth from years of use, cracked or not tight on the shaft.
Note the condition of the shafts. If the clubs have been used extensively, the shafts might be scuffed, dirty or even contain spots of rust. Removing rust from steel shafts is a simple procedure; rust can signal more than a surface problem, however. A club shaft could be rusting from the inside out, which will seriously weaken the shaft. If the shafts appear bent or slightly cracked in any way, avoid them. Check beneath any tape that the seller might have used to cover damage to the shafts.
Check the clubface of each iron for signs of excessive wear. A common sign of wear on iron clubfaces is a smooth, shiny area in the center of the face, which is indicative of the club being used to strike many balls. The smoothness of this area can lessen the spin of the ball off the club. Inspect the condition of the grooves in the clubface for signs of damage.