The best Direct-to-Consumer golf brands

Golf is the 2nd most expensive popular sport in the world, behind equestrianism. A big part of that is due to the price of equipment. As a golf teacher myself, I often get asked the question what to buy and where.

I recommend to beginners to start with second-hand golf clubs, but for players (like you maybe?) who have reached a milestone in their game and want to treat themselves to a new set of irons without breaking the bank, Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) golf clubs may be the best option.

You may have seen some DTC golf brands appear on YouTube lately or in the bags of tour pros such as Wesley Bryan or the legendary John Daly. DTC Golf equipment manufacturers are gaining traction thanks to their affordable prices (half the price of traditional retail brands the likes of Taylormade), but also thanks to the high-quality level that has nothing to envy the best known brands.

Takomo, Sub 70, Caley… let’s look at three of the best DTC golf brands out there (from three different countries) that are making affordable high-quality iron sets.

What makes DTC golf clubs more affordable?

The Direct-to-Consumer approach allows customers to pay for and only the product. It removes costs related to retailers, intermediaries, Tour player deals, product release cycles, events, and marketing budgets. All of that is reflected in the final price without sacrificing quality.

Takomo Golf (Finland)

Takomo 101 game improvement irons

Takomo is a Finnish golf brand that manufactures “premium golf equipment at an affordable price” with a Scandinavian mindset focused on minimalistic design, high quality, and durability. They started to make a name for themselves when they sponsored several YouTube golf channels such as BustaJack (official sponsors of the Golfin the Globe series), Bryan Bros (Wesley and George Bryan), Stephen Castaneda and Tom Broders from Good Good (before they partnered with Callaway Golf) and Josh Mayer (check their videos for discount codes).

Manufacturing and assembly take place in Hong Kong (and Japan for the forged heads). Design, prototyping, and testing all happen in Finland. They don’t make putters yet, but according to Golf Link, Takomo putters are to be expected in the future.

Takomo Golf are especially known for their irons, but they also make wedges, driving irons, woods, and drivers. Iron sets start at $489 (half the price of a set of Callaway irons) with their game improvement 101 irons. For that price, irons are set up with KBS Tour shafts and Lamkin crossline grips.

Takomo irons reviewed by Peter Finch

Sub 70 Golf (USA)

Sub 70 699 CB forged irons

The first time I heard about Sub 70 Golf was on Twitter when John Daly was spotted with Sub 70 golf clubs in his bag during the Champions Tour event at TPC Sugarloaf. Intrigued, I then found out thanks to MyGolfSpy that his decision wasn't motivated by any sponsorship deal, it was just because he likes them. That says a lot about the quality of the brand’s golf clubs.

All the clubs are made in Sycamore, Illinois where the company is based. Sub 70 Golf wants to “Bring back that feeling of pride, quality, and shared joy in the game than during the time where golf clubs were handcrafted by a man you knew”. Sub 70 clubs are custom-built just like when you go see a fitter thanks to thousands of grip, shaft and ferrule options.

The company also claims to provide a superior customer experience, thanks to a 30 day 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Two things I personally enjoy with Sub 70 is the pre-owned clubs section, and the Satin-Black finish which makes any iron look better in my opinion.

Iron sets start at $480 with the 699 game improvement irons, the 699 Pro irons (sleeker than the 699s) or the 639 CB/MB forged irons. Depending on which set you go for, the standard setup includes True Temper shafts, or KBS Tour shafts and Lamkin Crossline grips.

Sub 70 irons reviewed by Matt Fryer

Caley Golf (Scotland)

Caley golf clubs

Ryan Atha used to work in a local pro shop in Scotland until 2019 when he founded Caley Golf, with the idea of making golf clubs at a fair price, all while simplifying the buying experience (which led the founder to adopt a DTC approach).

You can recognize Caley products by the bold X logo on the club heads, which refers to St Andrew’s Cross on the flag of Scotland, where the brand originates (based in Edinburgh). Pronounced CAH-LAY, the brand refers to “Caledonia”, the Latin name of Scotland used by the Roman Empire.

Caley Golf makes irons, wedges and utility irons. In the past they have released Drivers, hybrids and putters. Their first set of irons, the 01s has a similar design to the Taylormade P790s with a hollow face for maximum forgiveness and distance.

In terms of possibilities, Caley has 3 options:

  • The O1 set (game improvement irons)
  • The O1T set (players distance irons)
  • And the O1CB set (forged cavity back irons).

Each set comes with a 60 day return policy. Prices start at €599 with KBS Tour shafts and Lamkin Crossline grips. They also offer a customization service online where you can choose your shaft flex, and/or go for graphite shafts, materials, adjust the shaft length, lie angle and grip size.

Caley irons reviewed by Rick Shiels

Are there any other DTC golf brands?

Yes, a dozen as a matter of fact:

This article is focused on 3 of the brands that are the most affordable and that make DTC irons, because iron sets are generally the most expensive purchase for a golfer in terms of equipment.

If you want to extend your research, this list will give you a wider view of the DTC golf market, and increase your likelihood of finding what you need, as well as saving some money.

Does Screengolfers.com ring a bell?

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So, why do we write about Direct-to-Consumer golf brands on our blog when we are an indoor golf aggregator?

DTC golf equipment manufacturers and indoor golf have two things in common: making golf more affordable and inclusive. In our blog, we want to promote ideas, tips, trends and brands that have missions and goals similar to ours at Screengolfers, because at the end we want more people to play golf.