If you're looking to get a good return on your old golf clubs, you'll need to look back before World War II and probably before 1930, when steel axles and combination sets became commonplace in golf club manufacturing. Manufacturers like TaylorMade, Callaway and more offer an exchange program that can help offset the costs of acquiring new clubs each year. Or, if you belong to a country club, you can check if they have a bulletin board (in person or online) to sell your used clubs. If you don't plan on playing more than once a month, you don't need to invest a lot in clubs. I've been wanting new golf clubs almost every year and I've found ways to sell my old ones for cash.
While public markets like eBay require some caution (although they can also offer great deals), there are several reputable dealers who specialize in used golf clubs. If you want to sell your clubs without the hassle of eBay, you can get paid by check or PayPal once they receive the item. Clubs from before the turn of the 20th century can be worth quite a bit, presuming that they were created by a prominent club manufacturer and are in good condition. With so many new clubs coming out every year, it's a very competitive space, but you can still make money with the methods mentioned above. If you're looking for full iron sets or drivers, we recommend sticking to trusted dealers like Callaway Preowned and Global Golf.
They'll check the quality of the sticks for you, reject the scum and give you your money back if you're not completely happy. If you just want to have fun with your family and friends without worrying about the score, you don't need to spend a large amount on clubs that just sit there. With so many platforms to buy and sell clubs, you can find the right ones that match your price and condition.