Some kind of radar must have gone off... I stumbled into this thread, where surprisingly something I worked on was referenced. : ) I do hope it helps others ...
I can't find it at the moment, but I also posted a chart in the forum on "coin rental gear" which in some cases, especially mobile players using sponsor apparel can delay club purchases early on to save up credits while they reach the higher levels.
I feel Robert and Tony both made good points... and possibly focusing on slightly different player skill sets ...
Robert is correct in that the average player will likely need higher end gear to compete at the higher level, whereas Tony is also correct in that a highly skilled player using the equipment in the L85 range could also be competitive up to a certain point with their peers. If you doubt the quality of the L85 clubs in that series … look at the scores by elite players being posted in the etour event with those very clubs.
So the clubs can be played competitively up to a certain point depending on the skill set of your peers. I see some Tour Legends and even higher that never upgrade their L85 Cally irons because they tend to know those clubs very well.
The challenge with playing the L85 irons, it becomes almost mandatory to play a higher end ball in order to do so. Ball cost being the single greatest ongoing expense is something to consider. Hence the Ready Go cost chart.
Ultimately.. higher end clubs allow you to play a slightly cheaper ball than the lower end clubs, but there are still instances where you need to upgrade your ball. I tried to follow Fmagnets example in this regard to save credits. He plays a cheaper L61 ball for 500 credits whenever he can, but for courses like Chambers Bay with heavier winds and Champ 13 or Champ 14 greens you see him play the L93 TM ball which is 250 credits more.
If you are playing countless rounds and using multiple sleeves those ball cost add up over time. I estimated I saved over 4000 credits last year by using a L13 Srixon on mobile playing coin games because the sponsor apparel allows my clubs to play better... hence save the cost by lowering the ball I play.
This gets tricky though, changing balls, it means you need more notes and it means you needs to pay attention to how distance and spin factors can alter in different wind conditions. That can be more challenging than sticking to one ball all the time... but I still recommend playing the best ball you feel comfortable playing competitively because it can effect your ROI if you go into ready go's.
Sorry for rambling, but just wanted to touch on how I felt both of you were correct and share a couple insights maybe of my own.