Ive never really correlated the two.
In the good old days when there were dozens of component companies and FGI had numerous sponsors along with Multiple new GS and GW offering hoing was easy and fun. Everybody wanted to try new stuff. The swap shops were full of Items in all categories at fair prices and these were circulated around from ho to ho......I had 5-6 gear whores on speed dial
We all knew that unless we happend to stumble on a head or shaft or combo that just suited us better that it wasnt going to make us better players but it was always fun to try new stuff and it was affordable. Being a clubmaker,wanted to try as much product as possible to see it forst hand and evaluate it. Would rarely if ever flog something to a customer that i couldnt endorse.
Now days, components are dead, outside GW and Wishon and a few others that have stood thebtest of time its a ghost industry. innovation is essentially non existent and while we still get the bs marketing schtickk from OEM's again there isnt anything that exciting or really game changing. At 500/600 per wood and 750-1000 for irons,its not really a cheap habbit now to be a ho . Oem gear that's 2-3 years old is reasonable. Im pretty much 100% OEM now . Much of it is several versions ago ( Ping i5) nothing in the bag younger than a 2016 M2 fw ( In Phooenix bag) and a Ping G driver up here....two of the better clubs in that category that ive owned. My G25 driver in Phoenix is just as good though.
Now if i want to test gear i go to all the demo days at my club and takes out demos for rounds at my buddies club, go try the putters at Golftown.
Hoing never made my game better because every round i had new clubs or new combos in it. Hoing also never restricted or decreased my playing or practicing, in fact i probably played and practiced more then because i always had something i wanted to try out.
I Still have bags and drawer fulls of old heads and shaft pulls and demo clubs etc. Dozens of shipping boxes, I suppose I should just purge them .
I Still play on average what i have played past 15 years 25-40 rounds a year. With other hobbies i enjoy more ( gardening , fishing , my summer sports car) and spending quality time with my kids ........thats more than enough for me right now.