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Counterfeit Golf Club Industry


thechrisgibbs
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As some people have seen in the news recently, 10,000 counterfeit golf clubs were seized in a raid in China. This isn't even close to the first encounter we've had with counterfeit clubs. In fact, Rick Shiels did a REVIEW of a 'Taylormade M6' driver he order off a well known site called Wish. What were his findings? The club looked close, but the numbers on his GC Quad were pitiful. He was getting distances and sound you'd expect from a $50 driver you can buy at Walmart, not the dead-inside power you get from a real Taylormade M6. 

So what does this mean for the golf industry? It's hard to say. Fake clubs are getting better and better, and with shipping delays and prices continuing to climb, they may become more and more prevalent. My questions for the forum:

  1. Have you had an experience with counterfeit clubs in person?
  2. Would you ever buy a fake brand-name club?
  3. What are the implications for the used golf club market?

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Golf Week article:

https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/08/16/busted-nearly-10000-counterfeit-golf-clubs-seized-china/

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Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff, Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff, Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid: Cobra Forged Tec set to 17* X-Stiff, Catalyst 6.0

4-6 Irons: 2021 P790 X-Stiff, KBS Tour FLT

7-PW Irons: 2021 P770 X-Stiff, KBS C-Taper 1* flat

Wedges: Mod 1 50* with Universal Down sole, Mod 1 56* with Narrow UP sole

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

5.6 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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25 minutes ago, GolfSpy_TCG said:

 

  1. Have you had an experience with counterfeit clubs in person?
  2. Would you ever buy a fake brand-name club?
  3. What are the implications for the used golf club market?


1. Yes, a SC counterfeit putter was tested against an authentic SC as an MGS test.  I was one of the testers.   Unless you held them side by side you wouldn’t really be able to tell which was which 

 

2.  As DJ responded when asked if ever hits a draw with a driver.   No, never, not on purpose. 
here is the video for those interested: https://www.facebook.com/GOLFTV/videos/505595657106815/?comment_id=941304303369596

3.  The implications are huge.  People are potentially buying and selling clubs that are counterfeit.   Everything in the golf space has been counterfeited….grips, shafts, head covers, clubs.  This is a multi million dollar industry for the counterfeiters and the consumer is the one who gets screwed as the are out money and potentially have no product.  

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 5-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter: Auditions ongoing 

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787, :seemore-small: mFGP2, logo-horizontal-black.svg Directed Force 2.1

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

1. Yes, a SC counterfeit putter was tested against an authentic SC as an MGS test.  I was one of the testers.   Unless you held them side by side you wouldn’t really be able to tell which was which 

 

2.  As DJ responded when asked if ever hits a draw with a driver.   No, never, not on purpose. 
here is the video for those interested: https://www.facebook.com/GOLFTV/videos/505595657106815/?comment_id=941304303369596

3.  The implications are huge.  People are potentially buying and selling clubs that are counterfeit.   Everything in the golf space has been counterfeited….grips, shafts, head covers, clubs.  This is a multi million dollar industry for the counterfeiters and the consumer is the one who gets screwed as the are out money and potentially have no product.  

This just gives people an extra excuse for their poor performance, "yeah, that shank into the woods was because it's a counterfeit driver...not me!" 🤣 

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In my :ping-small: Hoofer:

:ping-small: G410 LST 10.5* - Evenflow Black 65 6.0

:nike-small: VRS Covert 3W 15* - Kuro Kage 65 S-flex

TESTING:  :titelist-small:  T200 4-GW, DG X100 Tour Issue

:wilson_staff_small:  D7 4-GW, KBS 105

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 Stealth 54.12 SS & 58.10 SS

:ping-small:  Zing 2 LW - 60*

:ping-small:  Anser 2

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Bought counterfeit Golf Pride MCC grips, of course on Ebay .. I sent them back told the seller they are counterfeit and sending to Golf Pride. He refunded the money and took all the GP grips off his ebay site.  These were bad fakes too not even close. 

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:cobra-small: Speedzone Driver Tensei AV Blue or  :ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: King Speedzone Black Yellow Fairway 3 wood Tensei AV Blue 65 

:cobra-small: F9 SpeedBack Black Grey Fairway 5 Wood   :Fuji: ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 7 shaft

:titelist-small: T300 4i-GW - Tensei AV Blue AM2 Regular Flex  or :mizuno-small: JPX 900 Hot Metal 5 - GW Project X Lz 4.5 Regular Flex Graphite 

:ping-small:   Glide 2.0 SS Wedges 54 & 58 

:taylormade-small: TP Red White Ardmore Putter - BGT Stability Tour Black shaft 

:918457628_PrecisionPro:Precision Pro NX7 range finder 

:cobra-small: Ultralight Cart Bag 

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7 minutes ago, Nolan220 said:

Bought counterfeit Golf Pride MCC grips, of course on Ebay .. I sent them back told the seller they are counterfeit and sending to Golf Pride. He refunded the money and took all the GP grips off his ebay site.  These were bad fakes too not even close. 

Ebay gives me anxiety now. I am so paranoid I'll accidentally buy counterfeit equipment. I'm even stressed about counterfeit golf balls hitting the market in the future too with the shortage in urethane right now.

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Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff, Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff, Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid: Cobra Forged Tec set to 17* X-Stiff, Catalyst 6.0

4-6 Irons: 2021 P790 X-Stiff, KBS Tour FLT

7-PW Irons: 2021 P770 X-Stiff, KBS C-Taper 1* flat

Wedges: Mod 1 50* with Universal Down sole, Mod 1 56* with Narrow UP sole

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

5.6 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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12 minutes ago, GolfSpy_TCG said:

Ebay gives me anxiety now. I am so paranoid I'll accidentally buy counterfeit equipment. I'm even stressed about counterfeit golf balls hitting the market in the future too with the shortage in urethane right now.

I had good luck so far not that I buy much from there, I actually bought golf pride grips and they were real before. But you are right so much stuff out there who knows if the seller actual knows if its real or not

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:cobra-small: Speedzone Driver Tensei AV Blue or  :ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: King Speedzone Black Yellow Fairway 3 wood Tensei AV Blue 65 

:cobra-small: F9 SpeedBack Black Grey Fairway 5 Wood   :Fuji: ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 7 shaft

:titelist-small: T300 4i-GW - Tensei AV Blue AM2 Regular Flex  or :mizuno-small: JPX 900 Hot Metal 5 - GW Project X Lz 4.5 Regular Flex Graphite 

:ping-small:   Glide 2.0 SS Wedges 54 & 58 

:taylormade-small: TP Red White Ardmore Putter - BGT Stability Tour Black shaft 

:918457628_PrecisionPro:Precision Pro NX7 range finder 

:cobra-small: Ultralight Cart Bag 

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I normally buy from authorized retailers so my chances of getting a counterfeit are greatly reduced. I don't think i've ever gotten fake golf products. I don't need the uncertainty of a counterfeit club's questionable performance sneaking into my game...I have enough uncertainty in my game as is, 😁🤣😂

 

MDGolfHacker

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What's In This Lefty's Bag?

Driver: :cobra-small: F8 9.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 65g shaft 

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 3W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 5W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 816H2 19°

Irons: :titelist-small: 2021 T200's 4-GW AMT RED shafts Regular Flex

Wedge: :cleveland-small: Tour Satin RTX 4 Wedges in 52° and 56° 2 Dot

Putter: :nevercompromise-small: Gray Matter TDP 2.2 32.75"

Bag: :1590477705_SunMountain: Three 5

Ball:  :titelist-small:  PRO V1X

RangeFinder:918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro

Social Media:

Facebook:   md golfhacker
Twitter:        @mdgolfhacker
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 Currently Testing:  2021:titelist-small: T200's (https://forum.mygolfspy.com/tests/19-test-in-progress-titleist-t-series-irons/?do=findReview&review=38)

 

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I bought an R11S off of eBay a number of years ago for my dad. The adapter was not on the shaft well so I brought it to Golfsmith to have it fixed, and they pointed out that it was a counterfeit by showing it to me next to a legit one. The graphics looked good, but were different sizes when side by side. I was disappointed, to say the least.

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In my  :wilson_staff_small:  carry bag:
:callaway-small: Mavrik Max 10.5* R Flex Evenflow RipTide
:cleveland-small: Hy-Wood
:cleveland-small: Launcher 5h
:wilson_staff_small: D200 6i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
:bridgestone-small: e12 Contact
 

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  1. Have you had an experience with counterfeit clubs in person?

        Not me, but a colleague, who was an ex-pat, unknowingly bought a fake TM driver. Due to language barriers I worked with him & the seller to get his money back.

    2.  Would you ever buy a fake brand-name club?

        Not knowingly.

    3. What are the implications for the used golf club market?

        With the current backlog of all golf equipment this segment of the market is bound to expand. Resellers on ebay, FB & CL will either be knowingly selling fakes as OEM stuff or unsuspecting buyers will be reselling that same equipment when it doesn't perform for them.

Driver: :cobra-small: Speed Zone 9* HZRDUS Smoke Yellow Shaft

3 Wood: :cobra-small: King Speedzone 13.5* HZRDUS Smoke Black Shaft

2 & 3 Hybrids: :cobra-small: Speedzone Recoil 480 ESX Shaft

Irons: :cobra-small: Speedzone 5-GW Recoil 460 ESX Shafts

Wedges::callaway-logo-1: PM Grind 54* & 58*

Putter: :odyssey-small: Dual Force Rossi II

Ball: Whatever I find in the woods

:Arccos:

HCP:18

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16 hours ago, MDGolfHacker said:

I normally buy from authorized retailers so my chances of getting a counterfeit are greatly reduced. I don't think i've ever gotten fake golf products

I agree - I do quite a bit of eBay purchasing.  You mentioned the best way to combat this, buying from folks that have eBay pages like 2nd swing, global golf, callawaypreowned, etc.....  The other thing I've done is that I will actually ask the seller to send a picture of the serial number and I will call Callaway or Titleist about the club.  This is by no means full proof, but it gives you an extra level of security.  Lastly, is to ensure you always buy clubs with a return policy from eBay.

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Driver:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngMavrik Sub Zero 9* (Set to 10) Ventus Blue 6X

2 Hybrid: :titelist-small: TSI3 Hybrid Tensei Blue 80 X (17.25*)

3 Hybrid :titelist-small: 818 H2 Hybrid Hzrdus RDX Black 6.5 (20.5*)

4 Iron -  :titelist-small: T200 4 Iron Graphite Design Tour AD IZ X Hybrid Shaft

Irons 5-PW:  :titelist-small: T100-S 5 - GW KBS Tour 130 X

Gap/Sand Wedge:  :titelist-small: Vokey SM6 49*  SM8 54* 

Lob Wedge:  image.png.3c6db1120d888f669e07d4a8f890b3f1.pngJaws 5 Wedge 58* DG Tour Issue Stiff

Putter:   :scotty-small: Phantom 5.5 34"      Pro Platinum Newport 2 35"      Taylormade Tour Black Spider 34"

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15 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

Just bought this off eBay

image.png.b925ea1c8b4c08d12e8db0118fed7d49.png

 

Worried that it's counterfeit.  I mean, how am I to know if that's real hickory?

 

I would make sure that grip is real 🤣

:cobra-small: Speedzone Driver Tensei AV Blue or  :ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: King Speedzone Black Yellow Fairway 3 wood Tensei AV Blue 65 

:cobra-small: F9 SpeedBack Black Grey Fairway 5 Wood   :Fuji: ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 7 shaft

:titelist-small: T300 4i-GW - Tensei AV Blue AM2 Regular Flex  or :mizuno-small: JPX 900 Hot Metal 5 - GW Project X Lz 4.5 Regular Flex Graphite 

:ping-small:   Glide 2.0 SS Wedges 54 & 58 

:taylormade-small: TP Red White Ardmore Putter - BGT Stability Tour Black shaft 

:918457628_PrecisionPro:Precision Pro NX7 range finder 

:cobra-small: Ultralight Cart Bag 

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19 hours ago, MDGolfHacker said:

I normally buy from authorized retailers so my chances of getting a counterfeit are greatly reduced. I don't think i've ever gotten fake golf products. I don't need the uncertainty of a counterfeit club's questionable performance sneaking into my game...I have enough uncertainty in my game as is, 😁🤣😂

 

MDGolfHacker

I will not (as far as I know) buy any counterfeit products.  Like you I have enough handicaps.

Rick

 

 

Left Hand, 

Driver; Titleist TSi2, Kuro Kage 50 gr R2

5 Wood; Cally Steelhead 

5 Hybrid; Cally Steelhead, Hazardous Vista Pro R2

Irons; Ping G710 6-GW, Recoil 460 R2

Wedges; Titleist S9 54*

Putter; Waaay too many to list

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1: I don't know if I would call it counterfeit but I used a set of knowingly knock-off Callaway X-14s when I was younger and they were fine. That was in the era when there were loads of "knock-offs" like the P2G branded (fake Ping) clubs. I don't know if those fall under the counterfeit category though. 

2: I will always try to avoid fakes. They are bad for everyone in general and take away from the people actually taking the risk to make the product.

3: The implications are huge for the used putter market for sure. I haven't seen many good fakes of legitimate irons and woods for a long while. I think modern drivers, woods, and many irons are too difficult to readily copy or at least make a good copy of. However, I wouldn't put it past them to make a good fake iron, especially cast irons. 

Putters are by far the biggest risk of them all. Copying milled putters may be the easiest and most valuable club to counterfeit. This is what makes the whole Scotty Cameron market risky. There are so many fake Scotties out there I wouldn't dare buy one from anything but a reputable reseller or in person. Even then, it's tough because serial numbers can be ripped off actual putters. The worst part about fake Scotties is that they can be faked in just about any factory with a CNC and knowledgeable operator. So it's not like it's only going to be one factory turning these things out en masse.

Regarding fake accessories like grips, balls, etc. I would just say you should stick to buying from trusted sources. It's not likely you'll get a fake grip or fake ball at your local golf shop. Fake balls are likely the hardest to spot. There are probably more than a few companies out there churning out blank urethan balls and there is nothing unique about the stampings on most balls. What would be difficult is recreating the boxes. 

I think my general advice for golf stuff is to either know what you're buying well enough or just stick to buying from reputable sources. Used equipment on eBay, except for Scotties, is usually okay but if something doesn't look quite right, just move on.

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