The battle against counterfeit clubsJune, 2012
The battle to prevent the production of fake golf clubs is in full swing...
A recent raid in Shanghai has resulted in the seizure of more than 7,500 counterfeit golf products, bringing the total number of seizures over the last 18 months to 110,000 pieces of equipment – including clubs, balls, bags and apparel.
Although the issue may not be apparent to the majority of everyday golfers, it is estimated that approximately two million counterfeit golf clubs are produced every year. With the internet market becoming a rapid source for people buying golf equipment, the problem is growing at an alarming rate.
The recent raid in China, a stronghold source for the production of counterfeit golf clubs, was the result of a month-long investigation by the Shanghai Public Safety Bureau and resulted in three arrests along with the seizure of goods.
Websites offering heavily reduced rates on golfing goods are places to be wary of, and the only way to obtain a complete guarantee that goods are authentic is to purchase from an approved retailer. So how does this problem affect the everyday golfer? On the surface it may seem like purchasing a set of clubs with a brand name for a fraction of the cost might not be a terrible thing. However, counterfeit golf clubs generally come with a whole host of problems.
Sometimes these issues can be purely golf related, such as a loss of distance and accuracy from drivers, hybrids and irons. However, in a great number of cases the issue is one of safety, with many counterfeit clubs having shafts that shatter or heads that fly off mid-swing.
“Fighting counterfeit clubs is a long war, but we’re trying to take it one battle at a time,” said Joe Nauman, Executive Vice President for Corporate and Legal for Acushnet Company.
“The counterfeiting of clubs is a global issue but raids often generate new information that leads to future arrests and protects the future of the game.”
So how do you know if you are purchasing fake equipment? There will nearly always be subtle differences in shade, colour and engraving between counterfeit goods and the authentic version, but sometimes these can be difficult to see.
Websites offering heavily reduced rates on golfing goods are places to be wary of, and the only way to obtain a complete guarantee that goods are authentic is to purchase from an approved retailer.