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Fake Golf Sets - How to Differentiate Posted By Anirudh Chandra at 07 May 2013

"If a deal is too good to be true, it IS too good to be true."

The first thing you will notice about a fake club is the quality just isn’t the same as on the real thing. The shaft bands will be peeling up at the corners, the paint fill will not be in the lines, and the graphics will be just a little off with different colours. Below is a general list of common flaws in counterfeit golf clubs.

>> The grip will have a strong rubber odour like a swimming pool float or a bicycle tire. The grips logos may also not be aligned properly.
>> As stated above, generally the shaft bands will be peeling up and not necessarily on straight on every club.
>> The paint fill will be a different colour and sometimes will also be outside the lines.
>> Many of the shafts will feel flimsy or not as stiff as the flex stated on the shaft.
>> The serial numbers will be in a different font and not always in the same configuration as the real thing. (for example, serial number only on the 7 iron, but the real thing has a serial number on every iron).
>> The head covers are usually cheap looking with terrible stitching. Places where there is rubber on the real cover will have it stitched on the counterfeit cover.


This section will be dedicated to the differences between the way companies put serial numbers on their clubs. It seems that most counterfeit clubs will have a much larger font on the serial numbers than what is on the authentic clubs. Also, some companies etch the serial numbers into the metal and some companies use a laser and it isn’t actually into the metal. Most counterfeit clubs have numbers laser-ed on and are not into the metal. This could of course change in the future.


Titleist serial numbers are almost all etched into the metal itself. On Scotty Cameron putters it is etched into the shaft up near the grip usually between the bottom of the grip and the top of the shaft band. On the newer drivers and fairway woods, it is etched into the head on the sole instead of the hosel. On iron sets that are off the shelf, the serial number is on the 6 iron and on custom ordered sets, the serial number is on all irons. Most of the counterfeit Titleist clubs have used a laser to put the serial number on the club and it is smooth to the touch.


TaylorMade serial numbers are normally put on with a laser and are smooth to the touch just like most counterfeit clubs. Normally, the counterfeit serial numbers are in a different font and specifically a larger font. On many of the newer Taylormade drivers and fairway woods, the real serial number will be very light coloured gray writing. Iron sets will have the serial number on either the 5 iron or the 7 iron and not on every club in the set. The exception to this is tour issue clubs which may have a serial number that begins with a T on every club.


Callaway clubs normally have the serial numbers laser etched on and it is on one club for iron sets. There will also be a tiny 2D barcode next to the serial number. This holds true for Driver, Fairway woods, and Odyssey putters as well.


Ping clubs will be harder to tell because they have recently started using laser etching on their newer clubs. It used to be that all their serial numbers were actually etched into the metal. Just in the last couple of years they have started using the laser etching process like many other companies use. On iron sets, Ping puts the serial number on all clubs. On the newer drivers and fairway woods the serial numbers are on the sole of the club back toward the hosel.

Golf Clubs Serial Number Registration Chart for India
MANUFACTURER TaylorMade Titleist Callaway Cleveland / Srixon Ping
Online Registration Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Serial Number Confirmation No No No Yes No

As long as the big Golf club manufacturing companies outsource their work to China and the Chinese government doesn’t enforce intellectual property laws, the problem is only going to get worse. The other problem is that the longer they make counterfeits, the better they get at making them look like the real thing. The cost of making them is also coming down, so they are branching out and counterfeiting clubs that wouldn’t have been profitable a few years ago.

Callaway, Cleveland, Nike and Acushnet (parent company of the Titleist, Cobra and FootJoy brands) are among the companies who have suffered from the boom in fake clubs and although it's reckoned that 60 per-cent of the world's genuine golf clubs are made in China, millions of poor quality copies also originate from there.

Tell us on the forum if you've been duped by fake clubs or even that you've purchased counterfeits or clones and found them playable.


Kirat on 09 May 2013
Re:Fake Golf Sets - How to Differentiate

This is great

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