How to avoid buying counterfeit golf clubs

Golf bag

Buying used golf clubs online is an excellent method to save money and get the club of your dreams for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

However, we frequently hear horror stories from clients who have purchased a used club or set of clubs in good faith, only to discover that they have been sold a counterfeit.

They are greatly disappointed to realise that not only is the equipment of poor quality but it is also prohibited to sell counterfeit items so they are stuck with the offensive piece of gear.

Although selling counterfeit golf clubs is severely prohibited by law, the unscrupulous continue to attempt it.

And they frequently get away with it, at least until some observant golfer spots and reports them.

Sometimes it’s the last person you expect – in 2019, a professional golf coach was sentenced to 16 months in prison for selling over £100,000 in counterfeit golf equipment.

Even if you sell a counterfeit golf club unintentionally, you will be in violation of the law, therefore ignorance is no excuse.

It is such a serious issue that the British Golf Industry Association (BIGA) is doing everything it can to increase awareness about the dangers of purchasing and selling counterfeit equipment.

“The BGIA is aware of the problems counterfeiting can cause its members, such as financial harm to companies and shareholders. It is also credited with funding organised crime, has health and safety implications, and causes huge reputational damage. Counterfeiting is a problem that all companies with a brand to protect must be conscious of.”

It is generally difficult to tell whether a golf club is legitimate or fake, although it is occasionally evident. If the product’s overall quality is poor, this is a good indication that something is wrong. While those who make counterfeit golf clubs may be intelligent, they frequently overlook little features, so this is where you should start.

If you can compare the club you’re interested into a legitimate one, this is an excellent method to identify the difference.

The no 1 rule when it comes to rooting out fakes is that if a deal seems to good to be true you should display caution.

BGIA Executive Board member and former Head of Golf – Wilson (UK and Ireland), Lee Farrar said: “When buying either online or from any source, trust your instincts, if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

“Counterfeit goods not only affect consumers but they also damage the livelihood of honest and reputable dealers and do not meet the quality and standards of the brand holder.”

What to look out for in counterfeit clubs

It might be too late by the time you realise it, but counterfeit clubs will most often perform poorly when compared to the real deal.

Topend golf brands include cutting-edge technologies in their clubs that are often impossible for counterfeiters to replicate. If these pieces of tech are visible elements on the club they provide pointers towards authenticity.

In the case of online sellers, blurry, low-res images of the piece of equipment are another red flag, as are images that are taken from the manufacturers’ promotional materials.