You've found the right golf club but are you sure it is not a fake? It doesn't matter if you are looking for used golf clubs or new golf clubs The counterfeit golf club industry is well-established and can trick many into believing their products are the real thing. At Global Golf, we go through an extensive process to find and eliminate fake clubs so our customers always get genuine products.
The first thing we look for is the serial number. Callaway, one of the most counterfeited brands, started adding serial numbers to their clubs in 2002. On their woods, the numbers are printed very faintly on the back of the heel of the head. On their irons, the serial numbers are placed under the grip so they are harder to check. Mizuno and many other brands have their serial numbers on the hosel (the part of the head that connects to the shaft) of each wood and iron.
Next we look at the logos, lettering and coloring. Many of the fakes use different lettering styles than the ones used on genuine clubs. The color of the club is often noticeably different as well. If the shading is even a little bit off, we investigate further to determine its authenticity. A more obvious giveaway is a misspelled name. Instead of "Callaway Diablo Octane", a fake club may say something like "Callaway Diobalo Octane."
One of the last things we look at is the shaft. Another counterfeiters' trick is adding a fake shaft to a real head. This is very difficult to find, but the best place to look is the ferrule (the piece that connects the shaft to the head). If it is not a ferrule the brand uses, that means the shaft was replaced at one point and it may be a fake. Because we handle so many clubs, we can also tell if the weight is too high or too low for a particular club. If a fake is using a different metal, shaft or head, it will most likely have a different weight.
Regarding the issue of counterfeit clubs, TaylorMade writes:
"Authentic TaylorMade golf clubs have a serial number on the hosel of each wood and on the 5-iron or the 7-iron (depending on the model) in each set of irons. If your club does not have that serial number, it may not be a genuine TaylorMade."
"If the club is a driver, or a #3 wood, does it have a serial number on the hosel? If you are purchasing a set of irons, does the 8-iron have a serial number on it? If the answer is 'no,' there is a very high probability that these clubs could be counterfeit. If the answer is 'yes,' but the clubs being offered fit other warning signs in this bulletin (such as a suspiciously low price), be cautious. Some counterfeiters are putting bogus serial numbers on clubs. If you have any hesitation, contact your authorized retailer or Callaway Golf Customer Service. Remember, merely because a club has a serial number does not mean that it is authentic. If the clubs include models that are supposed to be titanium, does a magnet cling to them? If it does, the clubs are counterfeit. A magnet will not cling to titanium."
In 2007, a father and son in Moore County, North Carolina were arrested and charged in connection with an alleged counterfeit operation in which more than a thousand parcels a month of golf equipment were shipped around the world. The news station WRAL, which broadcasts all over the world, wanted to find a reputable golf company to discuss fake golf clubs and how to let consumers know which clubs are fake. WRAL came to Global Golf and interviewed Global Golf’s Vice President and PGA of America Board Member, Zack Veasey. Two videos were created for their viewers. The first two-minute video contains the entire interview.
The second video is one minute and covers how to determine whether or not your club is a counterfeit.
If you decide to shop for clubs on your own, look for serial numbers or any irregularities in the club. Follow the steps above to find the differences: serial number, logo, fonts, color, ferrule and weight.
If you are concerned your club is a fake, contact the manufacturers directly. They will be able to tell you, sometimes over the phone, if your club is a fake.