Counterfeit Golf Clubs: What To Know

When you are purchasing a new set of golf clubs, it is important to know you are getting what you pay for.

Golf clubs are expensive, and anytime you see expensive items like this, there is typically a chance that somebody will try and scam somewhere along the way.

Luckily most of the time, the major golf manufacturers are looking at protecting golfers and ensuring that they are getting the products they pay for.

However, once you have heard a horror story about a friend purchasing counterfeit irons or a driver, you will want to take the time to ensure you purchase the real deal.

Counterfeit golf clubs can be a problem, but luckily if you follow some of our tips, you will lower your chances of receiving counterfeit goods.

What Are Counterfeit Golf Clubs?

Counterfeit golf clubs are essentially faking. The club may say Cleveland Golf or Callaway or Titleist on it, but it is simply made to look like these, and it is actually a fake club.

This means that the materials, components, and research that has been done on the product are not quite the same as the one you think you are purchasing.

Some golfers will notice this issue right away. Other times a player will head out to the course and compare their TaylorMade golf driver to that of a friend and realize they are completely different.

Overall counterfeit golf clubs will not perform the same as the major brands, and they are not worth the money you pay.

How To Avoid Purchasing Counterfeit Golf Clubs

The thought of spending thousands of dollars on counterfeit golf equipment is a scary one. If you want to ensure that you do not purchase counterfeit clubs and instead get something that is a good fit for your needs, then we have all of the best tips to help ensure this happens.

Brand Names

For starters, you should seriously consider purchasing golf clubs from a brand name source. When you see the name Ping, Callaway, Odyssey, Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade, Cobra, and others, you will have a certain amount of brand recognition and trust.

The brand name clubs purchase directly from the manufacturer or even from a golf store like Global Golf are all going to be real products, and you won’t have to worry about fake golf clubs.

Sometimes learning to stick with one company and making sure that you fully understand their brand will really help to make sure you get the real deal.

Look For Signs

Believe it or not, there are some signs that you can pick out right away about a counterfeit golf club. Here are some of the things that you need to keep an eye out for.

No Serial Number

Almost all golf clubs are going to have serial numbers. Look for the serial number on your irons somewhere on the club’s head. It may be small, but you should be able to find something somewhere on the club that gives it a registered serial number.

One of the precautions from the golf manufacturer anti-counterfeiting department is to give each club a serial number. This way, if someone calls in to check on whether or not a golf club is real, they can easily identify them.

In addition, the serial number helps for those that are looking to sell their golf clubs down the road. They can prove to the potential buyer that they are really golf clubs and not counterfeit club. When you are purchasing clubs from an unknown source, see if it has a serial number on it.

Different Font

If you are a serious golfer, chances are you know what the Titleist, TaylorMade, Ping, Adams Golf, or Cleveland Golf logo looks like. You have probably seen the brand used in advertising and on the golf course. These trademark labels are essential to keep in mind if you are worried about counterfeit golf clubs.

When you see a different font, it is a tell-tale sign that the club is a fake. TaylorMade will not simply change the way the font looks on one single driver as compared to another. Obviously, when a counterfeit club manufacturer puts together these fake clubs, this is illegal.

Counterfeiters will get in some serious trouble with law enforcement if their illegal acts are discovered.

Odd Shafts

There are thousands of golf shaft options on the market. For an average golfer to learn the names of all of these shafts and know them would be quite difficult.

Golf companies are easier to remember than golf shaft companies just because of the number of shaft companies out there.

However, there are certain names like True Temper, Mitsubishi, Fujikura, and others that you should keep in mind. If these shaft names are spelled wrong or look somewhat different in their standard features and coloring, chances are they are counterfeit.

Related: Learn more about Driver Shaft Fittings


The coloring of the golf clubs is going to stay the same across an entire line of clubs. For instance, with the new TayorMade SIM 2, you are seeing a blue and white coloring. The Callaway Mavrik was black, white, and orange.

If you see a great deal for a “Callaway Mavrik” driver and it is yellow and green, chances are this is a counterfeit. Fake golf equipment will often be made to look like the real equipment, but you can usually see a difference in the coloring.

Launch Monitor

A golf launch monitor is another way to tell if a golf club is truly what it claims to be. Golf launch monitors can give you speed, spin, and distance information that makes it much easier to see exactly what the story is with the golf clubs you are hitting.

Hundreds of thousands to a million counterfeit golf products have been seized from the market through the years, and sometimes the only way to scope out the fake clubs is using a launch monitor to compare performance.

Purchasing Direct From Manufacturer

Although purchasing directly from the golf companies on the market can be a great way to ensure that you are getting real golf equipment, it can also have its downsides. Many times golf clubs purchased directly from the manufacturer are more money and sell for higher amounts.

In addition, you may have to wait a longer period of time as opposed to just purchasing from a company that has it in stock. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer helps ensure you don’t get fake golf equipment, but it has its downsides.

Trusted Websites

In addition to the golf manufactures websites that you are aware of directly, there are times that other golf retailers like Global Golf, PGA SuperStore, and even Amazon can be a good source for purchasing these golf clubs.

With trusted websites, you can ensure that the equipment you are getting is real and the worry of fake golf clubs is off the table. Even though you may run across a website that shows an incredible deal, if there are no product reviews or extensive reports of scams, this likely won’t be worth any amount of money you could save.

Understanding Technology

A smarter buyer is one that is well informed. When you have no idea what you are buying and couldn’t tell a Callaway apart from a TaylorMade, you are setting yourself up to purchase some fake golf equipment. The counterfeit golf equipment that we see often has something about it that will put up a red flag.

If you have a general idea as to what you are looking for and closely follow golf news and product releases, your chances of purchasing counterfeit clubs are greatly reduced. All it takes is a quick read-through of a blog article or a magazine to develop a greater grasp of the current technology on the market.

This way, when you are shopping and a club looks completely different, you can quickly know that it is likely a counterfeit.

Related: Learn more about the different clubs in your bag

Are Knock Offs And Counterfeit The Same Thing?

Some people get the concept of a counterfeit golf club and a knock off confused. However, fake golf clubs and knock offs are two completely different things.

A counterfeit is something that looks like a real product, and when golfers purchase it, they are told that it is the real product. With counterfeit clubs, there is deception involved. This is not the case with knock off golf clubs.

A knock off golf club is made to look like an original, but it is not made by the same brand. For instance, the TaylorMade Spider putter was very popular, so other smaller companies started to make their own version of this putter.

You will see a golf manufacture like PXG put out a putter that looks similar to an Odyssey or a TaylorMade, but it is entirely different from a branding perspective. The idea is that knock offs have some unique coloring and features, and they are not meant to deceive a buyer into thinking that they are the real thing.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, the concept of accidentally purchasing counterfeit golf equipment brings up a lot of anxiety for shoppers. Now is the time to ask your questions because when you end up with this fake golf equipment, there may not be much that you can do to get your money back.

How can you tell if golf clubs are fake?

The best way to tell if golf clubs are fake is to inspect them very closely for differences from the original. Most of the time, there is a difference in the font or how the club head is shaped. Although these counterfeit golf club producers are getting better and better, there are still slight differences.

In addition to the font, check for shafts and grips that seem as though they may not be a standard choice from the manufacturer. Chances are there is a clue somewhere on the club that will give it away. In addition, you can check on the serial number to ensure that the club is registered and that it is originally from the manufacturer.

Are knock off golf clubs worth it?

Knock off golf clubs can come at a very low price. These clubs are often made to look and sometimes even perform like the name brand clubs. Most of the time, the knock off clubs do not have the same technology and materials, and there will be differences in performance.

For golfers on a budget or those that are just starting out in the game, the knock off clubs could be a good choice. As long as you know what you are getting, then the purchase won’t be a bad one.

Do cheap golf clubs make a difference?

Cheap golf clubs can make a big difference depending on how serious of a player you are. If you are looking to try and get your game to a single digit handicap and you play several times a week, you really will want some middle of the road to premium golf equipment. The cheap golf equipment may not cut it from a performance standpoint.

For those that are trying to determine if golf is a good sport for the long term, cheap golf equipment is a perfect temporary option.


Hopefully, you now feel as though you can understand the difference between counterfeit golf clubs and original golf clubs. When shopping for golf clubs, it can be easy to get drawn into a sale offering a set of irons or a driver for $100 less. However, when everyone is selling something for $499, why would it be $399 from one location?

Try to think about these things and ensure that you are making intelligent purchasing decisions. In the end, when you pay attention to the equipment you are purchasing, the pricing, and where you are getting it from, chances are you will end up with an authentic golf club.

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