Golf Lesson #5: Golf Club Clones vs Brands

In the SUV market we have the Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota and a host of others. Each of these companies takes the best features the market has to offer and incorporates them into their cars. They all do this legally, ethically and with great vigor. It is a game of leapfrog.

While we sometimes find it hard to distinguish one SUV from another, we know they are not exact copies of each other and that these companies are not trying to confuse the consumer into thinking so. But we also know the SUV makers copy the same features, performance characteristics, and customer benefits from one another in a marketplace of continuing innovation. We do too, but we do it in the golf club market.

The most popular name brand companies in golf today are Callaway, Ping, Titleist, TaylorMade and Nike, with several others typically coming in and out of favor. These companies (and us) are just like the auto makers — leap frogging each other with innovative new product concepts, materials and fashion statements. When talking generically about golf clubs, most consumers describe products in terms of general product families. It's like when auto consumers say that Hyundai has a "Mercedes look", or that Mercedes "looks like a Land Rover." Well, it is the same thing in golf.

What is a Golf Clone? Well it used to be a club that was made to look as close to the name brand version but in a completely legal form. Clones have been popular in many industries; computers come to mind as do software programs. Over the years as branded clubs steadily changed, so have the "Clone Clubs". Clone clubs are simply clubs that have a similar look and feel as the branded product.

Clones are not to be confused with the branded products they may seek to flatter. They are however made from essentially the same materials and design principles, use many of the same shaft and grip suppliers, and perform similar to (or often better than) the name brand products.

The important point is we buy our heads, shafts, and grips from many of the same small community of golf manufacturing suppliers. What Pinemeadow Golf offers are clubs that have a similar look and feel to the name brand versions, but at a price the average guy can afford! To prove it, see what our other customers say about us.

Are Some Golf Clones Illegal?

Illegal/counterfeit clubs have been a significant problem in the golf industry for many years. The name brands talk about illegal clubs ripping them off, but counterfeiters also rip all of us off as well! No one should buy products from an illegal counterfeiter. An illegal knockoff and/or counterfeit club is a product that violates trade dress rights, trademarks, patents or copyrights of another company.

A counterfeit club is illegal because it confuses the consumer and in some cases seeks to fool the consumer into thinking their product is actually the Name Brand Company's product. It rips all of us off because we play by the rules and lose business to shady operators who fool consumers into thinking they are buying a legitimate product. is very careful to not violate the valid rights of other companies.

Continue your golf education on the Pinemeadow Golf Blog.