Clone Golf Clubs- Are They Worth It?- Part 1
Why would anyone want to use clone golf clubs instead of the real brand the clones are mimicking? Obviously the answer is to save money, and that is understandable. Drivers can easily cost $400-500, and some hybrids cost over $200 each. These days a good set of clubs can be a significant investment, so there is certainly a temptation to save money if at all possible. How might one approach this using clone golf clubs? Three Ways to Purchase Clone Golf Clubs This article will discuss three ways to purchase clone golf clubs. The more money one is willing to pay, the less risk there is in obtaining a high quality set. Let’s examine these three approaches.
Purchase Ready Built Clones Of course you can go to one of many web sites selling clone golf clubs and simply make a purchase. These golf clubs often look like those from Calloway, Titleist, or other major brands, but they are substantially less expensive. This is the most risky alternative. If you pay $39 for a club that looks just like a brand name club priced at $169, are you getting the same thing? Was the club made in the same factory and on the same machinery as the brand name club or at another with equivalent quality? Was it manufactured using raw materials of the same quality and to the same tolerances? The chances of all that being the case are small. Let’s examine this for a moment.
Outsourcing of Club Manufacturing The vast majority of clubs sold by the major brands are outsourced to factories in low wage parts of the world. Of the less than 100 foundries in the world which make golf clubs, only a small number have the solid quality systems in place to interest the major brand golf club companies. The others produce clubs that sell for very low prices in department stores or low cost web sites, for example. They only survive because they can sell their output at low prices. So would it be a surprise if lower quality raw materials were used, like scrap metal instead of carbon steel? Could their machines hold the same tolerances as the quality foundries do? Can they afford to train their employees to the same level? Do they use the same quality golf shafts in their clubs? If they are selling low cost products on thin margins, they will probably cut corners wherever possible. Let’s just put it this way: you are not going to get a $169 club for $39, no matter how much the two may be made to look the same. Make Your Own Clubs A less risky alternative is purchasing the components and assembling the clubs yourself. To end up with a higher quality product you need to be sure the heads are manufactured in a quality foundry. There are component suppliers who are reputable and who can prove they sell top quality parts. As for shafts, there is a large component market for shafts from the top companies like Aldila, Grafalloy or True Temper, among many others, who supply the major brand club companies as well.
Quality grips are also readily available. Assembling clubs and grips is not that difficult. Golfsmith sells components and can instruct you how to do this. Not too many tools are required, and Golfsmith can also provide support at either their retail stores or on the phone. The main problem with this approach is that you need to know which components to purchase, which heads, what type of shaft, etc. This will be discussed in more detail below.