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Off-Brand/Cloned Clubs

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

Since I will be home for the holidays next week, I tried to find the golf stores nearest to my parents.  Instead, I found a custom club maker, who assembles his own clubs and will fit each golfer to their specifications.  

 

As I review his website, I am struck by how inexpensive the clubs are.  Iron sets range from $132 or $261, brand new.  He sells two drivers, one for $70 and another for $170.  Great selection of fairway woods, ranging from $30 - $40 per club.

 

Interestingly, all of the clubs he assembles are off brand/clones.  "iDrive Nitro" irons and "Infinity Hot Shots" Irons, for example, which based on my research appear to be clones of callaway razr irons and mizuno jpx irons, respectively.  Same with the drivers and woods.  The shafts are all true temper and other household names, same with the grips.  

 

Has anyone else had any experience with these "cloned" golf clubs/sets?  Obviously, they are tempting because the value is unbelievable.  You could easily outfit yourself with a brand new set of clubs, including driver, woods, hybrid, irons, and wedges for under $500.00.  

 

I am particularly interested in what the pros have to say (hint: iacas) as well as the low handicappers.  Would you guys use these clubs or recommend them to others? Do they play as well as their branded counterparts?  Would these be a poor investment?

post #2 of 19

My first set of clubs where clone Ping, 22 years ago. Second set I got made by a club maker they where Clone TM, he had been in OC for a very long time, he just did not sell name brand. They where great for what I used them for and what I could afford at that time being just married. I was able to sell them both for close to what i paid so got may money out of them. Being new to golf back then I wonder what others will say,  it will be very interesting how they compaire.

post #3 of 19

I put a set of components together for my cousin that resembled the R9 irons, they were Ti Power, I believe.  I hit them a few times and they weren't bad clubs.  I did notice that over time, they didn't wear very well, but for what he had into them, he didn't complain.

post #4 of 19
This is all I could find about them online when I was considering them to save some money. They hit just as good but they wear at an exponential rate compared to the authentic clubs. Things such as the iron faces and grooves wear out within a year or so and the drivers are more likely to crack and dent within the first year also. That's the Internet speaking so don't take it like I've experienced them personally.
post #5 of 19

Pulled this off the Infiniti Golf website http://www.infinitigolf.com/. They don't seem to be a "clone" company, but I don't know anything else about them:

 

Infiniti Golf has been in the business of designing and manufacturing custom fit golf clubs since 1987. We have a strong commitment to you being correctly fit which will unlock the potential of playing your best golf.

We design Tour quality, original design club heads using a strict quality standard. In fact, we use the same foundries as many larger companies. Infiniti Golf uses our own staff members, metallurgists and engineers to supervise overseas production.

Over the years, our clubs have been played on all professional tours including the PGA TOUR, Nationwide Tour, LPGA, Canadian Tour and the Grand Strand Golf Tour. We take the wins and experience as building blocks to produce the best custom clubs we can make.

Our Philosophy

Infiniti Golf was founded in 1987 with the mission to deliver the highest quality custom-fit product at the best value. We are committed to producing innovative designs that improve the enjoyment of golfers of all skill levels. Our professional golf players, retailers and Infiniti Golf i-team professional fitters have decades of experience and are part of our family. Infiniti Golf is a small, quality company responsive to your wishes.

You’re buying a club and you’re buying a company dedicated to the highest quality golf experience. So, when we say that Infiniti Golf is The Best Fit for Your Game, it's not just a slogan it's our commitment.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great info thus far.  I followed up and looked at the websites for these products.  I should clarify my original question, though.  I meant to ask everyone what their opinions/experiences were with cloned/off brand clubs in general, and not necessarily restricted to the two brands I cited (I intended those to be examples only but now see I just drafted a poor first post, lol).  If anyone had any experiences (good or bad) with any clones/off brand clubs, I would like to hear about it.  Also, any advice/tips for those who may be considering purchasing such a set.

post #7 of 19

I had a set of component irons, based on the Ping Eye2 model. Set had Pro Tour Black heads, and TT Dynalite shafts trimmed to S flex.

 

The clubmaker charged me an extra $5 each for the Pro Tour heads, saying they were the most durable of the clones. He was right. Hit small rocks with them on occasion, and the clubhead usually won. Despite 200 + rounds, no serious groove wear except on the wedges.

 

I played them from 1994 to 2008, when I switched to Regular shafts.

 

The thing about clones and small custom-shop clubs is this: It's harder to gauge quality than if you buy name brand.  Some custom club makers do a great job finding high-value  offbrand heads and matching them to the right shaft for you. Others don't know what they're doing, as you'll find out $500 later.

 

Good custom shops can really be helpful for building you a wedge set that's just the mix and shaft flex you want.

post #8 of 19
With some of the deals that I have found lately I don't think clones make a lot of sense financially if you are flexible in what you want. For example in the last week I found the following: A brand new nike sq machspeed driver for $50 and Callaway diablo irons in graphite or $220 shipped, and a cleveland classic 2 for $38. All shipped. On gigagolf.com a driver runs around $100 and the cheapest graphite irons are around $150. Their putters run around $25. Totaled up you are looking at not much price difference and I can find reviews on all the name brand items to get a better understanding of how they might fit my game. Not to mention that I can demo them at a store. It's too hard to find feedback on clones and they have little to no resale value. In the long run, spending $33 more on the front dnd probably ends up costing less in the long run, especially if I sell my clubs. You also have to constantly explain your clubs, who makes them and what they are supposed to work like.
post #9 of 19

I play Snake Eyes irons and hybrids.  The quality of these match anything on the market.  Excellent clubs.  I have had them for about 1 year and the level of wear is less than I have seen on other brands of the same age. (I play altlast once per week and sometimes go to the practice range about 3 times a week).  I recommend Snake Eyes clubs highly.

post #10 of 19

Clone irons are fine but the woods are horrible.  Most of the woods break pretty easily because they are so cheaply made.  Even in the case of the irons, the quality control can be pretty hit or miss; so you really never know what you are getting.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by FVSU73 View Post

I play Snake Eyes irons and hybrids.  The quality of these match anything on the market.  Excellent clubs.  I have had them for about 1 year and the level of wear is less than I have seen on other brands of the same age. (I play altlast once per week and sometimes go to the practice range about 3 times a week).  I recommend Snake Eyes clubs highly.


Snake Eyes isn't a clone though, I don't even know if I could call them an "off brand".  They are, however, a very good club manufacturer.

 

I have a set of older Snake Eye Forged Wedges that I still break out and play every once in a while because they're a great feeling wedge.  

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt5339 View Post


Snake Eyes isn't a clone though, I don't even know if I could call them an "off brand".  They are, however, a very good club manufacturer.

 

I have a set of older Snake Eye Forged Wedges that I still break out and play every once in a while because they're a great feeling wedge.  


I believe they are what you would call a, "component" brand.  You can just buy heads from them and make your own clubs if you want.  Even with those, the quality is pretty questionable.  Ive talked to people who have bought them in the past and the specs were all over the place.  Ive messed around with the Snake Eyes chipper at Golfsmith and its pretty horrible.  Even compared to a Lynx chipper (bad too, I know) it feels like trying to hit the ball with a tin can.  Anyone who thinks that Snake Eyes is just as good as anything on the market, well...LOL...cool story, bro. e3_rolleyes.gif

post #13 of 19

I agree that with these days of online shopping and ebay I don't see the need to buy clones and such trash. There are quality manufacturers that are not 'top shelf' but still provide great products without the premium to pay for their marketing, i.e., Wilson Staff, Macgreggor, Cleveland, etc. Plus I almost always buy discontinued. Case in point, I got some beautiful discontinued Wilson Staff Tour blades for $300, discontinued Macgregor MT Pro CMs for about the same, and a discontinued Cleveland Launcher Driver for $150.

post #14 of 19

Interesting comment. I voice my opinion and you make some type smart remark.  Very interesting.
 

post #15 of 19

Snake Eyes irons are just fine. I have a set that I put together a couple of years ago. Although I mostly play Mizuno irons now, I will break out the Snake Eyes every once and awhile, and they perform the same as the Mizunos.  I still have a SE forged 60° wedge in my bag. They are top quality, in my opinion. 

 

I wouldn't take seriously anybody's opinions formed by a couple minutes at a Golfsmith practice green.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Snake Eyes irons are just fine. I have a set that I put together a couple of years ago. Although I mostly play Mizuno irons now, I will break out the Snake Eyes every once and awhile, and they perform the same as the Mizunos.  I still have a SE forged 60° wedge in my bag. They are top quality, in my opinion. 

 

I wouldn't take seriously anybody's opinions formed by a couple minutes at a Golfsmith practice green.

 

 

I 100% agree that the Snake Eyes irons are just fine. With the exception of some really good performing Ping Zing knock-offs I've hit, the Snake Eyes irons I've hit perform like Adams and Callaway irons of the same weight and skill level set. I would suggest Snake Eyes clubs to anyone looking for good performing clubs at a great bang for the buck price.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Snake Eyes irons are just fine. I have a set that I put together a couple of years ago. Although I mostly play Mizuno irons now, I will break out the Snake Eyes every once and awhile, and they perform the same as the Mizunos.  I still have a SE forged 60° wedge in my bag. They are top quality, in my opinion. 

 

I wouldn't take seriously anybody's opinions formed by a couple minutes at a Golfsmith practice green.


Just as I wouldnt take seriously anybody's opinions who thinks that Snake Eyes are just as good as Mizunos.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer View Post


Just as I wouldnt take seriously anybody's opinions who thinks that Snake Eyes are just as good as Mizunos.


But at least my opinion is based on actually having played both brands.

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