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Clone clubs: has anyone bought any of them??? - Page 2

post #19 of 30
Where did you get your law license? A conflict of interest is when you represent one side and later switch to another.
I really get tired of people today making up their own facts. You can have your own opinion, but at 62 I am not going to let someone make up their own facts and then spout them off as though they have any merit.
You may choose to believe the earth is flat if you wish. Your opinion is not a fact.
Saying that Chinese or other clones of product are comparable to name brands is actually false. It is not a fact. You may not like it or you may say 1000 times that clones are the same. It doesn't make that so or a fact. I have no conflicts. I choose not to represent knock offs for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is they move their factories all the time, they hide their money, they create and dissolve Corproate entities to avoid paying damages. Again, those are facts.
post #20 of 30
I know from experience and based on your own statement, you don't.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflaw View Post

Where did you get your law license? A conflict of interest is when you represent one side and later switch to another.
I really get tired of people today making up their own facts. You can have your own opinion, but at 62 I am not going to let someone make up their own facts and then spout them off as though they have any merit.
You may choose to believe the earth is flat if you wish. Your opinion is not a fact.
Saying that Chinese or other clones of product are comparable to name brands is actually false. It is not a fact. You may not like it or you may say 1000 times that clones are the same. It doesn't make that so or a fact. I have no conflicts. I choose not to represent knock offs for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is they move their factories all the time, they hide their money, they create and dissolve Corproate entities to avoid paying damages. Again, those are facts.

Sweeping generalizations are not facts either. You made a sweeping generalization about clones which is not necessarily true. Therefore your statement was not fact. You have yet to cite a concrete fact as it pertains to this particular debate; you're talking about counterfeiting products rather than clone products. Obviously there'd be a lot of easy money in it for you if they were the same thing, so I can see why you'd use rhetoric to lump them together.

 

FYI there's a difference between clones and counterfeits; clones use the same general designs with the same materials and processes but don't pass themselves off as name brand clubs. Counterfeits will copy the exact logos and attempt to look like the real thing, but aren't meant to be playing quality. The clones will also charge much less, with less advertising, while counterfeits will try to get full market price if they can. Clones are made by more or less honest businesses, while counterfeiters are trying to make money without following the law. (And as an aside, complaining about companies hiding money and using loopholes to maximize profits is pretty laughable, because that's exactly the kind of shit lawyers tell them to do. And also the same tricks companies in the US use.)

 

If I made my living trying to viciously defend the brand name mystique, as you admit you do, I would be biased. You are biased, having never compared the equipment in question, yet still believing more expensive equipment to be superior. I have at least a basis for my opinion which isn't prejudiced, having played both clones and brand names. Your opinion is not based on fact, mine is.

 

I don't think I was incorrect about the conflict of interest thing either, even as a matter of semantics. You are paid to represent one side in this debate, since it would be damaging to your career as an lawyer to admit the clubs were the same. Yet you are also attempting to weigh in on a public forum. You cannot be objective in this debate without possibly affecting your other interests ie your career. Same reason you can't trust a judge in a lawsuit against a tobacco company to also be the CEO of a tobacco company. Your support for the brands can be explained by the fact they pay you money, you could not be expected to potentially undermine your income, therefore you are not able to be objective. As long as you admit that you're totally biased and have no basis of experience to compare clones and brand clubs, that's fine.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

 

 

FYI there's a difference between clones and counterfeits; clones use the same general designs with the same materials and processes but don't pass themselves off as name brand clubs. Counterfeits will copy the exact logos and attempt to look like the real thing, but aren't meant to be playing quality. The clones will also charge much less, with less advertising, while counterfeits will try to get full market price if they can. Clones are made by more or less honest businesses, while counterfeiters are trying to make money without following the law.

 

 

Here's my perspective on clones, for whatever it's worth......

 

If it's a small manufacturer of Open Design clubs such as those that LBlack14 describes, someone saying "hey guys, I make a great product, with great components, at a price that beats the heck out of similar products produced by the big guys, give me and my product a try", that's one thing.  As a free market kind of guy, that's something I ABSOLUTELY admire and support.  A company like this provides competition in the market and benefits golf and consumers alike. 

 

BUT, when it's someone saying "hey guys, I use components that are clones, i.e. copies of the same clubs that the big guys are making and the only difference is that I don't put their name on it so I can sell it for a lot less", then we have a problem.  At best they're lying because even if it looks the same visually, it simply cannot have the exact same specifications and technology that top manufacturers spent millions of R&D dollars developing and producing to their proprietary specs.  At worst, if it IS an exact replica/clone, then they reverse engineered the clubs they're cloning and are violating any number of patent laws in producing the club.  In fact, in that case, they're little better than the counterfeiters who simply go one step further and fake the manufacturers name as well.  Anyone doing either needs to be shut down because they're either a fraud, a thief, or both.

post #23 of 30

Is it possible that name brand club makers reverse engineer each other's products?  Muscleback irons look pretty much the same no matter who makes them. Why is that? Just asking for the sake of argument. 

 

I have owned clones, Pinemeadow  Impex fairway woods which are Wilson Deep Red clones,  entry level clubs such as RAM, which are not bad, with most of my gear being name brand. I found the clones, quality wise, to be right there in the middle. My name brand is the best of what I own and cost the most of course. 

post #24 of 30
Open model designs
post #25 of 30

For my first set of clubs I received a set of turbo power clones of callaway's x18 model for christmas. I have played both my clones and the real x18's, and I will say that I felt I played better with the x18's than I ever did with the clones. I can definitely agree with other posters in this thread that have said that shafts on clones are absolutely terrible. The shafts on my turbo powers are downright flimsy, and every time I hit a ball it feels like I am mining with a pickaxe or something, not a good feeling. The heads are fine, but get new shafts asap.

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post

For my first set of clubs I received a set of turbo power clones of callaway's x18 model for christmas. I have played both my clones and the real x18's, and I will say that I felt I played better with the x18's than I ever did with the clones. I can definitely agree with other posters in this thread that have said that shafts on clones are absolutely terrible. The shafts on my turbo powers are downright flimsy, and every time I hit a ball it feels like I am mining with a pickaxe or something, not a good feeling. The heads are fine, but get new shafts asap.

I'm still not getting the shaft thing. Put whatever shafts you want in them.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBlack14 View Post


I'm still not getting the shaft thing. Put whatever shafts you want in them.

What do you mean you're not getting the shaft thing? I'm saying, along with others who have said the same thing, that the shafts that come stock with many clones (or at least the ones I have used) are not high quality whatsoever. Therefore, yes, you can purchase better quality aftermarket shafts, but if you go that route you will most likely be spending as much money as you would just buying an OEM set of clubs in the first place. Get it now?

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post

What do you mean you're not getting the shaft thing? I'm saying, along with others who have said the same thing, that the shafts that come stock with many clones (or at least the ones I have used) are not high quality whatsoever. Therefore, yes, you can purchase better quality aftermarket shafts, but if you go that route you will most likely be spending as much money as you would just buying an OEM set of clubs in the first place. Get it now?

I'd say it's more accurate to say it's comparable to get clones with high quality shafts and grips to an OEM set from a season or two ago, cost wise, not necessarily new. Even then, most clones should be cheaper. It's just that you're usually stuck with limited options. Gigagolf and Pinemeadow only has graphite and Dynamic Golds as quality options, Hireko is also a bit limited but has a few more. Components like Maltby are my favorite because you can choose whatever they stock that fits the hosel. Since they also are a shaft retailer, they have nearly everything you could buy.

 

But as a result of this, I know it is a huge waste of money to reshaft a set, in addition to having to pay for the stock shaft going to waste. But I've had to do that for OEM clubs too. Having a high swing speed is expensive when nothing cheap fits you.

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post

What do you mean you're not getting the shaft thing? I'm saying, along with others who have said the same thing, that the shafts that come stock with many clones (or at least the ones I have used) are not high quality whatsoever. Therefore, yes, you can purchase better quality aftermarket shafts, but if you go that route you will most likely be spending as much money as you would just buying an OEM set of clubs in the first place. Get it now?

Nope. The folks I buy from (not just DTG), I get what I want. There's a choice and just because they cost more $$$ doesn't mean they are better quality or perform better. Get it now?
post #30 of 30

I have had Wilson Staff and Adams Tight Lies GI clubs since I started, and recently bought a set or irons from Gigagolf (Pursuit CBs) and another from Diamond Tour (Z-Force Z-35 Ping G30 clones).

 

Firstly, the head. The Z-Force Z-35 are quite nice, they are as easy to hit and (as far as I can tell having tried the OEM version for 1 round) they play very similar to the brand club they are trying to immitate. I certainly can't tell the difference, neither of them is incredible (sorry if I disagree with GolfWRX on this one, I can't see the Ping G30s going down in history as clubs which changed the face of the game), both are very good GI clubs. The Pursuit CBs are another category of club, they were more expensive and in my view totally worth it, from my perspective they are as good as any top-notch model from a top name, definitely superior in finish to entry-level OEM clubs, as far as I could tell (also not revolutionary, they just claim to be a classic style of cavity backed forged irons, and do just that, to a high standard of performance). So overall, you need to compare entry-level clones with entry-level OEMs, and in that respect the OEM club will win. If you compare top-notch OEM with top-notch clones, likely the OEM club would win too. However, you're paying 3 times as much for the OEM club, so for my part I would be looking for something MUCH better, which I am not getting. If you compare on a $/$ basis, the top-notch clubs from the best component brands are, in my view, much better than the entry-level OEM clubs, for a similar price. I do recommend spending time going into the detail of the materials used in making the clubs so you know what you are getting into, as both OEMs and component manufacturers occasionaly sacrifice quality to protect their margins or go for lower costs... You will be surprised to see how many OEM clubs are made with the cheapest stainless steel alloys, even sometimes worse than component manufacturers. 

 

Second, the shaft. Actually this is a much more important feature than the clubhead itself when building a club. In this respect, if you're buying off-the-shelf (or even worse, off-the-Ebay), you typically don't get to choose. If you don't like the (usually mediocre for entry-level clubs) shaft which the OEM brand has picked, then you just have to go out and get a shaft suited for you, thereby paying for a second shaft. Unless you can build the club yourself, it is likely you will have to pay somebody to do it for you, and in the process you'll probably have to buy a ferrule, some fitting equipment, a grip etc. The key difference with the component company is that most good manufacturers give you a wide range of choices of shafts, they will build to your specs and will fit for a very reasonable price. So, instead of tinkering and paying double to have the shaft you wanted in the first place, you get it right from the word go. So in this respect, the component manufacturer offers the same or better equipment for a fraction of the price. 

 

Third, the grip. Very similar to what happens with your shaft, if you don't like the grip on your off-the-shelf clubs, you're screwed and will end up paying for another, whereas the component manufacturers let you choose whatever you want in a wide range. In terms of wear and tear, replacing grips is necessary from time-to-time, and you can be sure the grips which your OEM brands pick are not made to last, on the contrary. They want you to come back for more, so they choose soft plastic/gum which is very sticky and soft at first, but soon wears out and needs to be replaced. If you want to keep your costs down (especially if you tend to play in cold and wet weather which will cause greater wear and tear), you might want to go for a chord grip which will last longer, therefore costing less over time. Also in this respect, you get the same or better equipment for a fraction of the price. 

 

Fourthly, the assembly process. Unless you're Tiger Woods, Nike clubs you buy off the shelf are rarely going to be fitted for you. If you buy the top of the range clubs, they might fit them for free, but not if you buy the US$500 set advertised on Golfsmith, if you get a bargain deal at Galaxy or if you buy second hand on Ebay (even worse, the latter may have been fitted for a 5" hitter with a flat swing and it so happens you are 6"4 and need upright adjustment). Most component manufacturer offer some degree of customization in the fitting process, including lie and shaft length adjustment at least. In some cases, they can also adjust swing weight, loft, grind, spine alignment of shafts, puring of shafts, frequency matching or other niceties which can add to the quality of the fitting. When you have tested the difference between clubs which are properly fitted with this level of attention vs any OEM off the shelf club, there is no way you can go back to off the shelf. In my experience the quality of the fitting for "cheap" clubs is much, much better at component companies than at the OEMs. In fact, in most cases you are getting almost the same service as Tiger Woods at Nike, which is just awesome. 

 

Finally, the customer service. I spend about 2-3 week-ends choosing my new clubs, trying them out, going through variations of fitting options with the fitter. The guy at my local golf warehouse is always trying to lead me towards the most expensive, newest gimmick from the OEM brands, getting me to spend those extra bucks that go straight to his commission. In my experience both with Gigagolf and Diamondtour, those guys are in it for the long run. They want you to come back and buy from them in the future, so they give you real advice, even if that's at the expense of selling you that top-notch driver from their line. They will work with you in the process, not against you. For me, that made the whole process of fitting much more friendly and amenable, and if only for that, I will definitely go back to them. 

 

So, for my part, I will continue to pay 1/3rd of the price for a component brand club which fully satisfies me. No doubt the pros on the PGA tour will survive without my money coming to them via a sponsorship deal with one of the OEM brands.

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