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Are expensive clubs just hype?


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it is actually a pretty well known fact that between about 2001-2009, Tiger Woods would just head over to Walmart every few months and pick up a $100 set of irons with a really whippy-shafted old man driver. they threw all his clubs in a fancy nike bag for Stevie to carry around....thats pretty much how tiger was so good.

In the middle of the '09 season though, Tiger got some real irons from Nike. they were pretty expensive...all that engineering that went into the design...the materials to create the clubs, top of the line shafts. well you've seen his game now havent you??? those nike logos on his clubs have destroyed his game! ever since he started playing a high quality iron he is just an awful player...i mean...top 5 at a major when you havent played in months? come on tiger....why even show up? its a shame to see all those tour players falling for the gimmic of the club companies...and playing those expensive clubs!

now...to the OP....as Chad (formerly Johnson) Ochocinco would say...."Child Please"

Oh and go look for a snapshot of Rory and look at the shaft in his irons!!! ProjectZ shafts? Lolz

Originally Posted by henderson14

I am under the impression that brand name clubs offer NO additional benefits compared with the lower level clubs.  I unknowingly ordered a fake Taylormade Burner driver off the internet.  I then got the real thing from the store expecting my drives to improve.  We'll I didn't notice anything, so I took them to the driving range and compared them both directly.  I honestly didn't notice any difference and if anything my counterfeit version was better.   Remember that it was a counterfeit club, not even a cheaper brand name club. This tells me that all you are paying for is marketing and the name.

People say that the more expensive clubs are made with better materials, but I am skeptical that this is true or that the materials make a difference.  I have read articles that say that most clubs are made by the same people in the same factories with the same materials, so I'm assuming that my counterfeit club was made in the same or similar factory in China with the same materials.  I mean if most of the cost of the club is just costs of marketing and branding, then the similar performance for the price would make sense.  I mean that's the whole point of marketing isn't it?  You don't get any added performance value when you pay for marketing. And I don't buy the nonsense that if I was a better player I would notice a difference.  The higher level players simply have more consistency than most amateurs.  For example, I can have an awesome drive one hit, but I choke on the fairway or green, or vice versa.  So when I go to the driving range some of my hits will be perfect, right on the sweet spot and straight.  Even those hits showed no difference.  I also kid of feel that a lot of people get their egos tied up into how expensive their clubs are and are threatened if you challenge their "investment."



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It has already been said by a few posters already, but I'm just going to throw my hat in the ring anyway. Sure, you're paying for the marketing just a little bit, but you're paying more for the research, technology, and production process than the marketing. All that definitely leads to a better club. Feel has already been brought up. If you can't feel the difference, that's fine, but there are plenty of serious golfers (like me) who are very discerning and who view feel as a huge deal. If you think counterfeit clubs and the real deals are being made in the same or a similar factory, then you are quite mislead. All a counterfeiter does is look at an expensive name brand club and copy the design. They're just out to fool the eye to move a product. They couldn't care less whether it performs or not. Let's say a counterfeiter wants to copy a set of nice forged irons. In all likelihood, they are going to take a cast of the shape and then cast the clubheads. If you are experienced, you will be able to tell a HUGE difference between forged and cast (if it is a quality forging).

Now, I'm not saying that off-brand clubs can't be good. I've played with some clubs that are "copies" of name brands that are very nice. They are a bit cheaper because they don't have the name, and therefore, the research behind them. Those brands generally copy an already established design and do so with quality and performance in mind. That is radically different from what counterfeiters do.

So, I believe name brand clubs hold an edge over all others. But, copies are not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Counterfeits, on the other hand, should be avoided like the plague.

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I was referring to the distance I got when the shaft was not broken, because you can't hit a ball with a broken shaft now can you?   I had the broken shaft replaced for less than $20 and then tested it again.  Have you ever done any comparisons?  I doubt it.  And once again, I was more questioning the name brand clubs than trying to glorify the counterfeits.  This isn't a pro-counterfeit club post.  This thread could just as well been cheap clubs vs expensive clubs.  Your not getting the point of my thread.  Everyone else that has replied has been helpful and gotten it except for you.

Originally Posted by meenman

You cant have it both ways. First you are skeptical that there is a difference between name brands and counterfeits. Then you found out it was fake because the shaft broke. Now I really question the point of this thread.



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I get what you're asking OP. I don't know why these responses are attacking you, but I see where you're coming from.

With that said, no, counterfeit clubs cannot perform as well as legit clubs. The club manufacturers have stricter controls over their manufacturing process than you think. Just because they all come from China, the design and quality control are significantly different. In addition, counterfeiters just wouldn't go through the effort of trying to make a workable product. They don't care if the product ever even gets to you as long as your cash gets to them.

Now, cloned products and non-big name clubs are a different story. If the mfg is an on-going business, a company that depends on the product working, the effective quality can compete with the big name club mfgs. Others have spoken of the R&D; that goes in to these clubs, and a lot has. At this point however, the law of diminishing marginal returns is in effect. Last year's clubs are probably a teeny tiny bit better, but no one on earth can truly notice the difference. No one can really notice the difference between clubs made in 2005 and clubs made today. If you're concerned about price, consider getting clubs from 2007 or 2008. They can be had brand new for half the price or less than the newer, "better" equipment.

In summary, counterfeits are bad, clones can be good, used or discontinued products are best (imo).

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Originally Posted by henderson14

I was referring to the distance I got when the shaft was not broken, because you can't hit a ball with a broken shaft now can you?   I had the broken shaft replaced for less than $20 and then tested it again.  Have you ever done any comparisons?  I doubt it.  And once again, I was more questioning the name brand clubs than trying to glorify the counterfeits.  This isn't a pro-counterfeit club post.  This thread could just as well been cheap clubs vs expensive clubs.  Your not getting the point of my thread.  Everyone else that has replied has been helpful and gotten it except for you.


Look at your first post through your fourth. You are inconsistent at best. The others may now get what you are saying because you keep adding to/changing the story. The broken shaft answers your question. No matter how you try to spin it - you tried to compare brand names with counterfeits. There is no comparison.

Would've, could've, should've...............

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I once did some "testing" of Mercedes, BWW, Porsche and Hyundai.

Now I'm only a beginning driver, but why should that make any difference?

I drove them all around the block and couldn't perceive any significant differences. They all went around the corners quite well, and the Hyundai managed to get down my own driveway, where the Porsche was bottoming out.

I didn't manage to get above 60kph with any of them, and I only cornered very slowly, but my conclusion was that the Mercedes was no better than the Hyundai.

But, logically, if they perform the same at 60kph, they would compare equally at 200kph. Same with cornering and braking.

Also, if the Hyundai didn't fail after 20 minutes, why would it fail after 15 years?

I don't buy the idea that a racing driver would be able to tell the difference and I'm not buying the marketing "hype" about safety, quality control, resale, longevity and all that BS.

If Mercedes, Porsche and BMW want to throw all of their money behind marketing, that's fine, but my testing proves conclusively that all cars are the same, and the highly advertised "prestige" brands are no better than any of the others, less expensive brands.

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Originally Posted by meenman

If you buy counterfeits - I really hope you end up unemployed and replaced by someone in asia that works for half of your salary.

If the head falls off on the 6th hole one day, dont cry to anyone.


The genuine stuff is made in China too.  Get off the soapbox.

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

The genuine stuff is made in China too.  Get off the soapbox.


Soapbox? Where equipment is made has nothing to do with the original/counterfeit argument. And if you condone counterfeiting - good luck to you.

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I don't have counterfeit clubs, but I am certain that most inexperienced players would have trouble discerning the difference in feel between club brands whether counterfeit or just different brands.

I have 6 sets of clubs from GI to blades and except for the occasional mishit, I cannot tell the difference in the feel of any of them. If you hit them in the sweet spot, they go and if you don't they tell your hands and arms about it. This is especially true of blades. I think the bigger question is whether or not the clubs you are playing suit your swing and ability. Unless they do, it really doesn't matter if they are top of the line brand names or some clone.

If you can't hit the sweet spot, it is a moot point.

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Originally Posted by cdriver

I don't have counterfeit clubs, but I am certain that most inexperienced players would have trouble discerning the difference in feel between club brands whether counterfeit or just different brands.

I have 6 sets of clubs from GI to blades and except for the occasional mishit, I cannot tell the difference in the feel of any of them. If you hit them in the sweet spot, they go and if you don't they tell your hands and arms about it. This is especially true of blades. I think the bigger question is whether or not the clubs you are playing suit your swing and ability. Unless they do, it really doesn't matter if they are top of the line brand names or some clone.

If you can't hit the sweet spot, it is a moot point.



Not any of them? Are you hitting balls off a tee?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shorty

I once did some "testing" of Mercedes, BWW, Porsche and Hyundai.

Now I'm only a beginning driver, but why should that make any difference?

I drove them all around the block and couldn't perceive any significant differences. They all went around the corners quite well, and the Hyundai managed to get down my own driveway, where the Porsche was bottoming out.

I didn't manage to get above 60kph with any of them, and I only cornered very slowly, but my conclusion was that the Mercedes was no better than the Hyundai.

But, logically, if they perform the same at 60kph, they would compare equally at 200kph. Same with cornering and braking.

Also, if the Hyundai didn't fail after 20 minutes, why would it fail after 15 years?

I don't buy the idea that a racing driver would be able to tell the difference and I'm not buying the marketing "hype" about safety, quality control, resale, longevity and all that BS.

If Mercedes, Porsche and BMW want to throw all of their money behind marketing, that's fine, but my testing proves conclusively that all cars are the same, and the highly advertised "prestige" brands are no better than any of the others, less expensive brands.



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Funny thread.....

I have attempted to hit a few "cheap" clubs through the years. Not to see if I liked them, but more of an attempt to justify why I spend the money on the golf equipment I play. Needless to say, I still play and will continue to play the name brand quality I have since I was 14 years old.

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Counterfeit clubs are cheap and will have a ton problems like the face caving in on a driver or the shaft breaking... no thanks. I will say that when I was younger I had a 56* dunlop wedge I got a walmart for 10 bucks and I loved that club. Although after about 5 years the head finally came off so I retired it but still it was my go to club around the green for 5 years. Now to answer the OPs question yes there is a difference between counterfeit and real club that would allow me to tell the difference. I mean weight, shaft, length etc are probably all off on a counterfeit club and that would throw off the flight of my ball. Now I don't have much experience with clone clubs but my guess would they might be pretty close to the real thing since they are inspected before they go out the door.

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Originally Posted by jgreen85

Are you seriously comparing golf clubs to automobiles? Do you seriously believe the same level of engineering is involved in both? I guess cars should cost the same as golf clubs then. Terrible analogy. There's a reason we compare apples to apples.

Quote:

Seems you missed the point. I think it's a great analogy. It has nothing to do with the cost of cars. It has nothing to do with the cost of golf clubs.

The point is that the OP is not in a position to be able to make a judgement, quite obviously, and his "findings" make as much sense and would command the same amount of respect as the fictitious ones I wrote of.

Let's hear a serious golfer say that he detects no differences between counterfeit shafts and heads and real ones.


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Most of you are acting like children... I for one believe this to be a veiled metaphor for social class.

Name brand clubs have accountability and warranties, so if they break you can usually do something. The QC and fit & finish is higher, and they have a lot more resale value, so it's a better investment if you sell.

Now, clones (which I think are different than counterfeits), on the other hand, are more affordable, which means that someone without a 6 figure income can buy a new set of their own.

A lot of people couldn't afford to golf with the top quality clubs; even name brand used clubs from 5 years ago would cost about 700$ for a set. For half that, they could have their own set of shiny clubs, custom fitted to them.

Another example; look at pebble beach. A round there would cost 500 dollars minimum. Yet, bethpage black costs 65$ at peak hours. Both are world class courses, but I'm guessing Pebble Beach does a good job keeping the working classes out. That's a part of golf that's still alive and well, the elitism of the privileged. If you play a 2000$ set, you can feel superior to someone who plays a 200$ set without any objective comparison of the clubs or the golfer. The comparison of cars is probably even more to my point. Why not extend the argument to yachts? I'd take the Hyundai because I can afford gas and payments, it's illegal to go over 65mph on the road in the US anyway.

I think that, if a working man decides to go to pebble, he should enjoy himself. If he saves money to buy nice clubs as a gift for himself, he should be proud of them. Hell, even a rich bloke can feel proud of his nice clubs and cars and private courses.

But if you see people like me who can't afford nice clubs, you shouldn't wonder how we dare play golf with cheap clubs. You should either be friendly and share the course or go to hell.

And also, they're all made in China, and the workers make the same cut. The commercials on tv showing master clubsmiths hand whittling the clubs are there to make money.

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I walked into the local PGA Superstore the other day and just walked through the used club isle to see if there were any drivers with really good shafts in them for cheap. There were several irons sets that had barely been used and taken care of on the shelf for under $500. There were at least 10 used sets on the shelf for less than $300. I paid $800 for my brand new set of Cobra S3 Pro Forged irons, which I felt was a great deal for the quality set of irons I now play and love. I'm sorry, but I am firm believer that you get what you pay for. I work in a business where that holds true every day. I play a sport where that also seems to hold true. Enough said.

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