TGI Golf, Europe’s leading buying group for golf professionals, has launched a campaign to fight the increase in counterfeit clubs.
The counterfeit golf equipment industry is now estimated to be worth £275million in the UK alone, with hundreds of illegally produced imitation clubs being sold to unwitting members of the public over the internet.
One leading manufacturer recently claimed that of the 364 products advertised under its brand name on a well-known online auction site, just seven were genuine – the other 357 were counterfeit.
Now, TGI Golf, whose members own more than 380 golf shops across Europe, is aiming to douse the flames of the counterfeit market with an in-store poster campaign aimed at alerting golfers to the pitfalls and inferior quality of counterfeit equipment.
Eddie Reid, TGI Golf managing director, said, “We are contacted regularly by foreign factories asking if we want to sell their products, which are clearly counterfeit. Not only are they damaging the golf industry, but they are also damaging people’s enjoyment of golf by passing off their sub-standard and inferior goods as those of reputable manufacturers.”
Reid added, “Golfers who buy cheap golf equipment over the internet may think they are getting a good deal, but real value for money comes from the expert, professional advice, custom fitting and after sales service that TGI Golf members can provide.”
Counterfeit clubs may look like the real thing, but their inferior design, materials, construction and performance gives the game away, including:
• Clubheads made from recycled tin cans and scrap metal, not titanium
• Fibreglass or plastic shafts that are prone to breaking – unlike graphite
• Inferior grade rubber grips that feel skinny and peel easily.
Counterfeit clubs may also not conform to new rules, which could result in golfers’ disqualification from official competitions, and embarrassment in the clubhouse.
TGI Golf www.tgigolf.com