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Golf Club Clones

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What are they and are they legal?

Golf Club Clones are called knockoffs, pirated golf clubs and other things nasty. Many people think they are made in some impoverished country from inferior materials and shoddy workmanship.
Some even think they are illegal. In most cases, that's not quite right.

Clone golf clubs are marketed under their own name and are promoted as similar to a specific name brand club.

True clone golf clubs are manufactured from similar premium materials used by brand name golf club manufacturers. They are similar to the brand club style, but do not infringe on the brand company's design patent. They are manufactured by legitimate companies, many located in the United States and sold for a much lower price than their brand counterpart.

And, it's all about price. In a recent article, Golf Digest analyzed the manufacturing cost of a brand name $500.00 driver. The club head was the most expensive part. It cost about $55.00. The graphite shaft was $15.00 The grip cost $3.00 and about $4.00 went into the assembly process. That's about $77.00 for a $500.00 golf club.

Where did the rest go? Well, nobody is going to buy a brand golf club until the holy grail of golf, the professionals, endorse and recommend it. In today's golf world, promotion and endorsements are the life blood of the industry. Companies like Acer, Callaway, Cobra, Nike, Ping and Taylor Made spend millions of dollars on advertising and promotion of their excellent golf clubs.

As you can see, it's a very expensive proposition and somebody has to pay the bill. Guess what, it's the everyday golfer.

Clone golf clubs are like generic drugs. The brand drugs are expensive because all the research and development costs for that drug and a few that failed need to be recovered while the new "hot drug" is dominating the market. The real cost of manufacturing the drug is a tiny fraction of R&D costs, so once the drug is available in a generic formula, the price drops substantially. Think about that the next time you watch a commercial for your blood pressure drug or for a golf club.

However, without the research and development by the drug and brand name golf club manufacturers, we wouldn't have our life saving drugs and those high tech golf clubs. The question of who to support is up to the individual golfer. The decision to use clone golf clubs is strictly up to each golfer. We are here to provide information that can help you decide for yourself.

Like most manufacturers, the big golf equipment companies buy materials from suppliers. These are the same suppliers that sell to the clone golf club manufacturers. The clone golf club engineers analyze branded clubs to determine how they are made and then design a clone club that closely fits those specifications, without violating existing patents.

Do not confuse clone golf clubs with illegal knockoffs. These clubs deliberately try to fool the consumer by claiming to actually be the name brand, often right down to the logo. These are not cloned golf clubs and people who purchase them are actually violating the law. Since they are not what they claim, these illegal clubs can adversely affect your game. Many clubs like Callaway's Big Bertha, the King Cobra, and the Tommy Mann Bummer were knocked off by these rip off companies. The golfers that purchased these inferior knockoffs paid a stiff price in performance and club durability.
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