Who We Are

The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group is an organization dedicated to stopping the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit or "fake" golf equipment across the globe. Formed in 2004, the group is made of five of the most well-known golf manufacturers in the world –Callaway-Odyssey; TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth; PING; Cleveland Golf, Srixon and Never Compromise; and Acushnet Company whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron. These manufacturers came together to protect the integrity of the game and to protect the consumers they've served for so many years.


The group works internationally with law enforcement and government agencies to identify and eliminate counterfeiting operations while simultaneously working to raise consumer awareness of the issue. This isn't a brand issue, it's an honesty issue, a quality issue, and in some cases, a safety issue. For the good of customers and the game, the group is committed to putting an end to these fakes.

The group was recently featured on "In Play with Jimmy Roberts" on the Golf Channel. Check out both parts of the story below.




Spotting a Fake

Keep Golf Real

For golfers, the issues with counterfeit clubs can range anywhere from a loss of distance and accuracy to a safety issue—with shafts that shatter and heads that fly off mid-swing. Some golfers look online and see what they think are top-of-the-line clubs at bottom barrel prices, so they buy them. But as the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Although we would like to educate golfers on how to spot a fake, the truth is the most reliable way to be sure someone is purchasing an authentic product is to buy the product from an authorized source. There will always be a risk that a product purchased from an unauthorized source will be counterfeit. Counterfeit manufacturers are constantly changing and it's becoming more and more difficult to spot counterfeits…until you play golf with them.


Authentic clubs maximize a golfer's performance. To ensure the golf equipment you're purchasing, or have already purchased is authentic, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I purchasing my new golf equipment from an authorized dealer?
    To ensure that you are purchasing authentic golf products, please buy from an authorized retailer/dealer. A list of authorized retailers can be found at each manufacturer's website, or by contacting the manufacturer's customer service department.
  2. A number of websites offer discounted golf products and claim to be OEM's or approved vendors. Are they legit?
    Probably not. There has been an increase in the number of websites that offer deeply discounted golf products. These sites are mainly based in China. If the site is not identified as an authorized retailer / vendor according to the manufacturer's website, it is likely selling counterfeit products.
  3. There are slight differences in the appearance of the club, including different shades of color, or slightly different engravings. Did I purchase a fake?
    Most likely. Most golf manufacturer's do not sell "blems" or "seconds", so there will not be different versions of golf equipment in the marketplace.
  4. The golf club that I purchased off of a website was shipped from China. Should I be concerned?
    Yes, if the product is shipped from China, chances are high that it is fake.

WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T BUY IT! SAVE YOUR GAME!




Counterfeit Problem

It's estimated that as many as 2 million counterfeit golf clubs are produced each year. To put that number in perspective, if you laid every fake club end-to-end they would stretch from Bethpage Black to Pebble Beach and back again. That's more than 5000 miles. And that doesn't even take into account the millions of fake balls, bags, gloves, and apparel produced. It's a major problem.

The growth of the Internet and rogue websites selling fakes has led to an increase in the sale of counterfeit golf products over the last decade. As a result, consumers purchasing golf equipment from unauthorized dealers are often times duped into spending their hard earned money on fake goods. The efforts of the group have led to raids and seizures of a substantial number of counterfeit clubs, but there is still considerable work left to be done.









Share Your Counterfeit Horror Story

"I've been looking for a certain set of irons on various discount golf club websites and came across a website closed down by your group. I found it very helpful and it confirmed what was in the back of my mind; if it's too good to be true then it probably is. Thanks for being on the lookout for these rogue sites. I'll only buy from an authorized dealer now."

Paul

"A few years ago, I bought a driver from a website as a gift for my husband. At the time I thought I was getting a steal of a deal. When I got it in the mail I was so excited to give it to him and when I did he was ecstatic. But when he went to play in a small tournament, he swung the club and the head flew off! I was so disappointed that I had bought my husband a fake club and it still irritates me to this day. So I just wanted to say, thank you doing what you do and shutting down websites like the one I ordered from. You have saved so many people from this frustration!"

S.L.

"My nephew was about to buy some clubs from an online store, but the website had no contact address or phone number. And when you clicked the email link, it defaulted to a different company email address. When I went to that website I was redirected to your site. Because of you guys my nephew didn’t get stuck with fake golf clubs. Keep up the good work! Thanks."

Michael

"I purchased a set of irons online a year ago that were supposedly legitimate. I thought I got a great deal, but when they arrived and I opened the box, I instantly realized they were fake. It definitely wasn’t the best deal I thought it would be."

Ben

"I recently purchased two single irons 3 and 4 that were supposedly legitimate from a website. After hitting them today I can safely say they aren't the real deal. It's so disappointing. I really want to buy a complete set but saw this as a chance to chip away at getting a whole set. I'm sick of these counterfeiters making money off of people like this."

Steve

"I received a golf club I ordered online, but after my son was looking forward to owning and using it, we are very disappointed to find out that this is actually a fake/copy. Our golf professional pointed out and confirmed numerous fake aspects of the club and the fact that it would never hold any re-sale or exchange value! Even though the actual price that we paid was very good we thought we were buying the real thing. This appears to have been shipped in direct from China though we were under the impression that we had bought in America."

Mike

"I received a pair of clubs as a gift from my wife for our first anniversary. Not being a golfer, she asked my friends what I wanted and then went online searching for the best deal and ordered a set that appeared to be legit. Unfortunately, as soon as I opened the clubs it was clear that they were counterfeits. I spent approximately 3 weeks emailing the company trying to get my return/refund processed, and thus far have received a partial refund but am working on getting the rest straightened out. More importantly I'd like to do what I can to stop sites like this so that no one else runs into a situation like mine."

Patrick

"The site states that they are based in the EU and selling genuine clubs and sadly, I was lured in to purchasing a driver and 3 wood from them. The clubs are nothing like the site states and far from anything a real manufacturer would sell. I will certainly not be lured in again and my next purchase will be direct from a registered retailer."

George

"I have just purchased a new driver from a company online. The club eventually turned up from China which alerted my suspicion. On checking the club with my original genuine driver, it was clear that the new club was slightly different in several ways. On checking the serial number with the manufacturer, they confirmed the serial number was not an original club. Now I have to attempt to recover my costs!"

Stuart

"I recently bought a driver from a website which when delivered, was a definite fake. Clearly I am gutted not to have the real McCoy and be $195 out of pocket. I should have taken heed of your advice from the website."

Jason

"I just received a set of counterfeit irons that I bought online. They claimed on the website to be made in the U.S. I had been saving for these clubs. Now it will be much more difficult to save up enough to purchase the real thing."

Juan

"I bought a new set of irons off a website I found on the internet. I had seen the irons at several retailers, loved them and started shopping for what my wife could get me for father's day. I found what I thought was a superb deal on this one site. I bought the clubs and have been using them since then. I took them to get new grips put on them and when I picked them up I was informed by the company that re-gripped them that they were counterfeit clubs. I paid for the real thing and I am going to make big issues with these folks."

Sid

"I purchased a new set of irons from a website. I am a 35 year old male with a family and small children. I just couldn’t afford to purchase an $800 dollar set of irons from a major retail store. So after some intense internet research I found what I thought was the best deal. Like a kid on Christmas I was checking out my order/tracking info constantly. I received my clubs and after closer examination, on the back cavity of the club the design was a little different than the pictures on your website as well as the pictures on the site I ordered from. I wanted to let you know about this because I am looking to be part of the counterfeit solution as opposed to contributing to these liars."

Kyndall


Share your counterfeit story by emailing us at keepgolfreal@gmail.com.*

News

Two Weeks, Five Raids: Nearly 90,000 Fakes Seized in Latest Efforts by Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group
June 30, 2014
The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (The Golf Group) announced today the successful raids of five China-based counterfeiting targets, carried out over the past month. The operations, which were executed by Chinese law enforcement with the assistance of the Golf Group, resulted in the seizure of nearly 90,000 counterfeit golf products and continued the momentum that the Golf Group and Chinese authorities have built toward stopping the spread of fakes.


Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Efforts Lead to Significant Sentences
May 21, 2014
The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group announced today the convictions and sentences of seven men charged with manufacturing and selling counterfeit golf products, another critical step in the Golf Group’s efforts to enforce anti-counterfeiting laws internationally. The Chinese court system handed down the sentences in two separate court cases last week.


Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group a Hit at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show
March 18, 2014
Back in late January, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group took part in the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show down in Orlando, Florida. Group representatives along with experts from many of the Group's member brands manned the booth for the 3-day trade show and spoke with thousands of golf lovers, including industry professionals, distributors, consumers and PGA pros.

In addition to educating countless golfers about the issue of counterfeit golf products worldwide, the Golf Group also participated in numerous media interviews aimed at raising awareness of our initiatives, from the Golf Channel to ESPN.com to regional and local papers. It was another successful year for the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group connecting with golf enthusiasts from all around the world at the PGA Show. The Group would like to thank Reed Exhibitions and the PGA for their help in making our booth possible. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year. If you'd like to follow-up with us after a conversation at the show, please email us at keepgolfreal@gmail.com.


Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group's Efforts Leads to Elimination of 60 Counterfeit Websites
November 25, 2013
The Golf Group announced today that a preliminary injunction has been issued by the Southern District Court of Florida to shut down 60 websites where counterfeit clubs and products were reportedly being sold. When a final judgment is rendered, visitors going to many of these websites will ultimately be redirected to keepgolfreal.com where they can find out more information about how to avoid being duped by counterfeiters.

Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Closes Out Summer Campaign with a Dozen Successful Raids
September 10, 2013
The Golf Group announced today a recent string of raids of various China-based counterfeit operations in multiple cities over a month-long span. Local Chinese authorities raided a dozen storefronts and distribution facilities located in Dongguan City, Zhuhai City and Qingdao City, from late July through August.

Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Carries Momentum into 2013
April 15, 2013
The Golf Group announced today the successful raids of two facilities responsible for supplying counterfeit golf products to numerous stores throughout a well-known golf market. The raids by local Chinese authorities resulted in the seizure of tens of thousands of counterfeit items including finished clubs, club heads, shafts, head covers and bags. Additionally, local authorities seized the equipment used to manufacture the counterfeit items.

Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group's "Clustering" Campaign Results in Massive Counterfeit Seizures
December 4, 2012
The Golf Group today announced the completion of a successful law enforcement initiative, called a clustering campaign, which resulted in the seizure of nearly 500,000 counterfeit golf products and the arrest of more than 30 suspects by the Public Security Bureau of China. In total, the campaign spanned 6 months and involved raids on 14 different locations. The campaign revealed an elaborate counterfeiting network that operated throughout the country with locations in Xiamen, Shanghai, Dongguan and Beijing.

Carpe Diem: Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Works with Chinese Officials to Take Down Two Counterfeit Operations on Same Day
November 12, 2012
The Golf Group announced today the successful completion of simultaneous raids of two separate China-based counterfeit operations on October 18th. The raids of the unrelated operations resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 counterfeit golf products by local Chinese authorities.

Golf Group Continues to Make Progress in Ongoing Efforts to Deter Counterfeiting
September 27, 2012
The Golf Group reported a recent string of raids and convictions of multiple counterfeiters of golf products in China. These raids were part of a larger clustering campaign by the group in which police in four provinces have raided more than 20 counterfeiting operations, seized more than 350,000 counterfeit golf products and arrested more than 20 counterfeiters including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

FAQs

What is the Golf Group doing to get rid of counterfeiting in golf?
It comes down to two things — education and enforcement. Since forming the anti-counterfeiting group we've worked with law enforcement officials around the world to conduct raids and to chase down those involved in this criminal activity.

Education may be even more important to our efforts because as long as people are willing to buy these fakes, counterfeiters will continue to make them. We are committed to educating golfers on the risks and pitfalls associated with these clubs. This website is just one part of our education efforts.


How are your efforts going?
In 2012, the Golf Group’s efforts with the help of Chinese law enforcement led to the seizure of more than 500,000 counterfeit golf products highlighted by a clustering campaign initiative resulting in the arrest of more than 30 suspects from raids of 14 different locations.

Continuing that momentum into 2013, the Golf Group helped law enforcement seize thousands of counterfeit golf products throughout the year and saw its efforts lead to more than 250 websites selling counterfeit golf products having been shut down. The Golf Group looks forward to building on its recent success and continuing to increase consumer awareness and preventing the production, distribution and sale of fake gold equipment across the globe.


How can I be sure that I purchase authentic products?
The only way to be sure is to always buy your golf equipment from an authorized dealer.


I think I purchased fake clubs. What can I do?
Although it's up to you to decide what's in your best interest, here are several options you might consider:

  1. Dispute the charges with your credit card company.
  2. File a claim with PayPal (if you used their services).
  3. Report the incident to the Internet Crime Compliance Center at www.ic3.gov.


Where are fake clubs made?
While the vast majority, more than 90 percent, of counterfeit golf products are made in China, they can be made anywhere. The Golf Group has investigated and raided counterfeit manufacturers in China, Thailand and Vietnam, to name just a few locations.

Group Members


Cleveland Golf
Srixon
Never Compromise

TylorMade
Adidas
Ashworth

Callaway
Odessy
Titleist

Ping
Foot Joy
Scotty Cameron