Can you tell which one is the fake? It's the one on the left.

Last week the Chinese government conducted multiple raids on counterfeit golf club operations in China.  They seized over 25,000 products from markets in Beijing and Shanghai.

This is part of an ongoing effort to stem the flow of fake golf clubs coming from China.  In September alone, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group conducted 4 raids that seized 80,000 fake clubs.

According to Michael Rider, Senior VP and General Counsel for Callaway Golf, “The number and location of these recent raids sends a strong message to counterfeiters that we are committed to shutting them down.”

“We are striking back at these illegal operations, hitting them where it hurts like our most recent action in shutting down some of the most popular locations in the world of counterfeit store fronts,” said Rawleigh Grove Vice President and General Counsel for PING.  ”We’re confident this will be a deterrent to counterfeiters in the future as we keep pushing to keep golf real.

The problem is that while the numbers sound impressive (and they really are), this is just a drop in the bucket.  When you shut down one market in China, 2 more will open up.  Personally, I don’t really have a problem with Counterfeit clubs per se.  If you want to buy some cheap knock-offs, then go ahead.  Nobody buying a $50 set of Callaway’s in China actually thinks they’re real.  The real problem is when the counterfeits get shipped over here to be sold as legitimate clubs.  Some golfer then ends up going on eBay and unknowingly buys one and wonders why his new super-titanium carbon fiber driver is shorter than his 5-wood.

To that end, I’ve posted a list of websites allegedly selling fake golf clubs after the break.  Also, for what it’s worth, the counterfeiters only bother going after the big name brands.  A rep from Adams told me earlier this year that they’ve never actually seen a fake Adams club because they’re not yet a big enough brand to have caught the attention of the counterfeiters in China.  Also, My Golf Spy has a nice guide on how to avoid buying fake clubs on eBay (they claim 24% are fakes).

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2011 PGA Tour winning balls

by Derek on September 28, 2011

in Equipment,PGA Tour

Titleist had yet another big year on Tour, including wins at the US Open (McIlroy), Tour Championship (Haas).  But while they may dwarf everybody else on tour, other brands picked up some big wins as well.  In particular I hadn’t realized that Taylormade  snagged 5 wins with the Penta this year.  Can anybody make a dent in Titleist’s numbers for 2012?

1. Titleist Pro V1x – 21 wins

2. Titleist Pro v1 – 6 wins

3. Tayormade Penta – 5 wins

4. Nike One Tour D – 3 wins

5.  Callaway Tour i(z) – 2 wins

6. Srixon Z-Star XV – 2 wins

7. Bridgestone B330s – 1 win

 Golf Digest

I was really excited when I first learned about the uPro MX back at the PGA show in January.  It seemed like a great GPS device at an extremely competitive price.  Unfortunately, as a quick check of any golf forum can show you, the uPro MX launch didn’t exactly go smoothly.  The problems have been so bad that Callaway is pulling all existing stock from retailers and offering customers a refund.

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callaway android phone promo

This just seems… odd.  If you buy a box of Callaway golf balls through the end of the year, you can get an unidentified Android smartphone for free… with a 2 year activation and data plan of course.

I’ve got an Android phone and I love it.  But this seems like a really, really weird marketing promo.  First off, there are plenty of phones available for free with 2-year activation (yes, including android smartphones).  Second, this is only going to cause somebody to make a purchase once (how many android smartphones and contracts does one person need?).  Whereas a buy 2 get 1 type of offer will drive repeat purchases.  And 3rd, what’s the connection between Callaway golf balls and Android smartphones?

Maybe next week they’ll launch a promotion where if you buy a wedge you get a new toaster oven.

Alvaro Quiros

Along with the video of Phil that I posted the other day, Callaway has released videos featuring a number of their marquee players, including first round co-leader of the Masters, Alvaro Quiros.

Quiros talks about his passion for a variety of other sports and how he learned to hit the ball so far.

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Great video of Phil from Callaway

by Derek on April 3, 2011

in PGA Tour,Video

If you had asked me last week about Phil’s chances at the Masters, I would have told you that it was crazy that he was one of the favorites at 10-1.  After yesterday’s 63?   Well, it doesn’t seem completely unreasonable anymore.

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Review: Transitions SOLFX Lenses

by Derek on March 21, 2011

in Equipment,Reviews

Callaway Mag 101 sunglasses with Neox Transitions SOLFX lenses

In honor of this past week’s Transitions Championship, I thought I would post my review of the Transitions SOLFX lenses.  If you’re not familiar with Transitions from all the commercials over the weekend, they’re a photochromic lens.  This means that the lenses change tint based on the amount of UV light they’re exposed to.  You can go from out in the sun to indoors or the shade without having to take off your sunglasses (or vice-versa).

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Golf’s Ad Wars

by Derek on February 17, 2011

in Equipment

Callaway Golf Razr Hawk Sheep Ad

Taylormade’s recent R11 ad campaign took direct aim at the rest of the golf industry.  Well, Callaway has fired back.  In their new ad campaign, they claim that their new Razr Hawk driver (available on Friday, Feb 18th) is 6 yards longer than the R11.

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