Knowingly or unknowingly, millions of golfers have purchased counterfeit golf clubs usually from Internet sites featuring more hyperbole than facts. Purchasers may think they are getting the latest and greatest at an unbelievable price but usually find the clubs, at the very least, disappointing.
Counterfeit golf clubs and balls are an immense problem for the industry and it’s estimated an astounding 2 million are made yearly. They not only cost the manufacturers profits but are hurting golfers foisting off shoddily made products using inadequate materials.
This month a consortium of club manufacturers, the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group, announced they had been successful in getting a preliminary injunction from the U.S. District Court forcing closure of more than 175 websites selling counterfeit clubs. This followed a similar action in January closing 60 Internet sites.
This newest lawsuit covers 130 defendants operating more than 175 websites that sold not only clubs but balls and accessories. Visitors to these sites will now be redirected to a site referencing the preliminary injunction and other details of the legal action.
Speaking for the Group Christa McNamara of TaylorMade-adidas Golf said, “Over the last decade, we’ve seen a significant increase in counterfeiters using the internet as a tool to dupe consumers. We’ve shut down a significant number of websites with this recent joint action, and it gives us momentum in our efforts moving forward.”
The Golf Group, which was formed in 2004, has been engaged in an education campaign instructing consumers on how to spot and avoid fake golf products through its own website, www.keepgolfreal.com. Comprised of five big name golf companies (Callaway-Odyssey and Top-Flite; TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth; PING; Cleveland Golf, Srixon and Never Compromise; and Acushnet Company whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron) in 2011 seized more than 80,000 counterfeit golf products.