You’ve seen the ads. You’ve noticed the incredible prices. And you’ve undoubtedly wondered, “Are they as good as the brand names?” We’re talking about golf club clones, of course, essentially imitations of brand name equipment that you can buy from various sources for dirt cheap. Well, cheap as far as brand new golf equipment go.
But are they as good?
For those of you in a rush (who isn’t?), here are my conclusions:
Irons. I sell lots of used golf equipment on eBay. And you can bet I try and play just about everything of interest that passes through my office. So, the prudent question would be: What would someone like me – who has access to and pretty much can put anything I want into play – have in my golf bag? Answer: The same set of inexpensive graphite-shafted clone irons I picked up from Pinemeadow Golf a few years back. I kid you not.
Drivers & Fairway Woods. Although no longer in my bag, my overall experience with the graphite-shafted driver I picked up from Pinemeadow is okay; performance and feel were both satisfactory. The corresponding fairway woods (3-Wood and 5-Wood), both also with graphite shafts, performed just as well, but I personally didn’t like the way they felt. This is probably based mainly on sound – I prefer the distinct metallic sound and resulting feel produced by the Callaway Steelheads and Orlimar Trimetals that you’ll usually find in my bag, a sound that I guess I now expect to hear every time I swing a wood – and the Pinemeadows didn’t have the sound I wanted.
But to be fair, not many do. Again, they performed as expected. In fact, I once placed third in a tournament armed with nothing more than these Pinemeadow fairways as my woods! Stupid me, I forgot my driver at home and ended up using the 3-Wood as my driver. Now that I think about it, that was probably a blessing, actually, considering how inconsistently wild I can get with the driver (my fault, not the club’s). The point is, the fairway woods did their job, and still can – I’ve kept the pair around as backup or loaner clubs.
I think it’s important to note that these comments are based on “older” product. The latest woods releases from Pinemeadow and others may very well be better than what I’ve experienced – the current overwhelmingly positive customer feedback and comments on their site seem to indicate that – but I just haven’t personally experienced them firsthand.
Hybrids. I can’t comment much about clone hybrids either – or even brand name ones for that matter. I just haven’t used them yet. My bag’s equipped with a 7-Wood in place of the more typical 3-Iron, and this configuration has served me quite well, enough at least to help me not bother with hybrids just yet. In all probability I’ll be jumping on the hybrids bandwagon soon enough. Until then, I can only say that quality-wise, there’s no reason to think that clone hybrids won’t be on par at the very least with clone manufacturers’ woods offerings.
Wedges. Clone wedges aren’t in my bag (I carry Titleist Vokeys I received as gifts), but I have used them, the classic Cleveland-styled models in particular. The clones are very good clubs and incredible values; I have absolutely no reservations recommending them as worth trying out.
Putters. I like to frequently switch and rotate my money sticks around – some days, for example, I inexplicably putt better with a 343 shaft instead of a 333, and vice-versa; or some days a mallet just feels better than a traditional blade; and so on – and clone club companies like Pinemeadow Golf allow me to assemble quite an arsenal of putters to let me do that. I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford such a “quiver of putters” (as my friends call it) with the prices the brand names are asking for nowadays. Of course, you obviously don’t have to assemble this kind of putter collection; the point is, the clone putters are good and cheap and definitely worth your while to test.
Read on and learn a lot more about what I experienced specifically, particularly in the area of realizing the importance of choosing the right company to purchase clones from because, quite frankly boys and girls, sh*t happens sometimes.
Where it All StartedI’m literally going back to the very beginning, when I picked up the game just a few short years ago. As a beginner, I wanted to learn while using a better set than the typical department store variety. But man, paying the big bucks for those Callaways, Pings, or Titleists I fancied just didn’t make a heck of a lot of sense then, not when it still wasn’t clear whether I was going to stick with the game or not.
So, after doing a bit of research and clicking around online, I went with a set of Acer Sole undercut irons from Pinemeadow Golf. Why? Looks. They looked similar to the original and very expensive Callaway Hawkeyes. And – and this is important, to me anyway – the Acers themselves looked spiffy, presentable, and respectable, something that I wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen using, unlike many of the hokey clubs with the cheesy cosmetics I see offered by other clone builders. (To this day, Pinemeadow’s selection is up there among the best in the field in the looks department.)
While I was at it, I also picked up the 3-club set of Acer XDS 2+ Stainless Woods (Callaway Hawkeye VFT clones), which included a 10º driver, 3-Wood and 5-Wood, and the Pure Roll Series M-1 putter (a Never Compromise mallet clone). Standard Pinemeadow Aldila graphite shafts (steel for the putter) and grips for the lot. I was a beginner, remember, and knew next to nothing about everything, so I figured, play it basic, safe, and cheap. If I ended up not liking the sport, at least I wouldn’t be out all that much.
Same Quality? Problems?
Needless to say, I’m now hooked on the game, and I’m doing what I can to try and bring that handicap down to as low a number as I can muster. I’ve also gotten involved in a number of golf-related business activities, like selling golf equipment on eBay. For more details please visit these sites:- https://www.shop-swimmingpool.at/
Which means at least two things: I now not only know enough about the game to be able to competently judge my clone clubs performance-wise, I also get to regularly play and test out a lot of expensive brand name equipment so that I can actually do decent and fair comparisons.
The fact that my Pinemeadow irons are still in my golf bag as I write this should tell you a lot. It’s not that I don’t like playing with brand name irons – I do. In fact, I own a set of Clevelands and a set of TaylorMades for no other reason than that I like playing with them occasionally (I don’t like all Clevelands and TaylorMades, mind you, just the specific models I’ve kept).