Originally published January 18, 2003
In the SUV market we have the Ford Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, GMC Envoy, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Aviator, Buick Rainier, Lexus GX, and on and on. Each of these companies takes from each other and "clones" or "knocks-off" each others' design concepts. They all do this legally, ethically and with great vigor. It is a game of leap frog.
While we sometimes find it hard to distinguish one SUV from another, we know they are not exact copies of each other and that these companies are not trying to confuse the consumer into thinking so. But we also know the SUV makers copy the same features, performance characteristics, and customer benefits from each other in a marketplace of continuing innovation. Well, so do we, but we do it in golf.
The most popular name brand companies in golf today are Callaway, Ping, Titliest, TaylorMade and Cobra, with several others typically coming in and out of favor. These companies (and us) are just like the auto makers — leap frogging each other with innovative new product concepts, materials and fashion statements. When talking generically about golf clubs, most consumers describe products in terms of general product families, just like when auto consumers say that Honda looks has a "Mercedes look", or that Mercedes "looks like a Land Rover". Well, it is the same thing in golf.
A Golf Clone is similar to the concept of a PC Clone (at least that is how we think of it). In the mid-1980's PC Clones were introduced into the personal computer market. Some of them, like Compaq, eventually became Brand Names. But the goal of Clones, in golf, computers and cars is to provide all of the performance features of a big name brand with a better value to the consumer.
Clones are not to be confused with the branded products they may seek to flatter, but they are made from essentially the same materials and design principles, use many of the same shaft and grip suppliers, and perform similar to (or often better than) the name brands.
The important point is we buy our heads, shafts, and grips from the same small community of golf manufacturing suppliers. We provide performance but offer you a BETTER VALUE. To prove it, see what our other customers say about us.
ARE SOME GOLF CLONES ILLEGAL?
Illegal knockoffs and counterfeits have been a significant problem in the golf industry. The Name Brands talk about illegal clubs ripping them off, but counterfeiters also rip us off and you too, the consumer. No one should buy products from an illegal counterfeiter. An illegal knockoff and/or counterfeit is a product that violates the legal trade dress rights, trademarks, patents or copyrights of another company. Historical examples of trade dress violators were the makers of the "king snake" which was an illegal knockoff of Cobra's King Cobra, the Tommy Mann Bummer, the Big Burser — you see the point.
An illegal knockoff rips off the violated company because it confuses the consumer and in some cases seeks to fool the consumer into thinking their product is actually the Name Brand Company's product. It rips us off because we play by the rules and lose business to shady operators who fool consumers into thinking they are buying a legitimate product. It rips you off if you buy their products because you have then violated the law and are holding illegal goods. That could very well negatively affect your game — and, we at Pinemeadow Golf do not want that to happen.
Pinemeadowgolf.com is very careful to not violate the valid rights of other companies. However, we do examine carefully the claims of companies and work hard to get into your hands the best products at the best price.
Article courtesy of PineMeadowGolf