Are the Best Clone Golf Clubs a Good Idea?

The debate has been raging for at least 30 years. Are the best clone golf clubs just as good as the name brands, or are they just a cheap rip-off? It’s a question worth asking, although the answers you get will vary widely.

Let’s begin with some information about clone golf clubs.

Even if you’ve never used clone clubs yourself, you’ve probably played at least a round or two with someone who does. Basically, clone clubs are intended to resemble name-brand golf clubs as closely as possible, but they’re made by different companies and they usually use at least slightly different club components. Ideally, clone golf clubs use similar designs and the same high-quality materials as their name-brand cousins. Many of their components (heads, shafts and grips) are made in the same foundries or factories as the components of name-brand clubs.

So, the best clone golf clubs look very much like the name brands they’re intended to resemble, and their proponents claim the clubs feel and perform just like those name brands. These people argue that the only significant difference between clone clubs and their name-brand cousins is their price. Likewise, the clone club manufacturers claim their products deliver the same cutting-edge technology and performance as name-brand clubs, only at a much lower price.

The price difference between clones and name-brand clubs can be substantial.

The price difference can be truly significant – in some cases even the best clone golf clubs cost hundreds less than the name brand versions. Clone club manufacturers claim they’re able to build high quality golf clubs and sell them for such low prices because they don’t have huge advertising budgets, play professionals to play their clubs, or have brick-and-mortar stores they have to operate and maintain. Clone club detractors, however, wonder about quality control – do clone club makers cut corners or use lesser-quality materials and components to allow them to sell their clubs so cheaply?

Should you look for clones?

If cost is an issue, clone clubs can be a good alternative to name-brand clubs. Even if their performance isn’t quite up to snuff compared to the name brands (and again, some say it is), isn’t it better to play with slightly lower quality clubs than not be able to play at all because you can’t afford the name brands?

If price isn’t an issue, the hundreds of dollars you can save by buying clones can be spent elsewhere on your game. Your savings can help you pay greens fees, take lessons, and so on. And clone golf clubs are a great option for beginners who are buying their first set of golf clubs. Why spend thousands of dollars if you’re not sure you’ll even like the game enough to continue playing?

But there’s another reason why the best clone golf clubs could be a good option for almost any golfer – limited budget, beginner or not. Most clone golf clubs are built-to-order and custom-fit based on your physical measurements and playing style. In other words, they’re customized to the specifications you provide. The name-brand manufacturers are willing to custom-build their clubs too, but when you add the cost of a custom fitting to their already-high prices, the best clone golf clubs become even more attractive.

Still, though, the debate rages on.

There’s no question that name-brand clubs cost more than even the best clone golf clubs. Despite the significant price difference, to the best of my knowledge all professional golfers and high-level amateurs play name-brand clubs. And most “ordinary” golfers do too. Clone club detractors say there must be some reasons why the vast majority of golfers are willing to spend more money on their clubs when a cheaper alternative is available, and those reasons are quality and performance.

High quality golf clubs won’t give you a great game if your swing is terrible, but they can help. The name brand manufacturers spend millions every year on research and development, and the components they use to build their clubs are the best that money can buy. That’s why clone golf club detractors argue that used name-brand clubs (or last-year’s models) are a better alternative than even the best clone golf clubs.

Here’s the bottom line.

Some golfers swear by clone golf clubs and think the name brands are overpriced, while others wouldn’t be caught dead playing a clone. Only you can decide how you feel about them. If, however, you decide to buy clones, make sure you buy the best clone golf clubs possible. Visit several clone club websites and make sure the company you buy from has good customer service, a strong warranty, and a good return/refund policy in case you’re not 100% satisfied. GigaGolf (www.gigagolf.com) is a good place to start your search for the best clone golf clubs.

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