Crackdown on Fake Callaway Golf Clubs

As with many counterfeit items, fake Callaway golf clubs have been traced to Asia. Many of these clubs find their way to eBay.

On an average day, Callaway will receive 4-5 reports of suspected fake Callaway golf clubs being offered on eBay. eBay has been fully cooperating. They will shut down a questionable auction and will even provide the seller's contact information in case Callaway wishes to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator.

And that's just what they did. A New York man pled guilty to attempted counterfeiting, a misdemeanor, in November 2004. He was selling full sets of clubs on eBay for about half of the $3000 that Callaways would normally sell for. A William Meyers, of Buffalo, sold an estimated 30 to 35 sets - a value of possibly over $100,000 if they were the real thing.

Investingating the Source

Callaway discovered something was up when people began sending them clubs for repair. They, of course, realized immediately the clubs were fake. A group of investigators on behalf of Callaway found a store in a small city in China selling Callaway equipment. A set of clubs that would retail for about $3,000 in the United States was being sold for the suspicious amount of $275. The store owner even admitted the whole set was a copy.

Testing for Authenticity

The clubs were brought back to Callaway’s headquarters in California to be inspected. They looked like the real thing and tested to hit a distance almost as good as a genuine. But then they were given to a PGA pro who immediately noticed a difference. The test club kept slicing the ball. The reason was it was made of steel. It's supposed to be titanium. The head was two pieces welded together, rather than one forged piece.

Factory Raided

The city of Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, was home to Joyheart Golf Appliance. They were making and selling golf products under the Callaway brand. Chinese police along with an investigative group representing Callaway raided the Joyheart factory and confiscated both assembled and unassembled fake "Callaway" golf clubs and other items.

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