Golfers may not mind spending big bucks for top-quality Titleist irons, but they would be upset to learn the irons they've just purchased are actually cheap knock-offs. Imitation golf clubs are available online, at flea markets and in classified ads. It is not hard to come across a dishonest seller passing his product off as authentic. Ensuring the legitimacy of golf clubs you buy is easiest in person, but even if you shop online there are ways to protect yourself.
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Shop only at officially licensed Titleist dealers, where possible. These dealers are primarily golf pro shops, speciality golf shops and some sporting goods retailers. Titleist's website provides a list of its officially licensed dealers.
Copy the serial numbers of the irons you are considering buying, and contact Titleist to confirm the legitimacy of the numbers. This step is necessary only when shopping at a non-licensed Titleist dealer. Titleist should be able to tell you where the set of clubs you want is being sold, as well as its history.
Compare photos of the irons you are interested in buying with photos of irons on Titleist's website. If the irons for sale are not authentic, you may notice slight differences in the lettering, labels and logos. Titleist practices quality control to ensure all its products are virtually identical.
Tips and warnings
- If shopping online, purchase only from reputable dealers. Many unscrupulous sellers will advertise one thing, but sell you another. If this happens, it may be difficult to return the clubs and get your money back.
- If shopping online, request close-up photo documentation of the irons' serial numbers and logos before buying.
- If you believe you have been duped into buying a fake product, contact the seller -- and/or online marketplace administrator -- to file a fraud claim. Visit Titleist's website to inform the company of the counterfeiting.
- Remember the old adage, "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
- Be wary of products being sold online from anywhere in Asia. This is a strong indication the product is not authentic, as many imitation clubs are produced in Asian countries.
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