I’ve mentioned before that clone golf clubs aren’t as bad as some people make them out to be.
Now, I’m going to offer proof.
Here’s what I used for my set up. I’ve made it as fair as I possibly can.
Each club had been outfitted with Club Connex connectors, so I could use the same shaft, with the same length, grip, etc.
Go back and look at the clubheads… can you spot the difference? Well, they do look similar at first glance, but they aren’t exactly the same.
The Measurable Differences Between Clone Golf Clubs and the OEM Counterpart
The Turner (from Diamond Tour Golf; not an affiliate link) spec line looks like this:
- Weight: 201.7 grams (3.7 grams heavier) than its stated weight of 198g
- Loft: 10.5* (spot on)
- Face Angle: .5* closed
- Lie Angle: 58*
- Face Height: 2.41″
- Front-to-Back length: 4.84″
- Toe-to-Heel length: 4.91″
- Bulge (horizontal face curve): 13″
- Roll (vertical face curve): 11″
For the Burner (for fairness, here’s a (non-affiliate) link to Taylormade Golf), it looks like this:
- Weight: 197.4g (or, 0.6g less than its stated 198g)
- Loft: 10.5* (spot on)
- Face Angle: 1* closed
- Lie Angle: 58*
- Face Height: 2.43″
- Front-to-Back length: 4.69″
- Toe-to-Heel length: 4.94″
- Bulge: 13″
- Roll: 13″
As you can see, based on measurable specs alone, these are not similar.
They are very, very close, but the details are so minute that it wouldn’t matter from a playability standpoint.
Note: because the weight of each club was different, I normalized it by bringing the weight of the Burner up to that of the Turner by using lead tape (seen in the picture).
Visual Aspects of Clone Golf Clubs v. the OEM Counterpart
As for visuals, The Burner’s hosel is slightly longer. There’s some interesting things going on for each crown. Observe:
The Burner has a single channel along the back of the head. It also has a designed pattern (see red lines).
The Turner has no pattern on the crown, and instead of a single “channel”, it has “scallops” at various points (the red circles).
So visually, the clone golf club is different from the OEM version. Don’t worry; there’s no threat of the golf club police coming to bust you for owning a “counterfeit”. The reputable brands, like Diamond Tour and Pinemeadow Golf (again, non-affiliate), aren’t bad people.
Time for the interesting part!
How the clone golf club plays compared to its OEM counterpart
You are seeing that right: the Turner outdrove the Burner by 24.6 yards!
I’m sure you’re motherf*cking me right now, but let me tell you how I did it, and why it’s different from what everyone else does…
What I did was easy: all I did was hit one shot with each club. Why do you need 10+ shots to get an idea of anything?
Most fitters, want you to hit 10-12 shots and throw out the best and the worst. Why the hell would you do that? Barney Adams, the founder of Adams Golf, believes you only need three.
You don’t throw away a career drive on the course, do you? If you top your drive during a real round, you have to play it, right?
So that’s how I approached each shot with each club: both were “do or die”.
I went through my preshot routine (you have one of those, don’t you?) for both. Put another way, I hit each shot as if I was on the tee of a live round.
Don’t get me wrong… this is not a soapbox to say “Clone golf clubs are SO much better than OEM clubs!!!”. Far from it, though there is a thing in golf about brand perception that I’m not terribly thrilled about.
Here’s a second test, done with the Voice Caddy SC200. If you wanna consider it a form of “redemption” for the Turner, I suppose that’d work (my longest with the Burner was 254 yards of carry distance):
There are a couple of caveats you need to know about:
- The Cobra is fitted to my swing. It’s 44.5″ long, has a D3 swing weight, a +1/32″ grip, an S-flex shaft, and has 9.5* loft.
- The Turner is 44″ long, has a D2 swing weight, a standard-sized grip, and S-flex shaft and a loft of 10.5*.
So they’re not exactly the same club.
But what I want you to take away from this is, clone golf clubs can hold their own against the big-name brands.
The biggest thing for you to do is to get what you want fitted to your swing and body type. We offer that at GLG, both as an online fitting service and in person.
Regardless of your budget, there are good clubs available to you. You just need to simplify your golf club buying options. Get what you like, whether it’s a clone or OEM version, get it fitted, and go out and play!