Component golf clubs can vary widely in price.
Which is why it kind of irks me when some customers look down on them. There’s more leeway for club builders to price their wares, and it usually depends on his/her ideas of what an “ideal” price is. Now, I’ve talked about clone golf clubs as an affordable option in another post if you want to check it out. Today, though, I’m going to focus on another option: component golf clubs.
And there are differences between component brands and clone brands.
Starting off: component golf clubs are not copies of another model, like a clone; they are an Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) design, much like the name brands. The OEM goes through their own R&D, as well as finding-and legalizing- its model name.
Let’s get something out of the way: there are times when a component golf club brand does look similar to a name brand.
Kind of similar, with the triangular shape, right? Now, consider this:
Note the similar shape, triangular “muscle” and ever-so-slight cavity back. Again, pretty similar, right? I’m not even going to go into all the putter and wedge “idea sharing” <cough Newport vs. Anser cough>… But that’s what it is- idea sharing, similar to what Pinemeadow Golf talked about with SUVs. We’d take less time finding differences than we would if we looked for similarities.
As long as an OEM makes their version just different enough, they’re in the clear legally. Stuff like:
- More rounded edges, even millimeter’s difference, on edges/muscles/other design parts
- Adding something, like plastic or metal “inserts” in the back of the head
- Making the dimensions slightly different- say, a blade length a couple of millimeter’s longer, which slightly elongates whatever design’s on the back.
We’re talking minute differences, but just enough to keep things lawyer free. Every facet of manufacturing has similar practices, from cars to golf clubs and everything in-between.
The Psychology of Golf Spending
There’s a sort of phenomenon that happens in life, where many believe that how much they spend determines how much they’re getting out of the product. It’s usually called Brand Perception.
Look at a cellphone. You could get, say, a $1000 Samsung or LG phone… but what if you could get a similarly-spec’d Xiaomi for half that? Some people will gladly add $30+ to their monthly bill (or buy it outright) to have that name brand “it” phone, and that’s their right.
This article probably won’t change their mind in that regards when it comes to golf clubs… but if you’re the type that would at least give the Xiaomi in our hypothetical situation a hard look, you might also be the type to give a Wishon or Inazone club a hard look, as well.
Now let’s talk about a non-static item. Is a $50 trash can “better” than a $20 trash can, if everything about them is the same? How about a hammer, or… a golf club?
When a Duck is a Duck
If a golf component club head weighs 200g, has 10* of loft , is .5* closed and costs $150 fully assembled, how much different would a $300 club that has a head that weighs 200g, has 10* of loft and is .5* closed be (assuming that everything else about them- the specs, metal used, etc.- are the same)? A slight movement of the driver’s Center of Gravity (CG) may result in a shade different launch angle or a few hundred RPM’s difference in backspin rate, but only the best of us would notice and/or appreciate the difference. We’re talking Common Sense here.
While it’s still a surprise to many, the same heads are all (mostly) made in the same foundries in China and Taiwan.
The forgings are done in either Japan or China. There just aren’t enough places in the world that handle that kind of work anymore, and the obvious cost-savings are a factor, as well. Think of shoes: you can get Nike, Adidas, Converse, or whatever, but they’re all made in the Far East, mostly in the same factories.
But how does all this affect the spender?
It’s about perception; if a consumer spends a lot of money on a product, they usually feel better about themselves for doing so. That’s the mentality “premium” schools use when pricing their tuition fees. That’s fine… everyone should be happy about this kind of thing, and if spending $2000 on a set of clubs makes them happy, more power to them.
But you’re a practical person, with real lives outside of golf. We might not have a lot to spend on golf clubs, and that’s OK. That’s why I started this blog!
Now, I want to be painfully clear: I am a HUGE proponent for component golf clubs. Most of my bag is just that. When I recommend a brand like Hireko Golf, I talk with the fullest confidence in their product. I also have some of Diamond Tour Golf’s OEM stuff in my bag, which I also recommend. They are far from the only ones, though. To name a few, in no particular order:
- Tom Wishon Golf Technologies
- The GolfWorks
- TechPower Golf
- Alpha Golf (also owns Silver Diamond!)
So… What’s REALLY Important?
I’m never going to get tired of saying this: GET FITTED FOR YOUR GOLF CLUBS. Seriously, it’s that important. It really doesn’t matter what you have to spend on a set of clubs- there are options. There are always options!
Whether it’s component golf clubs, name brand clubs you bought brand new, clone golf clubs, or name brand clubs you bought off eBay at half the cost of new; to get the most out of them, they need to be fitted to your swing and body type. I’d prefer a dynamic (as in, while you swing) fitting, but even a static fitting by some online wizard is better than not getting fit at all.
I promise you, it’s that important!