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Frishay where yo can buy surely

by Junaid Nazakat 2 months ago in how to
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You've seen the ads. You've noticed the incredible prices. And you've undoubtedly wondered, "Are they as good as the brand names?" We're talking about golf club clones, of course, essentially imitations of brand name equipment that you can buy from various sources for dirt cheap. Well, cheap as far as brand new golf equipment go.

But are they as good?

Bottom Line

For those of you in a rush (who isn't?), here are my conclusions:

Irons. I sell lots of used golf equipment on eBay. And you can bet I try and play just about everything of interest that passes through my office. So, the prudent question would be: What would someone like me - who has access to and pretty much can put anything I want into play - have in my golf bag? Answer: The same set of inexpensive graphite-shafted clone irons I picked up from Pinemeadow Golf a few years back. I kid you not.

Drivers & Fairway Woods. Although no longer in my bag, my overall experience with the graphite-shafted driver I picked up from Pinemeadow is okay; performance and feel were both satisfactory. The corresponding fairway woods (3-Wood and 5-Wood), both also with graphite shafts, performed just as well, but I personally didn't like the way they felt. This is probably based mainly on sound - I prefer the distinct metallic sound and resulting feel produced by the Callaway Steelheads and Orlimar Trimetals that you'll usually find in my bag, a sound that I guess I now expect to hear every time I swing a wood - and the Pinemeadows didn't have the sound I wanted.

But to be fair, not many do. Again, they performed as expected. In fact, I once placed third in a tournament armed with nothing more than these Pinemeadow fairways as my woods! Stupid me, I forgot my driver at home and ended up using the 3-Wood as my driver. Now that I think about it, that was probably a blessing, actually, considering how inconsistently wild I can get with the driver (my fault, not the club's). The point is, the fairway woods did their job, and still can - I've kept the pair around as backup or loaner clubs.

I think it's important to note that these comments are based on "older" product. The latest woods releases from Pinemeadow and others may very well be better than what I've experienced - the current overwhelmingly positive customer feedback and comments on their site seem to indicate that - but I just haven't personally experienced them firsthand.

Hybrids. I can't comment much about clone hybrids either - or even brand name ones for that matter. I just haven't used them yet. My bag's equipped with a 7-Wood in place of the more typical 3-Iron, and this configuration has served me quite well, enough at least to help me not bother with hybrids just yet. In all probability I'll be jumping on the hybrids bandwagon soon enough. Until then, I can only say that quality-wise, there's no reason to think that clone hybrids won't be on par at the very least with clone manufacturers' woods offerings.

Wedges. Clone wedges aren't in my bag (I carry Titleist Vokeys I received as gifts), but I have used them, the classic Cleveland-styled models in particular. The clones are very good clubs and incredible values; I have absolutely no reservations recommending them as worth trying out.

Putters. I like to frequently switch and rotate my money sticks around - some days, for example, I inexplicably putt better with a 343 shaft instead of a 333, and vice-versa; or some days a mallet just feels better than a traditional blade; and so on - and clone club companies like Pinemeadow Golf allow me to assemble quite an arsenal of putters to let me do that. I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford such a "quiver of putters" (as my friends call it) with the prices the brand names are asking for nowadays. Of course, you obviously don't have to assemble this kind of putter collection; the point is, the clone putters are good and cheap and definitely worth your while to test.

Read on and learn a lot more about what I experienced specifically, particularly in the area of realizing the importance of choosing the right company to purchase clones from because, quite frankly boys and girls, sh*t happens sometimes.

Where it All StartedI'm literally going back to the very beginning, when I picked up the game just a few short years ago. As a beginner, I wanted to learn while using a better set than the typical department store variety. But man, paying the big bucks for those Callaways, Pings, or Titleists I fancied just didn't make a heck of a lot of sense then, not when it still wasn't clear whether I was going to stick with the game or not.

So, after doing a bit of research and clicking around online, I went with a set of Acer Sole undercut irons from Pinemeadow Golf. Why? Looks. They looked similar to the original and very expensive Callaway Hawkeyes. And - and this is important, to me anyway - the Acers themselves looked spiffy, presentable, and respectable, something that I wouldn't be ashamed to be seen using, unlike many of the hokey clubs with the cheesy cosmetics I see offered by other clone builders. (To this day, Pinemeadow's selection is up there among the best in the field in the looks department.)

While I was at it, I also picked up the 3-club set of Acer XDS 2+ Stainless Woods (Callaway Hawkeye VFT clones), which included a 10º driver, 3-Wood and 5-Wood, and the Pure Roll Series M-1 putter (a Never Compromise mallet clone). Standard Pinemeadow Aldila graphite shafts (steel for the putter) and grips for the lot. I was a beginner, remember, and knew next to nothing about everything, so I figured, play it basic, safe, and cheap. If I ended up not liking the sport, at least I wouldn't be out all that much.

Same Quality? Problems?

Needless to say, I'm now hooked on the game, and I'm doing what I can to try and bring that handicap down to as low a number as I can muster. I've also gotten involved in a number of golf-related business activities, like selling golf equipment on eBay.

Which means at least two things: I now not only know enough about the game to be able to competently judge my clone clubs performance-wise, I also get to regularly play and test out a lot of expensive brand name equipment so that I can actually do decent and fair comparisons.

The fact that my Pinemeadow irons are still in my golf bag as I write this should tell you a lot. It's not that I don't like playing with brand name irons - I do. In fact, I own a set of Clevelands and a set of TaylorMades for no other reason than that I like playing with them occasionally (I don't like all Clevelands and TaylorMades, mind you, just the specific models I've kept).

Thing is, I don't play any better or worse with the Clevelands and TaylorMades than I do with the Pinemeadows. Same thing goes with Callaways, Titleists, Hogans, Mizunos, or any other brand name equipment out there. My game pretty much plays out the way it should at my level regardless of what set of clubs I use.

Obvious conclusion: It's me, not the clubs.

So, considering that I'm satisfied with the way the clones look, feel, and perform, why in the world would I want to bother with brand name clubs that cost up to 8X as much (or even more!) but don't offer me any additional game benefits over the clones?

Even if we could say that there's a slight incremental advantage or benefit to using a brand name set over the clones, we would then have to ask: Would it be worth the extra cost? Yeah, I like keeping an eye on the good old cost:benefit ratio, and based solely on what I've experienced, for players at my level (mid-handicapper) or higher, these incremental benefits do not exist.

How about for better players? Do low handicappers and scratch players realize any benefits to playing with the brands versus inexpensive clone equipment? I'm not good enough to know. But judging from the feedback posted on Pinemeadow's site, it looks like more than just a few low handicappers/scratch players have "discovered" the benefits of going clone.

Do note, however, that I've also experienced a few problems with the stuff I got from Pinemeadow:

" Not long after I received my irons and woods, a few plastic ferrules popped loose. Nothing serious, easily fixed by pinprick drops of superglue. But...

" Within only a few months, the plastic ferrule on my 5-Iron not only popped loose, but broke off completely. The thing just split open. Then, within a few more days, so did the ferrules on the 3- and 7-Irons (back then, I tended to play the odd numbers more often).

Although I probably could have put them back on with more superglue, I figured that this was now in the realm of the strange, and I wasn't too happy about it. So I emailed Pinemeadow immediately. They quickly had me ship the whole lot back at their expense, even the clubs with the ferrules still intact. They said they'd fix the clubs, which they did. I think, however, that they eventually shipped back brand new replacement clubs instead of going through the time and trouble of disassembling and reassembling each of my original clubs just to fix some ferrules. Those clubs I got back sure looked new, shrink wrapped heads and all. I can't obviously say that this is what they do in every situation; I'm just relating exactly what kind of "service" I got.

That was a couple or so years ago. The set has been trouble-free since.

" After a round about a year after purchase, I noticed something new on the Acer XDS 2+ driver head: a very distinct dimple about a quarter of an inch or so in diameter on the toe. Must've happened on the 3rd, I thought, when I skied a drive. It apparently didn't affect the club's performance the rest of the round since it went unnoticed. My fault and not a Pinemeadow quality problem, I concluded.

But I did mention it in an email to Pinemeadow. I wanted to know whether this was common. I was told two things: (a) this was uncommon, and (b) I still had some time left under my original 1 year warranty, a benefit that had completely slipped my mind - only two days left, in fact - so I could send the club back to be replaced! Again, this replacement was made without it costing me a penny out-of-pocket, shipping and all! Now that was a pleasant surprise.

" That I like Pinemeadow Golf's service and support is an understatement. But I hated their standard grips; they felt cheap to me, and the fact that they wore out and needed replacement very quickly - darned if I got a full season of very casual play out of those grips - reinforced that conclusion.

I wasn't alone with this grip observation. You used to be able to find lots of negative customer feedback on Pinemeadow's site about those grips. I don't see the complaints anymore, and I hope that's because Pinemeadow's started using much better standard grips.

Even then, I say splurge a little and have Pinemeadow install one of the better brand name grip upgrade options they offer. The benefits far outweigh the negligible expense of going this route.


It should be plainly obvious that I highly recommend Pinemeadow Golf. Excellent products and prices, and even better, absolutely excellent service. , A Sports Store specially for Golf apparel, accessories, carts , bags and for Tenis and Football Accessories and apparels.

Another place to try is GigaGolf. I don't own a set from them, but have played with a friend's and was equally impressed with the quality of their work and low prices... no hesitation at all in recommending them to you to try out.

There are many other sources of clone golf clubs out there. Since I haven't used them, I can't really say yay or nay. I do share any new golf equipment finds and discoveries on my HumanGolf and Golfdirt sites, if you're interested in exploring further. But...

REMEMBER: Regardless of who you choose to purchase from, make sure you deal with a quality-conscious and reputable company, specifically one that provides full product warranties and an excellent money back guarantee. If you can't find this kind of consumer information on their website, ask them about it before you purchase.

To Do Right Now

Visit a highly regarded clone manufacturer like Pinemeadow or GigaGolf and pick up a club or two - or even a full set of irons and woods - to try out. You'll probably be very surprised at how low it'll cost to get a set of quality clubs custom fit to your needs and specifications.

Make sure to play around with Pinemeadow's Custom Fitting Wizard and/or GigaGolf's eFit System online to see club specifications custom-tailored to your measurements and capabilities.

And both provide full 30-day satisfaction guarantees that let you buy your custom club(s) online, actually play them, and return them if you're not completely satisfied for whatever reason. I know both stand behind their guarantees, and for the value they deliver, I feel that this is one heck of a risk-free shot. Take it. You'll be really glad you did.

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Junaid Nazakat

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