For the most part, the government has cracked down on counterfeit items being sold on third party sites like Ebay and Mercari, but they are still out there, just in smaller quantities. In fact, the seller will sometimes state that the product is a fugazi (Italian for fake), like a jersey or handbag, in lieu of passing it off for authentic. That is not the case in golf equipment, however.
One of the most faked, knocked-off, and counterfeit products in the game is Scotty Cameron putters. Scotty Cameron has made a brand that stretches beyond high quality putters. The line is highly collectible and sought after and includes items such as golf bags, luggage, headwear, polos, headcovers, divot tools, and money clips that are all limited in both release and production. Club Cameron is a membership club that you can join, for $100, and you get first dibs at each monthly release online. These sell out in minutes even though they are only available to club members. You also receive an exclusive welcome kit for joining the club. This year’s kit included a mini staff bag known as a den caddy, a putter cover, a sticker, and a metallic pin – all with a matching color theme. Ironically, most of the time these welcome kits end up on Ebay for double and triple the price it cost to join the club in the first place! Especially the ones from a few years ago.
The best way to guarantee that you are purchasing authentic merchandise, whatever it may be, is to do so from a reliable, authorized dealer such as Golf HQ. This eliminates any guessing and grey areas. I am going to provide you with some tips and photos to help you identify a fake. I have presented 2 different models but they are from the Studio Select line and the cosmetic differences are obvious when side-by-side. It can be difficult to the eye as there are some good replicas out there. But the fakes will always lack the technology and high-end materials. The easiest way used to be to locate the serial number, if there was one, and call Titleist and see if that serial # was indeed in their database. But now even those are copied these days and customer service may verify an authentic number over the phone and read off the specs to the very fake putter you have in your hand.
Roll the rock Roll a few putts with it. If it just doesn’t feel or sound right at impact, it could be a fake. Scotty Camerons are among the finest milled putters around and just feel expensive in your hand. If it feels cheap, sounds dead, or continues to come up short, it is probably constructed of cheap materials and is a copy. A fake Scotty is also normally lighter than its authentic counterpart.
The Price is Right If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. New in-line models retail for around $400, and limited release models from years past command as much as $10k. A seller may try to fool you by pricing the putter close to retail, or they may not even know they have a fake themselves, but if it’s in great shape and they want $150 for it…it’s probably fake. Sellers of fake goods want to turn merch into cash fast.
Serial Numbers You can clearly see the difference in fonts on both serial numbers. The fake is much larger and printed on. The real model is smaller and engraved. You can feel the texture of the numbers as you run your finger over them. Authentic Scottys also have the serial number printed on the underside of the shaft, so it is not visible at address when putting. The fake one also reads “Made in America” and the real one does not, because that’s simply not true.
Paint-fill dots The colors are much more vibrant and brighter on the real one. The dots appear to have a soft swirl to them and the fake one is very dull.
Soles Again, this is a good fake but there are subtle differences in the fonts. Again, the fake is larger.
Toplines Even though they are different models, the top-line on the fake is much thicker and bulkier.
Trust your gut Always roll with your instinct. If something just doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You are better off spending $200 on an authentic Odyssey, Ping, or a used authentic Cameron putter than $100 – $150 on a fake one. Do not feed the animals.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Written by Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional
Design and Published by Craig Walton