Beware! Golf club you bought online could be counterfeit!

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Online buying is stress-free. Lucrative discounts make e-shopping more tempting. The same applies to sports equipment. Golf included.

But beware! The grass on the other side might not be as greener as the lucrative deals and tempting discounts make it look. The threat of being duped is large. You may end up buying counterfeit products.

The latest example in golf is glaring. A gang in China has been convicted this week for their involvement in the manufacturing and trading of counterfeit golf products. Of the 15 people convicted, thirteen are charged with counterfeiting registered trademarks, will two are sentenced for selling duplicate products.

The total case value of the faked equipment, according to a Golfweek report, was more than $1.8 million. It involved 120,000 pieces of equipment. The products carried false branding of Titleist, TaylorMade, PXG, Ping, Callaway, and Cleveland/Srixon.

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The combined jail term of the guilty aggregates 42 years and fines total $574,461. Another person was tried in the case, and the outcome of that trial is pending.

The case had involved raids at 10 locations, including the manufacturer of the club heads, shaft and grip suppliers, owners of assembling workshops, shipping centers, and online chat rooms.

The products included complete golf clubs, club heads, shafts, grips, bags, labels and more.

The action was initiated by the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group, which includes brand owners of Acushnet (Titleist and FootJoy), Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon, Ping, PXG, TaylorMade, and Adams Golf.

The group has successfully managed to shut down more than 1,500 websites involved in counterfeiting and has led to the seizure of more than 2 million faked products.

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