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My $41 Scotty Cameron putter

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When it comes to putters, Scotty Camerons are about as good as it gets.

Phil and Tiger used to use one, and even after signing a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike, Rory McIlroyhas spent most of 2013 rolling his putts with a Cameron.

Cameron putters can be custom made, up to the smallest of details. Without a fitting, these babies can retail for as much as $350 or more.

So imagine my surprise and interest when I looked around on the web and found a new Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter for the amazing price of $41. There it was, problem solved. It could be mine for next to nothing. My mind started racing — what if I bought 10 of these? Surely, I could sell them for more than that on eBay or Craigslist. Suddenly, I was considering a new career as a putter trader.

There was no “click to buy,” or anything like you usually see on Amazon. Just an email address to Natalie Yan. I contacted her and received a reply about a week later. Natalie asked how I was doing and informed me that the putter was still available. And how many pieces did I want? I replied that I only wanted one, but if I was satisfied I would buy more. She emailed me an invoice, and informed me that I could pay with PayPal. With shipping, the total cost came closer to $86. Still a steal.

However, I couldn’t help but be a little suspicious. The site where I found the putter, diytrade.com, is similar to eBay. It is based in China, and allows individuals to sell new or used merchandise. My seller was claiming that I was buying the product wholesale, which is how I was getting it so cheap.

It’s true that a lot of golf clubs are made in China, so maybe it made sense. But I took a closer look at the invoice that Natalie sent me. It came from “Factory 16 building, Shitanbu industry area, Tangxia Town, Dongguan City, China.”

I decided to email the people at Scotty Cameron directly and see what the deal was. Their response was the following:

Please be advised that the website that you provided is not affiliated with Acushnet Company. Please note that there has been an increase in the number of websites that offer counterfeit product for sale, especially at prices that seem “too good to be true.” We recommend that you make your Acushnet purchase through an authorized account.

I decided to forward the email to Natalie and see what she said. She never replied.

I looked into it a bit more, and on the Acushnet site, there was a guide to avoiding counterfeit clubs. Among the warnings was:

“If the goods are shipping from, or located in, China or Hong Kong, they are probably counterfeit.”

Club makers have recognized that this is a serious problem and have acted. A few years ago, Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon, Ping, TaylorMade and Titleist put together an organization called Keep Golf Real. The slick website has extensive information about how to spot fakes, as well as the latest news on the fight against counterfeit. KeepGolfReal estimates that 2 million counterfeit clubs are produced every year.

The organization has had some success. In January 2012, it announced that it shut down 62 websites where counterfeit clubs were sold. A restraining order froze their Paypal accounts, and Joe Nauman, executive vice president for corporate and legal at Acushnet, called it an important message sent to counterfeiters.

However, despite their progress, how much of this fight are they actually winning? Counterfeits can still be bought with relative ease on eBay. And doesn’t shutting down 62 sites mean that more and more of these sites are popping up, and that eradicating all of them is likely impossible?

Officials at Keep Golf Real accepted that it will be a challenge, and acknowledged that the best way to win this fight was through education. The organization’s theory is that if people stop buying counterfeit clubs, counterfeiters will stop making them. Perhaps this is somewhat naive, especially in a tough economy everyone is looking to cut costs, but it is a laudable mission.

Their success or failure will become clearer in the longer term. Meanwhile, they keep fighting, but the factories in China stay busy.

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51 Comments

  1. Joe

    Aug 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I’m sorry, was this article written by a grandparent/parent of someone who works here?
    These are generally the kind of people who wouldn’t know that something that is being sold from China at a stupidly low price is fake.

  2. Jimmy Wu

    Jun 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

    When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  3. jc

    May 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    so scuuty camelon is not a real person?
    thank goodness I have authentic bin Horgan and Calaweigh clubs from china.

    • Klondiko

      Aug 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Would go perfectly with the Ray Ben sunglasses I bought in mexico for $5.

      • Ryan

        Aug 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        You got ripped off! Your Ray Bens are probably fake. I, on the other hand, got some SWEET Oaklee sunglasses for 4 dollars on Ebay.

  4. TLE

    May 14, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I bought a $50 knock off putter from China, and to be honest it’s better than the $400 SC putter I bought from Golftown

    • Justin

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      It’s all about how it fits, and if it’s pleasing to you. The du jour designer name, the price, the metal used, how it was milled… the only time all that matters is if it matters to you. If you tied a red brick to a shovel handle and averaged <35 putts a round, wouldn't that be your "it" putter?

    • elpatoreal

      Sep 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

      If you like the cheaper putter better, why didn’t you just buy a similar looking putter from Tiger Shark or Tour Edge or some other company? Why support counterfeiters? I’m not trying to provoke you, I’m just genuinely curious.

  5. Renee

    Apr 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

    You will not hear me crying for the transnational corporations exploiting cheap labor pools and shipping jobs overseas. This is part of the consequences or ‘cost factor’ their bean counters forgot to factor in. In addition, Intellectual property is free game overseas. Hindsight is always 20/20 right.

  6. jim

    Mar 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    the chineese labour regulations for a smelter lets titleist and most club makers function over there rather than here western so why should we not buy the back street ex-factory worker not make a living?how many ethics minded businesses have put employees out of the system ie work related persuits.

  7. Eligio

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I too sent away for one of these $41 specials, knowing full well it was too good to be true. It looks real from 10′ away but as you get closer, it is a really bad knock off but for a total of around $80 I couldn’t resist.
    For all of those complaining about the cost of an authentic SC, no one is holding a gun to your head. Just say no!

    • john

      Mar 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Why would you buy it, if you know its fake?

  8. swingspeed

    Jan 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    “If the goods are shipping from, or located in, China or Hong Kong, they are probably counterfeit.” Maybie i’m wrong here but aren’t that model of scotty’s made in china and shiped from china?

    • Joseph

      Mar 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      No “real” Scotty Cameron putters are made in China. Everything is made in the US. Made in Southern California.

  9. JaMarcus

    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    How could the author not realize he was really purchasing a $41 Scotty Camwong putter?

    • Christian

      May 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      Ha! got me laughin hard on the Scotty Camwong…

  10. Kevo

    Aug 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Why would you even waste your time thinking a $41 dollar Scotty is legit? This article was a waste of time to read.

  11. Mike

    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Writer left one thing out…………
    How did the putter perform?

    BTW…….Karsten Solheim was the putter design genius. Scotty has been riding on his coattail for years.

    I don’t blame him though. Whatever it takes to make a buck or two.

    • Keith

      Aug 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      I have never used the Scotty Cameron counterfeit putter. I have about 200 putters in my modest collection.
      Right now I am using a Ping Kushin Scottsdale that I bought for less than $100 and it seems to be working just now.
      You know that it is often the puttee and not the putter!

  12. Keith

    Jul 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I bought a Scotty Cameron putter complete with head cover from China for $53 Canadian all in and of course knew it was a fake.it looks just like the real thing but I wanted to see the counterfeit for myself. It was delivered to my home in Toronto 10 days after placing the order.
    The head is light in weight and I have never used it.
    Speaking of counterfeit who does Scotty copy with a lot of his famous over priced putters. Ever compare the heads with a Ping Anser?

    • John

      Aug 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ORIGINAL DESIGN IN THE GOLF EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY!!!…not only did Scotty cameron LICENSE the design when it was patented (which it hasn’t been for over 25 years now) but so did every other company that has ever made a putter…tell me Keith, what would you do to improve the design and functionality of the original Ping Anser…maybe mill it, check for Scotty…how about add weight to increase moi?…check for Scotty…there aren’t original designs anywhere any more, only small tweaks to existing ones.

  13. Bob

    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The sad thing is, $41 is the price that an authentic cameron should be. The most over-rated putters on the market.

    • John

      Jul 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Couldn’t agree more…my uncle works for a company that supplys raw metal to kitchen-aid, I’m sure you’ve all heard of them…guess where the RECYCLED 303 stainless gets sent???…any guesses, that’s right Scotty Cameron (Acushnet) gets the metal that kitchen-aid doesn’t want to use for their knives. I can’t help but laugh at anyone out there that truly believe the materials cost more than $41…I won’t give numbers out of respect for business ethics, but the most expensive parts of ANY cameron putter (including some circle t’s for all you big spenders out there) is the shaft and grip combined…then whatever labor they have to pay the guy in the factory who has to stare at the Cnc mill…thanks and have a good day, boom

      • Mike

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        i agree with you john, however i think it’s poor form to “boom” yourself. thanks and have a good day.

      • Mike

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        BOOM! that’s for john.

        • John

          Jul 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          Actually mike, it is intended to be used yourself, in its origination, the person made a groundbreaking comment followed by “boom!”…don’t tell people what is or isn’t “good form”, who do you think you are the Internet comedy etiquette investigation bureau?

          • Will

            Mar 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

            Wow. He just said he thought…I mean it’s how he feels.

            Just an opinion. He didn’t say you used it wrong.

      • J

        Aug 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

        Why in the world would you think that anybody else thinks that the materials are worth $41???
        What finished product do you buy that the retail price = the cost of the materials? I don’t care if a putter is made from recycled rabbit turds and bottle caps from raspberry SnApple as long at it performs.

        Just try and make a putt with your Kitchenaid since it obviously is made from superior materials.

        • Brandon

          Apr 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          Probably the best comment I have ever read on GolfWrx. Freaking Hilarious

      • J

        Aug 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        And those other pesky costs of doing business like….maybe say…a building, insurance, administration, advertising, r&d, etc.

        • John

          Apr 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

          lol! r&d for putter designs that don’t change. Every single golf company has the same typical putter designs and they all just add their unique touch to it. White, circles, logos, etc.

          I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s a ton of r&d going on in the SC camp.

          That original comment is awesome.

      • Justin

        Aug 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        I laugh at that stuff, too. The cost of the metal is but a small fraction of the overall cost. The hype (demand) and Tour usage are bigger contributors to the cost. If everyone decided one day to stop buying SC’s, I’d bet you could get them for no more than $50.

    • Rixirox

      Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Well, maybe in your humble opinion. I think my SC GoLo is the best thing since my old beat-up, Acushnet Bullseye Blade. And better than my White Ice and Daddy Longlegs.

      So I don’t care whos says what. By the time I got done buying all the junk that didn’t work, I was in a bit more than the price of a Scotty.

      So buy your Scotty up front and save money and time by not buying everybody else’s BS.

    • Joseph

      Mar 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      The putters are milled from a 10 pound billet of stainless steel. No other putter on the market is made this way. And they’re made in the US. Sorry, but these putters are anything but over-rated.

      • adrian

        Apr 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        totally agree, Ive been through 2-balls and #7’s, Ive tried ping zings and none compare to the SC’s I’ve had and have just bought a new one!

        People who say they arent worth the money are the kind of people who wear velcro trainers cutting cost or use a ten quid putter from sports direct and blah blah about the same materials!

        Try an SC love it, put it down because your missus will have a fit if she finds out what the stick cost!

        • adrian

          Apr 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

          although that said, I always try to source a bargain, buying from shops is always way over what you can pick up a brand new putter for nearly new or *mint*!

  14. Joel

    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    wow…it seems if someone was trying to track down counterfeit clubs to stop companier that diytrade has it all… mostly all from the same small handful of companies but I cant help but feel like $140 ap2’s and $150 r1’s arent legit lol.

  15. Bart

    Jul 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I have a Scotty Cameron and I putt so bad with it I’m just about ready to pay someone $41-00 to take it away. I’ll stick with my old Anser 2.

  16. c masty

    Jul 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Whoever is trying to stop the counterfeiting is doing a knock out job stopping the counterfeit too. You can still go to diytrade.com and buy Scotty putters for 40 bucks.

  17. Rogier

    Jul 30, 2013 at 4:57 am

    I purchased a few “limited” Scotty Cameron headcovers this year for $20 a peace from a Chines website.
    They look and feel exacly the same as the originals

    • Nick

      Jul 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Aside from the fact you are helping a scam artist profiteer off the Cameron name, I would be much more inclined to buy a headcover I thought was fake then a club or ball where there is going to be an impact on performance that translates into hurting your game. Theres is obviuosly still the ethical element to contend with but at least the club/ball performance won’t suffer.

  18. Josh C

    Jul 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    “And doesn’t shutting down 62 sites mean that more and more of these sites are popping up, and that eradicating all of them is likely impossible?”

    Shutting down ALL of them? Yes, thats impossible. But if Keep Golf Real has shut down 62 sites in two years, you have to think that will deter some folks from making new counterfeit sites if they know they will just get shut down sooner rather than later. Sounds like a solid job by Keep Golf Real.

  19. mark

    Jul 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Great article not only club making but golf balls have been counterfeited also.

  20. Matt

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

    It really took you an email to Scotty to figure out a $41 putter isn’t real? Not only is Scotty much more expensive wholesale…the materials alone cost more than $41 to make it.

    • John

      Jul 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Lol I was thinking the same thing…life lesson when something sounds “too good to be true” it usually is…emailing cameron about that = ROTFL

    • Mateo

      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      I’ll agree that wholesale is much more but the cost of the materials is much less.

  21. Cj

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    My uncle bought me this brand new r11 once and you could not believe how happy i was, but when i first took it to the range to try it out I realized that the sound of it was like of an empty can that sounded nothing like the ones i hear normally so i checked it online and fount out it was counterfeit you could not believe the disappointment in my face but i was happy because when i was hitting it i lost a good 50 yards

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Opinion & Analysis

Chat with a (soon-to-be) PGA Tour champion: Sam Ryder

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From 2003 through 2008, I had a side job as a high school golf coach for Bishop Moore High School in Orlando, Florida. One of the kids to come up through the ranks during my tenure at Bishop Moore was a young man named Sam Ryder. Now, at 29 years of age, Sam is in his sophomore season on the PGA Tour, qualifying by way of his second-place finish in the standings on the 2017 (then) Web.com Tour.

Ryder played on the PGA Tour Canada in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, he finished fourth in the PGA Tour Canada Order of Merit earning a place on the Web.com Tour for 2016.

In July 2017, Ryder had his first Web.com win, at the Pinnacle Bank Championship, finishing eight strokes ahead of the field. He finished second in the 2017 Web.com Tour regular season rankings to gain a place on the PGA Tour for 2018.

In his rookie campaign on the PGA Tour, Sam had a T2 finish at the John Deere, a fifth-place finish at the Houston Open and a T7 at the Barbasol Championship. He finished the year ranked 101 in the FedEx Cup Race.
This year, despite battling an injury, Sam has a third at the Shriners, a T4 at the Safeway and just last week, a T18 at the John Deere. He is currently ranked 92nd in the FedEx Cup standings and 190th in the World Golf Rankings.

I recently caught up with Sam to chat about his run-up to the PGA Tour and all the various experiences that go along with that.

So, let’s go back to your Bishop Moore days…when I was coaching my last year of vrsity, I think you were a junior. Sean took over your senior year. Curious, if back then, did you aspire of playing professionally?

SR: Generally, yes, I think I always saw myself playing baseball growing up. I wanted to be a professional in Major Leagues. When I turned to golf, I continued the path. I have always thought, “Why put in the effort if you don’t have a means to an end?” Without putting the goal on paper, it was always the end goal: to see how far I can go.

How about your years at Stetson? How did that play into your development as a future PGA Tour star?

SR: Stetson was my only Division 1 scholarship offer, and actually the only school I applied to. I knew I wanted to give golf a shot. Playing Division 1 in Florida was going to give me my best opportunity to get better.

At what point during your rise through the Canadian and Web.com did you really feel like you had what it took to play full time on the PGA Tour?

SR: I’ve always just wanted to see how good I can get. I love the game of golf, so it’s easy for me to work hard. I never knew if I was going to be a failed pro who never made it on tour or make it to number one in the world. But I’ve always been driven by the competitive nature of the sport and wanting to see where I “stack up” so to speak.

What was the most eye-opening part of playing full time on the PGA Tour for you?

SR: I think the biggest challenge of being a PGA Tour rookie is trying to learn all of the new golf courses. Everything about being a rookie on Tour is setting you up to be uncomfortable. Rookies are really behind the eight-ball when they get out there. Until you’re able to get into a routine and develop a level of comfort it’s hard to expect good results. I wanted to stay true to my approach for the most part. I earned my way on the PGA Tour and knew I was good enough based on the success I had on the Web.com Tour. I’m always trying to get better, but I wanted to do it my way, the way that got me there. It’s really easy to try to be someone you’re not when you get on Tour.

You have been in contention multiple times on the weekend and deep into a Sunday, what have you taken as the biggest positive from those experiences and what do you feel you still need to work on in regard to notching that first win?

SR: Biggest positive: playing well in big-time pressure moments. I haven’t really “lost” an event, so to speak. I have come from behind to make a good push. Knowing that when I am in these situations, and the adrenaline is going, I am able to hit the shots and make the putts. It gives me confidence that I am not going to fold in a pressure situation.

Something that everyone is always working on, including Tiger Woods, is to stay in the moment. As cliche as that is, it is a constant struggle to focus on the task at hand. Don’t get too high or low- treat each shot for what it is…

As a PGA Staff Professional with Cleveland/Srixon for several years, I know how great the equipment is with them. What had you join their team as a staff Tour Professional?

SR: I’ve been with Cleveland since I turned pro in 2012-13, they were the first manufacturer to approach me, and I love their equipment from the ball to the wedges and now the irons and driver.

What currently are you and your coach working on?

SR: Having missed significant time due to injury recently, we are just working on a lot of the same things I have been working on, my swing doesn’t change much. Right now, distance control with the irons and wedges is a focus.

Any veteran Tour members welcome you as a new member when you first came out? Kind of show you the ropes.

SR: Former player, Fulton Allem, gave me advice about managing strengths and weaknesses. Some players get so consumed with their weakness that they lose their strengths. Other players maximize their strengths and have awareness and the ability to monitor and play around their weaknesses. That goes along with the importance of staying true to your identity as a player as opposed to trying to be someone you’re not.

Chris DiMarco has been a mentor to me, growing up in the Orlando area. He has been able to provide guidance and support over the past few years, as I navigate my first years on TOUR.

For the most part veteran players as a whole have been accommodating and welcoming and are happy to share knowledge along the way.

So, what’s a typical work week look like for you? Tournament week and non?

SR: Tournament Weeks are pretty consistent…

Monday- is usually a travel day and I make a point to good work out in that day, as it’s a day off from golf Tuesday- I play nine holes
Wed- Pro-am
I go to the gym every day before I go to the course, just to get my body warmed up. Thursday and Friday rounds alternate AM/ PM tee times. I get up three hours before regardless of the time of the round, just to get body ready.

Non-Tournament Weeks…
When I am home, I go to the gym with my trainer, Alex Bennet @ TPC Sawgrass performance center 5/6 times per week. Usually, Monday and Tuesday are days off from golf, to give my body a rest.

I practice on Wed/ Thursday and play money games with other TOUR players on the weekend, to keep my game sharp and prepare for the high stakes the next week. I live less than a mile from the beach, and I enjoy going there to relax. I spend time visiting friends too.

You’ve become somewhat of a fashion icon on tour…what is your take on style and dress on Tour? It seems like a big thing for an observer from this side of the ropes…a way of self-marketing perhaps or standing out from the pack?

SR: I definitely care about my style on the golf course. I’m certainly not afraid to make a little bit of a fashion statement and wear things other players may not be willing to wear. The clothes I wear can definitely contribute to some added confidence, and confidence is one of the most important components to playing good golf.

Curious on your take of the health of golf in general?

SR: I think it’s great. The game of golf is in a good spot. I think Tiger Woods being relevant is massively important to the game, it brings sponsors and more viewers to the game. There is a great crop of young players right now. It is in a healthy, sustainable spot. Jay Monahan really has the TOUR moving in a good direction.

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The 19th Hole: Gary Player, Irish ambassadors talk Open in Northern Ireland

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Hall of Famer Gary Player returns to the 19th Hole to talk about the Championship, his record and his favorites to win this year. Also features Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Dan Mulhall and Northern Ireland Consul Director Norman Houston.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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TG2: Up early watching The Open Live! SPOILER ALERT!

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Rob talks Knudson into getting up WAY early to watch The Open Championship. Talking about live play, Darren Clarke’s hair, and how Rory started his day. Definitely spoilers, so don’t listen if you are recording!

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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