SOURCE: U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

January 12, 2015 09:00 ET

Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group Nets Nearly 150,000 Fakes in Milestone 2014

Golf Group Passes 1 Million Products Seized Since Forming a Decade Ago

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Jan 12, 2015) -  On the heels of another successful year in the fight against fakes, The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group (The Golf Group) enters 2015 having exceeded a milestone of 1 million fake products seized by governmental officials over the last decade. Last year, the group's 10th year in existence, Chinese authorities confiscated 150,000 golf items -- most recently seizing nearly 400 counterfeit products in Tangxia. Made up of five of the world's largest golf companies, the group has cooperated with Chinese law enforcement in connection with numerous raids of counterfeit manufacturers over the past ten years.

Throughout 2014, manufacturers of counterfeit golf products in China were fined more than $860,000 USD and sentenced to 49 years of jail time for violating the laws against counterfeiting.

"Our progress in 2014, particularly the fines and prison time handed out, sends a strong message that there are significant and lasting consequences for those who try to dupe golfers with fake products," said Stephen Gingrich, Vice President of Global Legal Enforcement for Srixon/Cleveland Golf. "We're very proud and encouraged that the group has passed this significant 10-year milestone. However, despite the progress we've made, we know our work isn't done. We will continue to devote as many resources as possible to educate consumers and work with international authorities to stop the manufacturing of fake golf products and to bring the criminals who manufacture them to justice."

In addition to enforcement efforts in China, the group launched a Chinese version of its website in 2014. Chinese consumers can find more information about the group at www.keepgolfreal.cn, in addition to the English website, www.keepgolfreal.com.

The Group's efforts to combat counterfeiting dates back to 2004, and has yielded an average of more than 12 raids per year. An estimated 90 percent of counterfeit golf clubs are manufactured in China.

"Chinese enforcement authorities have been extremely supportive over the years, leading to the elimination of hundreds of thousands of fake golf products," said Jud Hawken, Associate General Counsel for PING. "We have support from enforcement authorities across the world -- in Thailand, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the U.S. among others -- who, like us, are devoted to keeping the game free of fakes. We wouldn't have this much success without their help."

More information about the dangers of counterfeit golf clubs and products, and how to avoid them, can be found at www.keepgolfreal.com.  

About the Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

The Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group consists of five of the most well-known golf companies in the world -- Acushnet Company, whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy and Scotty Cameron; Callaway-Odyssey; Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO; PING; and TaylorMade-adidas Golf whose brands are TaylorMade, adidas Golf, Adams and Ashworth. Formed in 2004, the Golf Anti-Counterfeiting Group has worked with international law enforcement and government agencies to conduct raids and investigations of counterfeit operations, as well as raise public awareness of the issue. Since 2011, the Golf Group's efforts with the help of Chinese law enforcement led to the seizure of nearly 700,000 counterfeit golf products highlighted by a clustering campaign initiative resulting in the arrest of more than 35 suspects from raids of 21 different locations.

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