Golf Club Clones and a recent Question

Most recently in another forum I am in, I was asked this question.

Questioner: Ian S.
Private: No
Subject: Golf Clubs
Question: Hi, Without success I’ve tried to research origin, age, value etc. of a set of TOUR MODEL RADIAL SOLE irons. A junior rolled up with these given to him by Grand dad to take up the game !!

I couldn’t believe they weren’t branded as Hogans. They are in absolutely immaculate condition and play like high end pure forged blades. It’s niggling that they may be ‘clones’ ?

I just can not find any information on them and would appreciate anything you may know about them or can point my research in the right direction. Many thanks Ian S. UK

My answer is below.

Hello Ian;

Past recollections of these irons to me is that these are knock offs and forgeries. Could it be that you are researching in the wrong direction? Why not research the original Hogan Radials, that will give you an approximate age within about one year.

Have you inquired with R&A? You can bet they have info.

I am not sure as to who made them, but I do know that whichever Asian Company that made these, did that a lot of copy catting back when the Ping Eye Irons and Hogans were at the height of there dominance in the golf market.

As far as value goes, My best guess is that these irons are only worth the metal they are made of.

From a stand point of direction, I am not sure as to where to point you. My best suggestion would be to go to a local club maker that has been around for a while and ask them. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out as there are not that many golf club casting houses and even fewer forging houses in the world now. Even at the height of the clone market for golf clubs there were only 3-5 companies that forged irons in and 5 that did investment cast irons in Asia. And they were located in Taiwan and China.

Other than that, I am not to sure, where to point you to. I am sure that with your abilities you will be able to become a Sherlock Holmes and track down the answers you seek.

Good Luck in your hunt.

As far as I can recall, the irons you have are not forged… they are cast. I know they look good, and feel good. Then again many an Imposter has looked as the real thing.

You can liken this to the person who claims they are a golf professional and the person who is a documented PGA or LPGA Member Professional. These as we all know are two entirely distinct and different types of Professionals. One of them had the tenacity to complete the required training. The other, well I will let you come to your own on that one.

I am not saying they don’t have credible knowledge. I only ask myself as to why if they are Professionals they are not associated with the proper organization.

Would you trust a person who has the credentials from Oxford or the one who has them from Oxferd (note the spelling difference, grin) Most (if any) golf club clones were never submitted for approval from the R&A or the USGA.

As for me when I go to a doctor, I make sure they have credentials. Club makers have their own society and membership. Find a reputable one who has been around for a while say at least 20+ years and ask away.

Again, good luck in your research I hope this has helped.

Robb Nunn
PGA Professional
Golf Equation Swing Academy

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