We recently received a counterfeit Titleist 718 AP3 iron set, but we were able to identify that they were fake. Below are some comparison photos between the counterfeit iron and an authentic version, as well as some of the factors that helped us identify the inauthentic clubs.
Counterfeit Titleist AP3 718 Iron Set Differences
- These clubs are pretty good counterfeits. The differences are much more minor at first glance than some of the other examples we’ve had in the past. First, there are a few details on the back of the head that give it away.
- The “AP3” engraving is very slightly different. On the counterfeit version, the letters are a little thicker. The line connecting the two sides of the “A” is much thicker than the authentic version. The “P” is much more compact. The “3” does not have the same curves as the version on the real club. The “AP3” is stamped higher on the club, just a bit closer in the direction of the sole on the fake club.
- The club number on the sole is very close, but there are subtle differences that you can see when you compare it to the real thing. The number is a little thicker and smaller.
- The sole is wider on the authentic version. Notice in the photo below how the sole near the hosel is much thicker on the authentic version. You can also see how the general shape of the back of the head has much sharper, upward angles than the fake.
- Another thing to note that is common on a lot of counterfeit clubs is the holographic sticker on the shaft just under the shaft label. On all authentic clubs that have holographic stickers, the sticker is usually under the grip on the underside of the shaft, or down by the hosel of the club also on the underside of the shaft. Counterfeiters seem to think that putting in a visible location will fool more people.
- The most significant and noticeable difference that made it easy to catch this counterfeit set was the shaft band. This is meant to be a KBS Tour 90 FST shaft. A quick comparison to a legitimate version of this shaft shows that the counterfeiter didn’t come close to replicating the shaft band correctly. As you can see in the photos below, the counterfeit band is much wider. The “KBS” text is similar, but has been stretched in comparison to the real thing. The “Tour 90” text doesn’t even come close to matching the legit version. The sizing of all of the text on the band is incorrect. The red color used is also different. A great way to identify counterfeit clubs is through suspicious looking shafts.