Consider someone who carries the latest Callaway Golf clubs purchased at Golfsmith.com:
- X Tour 3-PW Iron Set w/ Steel Shaft: $899.99
- Big Bertha Fusion FT-3 Neutral Driver: $359.99
- Big Bertha Fusion Fairway 3 Wood: $299.99
- Big Bertha Fusion Fairway 5 Wood: $269.99
- Forged + Wedges - Chrome 56: $ 99.99
- Forged + Wedges - Chrome 60: $99.99
- White Steel 2 Ball Blade Putter: $169.99
- Hybrid 45 Stand Bag $169.99
- Grand Total: $2,369.92
Unfortunately, there are unsavory characters out there who exploit this camaraderie for personal gain. Golf club theft is nothing new, but the problem is now more common than ever before. One of the reasons is the rise in club prices due to high tech designs and exotic materials. But the main reason is the emergence of my favorite online marketplace, eBay. With eBay, criminals can sell "hot" clubs at premium prices in a couple of clicks.
But the problem recently gained national attention when USA Today reported that thieves stole the golf clubs of police officers! Interestingly, the incident occurred last May at a police department golf tournament held at Santa Anita Golf Club, one of my local golf courses! The USA Today article also mentioned a robbery at my home course, Brookside golf course.
I know the guys who work in the Brookside pro shop, so I asked them about the article. They confirmed that club theft has always been a problem and that eBay has made it worse. However, they said that since USA Today ran the article, they haven't had a single incident.
I was relieved since I had no idea that I lived in the golf club theft capital of the world (or at least it seemed that way when I read the article). Luckily, I have never been the victim of theft.
Here are some tips that I follow to remain theft-free:
- Never leave your golf bag unattended, especially outside. If you have to go inside, take your bag with you. Many on-course pro shops and restaurants allow you to bring your bag inside.
- A common scam is the old driver switcheroo. The perpetrator simply takes an old and worthless driver and covers the clubhead with the headcover from the latest "hot" driver. He'll then hang around a golf course looking for an unattended bag containing the "hot" driver sheathed in an identical headcover. When no one is looking, he swaps the "fake" driver for the real one in a matter of seconds. The victim usually doesn't know that he's been swindled until he gets to the first tee. To prevent this, simply ditch the fancy headcovers that came with your clubs and replace them with either generic or low-end headcovers.