US Golf equipment sales thru the 3rd Quarter of 2017 are in the books, and many of the trends that developed earlier in the year have continued:
-Unit sales generally remain weak and Average Selling Prices continue at very elevated levels.
-Dollar sales in several high profile categories (balls, drivers, fairways and hybrids) improved vs. prior year, and several of the other segments which had been lagging, have started to slowly rebound.
-Higher ASP’s might have dampened the Golfer’s appetite for buying as many new products as often, however those higher prices have been beneficial to many manufacturers who for over a decade endured virtually no pricing power and suffered lower margins while seeing their costs rise.
-2017 Sales thru the Green Grass channel have been excellent, with the On Course segment up nearly 12% Year to Date, with most product categories up. As the Off Course channel contracted substantially, the Golf Shops On Course were ready, willing, and very able to fill some of the void and meet the consumer’s needs to see, demo, and buy new clubs.
*Woods= +29% YTD
*Irons= +20% YTD
*Putters= +11% YTD
*Balls= +10% YTD
*Bags= + 9% YTD
*Wedges= + 5% YTD
*Gloves: + 5% YTD
-The Off Course channel in total contracted significantly in the first three quarters of 2017 (down 12%), heavily impacted by a substantial drop in the number of Off Course shops available for consumers to visit. Many Off Course operators who remain in business have had a solid year as some of their largest competitors in specific markets disappeared, however the total channel could not offset the closure of nearly 100 outlets.
Golf Datatech’s Golf Product Attitude & Usage (GPAU) study for the summer of 2017 suggests there could be some upside momentum building in equipment as we move toward the end of this year and into the next. Indications suggest some of golf’s most influential consumers are ready to start buying…for more information on purchasing the GPAU please contact Suzie Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.