Golf equipment sales were off 5.9 percent in October and down 2.2 percent year-to-date, according to Golf Datatech. Golf apparel sales were up over 8 percent on the month and 6 percent on a year-to-date basis.
Compared to 2019, U.S. golf equipment sales are almost 40 percent ahead of where the industry stood pre-pandemic. A significant part of the increase over the past few years is due to higher average selling prices, and unit sales have not increased as fast as total dollar sales.
Golf balls (+4.3 percent) and wedges (+1.2 percent) were the only products with sales increases for the month of October, while shoes (-17.0 percent) and bags (-12.2 percent) were the largest decliners.
On the latest numbers, Golf Datatech Co-Founder John Kyrznowek commented: “Overall sales of golf equipment in the U.S. are showing signs of peaking and starting to decline, but they remain light years ahead of 2019 levels. Not every category is behaving the same, with consumables like balls up for the month and year-to-date, while woods, irons and putters have had a much tougher go of it this year. Inflationary pressures will continue to pressure discretionary purchases like clubs throughout the end of 2022 and early into 2023, and it is likely we may enter into a recessionary period if we are not already in one. The big question remains how significant the recession will be? And how long will it last?”
In golf apparel, the categories with the highest growth in October were headwear (+18.5 percent), men’s tops (+15.0 percent) and women’s tops (+11.6 percent), while men’s shirts, which is the largest category of golf apparel, was up over 7 percent.
On the latest sales figures, Krzynowek, said, “Both the green grass and off-course specialty channels have had successful golf apparel seasons this year, with more and more golfers buying in-person and fewer purchasing online. With more golfers walking thru and shopping in pro shops this year, sales have boomed. Once very sparse or dated, inventories have been replaced by current merchandise, improving selling prices and margins for brick-and-mortar outlets.”
Photo courtesy PXG Atlanta, GA