As golf courses around the U.S. continue to reopen, golf equipment dollar sales grew by 51 percent in June compared to the same month last year, building off of the market’s 22 percent growth in May, according to The NPD Group.
The golf industry was trending positively entering the pandemic; annual sales were up 5 percent and 7 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and 15 percent in January and February 2020 combined compared to the year prior, before the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns suppressed sales.
“The golf industry was in a good place before COVID-19, largely due to a surge of retirees entering the market and in May, we started to see this health returning. Today’s growth is driven by new players as well as pent-up demand from the closures of physical golf retail stores and golf courses. The sport is also reaping the benefits of being a social distance-friendly activity,” said Matt Powell, NPD’s sports industry advisor.
Sales of full set golf clubs rose by 68 percent in June, and golf balls were up 45 percent a trend Powell suggested is tied to new, entry-level players joining the activity. Glove sales increased by 51 percent for the month, and Tees grew by 49 percent.
Training aids, specifically golf nets and screens and swinging and putting mats, fared well during the lockdown months and continue to perform well year-to-date. A source of physical activity during the lockdown and an opportunity for golfers to play or practice the sport without courses or driving ranges, these products saw their fastest sales growth of the year in March and April, up more than 140 percent. Sales grew 78 percent in June according to NPD.