Amidst all the perpetual doom and gloom of sliding memberships, dwindling participation and course closures, finally... some good news to report!
The 2019 World Golf Report – an annual review of the current health of the golf retail business – has just been published. And it’s offering some genuine reasons for people in the industry to feel a flush of optimism.
It show that the golf equipment business grew 4.1% in 2018 to $8.72bn from £8.08bn in 2017.
That’s still some way behind the $8.41bn reported in the first year the report was published, 2014, but growth is growth.
The report also showed that retail golf sales in 2018 (all equipment and apparel) amounted to $13.44bn last year – dead even with sales in 2014, which also totalled $13.44.
In the UK, the golf equipment sector grew by 4.5% year-on-year, making it the fourth largest in the world behind the USA, Japan and Korea. Germany (+5.9%) reported the largest increase to remain the world’s eighth biggest equipment market.
The golf apparel market in the US slid by 2% but, overall, the picture there is looking good, with worldwide sales up by 6.4% against 2014 and 1.3% from 2017.
John Krzynowek, a partner at Golf Datatech which co-produced the report, said: “In 2015, the combined equipment and apparel industries had a sharp correction in sales when reported in US dollars, which were heavily influenced by currency considerations.
“However, the past three years we’ve seen some solid improvements, with sales increasing by 1.5%, 1.7%, and 3.2% respectively, bringing total retail sales of equipment and apparel back to the same level as in 2014. The 2018 sales were led by significantly stronger sales in golf clubs, and in particular in irons.”