Home Blog 2018 The Golf Industry Remains Challenged

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Jan 18, 2018

Sneakernomics: The Golf Business Remains Challenged

Matt Powell, Vice President, Senior Industry Advisor ;

Sports

@NPDMattPowell

The golf retail market in the U.S. remains challenged, largely impacted by the fact that Millennials are not picking up the game at the rate that Boomers are aging out of it. As I wrote about here, there are major structural issues which have hurt this business.

Golf equipment sales were challenged in 2016 and look to be even worse in 2017; total golf sales year-to-date through November 2017 declined in the mid-teens. Across key categories including golf clubs, balls, and gloves, sales have not fared positively.  

Specifically, golf club sales—an indicator of new players entering the game—were down by more than 20 percent. Nike’s exit from the category accounted for about 13 percent of the total decline in clubs. Of the major brands, only Cobra picked up a low-teens sales increase and +260 basis points in share. Callaway and TaylorMade both acquired share from the Nike void, but have experienced a decline in club sales over last year. A bright spot for the category, however, was a 5 percent increase in the average selling price.

Golf ball sales—an indicator of rounds played—declined in the mid-single digits. The Nike golf ball clearance has had a negative impact on the category, as has a sales decline from category share leader Titleist. TaylorMade, Callaway, and Top Flite, who appear to have benefited from Nike’s exit, grew between 110-250 basis points year-to-date.

Of the top 15 brands in golf, Cobra, Top Flite, and Pride were the ones to show gains year-to-date.

The golf equipment business is a market share game right now; for someone to win, others must lose. What the golf industry needs to focus on is participation, both in terms of holding onto their existing participants and adopting new ones.

Source: The NPD Group / U.S. Retail Tracking Service, January-November 2017



Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Blog Posts


Back-Pedaling: Sales of Children’s Bikes Are Slowing
Back-Pedaling: Sales of Children’s Bikes Are Slowing

Decline in children's bike sales and a look at what can be done to change directions.

Sneakernomics: In the World of Market Research, Your Network is Your Net Worth
Sneakernomics: In the World of Market Research, Your Network is Your Net Worth

NPD Senior Industry Advisor, Matt Powell, shares his thoughts around the power of networking, as well as his personal LinkedIn and Twitter strategies

Sneakernomics: Athletic Footwear and Activewear’s Q1 Performance
Sneakernomics: Athletic Footwear and Activewear’s Q1 Performance

A series of headwinds dampened U.S. athletic footwear and activewear sales in the first quarter of 2019. In January, the 53rd week in last year’s retail calendar which was accounted for in January 2018 significantly impacted the comparisons; in February, the later and lower IRS refunds dampened results; and the later Easter affected March performance.

Sneakernomics: Q1 2019 Golf and Team Sports Equipment Recap
Sneakernomics: Q1 2019 Golf and Team Sports Equipment Recap

Will golf sales get a lift from Tiger Woods’ recent win? Matt Powell recaps how the team sports markets including golf, baseball, basketball and others fared during the first quarter of 2019.

Subscribe to our blog

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.