2016 Golf Market Review

To say 2016 was a year of a change is an understatement. Who knows what 2017 will bring but shifts in world politics and economies have trickled down to performance for both on and off course*.

For the first half of the year on course (pro shops) suffered and was down in all areas. The worst hit was in Consumables category, suggesting poor participation. The main issue here was the drop off in unit sales month on month.

Off course (golf specialty stores) fared better in all key sectors and was especially strong in Apparel with a strong unit increase averaging a 30% growth in shirts, tops and bottoms.

The second half of the year (June – Dec 2016) was better all round perhaps buoyed by some of the bigger summer competitions and Olympics effect.

By the end of year there were signs of recovery in on course and overall sales value was just down (-0.5.%).

Off course was up in all categories, especially Durables and Clubs, which was ultimately driven by ASP (average sales price). The only category that didn’t perform well off course was Trolleys. Although sales units were down in Clubs but massively up in Apparel.

Encouraging that ASP is up across the board except for Bottoms and Shirts (both down by 2%).

So lets take a closer look at the categories

Overall, 7 on course and 12 off course categories grew in value in this year. Everything except Trolleys and Weather-wear grew, this was the worst performing category.

Interestingly there has been a shift in total spend in audited categories back towards the off course. Now at 45.4% up from 42.2% in 2015.

Across the board, 2016 saw the top 3 categories change priority from Woods, Irons and Balls to Woods, Irons and Footwear.

Wedges saw the biggest ‘hard ware’ category growth and Bottoms biggest ‘soft wear’ category growth.

Unit sales are down in most hardware and durable categories but up in soft goods. By way of example, on course really suffered here and was over 8% down in Woods during the year but 4% up in Shirts.

Drivers saw a strengthening of the top 5 brands with a combined share of 88.8% of value. Number one driver sold on average at £284. ASP up on average by £17.

Footwear saw some repositioning in the top 10 brands. However the top 5 stayed the same. But they weakened relatively with their total share dropping from 95% to 91.4%.

Shirts much more fragmented. Top 5 brands covering 53.8%. Increasing from last years 51.2%.

*based on data supplied by Golf DataTec