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Distance Measuring Device (DMD) Category Scores High Marks In Golf Datatech Study

Golf Datatech has released the first-ever Distance Measuring Device (DMD) Study, revealing a marketplace that is potentially $190 million in annual sales across all retail channels in the U.S., making it larger than the golf putter market.

Golf’s fastest growing equipment category, the DMD market is represented by hand-held GPS rangefinders, laser devices and smart phone applications. The Distance Measuring Device Study was conducted in the Spring of 2011, with Golf Datatech surveying nearly 1,800 golfers from an exclusive database representing 5-6 million serious golfers, or 20% of the top golfing population who embody roughly 80% of the golf retail purchasing market. As 1,448 of the respondents currently use a DMD, with 13% having purchased a device in the past year, the study asked these “hardcore” golfers not only about their purchase habits and usage levels when it comes to DMDs, but also expanded on their attitudes and opinions toward the category.

Key findings of the study show that hand-held GPS rangefinders out-sell lasers by a 2-1 ratio, with the average selling price of a DMD between $240 and $249. Among the serious golfer respondents, 43% favored hand-held GPS rangefinders, as compared to 28% for lasers. However, 51% of the respondents stated that laser devices are more accurate than hand-held GPS rangefinders. Additionally, while about two-thirds of the serious golfers surveyed in the study utilize smart phones, less than one-half of those have downloaded/purchased a DMD phone application. Among the most interesting findings in the study, 30% of all respondents stated that exact yardage from their ball to the target was “extremely important,” while an additional 64% said it was “important.” Further, 68% of the respondents who utilize DMDs believe the device speeds up the place of play.

In estimating the size of the DMD market, Golf Datatech states that conservative estimates range from $130 million to $175 million, but could be as high as the $180-$190 million range, which is bigger than golf’s putter market at On and Off Course channels. Golf Datatech’s market analysis is based on multiple methodologies and input from a variety of industry sources, including sales data from many leading golf retailers (On and Off Course), estimates from leading manufacturers of DMDs and estimates of consumer data taken from survey respondents.

The comprehensive 2011 Distance Measuring Device Study, now available for $1500, is a 132-page report covering golf’s fastest growing equipment category and includes a Study Overview; Objective & Methodology; Executive Summary & Observations; and Golfographics. For more information or to order a study, call 888-944-4116 or visit