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POSITIVE SPIN … April Equipment Retail Sales

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If you’ve been reading the financial pages lately, you might have a certain impression of the golf business. Although Adidas (corporate parent for the Taylor- Made, Adams, Adidas and Ashworth brands) and Dick’s Sporting Goods (sports-retail behemoth and parent of Golf Galaxy) accompanied first-quarter earnings with negative comments about the golf business, industry monitor Golf Datatech shows a more upbeat view of the marketplace for April. Both the most expensive category (irons) and least expensive (wedges) showed positive numbers, the latter boasting a more than 30-percent gain over last April in dollars and units sold. Also up were putters (10 percent in dollars despite being slightly down in units), shoes (7 percent in units) and irons (7 percent in dollars). The struggle for golf’s glamour category of metalwoods, however, continues. It was down 10 percent in units and nearly 14 percent in dollars, with revenue off more than 25 percent compared to April 2012. —Mike Stachura