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February 4, 2015… It’s hard to believe that an industry so keenly aware of its numbers has had no definitive gauge of its global market. But that’s changing. Golf Datatech of the United States and the Yano Research Institute of Japan have finished their first joint study of the size of the world golf-retail industry. Equipment sales, they say, are about $8.7 billion. The United States (41 percent) and Japan (24 percent) account for nearly two-thirds of sales, but there were some surprises: South Korea, which will host this year’s Presidents Cup, was listed as the third-largest market at 7 percent, and China, which didn’t have a golf course until the mid- 1980s, is No. 6 at 2.6 percent, ahead of Australia/New Zealand (1.8 percent). The United Kingdom is No. 4 (5.2 percent) and Canada No. 5 (4.6 percent). Germany (1.5 percent), France (1.5 percent) and Sweden (1.2 percent) round out the top 10. The full report will be available later this month. —Mike Stachura