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Grass Is Greener

GOLF DIGESTIX….March 11, 2015


Over the past decade we’ve all succumbed to the ease of do-it-yourself shopping at the expense of visiting specialty retailers, whether it entails shopping online or picking items off shelves in a big-box store. That behavior has made its way into golf, but a recent Golf Datatech study on market segmentation reveals golfers are starting to turn back to green-grass shops. Although the numbers aren’t staggering, they are up in most instances from five years ago. In golf balls, 17 percent of golfers bought at a greengrass shop in 2014 compared with 15 percent in 2010. Drivers were up to 16 percent from 15 percent, irons up 19 from 18 and apparel up 18 from 17. Golf shoes were down from 19 percent to 18 percent. Why the shift? The study doesn’t specify, but it’s possible consumers better understand the value of fitting and the guidance the golf professional can give. It doesn’t hurt to be able to look, touch and demo products, too. —E. Michael Johnson