This week, we released the retail sales figures for golf equipment in the United States with news that on- and off-course sales for the month of July were pretty much level when compared to 2022. Total retail sales were dead even for the month at $393 million, with five categories down and four up.
US July 2023 Total Equipment (On-Off Course)
On-Off Course July ’23 vs ’22: Dollars -0.0
On-Off Course July ’23 vs ’19: Dollars +50.9%
On-Off Course YTD ’23 vs ’22: Dollars -2.2%
On-Off Course YTD ’23 vs ’19: Dollars +37.3%
Golf balls, which had been flying high with double digit growth for the past few months, has finally slowed down, but still eked out small gains for the month. YTD ball sales are still up over 10% and continued to show healthy average selling price increases vs. 2022.
After 16 consecutive months of sales decline, woods turned positive in June and followed that up with another month of gains in July (+4.1%)
Iron sales were lower for the 12th month in a row, but the 3% decline in July is the closest the category has been to turning the corner and moving back into positive territory.
Putters were the largest growth category in equipment in July, up 14% in dollars and 11% in units.
“Golf equipment sales continue to hold serve in what one would expect to be a very challenging environment economically,” said GDT co-founder John Krzynowek, “For most of 2023 the weather provided a tail wind for rounds played, which bolsters consumable sales, but July suffered through a severe negative weather hit in a wide swath of the country. However, golf ball and glove sales remained positive for the month”.
Golf shoes are a category struggling in 2023, down 9% YTD and also falling for 14 consecutive months. Golf footwear may be suffering a “hangover” from two massive years in 2021 and 2022 when sales exploded as product eventually started to flow as the world learned to deal with Covid restrictions.
Clubs are still struggling to break thru and grow, but putters and woods changed their overall direction and clubs in total continue to be in a good place, though current pricing levels could potentially start to impact demand if the US economic situation worsens.”