Boom Month for Apparel’s Largest Category

The stats are just out for the Golf Apparel market based on August retail sales.  Great to see Golf Apparel sales for the month were up +5.3% and up +8.8% YTD thru August.

It was a big month for men’s shirts: the largest Golf Apparel category – with sales +9%

Said Golf Datatech co-founder, John Kryznowek, “Overall golf apparel sales remained robust thru August, with both the Green Grass and the Off Course Specialty channels gaining vs. year ago.  And compared to 2019, total Golf Apparel sales are up close to 60%, showing just how far ahead the industry is vs. the pre pandemic period.  Good weather during August was certainly very helpful, as men’s shirts and total headwear sales, the largest and second largest categories in shop, were up double digits combined.”

Total Apparel August 2022 (On-Off Course)

On-Off Course August ’22 vs ’21: Dollars +5.3%
On-Off Course August ’22 vs ’19: Dollars +48.9%

On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’21: Dollars +8.8%
On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’19: Dollars 59.7%

August Sales Show Boom for Wedges

For the second time in three months equipment retail sales thru the On/Off Course channel were up slightly vs. 2021, with August sales increasing by 1.6%.

On a Year-to-Date basis retail sales are down only 1.2% vs. 2021, which was an all-time record year for the category.

The big “winners” for the month were Wedges (+18.2%) and Golf Balls (+8.6%) while the biggest decline were in woods (-13.6%).

Total US August 2022 Retail Market (On-Off Course)

On-Off Course August ’22 vs ’21: +1.6% Dollars

On-Off Course August ’22 vs ’19: +36.3% Dollars

On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’21: -1.2% Dollars
On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’19: +39.8% Dollars

May Sales Boost for Equipment

Five of eight equipment categories saw increased sales during May 2022 vs. May 2021, led by Golf Gloves, which were up +10.8% for the month

Golf balls bounced back from a 12% decline in April to forge a +2% improvement in May. What’s more, on a YTD basis, golf ball sales in dollars are  only down about -2%.  Golf ball sales were seriously impacted by manufacturing challenges thru the first five months of 2022, and due to a lack of inventory, normal early season promotions for most major brands were cancelled or severely curtailed.

Of the four club categories, two (Wedges & Irons) improved in dollars, although clubs still suffer from tight component supplies, particularly in shafts.

Commented Golf Datatech co-founder John Kryznowek, “After a couple of months with sales declines in March and April, total equipment improved by almost 2% for the month of May.  Supply issues continue to hamper the manufacturer’s abilities to meet consumer demand in clubs, while trade inventories remain extremely tight in consumables”.

Total US Retail Equipment Market

 On-Off Course May ’22 vs ’21: Dollars -1.4%
On-Off Course YTD ’22 vs ’21: Dollars -2.5%

More Good News for Golf Apparel

The total US Golf Apparel retail sales numbers are published this week with confirmation that they are up for the third consecutive month. Sales have increased in 21 of 22 months since the shutdown months in the early stages of the pandemic, with the only decline coming in January of 2022.

Total sales were over $150 million for the month, only the second time total sales have eclipsed that mark.  The only prior $150+ million month was June of ’21.

Total US Golf Apparel Market

On-Off Course April ’22 vs. ’21:  Dollars +6.5%

On-Off Course YTD thru April ’22 vs. ’21:  Dollars +5.0%

Equipment Sales: Weather Affects Northern Markets

March saw the continuation of a cold, wet Spring across our northern markets, which has not helped equipment sales.  An increase in precipitation and lower temperatures created touch circumstances, limited play and likely dampened demand for equipment.

US March 2022 Total Golf Equipment Sales

  • On-Off Course March ’22 vs. ’21:  Dollars -8.4%
  • On-Off Course March ’22 YTD vs. ’21 YTD:  -1.7%

Notably, equipment sales for the month of March were down 8.4% vs. same month 2021, with every category falling except for gloves.

It’s worth noting that March of 2021 was the largest March in history for golf equipment sales, surpassing the previous largest March (2018) by 40%.  While March 2022 saw a decrease in sales over 8% vs. last year, they remain 34% ahead of 2019, and this March was the second largest March in history.

On the data from equipment sales last month, Golf Datatech Co-Founder John Kryznowek commented, “March of 2022 can be viewed as either a “glass half full” or as a “glass half empty”.  For the optimist, this March is the second highest March in history and is well ahead of pre-pandemic levels, even though in some product categories inventories remain tight.   Overall, trade inventories of equipment are moving toward normalization.

“For the pessimist, the 8% decline is the most significant slowdown since the big drops in March thru May of 2020 when much of retail world was shut down and might suggest the golf equipment business is stabilizing or about to decline”.




Good Start for Equipment Sales

January was another month of sales improvement with total sales of golf equipment up by 6.1% vs. 2021, and hitting an all-time high for the first month of the year + 51.8% above 2020 levels. (Note: January 2020 was pre-pandemic).

Value sales in every product category were up compared to January 2021, with the exception of Wedges. However all club segments sold fewer sticks than prior year.

On the release of the new figures, Golf Datatech Co-Founder John Kryznowek said, “The good news is that equipment sales in dollars continue to grow, however units sold have slowed and in most categories are contracting vs. prior year. This indicates that the value improvements are being driven by higher than average selling prices, which are already at, or near, all-time highs in virtually every case.  With all the turbulence in the world today, including inflation, potential military conflict, as well as continued shipping and manufacturing challenges, the economy is at a tipping point and trying to predict how 2022 plays out has become increasingly difficult.”