Uncertain Success for April Equipment Sales

Our retail sales monthly update is now out, taking data for equipment sales for the month of April.

US April 2023 Total Equipment Sales (On-Off Course)

On-Off Course April ’23 vs ’22: Dollars -1.0%
On-Off Course April ’23 vs ’19: Dollars +34.8%

On-Off Course YTD ’23 vs ’22: Dollars -4.0%
On-Off Course YTD ’23 vs ’19: Dollars +35.6%

Total equipment sales for April remained almost level with the previous year, slipping just 1% vs. 2022. However, the total for the month is somewhat misleading as we see seven out of nine categories were actually lower this year.

This month, only balls (+23.9%) and gloves (+6.3%) are ahead of 2022 levels for the month.

YTD sales of equipment are still 4% below 2022 levels, even with golf ball sales soaring.

Early in 2022, major golf ball brands were still struggling to produce and ship enough of golf balls to meet consumer demand, and as such, the industry eliminated their annual promotional period.  In 2023, supply of golf balls has improved, ball prices are up, and promotional activities are back in place.  This confluence of events is driving ball sales to significantly higher levels and compensating for weaker demand in other equipment products – ultimately keeping total equipment afloat at similar levels to 2022.

Looking at total equipment sales minus golf balls and gloves, total sales are down over 8% for the first four months of the year.

On the latest sales figures for the industry, GDT co-founder John Krzynowek commented, “ In total, sales remain within striking distance of 2022 levels thru April, however deeper diagnostics suggests golf balls and gloves are the underpinnings currently holding up the business, and those substantial gains are unlikely to hold up throughout the golf season. 

For equipment to remain healthy for the entire year, as balls and gloves slow, clubs, shoes and bags will need to pick up the pace.”