The Golfalot.com Price Index shook off its recent lethargy to enjoy overall growth of 2.4% in February. With the weather improving the rise marked the Index’s best performance for a year and the highest total average price for a set of equipment since December 2006.
The Accessories Sector provided the most eye-catching results with a combined rise of 3.2%. Encouragingly this gave the sector its biggest boost since it posted similar results back in February 2008.
The Golf Shoes category was the engine of growth as a series of FootJoy and Adidas debutants at the top end of the market helped achieved a jump of 8.9% and the category’s most impressive figures since the Index began.
Golf Bags also enjoyed solid growth of 2.5% as the new Callaway Diablo Edge Organiser and Ping Latitude models entered the Index alongside higher end products from both Yonex and Cleveland. The Golf Trolleys Category rose by 2.1% to achieve a second consecutive month of growth of over 2% with the re-entry of models such as the Pro-Trolley XL255 Remote compensating for reductions on cheaper models like the Ben Sayers Trolley.
Although the Golf Balls category stayed relatively static, a small increase of 0.3% was enough to give the Accessories Sector growth in every category. With new balls from Srixon, Bridgestone, Titleist and Callaway all about to hit the shops, the Golf Ball Category could be about to replicate the success seen elsewhere in the sector.
The Clubs Sector posted more modest results but overall growth of 2% provided the best overall performance since February 2009. Fairway Woods and Irons proved the twin catalysts for growth as both posted increases of 3.7%.
The Fairway Woods category was boosted by the arrival of both the Callaway Diablo Edge and the Diablo Edge Tour. Callaway’s latest range was also on hand to drive growth in the Irons Category where the arrival of Nike SQ Machspeed provided another welcome distraction for those golfers not overly constrained by budget.
Reductions in both the Ping and Nike ranges slightly offset the impact of new arrivals in the Drivers category, where Callaway’s Diablo Edge range again made its presence felt to give a rise of 1.9%. Wedges, helped by the arrival of MD Golf’s latest Seve Ballesteros endorsed range, saw growth of 1.8%.
In a month of positives it was left to Putters and Utility Clubs to deliver the only bad news. Wide ranging reductions across the manufacturers saw Utility Clubs fall by -4.5% leaving the impression that discounted hybrids are being used to entice customers back to the shops after the winter layoff. Putters fell by -2.4% but with the season’s big name new arrivals not yet released we expect this blip to be rectified over the coming months.
The solid, if unspectacular, performance of the Golfalot.com Price Index over winter months led to optimism that these months of consolidation would prove a strong launch pad when the weather improved and February’s strong performance is proof of this.
With 2010 promising the Open’s return to the Home of Golf, the Ryder Cup’s arrival in Wales and the tantalising prospect of Tiger Wood’s return, February’s rise in the Golfalot.com Price Index has given the industry the perfect start as it seeks to capitalise on a wonderful year of golf.
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