With the credit crunch continuing to hit hard elsewhere, the Golfalot.com Price Index in the UK fell only slightly this month with small drops across most sectors leading to a decrease of -1.65%. For the second month in a row Utility Clubs saw a big drop falling by 6.2% but Fairway Woods saw the most dramatic fall with a 9.7% reduction.
After recording a slight increase last month, this month’s fall in Fairway Woods was due to large reductions in the cost of some Nike models and the Callaway range. The Srixon M-Steel also fell and, of the lower cost models, Ram saw a series of reductions across its range.
The Ram range of Utility Clubs also saw some significant drops with some Wilson and Nike models also tumbling. In the Drivers sector falls across the Cobra Speed range and some noticeable reductions for TaylorMade models contributed to an overall drop of -1.3%. With the downturn hitting across most sectors Bags (-3.3%), Balls (-1.9%), Trolleys (-1.9%) and Shoes (-0.3%) also saw prices fall.
Irons continued to buck the trend and recorded a small rise of under 1% for the second month running. The Putters sector rallied after falling last month to rise by 1.5% whilst Wedges recorded the biggest increase of just under 1.6%. With prices generally holding firm in these sectors Yes and Ram wedges increased in price while Callaway’s series of Odyssey putters stayed consistent after last month’s falls.
Over the Atlantic the Golfalot.com Price Index in the United States bounced back following last month’s significant drop with the index rising 5.69% to almost reach the level it was at in July.
After causing the downturn last month the Drivers sector rallied to power the recovery this month with a huge rise of 79% suggesting that last month was an anomaly that will not impact on the long term picture. Some price drops in this sector, including the Callaway iMix FT-i and iMix FT-i Tour, were compensated for by new releases like the Ping Rapture V2 and TaylorMade R7 Limited boosting the average price.
The release of the Ping Rapture V2 range also gave Fairway Woods (+2.4%) and Utility Clubs (+3.2%) significant September increases with the new clubs helping to bolster those sectors. It was good month all round for the club sector with Wedges (+0.5%) and Putters (+0.8%) also recording slight increases.
The accessories sector dropped slightly with Shoes showing the biggest slide of almost 1.6%, thanks mainly to a significant discount in the Hi Tec range. Bags and Trolley also showed slight dips with both sectors falling by under 1%, with Irons holding steady.
With America recovering from last month’s large drop the Golfalot.com Price Index continues to stay strong in the face of growing economic pressures in other markets. The small fall in the Golfalot.com UK Price Index is indicative of both the continuing bad weather and generous deals from retailers as they begin to clear their stock in preparation for the arrival of new ranges from manufacturers in the autumn.
The experience of the US Driver and Fairway Woods sectors shows that the current slow down should be reversed when new clubs are launched. Despite the growing economic gloom elsewhere it seems that the new ranges should arrive just in time to provide some welcome news for the golf retail industry.
For more detailed information view the Golfalot Price Index graphs for the UK & USA online at http://www.golfalot.com/News/PriceIndex.aspx