Full-line sporting goods stores and Internet retailers have increased their respective shares of sales of golf clubs sold in sets, which account for approximately half of the $3.8 billion U.S. golf equipment market.
According to the just-released “Sporting Goods Market in 2008,” published annually for nearly 30 years by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), full-line sporting goods stores accounted for nearly a third (32.7%) of sales of clubs sold in sets in 2007, while Internet sales have more than doubled in the last five years to 16.5%.
In 2007, sales of clubs in sets reached nearly $1.9 billion, a 6% increase compared to 2006. This is double the next largest golf equipment category, golf balls, which accounted for $951.5 million in 2007.
Comparing the 2007 market share figures to 2002, full-line sporting goods stores increased from 24.5% of sales in 2002 to 32.7% last year. Unit sales at sporting goods stores increased from 30.5% in 2002 to 38.5% in 2007.
“This is likely the ‘Dick’s Sporting Goods Effect,’” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle. “Dick’s has a well-earned reputation of having a broad selection of top brands in their golf departments, selections that surpass many pro shops and specialty golf shops.”
Internet sales of clubs sold in sets jumped from 7.0% in 2002 to 16.5% in 2007, and units doubled from 7.4% to 14.8% in that same period.
During that five-year period, sales at off-course golf shops were stagnant. In dollars, off course golf shops increased their share from 22.0% in 2002 to 22.3% in 2007, and the units remained at 17.4% in both years.
Pro shops took the hardest hit among the four primary sources of golf clubs sold in sets. In 2002, pro shops accounted for 31.5% of sales of clubs in sets but just 21.1% in 2007. In units, the percentage fell from 20.5% in 2002 to 17.6% last year.
“The Sporting Goods Market in 2008” is a copyrighted NSGA consumer study that projects 2007 purchases of sporting goods products based on a survey of 100,000 U.S. households. National Family Opinion, Inc. (NFO) maintains the consumer panel used in the survey, which is balanced to parallel actual American household distribution as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census, so that the data can be projected nationally.