The Golfalot.com Price Index stayed on course to end 2013 in a strong position with small gains across the majority of the golf club categories. As the industry prepares for the important festive period, growth of 0.2% last month sees the Index up 1.1% overall in 2013.
The Golf Club sector led the way again this month, up 0.4% with four of the six key categories posting positive returns despite clear price competition across the board heading into Christmas. This competition was most keenly felt in the driver market which fell 0.3%, despite the introduction to the Index of the Staff FG Tour M3 from Wilson. This was due to significant discounting across a number of manufacturers and brands in anticipation of increased competition and new 2014 releases in this flagship category.
Fairway Woods (+0.9%) and Utility Clubs (+1.2%) performed well as TaylorMade released the SLDR hardware to these categories to accompany their headline grabbing driver. After a relatively quiet time in 2013, both now have positive year to date growth of 1% and 1.8% respectively.
Golf Irons continued to prosper this month, up 0.5%, with the introduction of the Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 to the Index. This is the first of a series of new entrants expected in the coming months, most notably the exciting 714 range of irons from Titleist.
Putters finished the month at a new record high with the average price rising to £92.69 as the introduction of the new Method MOD series from Nike Golf pushed the category up 0.8% this month, with impressive year to date growth of 3.6%
The Golf Accessories Sector saw the average price fall across three of the four categories in November as retailers clearly positioned themselves for the key Christmas Spend. Golf Balls (-2.1%), Golf Shoes (-0.7%) and Golf Trolleys (-0.5%) all lost some of the hard fought ground they had gained in 2013.
However year to date figures show the underlying resilience of the Accessories market. Over the last 12 months Golf Balls (+1.3%) Golf Shoes (no change) and Golf Trolleys (+1.1%) have all performed well and only Golf Bags have lost ground down 0.5% however this may be set to change as bags performed strongly in November, up +1.2%, with new entrants from Wilson, Nike and Ping breathing new life into the category.
As the year draws to a close it is clear from the optimism displayed at the industry show in Harrogate and the number of new product launches in the coming month, that we enter a key period of the retail year in good shape