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Online golf equipment shopping is up 50 percent year-over-year, says Golf Datatech

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Golf Datatech’s Serious Golfer Shopping & Purchasing Habits Study, published roughly every two years, is one of the industry’s most significant indicators of what’s going on at the heart of golf retail.

“Like most consumer shopping preferences in the United States, serious golfers’ choices about shopping for golf equipment or apparel have changed significantly over the past few years,” says John Krzynowek, a Partner in Golf Datatech LLC.

“The retail environment is rapidly evolving across all consumer products in the USA, and the purchasing of golf products is no exception. In fact, shopping for, and buying golf products is frequently a multi-step process. Gone are the days when golfers would buy without shopping for product features, as well as comparing prices. Today’s golfer is savvier about product life cycles and price/value relationships.”

Golf Datatech tapped over 2,500 golfers from its database, surveying multiple demographics, including: golf handicap, gender, facility played, geographic region, alpha consumers (those that buy products most frequently) and price points, along with a special investigation of online shopping habits.

The survey found online shopping for golf equipment is up more than 50 percent year-over-year. Just last year, a GPAU study found participants were most likely to make their next equipment purchase online just 13 percent of the time.

Interestingly, buying more equipment online hasn’t made consumers more impulsive: The average respondent said it takes him/her three months to pull the trigger on a new piece of equipment.

Also worth remembering in evaluating the increase in online sales: More than 100 brick and mortar golf shops have closed in the U.S. in the past year.

Krzynowek also says, “Purchase cycles in clubs have shortened slightly over the past few years, but still remain elongated from an historical point of view.”

Another tidbit: Here’s what Golf Datatech found with respect to average equipment purchase cycles.

  • Drivers: 4 years
  • Irons: 5 years
  • Wedges: 4 years
  • Putters: 6 years
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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. SEO

    Nov 3, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your content.
    The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site
    and keep checking for new details about once
    a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  2. Mad-Mex

    Oct 29, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Yet on another article online shopping and K-Sigs get bashed,,,,

  3. Tamanna khan

    Oct 11, 2017 at 1:09 am

    Thanks a lot for this best idea about golf. this is a very effective post

  4. Maxtest Xtreme

    Oct 6, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Quality articles is the main to attrqct the viewers to visit the web site, that’s what this ssite is providing.

  5. moses

    Sep 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Buying last year’s model or buying used = big’money savings.
    I got a used 917D2 from Globalgolf for $230. No way in heck I’m paying $450 for a new club that’s worth $250 after I play a few rounds.

  6. Justin

    Sep 20, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    M2 driver AND 3 wood, new in plastic, globalgolf.com for $299… what would that retail for? $649!!! you tell me who’s the asinine one

    • JCC

      Sep 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      Um no – not the 2017 model you moron. It’s $650 at global. My local shop sells that for $600. If you’re talking about the 2016 model then you’re trying to deceive people.

      • Justin

        Sep 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm

        I’m deceiving people or the manufacturers are deceiving people?????

        • JCC

          Sep 20, 2017 at 11:01 pm

          Show us where globalgolf is selling the 2017 M2 driver and fairway for $299. Prove it.

          • Justin

            Sep 21, 2017 at 5:07 pm

            ok i’m sorry i combined two arguments and you didn’t comprehend, 1. shop online 2. buy previous year models 3. SAVE MONEY

        • birdie

          Sep 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm

          lol blaming the manufacturer for you stupidity it seems

  7. Mark

    Sep 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Ok, with a sampling of 2500 from a population of 26,000,000 what is the confidece level and margin of error in the statistics?

  8. Johnnythunders

    Sep 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    For all of you uniformed people saying all golf equipment sold on EBay is fake, get real. You have no idea the current state of how a very large portion of golf clubs are sold in the United States. And by the very manufacturers that also sell to brick and mortar. Callaway has a great preowned site, best trade-in prices, authentic certificates and there “like new clubs” are in a large number of cases, new. They have the number one selling driver now on there, Epic. And the prices are good but get really great when they have sales like ever other week. And guest were Callaway also sells clubs, right now they have 66,667 clubs listed on EBAY.. Mizuno is different they don’t have a preowned site but they sell clubs to lots of small internet dealers or brick and morter who sell on eBay, you place your order, it’s built by Mizuno and shipp d by them to you at a lower cost.

    Now if you play Pings or Titelest they are still trying to control pricing especially Ping. So you have to pay way more to get your shiny new clubs.

    And that’s the key lower cost, authentic clubs, faster. Retail stores are dead. The golf store is dead.

    Internet has enabled a new retail model. Get on board.

    • SoloGolfer

      Sep 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Only idjits buy a set of clubs online and just to brag about WITB. That’s why golf is the game for goofballs and gearheads.

    • JCC

      Sep 20, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      how do you know what lie angle you need? what shaft you need? what loft you need on drivers? keep acting in ways that will result in not being able to test clubs out. “the internet” isn’t selling clubs at 1/2 the price of a brick and mortar. that’s just not logical. most brick and mortars will price match if you give them the chance.

      • birdie

        Sep 21, 2017 at 3:07 pm

        anyone can go to a reputable fitter, get fit, and then buy the clubs online new or used.

        no, we don’t need to go beat balls with random clubs at the closet golf galaxy to figure out what to buy. this is actually probably more detrimental as their launch monitors aren’t all that accurate to begin with.

  9. Bert

    Sep 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Why is it when eBay is mentioned I immediately think counterfeit? Maybe it’s because when the price of a set of irons is $1300 and you can get a new set on eBay for $600, something doesn’t seem correct. Some mfr’s are listing their authorized eBay Sellers. That’s a good thing for the buyer.

    • birdie

      Sep 20, 2017 at 9:09 am

      can’t help but laugh at those who think everything on ebay is fake. the joke is on you for paying retail prices when same clubs can be bought at a steep discount. your example is an exaggeration of course.

  10. Boobsy McKiss

    Sep 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Seems some people here are still in denial about the future of brick and mortar stores. Do we really need stats to tell us this? Amazon and other online retailers are growing quickly and so are the number of people buying from them. Sure it’s nice to support local from buying local, but it’s dumb to believe this is somehow going to stem the tide permanently. And a lot of people seem to believe they can stop the train.

    Like it or not, the future is a lot of empty retail stores (not just in golf) and almost everything you buy will be from online retailers. Toys R Us just became the next victim of Amazon. Who is next? Best Buy is on the brink. And it will take some time (10-15yrs) but eventually the sporting goods stores will go too and that will be that for the in-store golf buying experience. Send all thank you cards to Amazon and Walmart.

  11. Justin

    Sep 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    If you don’t buy online, you probably enjoy wasting money

    • JCC

      Sep 19, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      asinine comment

      • birdie

        Sep 20, 2017 at 9:11 am

        sorry, but he’s right. if you walk into a store and pay retail you are over paying. its that simple

  12. surewin73

    Sep 19, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    If I know my specs I would be comfortable purchasing equipment at one of the larger sites (TGW, PGA Superstore, etc.). But I rather purchase from a local shop.

  13. Thomas A

    Sep 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I bought a set of brand new Wilson Staff v4 irons 4-GW on ebay for $330. Brand new, in the Wilson box with all the plastic head wrap and everything. Why the heck would I pay $900 in a store? Or even $650 when they get marked down after a product cycle?

    • JCC

      Sep 19, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      because they are probably fake or stolen. how do you logic out that you can buy clubs for 1/3 or even 1/2 the price online? do you honestly think there is that much margin in golf clubs? if you do then you’re a moron.

      • birdie

        Sep 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

        you couldn’t be more wrong. hope you enjoy wasting your money. yes, for a set of clubs that are one to two years old, the margin between online discounts and retail prices is huge. sometimes more than half.

        I can walk into a retail store today, see the 716 ap2 irons still near their original price. online, i’d pay hundreds less for the same set.

        continue assuming anything online is fake. its your money your wasting

      • birdie

        Sep 20, 2017 at 9:15 am

        lol you couldn’t be more wrong. enjoy wasting your money

      • BIG STU

        Sep 21, 2017 at 3:23 am

        SERIOUSLY??? Just had to say that and who in the hell would want to counterfit Wilson clubs to begin with?

  14. RonMcD

    Sep 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I suspect a majority of the online purchases is for balls and other such golf accessories. Buying club equipment online is moronic.

    • LaBraeGolfer

      Sep 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      This could very well be possible. I have made over 100 online purchases in the last 3 years buying used clubs, through various sites. I have been a club fitter so I know what my specs are and it is fun to try new equipment just to have something new in the bag. It doesn’t effect my scoring at all and I still go to lessons like any serious golfer.

  15. Mark

    Sep 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    This is based off a sampling of 2,500 golfers from over 26 million golfers in the US. Real convincing.

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pga tour

Ian Poulter WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange CK 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik TP7HDe 7X

Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green ATX85H TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shaft: Project X LZ 130 7.0

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shaft: Project X LZ 7.0 (52), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: EvnRoll Tour ER
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Putter: Rife Antigua Island Series
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Poulter’s clubs. 

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Equipment

10 interesting photos from Wednesday at the Honda Classic

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From our featured image of Rory McIlroy putting in a different kind of work on the range in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, to shots of Tiger Woods’ similarly early pre-pro-am range work, to some intriguing shots Patrick Reed’s prototype Bettinardi putter, GolfWRX has plenty of fantastic photo content from PGA National.

Here are some of the best shots from Wednesday.

Tiger Woods at work prior to his crack-of-dawn pro-am tee time. Gentleman in the foreground: You do know that as the sun has not yet risen, you do not need a hat to aggressively combat its rays, right?

“My feet do not look like that at impact.”

All eyes on the Big Cat…except those focused on the live video on their cell phone screens…

Let’s take a closer look at Patrick Reed’s yardage book cover. Yep. As expected.

Do you think these two ever talk?

It looks like Captain Furyk already has some pre-Ryder Cup swag in the form of a putter cover.

If you’ve ever wondered why Rickie Fowler selected these interesting locations for his tattoos, this may be the answer: Visible when he holds his finish.

We’ve got a Pistol Pete sighting!

Patrick Reed’s droolworthy Bettinardi Dass prototype.

Fun fact: Wedges double as magnetic putter cover holders, as Jon Curran illustrates here. Healthy application of lead tape, as well, from the tour’s resident graffiti artist.

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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