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19th Hole

Good signs in golf equipment sales in latest Golf Datatech report



Consider this brass tacks analysis of the golf equipment industry from World Golf Foundation CEO, Steve Mona: “As long as we keep that committed number of stable golfers at around 20 million, the spending will follow.”

Golf Digest’s Mike Stachura got a peek at Golf Datatech’s May sales report…and it seems with respect to the month of May at least, “spending is following.” Stachura reports good signs in equipment sales relative to last year and a 12 percent increase in golf ball sales (in both units and dollars).

Irons sales were up 17 percent in terms of dollars and nine percent with respect to units sold. Woods were up three percent in dollars but down three percent in units. Wedges were up almost 12 percent in units and 10 percent in dollars, and putters were relatively flat.

Stachura points out,

“While unit sales across all categories aren’t anywhere near record levels, what is changing and improving the health of the golf equipment business is the increase in average selling price.”

Shoe sales ticked upwards more than 20 percent, and glove and bag sales were both up more than 10 percent.

While all of this is well off from industry record levels, positive momentum and further evidence of the “new normal” of the golf equipment industry after it dusted itself off from the ramifications of the 2008 financial crisis.

Callaway CEO Chip Brewer conveyed that sentiment earlier this year

“From a business perspective, the industry is getting a lot healthier. It’s a lot more rational, healthy environment for equipment companies and our customers now relative than it was a few years ago – longer life cycles and improved innovation, etc…The innovations that have been coming have been continuous; the new golf balls we make nowadays, the new technologies, the new approaches to adding distance to drivers, it’s an exciting time.”

What say you to this news, GolfWRX members? Reason for optimism? Too small a sample for far-reaching analysis? Let us know what you’re seeing on the ground!

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  1. calc

    Jun 29, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Drink GOLFERAID …. there’s a swing in every can …. 😮

  2. aupga

    Jun 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Slow rise in percentage and higher rise in price tells me that it is about the increased prices we are seeing with drivers. That won’t last, especially if the longevity of the clubs are longer as they say. If they think it is a green light to keep raising prices to $700 or $800 drivers, it will bite them. It is a slippery slope.

  3. Jim

    Jun 27, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I’m actually not at all concerned about equipment sales numbers and growing the manufacturing industry. I’m more concerned with the quality of what’s being made and the costs related. Manufacturers have been getting filthy rich for the last 3 decades since they stopped using wood for “woods” and started getting products made in China rather than the U.S. so they could cut costs.

  4. ChipNRun

    Jun 27, 2018 at 11:55 am

    General question: Do these sales figures include just new equipment sales?

  5. Jim

    Jun 27, 2018 at 8:28 am

    I am a lefty and have never seen a picture like that with that many left handed clubs…ever…in my life.

  6. Lance

    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Must be picking up if you can have a golf shop with all lefty!

  7. Mizzle Fizzle

    Jun 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    They won’t get a penny from me. My bag is set, beeeeaaaaachez.

  8. JHammer

    Jun 26, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I have never seen so many left handed clubs in one picture in my life.

  9. gif

    Jun 26, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Golfers are stocking up on golf clubs because most are made in China and could be hit with a big tariff soon and boosting prices. It’s a good investment strategy!!!

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19th Hole

Kyle Thompson films man taking his dumped Staff bags, then finds them listed on Craigslist



Earlier in the week, PGA Tour professional Kyle Thompson put three old Srixon golf bags (that he has since stressed “were in bad shape”) out with the garbage.

What the 39-year-old wasn’t expecting, however, was for someone to come by and snag the items from his trash. That’s precisely what happened however, and Thompson managed to capture the incident, which he then uploaded to his Instagram account (second slide):

The bag burglar displayed some smooth moves as he tiptoed his way across Thompson’s driveway before snagging the items and hopping back into his truck and driving off for a clean getaway.

Thompson then turned investigator, found the items listed on Craigslist, which the seller, who he christened “Cowboy,” had priced at $175.

If that wasn’t enough, the clubs were also spotted on eBay where the items were unashamedly listed as a “Kyle Thompson model,” and the seller, who was clearly struggling to move the bags, had dropped his asking price down to $100.

As for Thompson, he appeared to find the entire episode amusing, even praising his man “Cowboy” for his ingenuity.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today: 9/20/18



If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Aiken Golf Club, looks like y’all are good to go. All bag room and cart barn photos are 100% WRX approved.

Some puttorial handiwork from Bradley Putters, here. Acrylic + wood = nastiness.

A post that will only resonate with golfers of a certain age…

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When golf balls were golf balls….

A post shared by NCW Fine Furniture Department (@ncwfinefurniture) on

Do lambs travel in a herd? (Technically correct, according to Google)

Lovely Lincoln ball makers, indeed. Nice work here from CNC Creations.

The expected singular ferrule work from Boyd Blade & Ferrule. Very nice.

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A post shared by Boyd Blade & Ferrule Co (@bbandfco) on

Lovely Red Bird & Avian wand.

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Heat-stained, Stamped & Fitted. ??

A post shared by RedBird & Avian Custom Clubs (@redbird.avian) on

If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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19th Hole

ICYMI: The incredible story of a golf course artist freed from jail



Since Max Adler of Golf Digest profiled convicted killer and golf artist Valentino Dixon in 2012, the Attica inmate has been on much of the golf audience’s collective radar.

It wasn’t just that Dixon, who never so much stepped onto a golf course in his life, dedicated himself to putting beautiful golf landscapes on paper, but rather, many, including Adler, believed he was wrongfully convicted. Jimmy Roberts, too, profiled Dixon, albeit in video form, and was of the same mind.

Adler and Roberts both played a small part in what happened this week, as the publicity generated by their work alerted wrongful conviction advocates to Dixon’s case: Dixon’s murder conviction was vacated.

It’s an incredible story of both justice served (albeit woefully late), and a surprising passion. If you’re unfamiliar with Dixon’s work, you can see some of it in this YouTube video by tinad426, presumably featuring the photos of his drawings taken by Golf Digest. (Many outlets refer to Dixon’s art as “paintings.” This is incorrect as his medium in colored pencil: he wasn’t allowed to use paint and paintbrushes)

“The guys [in prison] can’t understand,” Dixon said. “They always say I don’t need to be drawing this golf stuff. I know it makes no sense, but for some reason my spirit is attuned to this game.”

A quick recap of the case: Dixon had been serving a minimum 38-year-to-life sentence since August, 1991, for the shooting of 17-year-old Torriano Jackson, allegedly following an argument about a girl.

While Dixon admitted he was at the crime scene, he claimed was in a nearby liquor store at the time of the killing. Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative found that a gunpowder test on Dixon’s clothes had come back negative and the prosecution failed to share the information with the defence.

Additionally, Lamarr Scott told local media he was in fact the shooter, and has maintained that he, not Dixon, was guilty in the years since.

He was never arrested for the crime. However, Scott, in jail for a separate crime, was given the opportunity to formally confess to the crime this week. He did so, and Dixon was exonerated hours later.

“Maybe he’ll even take up golf,” Golf Digest’s Max Adler quoted his subject of six years ago as saying.

Let’s hope he does.


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19th Hole