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Good signs in golf equipment sales in latest Golf Datatech report

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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

Peter Kessler lashed out at anyone and everyone on Twitter

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With 140K followers on Twitter and a website as well, No Laying Up have become one of the most popular accounts in the golfing world. However, when the group plugged the second season of their show Tourist Sauce” with a new promo, it provoked a strong response from “the voice of golf,” former Golf Channel and PGA Tour host, writer, and producer, Peter Kessler. (Kessler responded to Green Jacket Auctions, who praised NLU’s work).

Kessler, no stranger to speaking his mind, then spent hours feuding with fellow social media users who defended No Laying Up’s promo. As is often the case in the world of social media, the arguments descended into personal insults, on which Kessler did not hold back.

Consider these tweets representative of dozens more in the same vein.

Although Kessler was firmly in attack mode, he had to be on his guard when @ProV1_iron took aim at his Perfect Club infomercials from back in the day. The spots are largely a humorous relic in the golfing world, but Kessler was having none of the “people in glass houses” analogy.

The responses from Kessler went on and on, and many had been expecting the ex-Golf Channel host cool off after yesterday’s exploits. However, the opposite happened, with Kessler getting right back in the saddle this morning and continuing his tirade against defenders of the show, with Kessler claiming NLU’s promo “is like intro to entertainment in 9th grade and school just started. Surely you’ve seen good movies and tv shows. These aren’t them.”

Despite saying that he has “Gotta run,” Kessler remains locked in a battle of personal insults with other social media users.

What do you make of Peter Kessler’s social media outburst, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Which Air Jordan model should Nike release as a golf shoe next?

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According to GolfMagic, Nike’s Air Jordan III golf shoe took off from the foul line and soared right out of stock.

Per the site: “Nike launched this new model back in February… but you’ll do very well to get your hands on either them right now as they have sold out on Nike’s website. However, a Nike spokesperson has since commented saying “more is on the way.”

Grammar aside, this is interesting.

Now, it wasn’t long ago that all golf shoes looked like this.

And with all due respect to the Etonic Dri-Lite of yore, and giving wide berth to the traditionalists in the golf footwear space, the transition to sneaker-style golf shoes is cool, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re monumentally swagger impaired like myself and could never pull the “Js on the fairways” look off, it’s intriguing, no?

With that in mind, and recognizing the demand for the 3s, I thought it’d be interesting to consider what the next Jordan golf shoe ought to be.

Here are my finalists for the next wide release (yes, I know Nike made Ray Allen custom 11s and MJ has had a few customs). Many of these are new colorways of classic (OG) models. I’ve tried for a range of styles and picks from across the Jordan timeline. Images via the excellent catalogue on the Jordan website.

Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan VI

Air Jordan VIII

Air Jordan II (low)

Air Jordan XXX

Let me know what you think, GolfWRX Members!

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…

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Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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