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19th Hole

Golf rounds and equipment sales soared to new heights in record-breaking 2020

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Golf Datatech, LLC, has unveiled its 2020 National Golf Performance Report which shows that 2020 saw rounds played increase by 13.9% and equipment sales by 10.1% over 2019.

According to the report, the 13.9% increase in rounds is the largest total year increase since Golf Datatech began collecting and projecting rounds played in 1998 – topping the previous largest gain of 5.7% in 2012.

It is believed that the year-over-year surge in rounds and retail sales is primarily a result of golf being positioned as an ideal socially distanced activity during a pandemic. 

Speaking on the surge in rounds played, John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech stated

“While the global pandemic wreaked havoc on many segments of our economy, the golf industry experienced a significant boost in rounds played and equipment sales. On the equipment side, sales increased by low single digits in both 2018 and 2019, but the double-digit gains in 2020 can only be attributed to the pandemic and golf being a respite for so many.”

It was also a record-breaking year for retail equipment sales, with 2020’s 10.1% improvement in retail sales bettering the previous all-time high percentage gain of 10.0% in 2005. 

2020 spending also reached near-record levels, with overall golf equipment sales eclipsing the $2.81 billion mark, making it the third-highest annual total of all-time, trailing behind only 2008 ($2.91 billion) and 2007 ($2.87 billion).

However, it was a challenging year for on-course golf shops, with apparel sales dropping by 14.2% – with the Covid-19 restrictions playing a massive role in the drop in action.

Additionally, a lack of international travel and lockdowns during the critical spring season in warm weather markets had a detrimental impact on many resorts, which sell a significant amount of logoed golf apparel. 

But, per the report, while on-course sales declined, apparel sales at off-course specialty outlets, particularly those with a strong online presence, enjoyed significant growth in 2020.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Paulo

    Jan 26, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Comments disabled on the JT Citibank article ? I said at the time. The pga should have fined him his winnings from the event he made the remark at and ge should have publicly donated it to a lgbt cause. This is not going away for him and I think that’s unfortunate. Other people have made remarks just as bad in recent years without reprise

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19th Hole

Will Zalatoris on the one hole he wishes he could do over at the 2021 Masters

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Fresh from lighting up the Masters with a brilliant performance last week, Will Zalatoris featured on Doug Flutie’s SiriusXM podcast Flutie Flakescast, where the rookie broke down his week at Augusta.

*All quotes courtesy of Doug Flutie’s SiriusXM podcast Flutie Flakescast*

The 24-year-old finished one stroke behind Hideki Matsuyama at the event, and when asked which shots he would take back if he had the chance, Zalatoris was quick to highlight his week-long performance on the par 5 13th hole.

“I think it’s any collection of shots on 13. I played it at even par for the week, which you just can’t do. I mean, you see all those guys knock one tight out of the trees and make eagle or make a good birdie and that’s what jumpstarts them to win the golf tournament. And I just didn’t have it.

I had about a 50 or 60 foot look that weirdly that green is just so slow. I don’t know what it was. I had, you know, I had two 50 footers over the last two days and on that hole and I three-putted both of them and that’s the difference right there.”

In contrast to Zalatoris, Hideki played the 13th hole in four-under-par for the week, including making an eagle on the hole during Friday’s round.

“You know, I just needed to play 13 in a couple under par, just like I would have basically just played average golf and you know it just, it is what it is. But that’s the one to me where it’s like every single day I’m walking off 13, like dang nabbit, like I just need one shot, one shot, one shot.”

The Californian also revealed on the show that his first Masters’ experience flew by, and he wishes he could have slowed the week down.

“Man, I wish I could have slowed it down. I did a good job of staying in the moment, but I mean that seven days that I was there felt like it went by in seven minutes. It was just, you know, every day I walked over that bridge on 12 and look back just cause it’s like, you know, I worked my ass off to get to this point and I finally got there and yeah, a lot of gratitude, a lot of appreciation. And obviously I knew I was playing some good golf, and so, you know, it’s a really good feeling to be frustrated to lose by one.”

The 24-year-old returns to action this week at the RBC Heritage.

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19th Hole

Sports Marketing Expert: ‘Masters win worth $600 million for Matsuyama’

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Hideki Matusyama’s victory at Augusta National has taken the golf world by storm, and it could pave the way for monstrous endorsement deals for the 29-year-old, according to a Sports Marketing Expert.

Speaking to Sportico.com, Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising, revealed that the win could earn Matsuyama up to $20 million a year in endorsements over the next 30 years, thanks to the longevity in careers golfers enjoy.

“Barring any career-ending injury or scandal, I’d say a Masters win is easily worth $600 million for Matsuyama. He’ll be an icon in his golf-mad country.”

Unlike Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori (who rakes in more than $30 million a year from endorsements), Hideki is already a major champion, and Octagon marketing executive David Schwab is another who believes the massive endorsement deals and opportunities are sure to follow.

“He will have limitless brand deals and corporate requests. I suspect he will value his personal time more than a lot of marketing days. Preferential equity stakes in businesses and licensing may be attractive to limit time involved. And because it is 2021, he will probably have 50 NFT proposals on his desk by tomorrow.” – Octagon marketing executive David Schwab.

On the course, Matsuyama has pocketed over $33 million in PGA Tour career earnings, and per Bill Sanders, who worked with Chinese NBA star Yao Ming, Hideki’s limited English won’t stop his endorsement opportunities rolling in, saying: “English doesn’t really matter for a full page ad in GQ.”

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19th Hole

Dustin Johnson: ‘Driving distance isn’t really important anywhere’

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The distance debate rumbles on in golf, and one of the biggest hitters in the game has this week claimed that distance isn’t essential to his game.

Dustin Johnson is the current World Number One and sits 7th in driving distance for the 2020/21 season. Speaking before this week’s RBC Heritage, Johnson responded to a question suggesting that Harbor Town isn’t a course where long driving is vital by saying “distance isn’t really important anywhere”.

“Yeah, I mean, for sure. But for me, driving distance really isn’t important anywhere. It’s hitting the fairways. I want to play from the fairway.”

Rory McIlroy recently went down the rabbit hole of chasing speed which in turn threw his swing out of sync, and according to Johnson, the ability to hit it farther is there, but it’s all about hitting fairways for the 36-year-old.

“I can hit it further than I do if I want to, but I don’t have control, so I’m trying to hit fairways.”

Johnson tees off for today’s opening round at the RBC Heritage at 8.17 AM ET.

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