UK Golf Retail: Market Update June 2019

Half a Year Gone!

Can you believe the season for golf majors is already over, and we’re only just half way through the year? It’s hard to think that the big events are finished for 2019. Will this allow some of the smaller events to grab the limelight?  The organisers hope so.  Time will tell, but I did enjoy this year’s offerings: finished off with a great win for Shane Lowry at The Open Championship.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the events in the world of UK Golf Retail this year.

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UK Golf Retail: Market Update April 2019

Right now, golf retailers are slap bang in the middle of the season. It’s one of the busiest times of year for pro shops, and all too easy to lose track of how the market, and your business, is performing.  The April retail statistics were recently released, so let’s stand back to look at the picture so far, .

2019: the story so far

By all accounts, it’s been a good start for both golf retail, and golf, in general. Both Winter and Spring were very kind, (no snow), allowing lots of play in relatively warm, and dry, conditions.

People out on the course have been spending money, while Tour Professionals have been generating a good deal of media interest. Tiger Woods winning his first Major in 11 years was, perhaps, one of the greatest comeback stories ever. Everyone seemed to be talking about it: even my football-obsessed builder!

Rory McIlroy returned to his winning-ways: taking the unofficial 5th Major at the Players Championship. While Brooks Koepka retained his PGA Championship title, in dominant style, with an imperious win. All great stories from interesting players, capturing a lot of screen time and news updates.

Celebrating

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UK Golf Retail: September 2018 Update

For most, the overriding memory of September will be the barn-storming Ryder cup where Europe produced an overwhelming, if unexpected, victory. Some outstanding performances from both the old guard and the rookies. It’s always good entertainment when the postman delivers!

the postman delivers

When most of the golfing community was still pumped with positive energy, some of the air was let out of the tyres by the news that American Golf – Europe’s largest specialist golf retailer – was up for sale under, what seemed to be, negative circumstances. More about this next month, but for now, let’s hope the new arrangements allow AG to be successful, and the industry continues to grow.

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UK Golf Retail: End of Summer 2018 Market Update

Well, the sun kept on shining and England carried on playing football. That was the story in July, and it seemed to have a real impact on the UK golf market.

Cutting straight to the chase, July was down 7.3% Vs 2017 according to Golf Datatech‘s retail Audit. In fact, July ended up significantly smaller, in terms of sales, than April, May and June – which is very unusual.

English summer

What was to blame? The World Cup or the weather?

Well, July saw 38% more sunshine than usual, and 34% less days of rain. And with the high temperatures we experienced, my concern was that, whilst sunshine is great weather for golf, it was just too hot for some people.  However, it didn’t seem to go that

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UK Golf Retail Market Update: June 2018

And the sun kept on shining!!

It wasn’t very long ago that I was all doom and gloom. Poor weather at the start of the season was having an impact on sales, and the market numbers were down. But since April, I have been repeating the same old story – the sun is out and people are playing golf and spending money.

Its incredible how dry it has been. You only had to look at the Carnoustie during The Open, to see how much so..

Carnoustie golf course brown

.. with the few lush greens a stark contrast to the scorched brown rough and fairway. A pretty setting, for what ended up being, a fantastic Open.

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UK Golf Retail Market Update: May 2018

BOOM! All of a sudden, it wasn’t that bad and the sun came out!!

home_page_gallery_2

After months of generally poor results in Golf Retail – things have finally had an up-turn. Following a lukewarm performance in April, where we managed to get the deficit versus 2017 to under 5% – things really hotted up in May…

So, is the market now up?

Hold your horses – It’s better, but still isn’t great. According to the Golf Datatech UK retail audit May saw a very impressive 11.5% increase overall, versus May 2017. That’s a great performance, given the trials of the year so far. The year to date figures are now back to just -0.1% down – so pretty much flat versus 2017.

All told, that’s a big surprise. I honestly didn’t see such a strong performance coming. While the weather was really good, (more on that later), I worried that it might have been too good, and put people off playing golf – choosing to do something else instead. However, that wasn’t the case when it came to spend, and people reached for their wallets.

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UK Golf Retail Market Update: April 2018

Following a few months of poor results, we all had our fingers crossed for some better numbers in April. However as the poor weather continued we weren’t feeling that confident.

April was wet (15% more rain days), dull (only 90% of usual sunshine) but warm (14% warmer than average) – so were there any glimmers of sunshine? In fact, yes.

Surprisingly, April was actually a pretty good month – but not for everyone. Total sales value was up 7.4% Vs 2017, which meant the first increase in monthly performance this year. This drags back the annual number to -4.4%: still not great, but an improvement all the same.

So, is everyone happy?

Not entirely. The On-Course sales seem to have done better this month: up 15% compared with Off-Course, which was down by just 3% (again, an improvement over

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