Study Highlights Buying Trends of Golf Consumers

Pro Shop at Nirwana Bali Golf Club_7929Orlando, United States: Where do serious golfers shop for and buy their golf equipment and apparel? That question and many more are answered in the 2015 Golf Datatech Channel Segmentation Study.
One of the golf industry’s leaders in independent insights and strategy, Golf Datatech, LLC – www.golfdatatech.com – has released the results of its sixth bi-annual syndicated study investigating where serious golfers go to shop and buy their golf equipment and apparel.
Golf Datatech surveyed 3,000 golfers from their Serious Golfer database to explore consumer attitudes and perceptions when buying golf equipment and merchandise, preferences of the various sales channels, and what consumers like and dislike when shopping for golf products.
“This study has become the industry standard for tracking ever changing consumer buying patterns within the golf marketplace,” said Golf Datatech Partner John Krzynowek.
“We’ve been tracking perceptions and attitudes over the past 12 years, providing an independent and objective perspective on the various channels of distribution and how they are meeting, or not meeting, the needs of today’s consumer, including specific insights into the online marketplace, which continues to expand and is starting to have a significant impact on golf sales.”
The study breaks down golfers’ shopping habits by major product category (balls, clubs, shoes, apparel) and retail channel, identifying preferences, attitudes about service (by channel), best selection, best prices and overall buying preferences. A few (of many) key points to come out of the study include:

  • 2014 total equipment sales through the On and Off Course Channels totalled US$2.5 billion, the third highest in the past six years;
  • After years of improving perceptions about their role in golf sales, attitudes about the Sporting Goods Channel have changed and were down significantly in almost every measure covered by this study;
  • The Off Course Specialty Channel is perceived as providing the best customer service of all channels;
  • Online purchases of shoes, drivers and balls increased significantly over the past two years, while online purchases in general continue to grow rapidly but remain relatively limited, particularly in high involvement selling categories like clubs;

Additional findings from the 2015 Channel Segmentation Study, which speak directly to the On Course (Green Grass) sales channel, include:

  • 2014 Green Grass shopping and purchase behaviour improved or matched prior year levels in every product category over the prior studies’ results;
  • The Green Grass channel continues to lead all channels for apparel sales.

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