The US Open/Father’s Day combo is big business for golf retail

The marriage of US Open week and Father’s Day weekend is always important for golf retailers, not to mention equipment, apparel and other golfer-focused businesses.

Couple this crucial time of year with the game’s growing popularity (especially last year’s record for total rounds played on US courses) and it’s shaping up to be a strong mid-year performance. for many notable names in the game.

PGA Tour Superstore, the largest golf retailer with 53 locations, said this week will be the largest in terms of sales volume in company history.

PGA Tour Superstore’s overall market share increased by over 60% and sales volume increased by over 90% compared to the last pre-pandemic year (2019). And while all categories were ahead of last year, the apparel sector was particularly strong, fueled in part by the popularity of trends such as bold prints and colors, shorter shorts and the arrival of new novelty brands.

This year, PGA Tour Superstore opened three more stores with five more to come. Among them is a July opening in Rockville, Maryland, just down the road from the site of KPMG’s upcoming Women’s PGA Championship at the Congressional Country Club.

It’s no surprise that TaylorMade CEO and President David Abeles calls peak golf season a “critical time of year” for one of the leading golf equipment manufacturers.

“The excitement surrounding major championship golf and the US Open allows our game to shine on the biggest stage, and we make it a point to build on that excitement,” Abeles said. “As a father and a golfer, I know the gift of golf is an amazing thing to receive on Dad’s special day.”

While clubs — like TaylorMade’s new Stealth Carbonwood drivers and P-Series irons — are certainly popular, Abeles said the golf ball category is where the company is currently most optimistic and ambitious with its growth efforts, especially as it pushes the boundaries of visual technology. with products like the Tour Response Stripe. It probably makes sense that golf’s ultimate consumable – the ball – is usually the most popular Father’s Day gift of all when it comes to golfing dads.

While the big names in golf are seeing continued strong demand, smaller equipment brands are also seeing eye-opening growth.

Take Stix Golf, which tripled its revenue in its second year (2021) and is seeing similar momentum this year after closing a $10 million round of financings in May that included a build in inventory. The past two years have seen record levels of engagement among newbies and returning players — nearly 12 million total in the United States, according to the National Golf Foundation — and Stix has positioned itself to capture some of those participants through its direct-to-consumer offering. model and price tag of $999 for a complete set of 14 clubs, from driver to putter. More than a third of Stix customers have been golfing for less than two years, while a quarter of their customers play once a month or less.

There’s no doubt that many new fathers can relate to the challenge of trying to balance golf with the demands of young children and work.

“For golf to continue to grow, younger, more casual golfers need to stay interested in golf. Our customers don’t think and play golf 24/7 and don’t want to spend $2,000 on a set of clubs,” said Aaron Ormond, Chief Marketing Officer of Stix.

FootJoy, which currently has the highest market share models in both classic style (Premiere Series and Traditions) and athletic golf shoes (FJ Fuel), noted that this week is expected to be one of the most important for its website, in terms of traffic volume. , all year.

adidas, the world’s No. 1 golf apparel maker, said heading into the US Open and Father’s Day it had seen 10% growth in its men’s apparel category compared to to last month.

Around the middle of the year – and perhaps at its most significant part – golf’s trajectory continues to show signs of positive momentum, particularly with respect to golfer demand for new equipment, and maybe in turn, to play. As the old maxim goes: look good, play good.