Gear & EquipmentJune 2, 2011

Golf Datatech: Wood market still strong

Golf Datatech, the golf industry's leading firm for industry retail sales research, released its April figures on club and ball sales, and the early indications are that while there are plenty of buyers for $400 drivers, most especially the R11, sales in the other categories were flat, a departure from early season reports that showed sales were up in both woods and irons.

Unit sales of woods were about the same as April 2010, but sales in dollars were up about 12 percent, according to the April report listing on and off course golf shop sales. That's an indication that the average selling price for woods is up from a year ago. Indeed, nearly 30 percent of all drivers sold have a $400 price tag, led of course by the TaylorMade R11. That's a third higher percentage than a year ago.

(Related: The 2011 Golf Digest Hot List--Drivers.)

Of course, the other story is white. Based on the Golf Datatech numbers, white-colored clubs now account for one of every five woods sold.

The other major categories lack the same velocity. In irons, the Golf Datatech figures show sales at on and off course shops were up a little over 2 percent from last April, while balls, wedges and putters were all marginally down from a year ago. In units, balls were off about 5 percent, wedges down around 3 percent and putters down nearly 5 percent.

--Mike Stachura

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