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Santa Is On the First Tee

Demand for all things golf – including equipment, apparel and accessories — is projected to remain strong this holiday season, even as manufacturers and retailers wrestle with production, inventory and shipping challenges.

Indeed, the holidays are good for the golf business … and for golfers. According to a recent survey1 by NGF, around 25 million people have purchased or plan to purchase golf gifts this holiday season, including 5 million golfers and 20 million non-golfers. Golfers are not just generous with others – one-out-of-two gift givers will include a little something under the tree for themselves too!

So, who’s giving golf gifts? While more men are making purchases in total, female golfers are actually more likely to give a golf gift than males. Females make up 25% of all golfers, but 33% of gift-givers.

Golf gift-givers are also younger than average. Three-quarters (77%) are under age 50, as compared to about 60% of the total population.

What’s in the sack, Santa?

Not surprisingly, golf balls – the game’s ultimate consumable — are the most popular gift, followed by apparel and golf clubs. When buying for themselves, golfers lean more towards clubs and shoes.

Where will most shopping occur? In a separate study of core golfers2, NGF found that online holiday spending will be almost twice that of instore – 62% vs 33%. This finding is corroborated by a 2021 trend study conducted by Deloitte that shows the percentage of online spending has grown steadily over the past six years, from 51% to 62%.

Overall golf spending has remained strong this year and is likely to continue to show strength into 2022. The November consumer confidence index published by The Conference Board is still above average at 110. And personal consumption, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, continues to trend upward. This bodes well for this holiday season and beyond.

1 Based on a nationally representative sample of 1,477 adults. Data collected by NGF between September and October, 2021.
2 Based on an NGF survey of 270 core golfers conducted between November 29th and December 1st, 2021.
Joseph Beditz
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