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GOLF FEES RISE BY 3%, EQUIPMENT SALES FALL SLIGHTLY IN 1999

Golf-related consumer spending reached $22.2 billion in 1999, according to a recent study by the National Golf Foundation (NGF). The report, Golf Consumer Spending in the U.S./2000 Edition, shows that green fees and dues (at both public and private courses) accounted for 73% of spending ($16.3 billion), followed by golf club purchases with 11% ($2.5 billion). Soft goods ranked third with 4% ($979 million). Also included in the report are golf ball purchases and range ball rentals (on-course and stand-alone).

While fees were up about 3% over 1998, equipment sales were down by 2%. By player segments, avid golfers (25+ rounds annually) make up the smallest player segment (25%), but account for 53% of all golf-related spending. The average avid golfer spent $222 on clubs, while a moderate player (8-24 rounds annually) spent $118 on average for clubs. The occasional golfer (less than 8 rounds annually) spent only $16.

Overall, golf club spending was down 6.6% from 1998 purchases, but the industry expects club sales to rebound this year and next as the replacement cycle for clubs (particularly titanium woods) sends golfers shopping. Soft goods spending, which includes bags, gloves and shoes, also was down (-3.7%).

Private club members make up just 15% of the U.S. golfing population but accounts for 47% of spending. Although female golfers make up just 19% of the golf population, individually, they spend nearly as much as men. On average, a male golfer spent $462 for golf clubs, balls, soft goods and public fees in 1999. A female golfer spent $411.


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