Retail News


Challenging times ahead

April’s results are very different from those in the first quarter as the effects of Covid lockdowns have started to work themselves out. Overall sales compared to the same period last year are down by -1.7%. 

The problem in understanding this change is the effect of the latest setback to our economy: inflation now at 9%, brought about by the war in Ukraine. KPMG’s Paul Martin UK Head of Retail Commented “The cost of living crisis came home to roost for retailers in April, with sales growth going into decline for the first time in 15 months.”


Product group results for April varied widely with only two showing growth and two showing a decline. These range from -15.4% for light durables to +8.1% clubs. The star performer other than clubs, which accounting for a major slice of the product mix, was consumables at +4.4%.

Drilling down to individual products finds a diverse range of performances that range from -31.3% for trolleys to +30.9% for irons. Weak performance in addition to the above came from bags at -20.4%, and distance devices at -10.5%. At the other extreme were wedges +12.7% and balls at +7.6%, which is a useful guide on the level of play. Apparel’s results also showed good improvement set again previous months. Both men’s and women’s shirts were up by +13.6% and 12.4% respectively.

We now see the forecast levelling off in year to date sales from the 190.4% in March to a slightly more realistic +72.6 for April. A downward trend that we expect to see over the coming months as the lockdowns work their way further out of the results. However, there are still individual products doing better than the average. Outerwear was +156.9%, irons +104.0, and gloves +94.5%. Those dragging their feet most were distance devices at +7.9%% and bags at +30.9%.

So, what does the future hold? The Bank of England current forecast suggest that inflation will continue to rise for the rest of this year. Then it is expected to fall to 2% over the next two years. Whilst that is good news, prices of items will remain high compared to the past. There is a need to encourage as many golfers as possible out to play to counterbalance any dip in sales to frequent players. The great mass of people that play and play, or have lapsed, could be valuable target markets. They could help significantly creating higher volume sales probably at lower prices which would be more attractive to buyers with limited discretionary spending power.

Golf Datatech is a world leader in golf industry research. It provides the trade with specialised market research covering retail sales, inventory, pricing, distribution, along with strategic sales and marketing consultancy.

In the UK, Golf Datatech research is based on an average of 2,000,000 records per month, recorded by EPOS systems at the point of sale.

For greater detail contact John Hassett on 07976 797081


Clubs: Woods, irons, putters, and wedges

Apparel: Men’s and women’s shirts, bottoms, tops and weatherwear

Consumables: Balls and gloves


SkyPins takes SkyCaddie mapping to new level

SkyCaddie has opened up its exclusive golf course database with the launch of the new SkyPins service.

SkyCaddie, which has the world’s largest library of ground-mapped greens and fairways, has now made SkyPins available to all UK golf clubs following a successful three-year trial with PGA tournament directors.
SkyPins enables golf club managers, golf course superintendents and tournament directors to produce accurate printed daily colour pin or zone sheets for their facility or event. For an even better experience, golfers can also Wi-Fi download the day’s pin locations to their SkyCaddie, giving them exact yardages to the flag on every hole – even for blind shots or from behind trees. SkyPins, which is powered by SkyCaddie’s TruGround on-foot course mapping and patented IntelliGreen technology, also gives exact green shapes, mapped on foot to sub-yard accuracy, as well as greenside hazards.

Chris Joyce, Head of Tournament Operations for The PGA, said: “A SkyCaddie gives players more information than a sole distance to the pin, and we place great value on our long-standing partnership with them. Their latest innovation, SkyPins, now creates an enhanced tournament experience for PGA professionals who participate in the Association’s national schedule.

“It is a fantastic service, very easy for golf clubs to use, and you can personalise the pin sheets according to the name of the competition that day. All players get a colour pin sheet including info about greenside penalty areas and bunkers, and those with SkyCaddies can also synchronise their devices to view the tournament pin positions before each day’s play – thus getting an electronic version of the pin sheet on their SkyCaddie screen.

“The PGA already uses SkyCaddie’s ground-mapped data when setting the pin positions for National events, so by using SkyPins on their SkyCaddie they are directly downloading the work done by our PGA tournament staff.”

James Holmes, SkyCaddie’s General Manager UK & Europe, said: “Trials with the PGA have been very successful. We have also been using SkyPins with the Legends Tour where over 60% of the field now use a SkyCaddie for their yardages and download the pins daily.

“The beauty of adding daily pin locations to the SkyCaddie’s Intelligreen is that players now have the Pin Location, Pro Front, Back of Green and Major Contours, all rotating to the player’s angle of attack. In other words, everything they need to hit the green.

  “You can then move the target cursor to give yourself a yardage for the best shot into the green.  Tour players rarely aim directly at the pin: instead they aim at the section of the green that allows them the best chance to sink the putt. That’s why Legends Tour competitors find the SkyCaddie so valuable in their game.

“There is even a feature in SkyPins which enables golf clubs to sell advertising or sponsorship on their printed daily pin sheets. SkyPins also enables you to offer a logo branding service to pin sheets produced for golf days and corporate events.”

“We are excited that we can now make SkyPins available for all golfers and are looking forward to welcoming the majority of UK golf clubs on board with this game-changing service.”

Steve Winstone, who heads up SkyCaddie’s UK & European golf course mapping teams, said: “SkyCaddie mappers have walked hundreds of thousands of golf holes worldwide, using survey-grade GPS equipment to produce incredibly accurate golf course maps.

“Only SkyCaddie continually does this by revisiting, on foot, a significant number of golf facilities each year to ensure our maps are up to date.

  “If a golf club offers SkyPins to its members and visitors, it is giving them the best of both worlds – beautifully detailed and accurate, printable pin sheets and accurate distances to today’s pins, as well as a huge amount of additional distance information only available from SkyCaddie.”

Interested golf clubs should visit and fill in the enquiry form, or call SkyCaddie on +44 (0)1844 296360.

For all SkyCaddie product information visit