The FINANCIAL -- As a fast growing sport producing numerous world renowned star golfers, South Korea’s golfing industry is advancing rapidly as it continues to gain wide acceptance among local consumers.
Even though it is often seen as a sport indulged only by the small elite population, GfK Korea’s retail audit of golf clubs recorded a massive USD 180 million worth of sales chalked up within the first six months of this year alone.
According to the global leading market research company who launched its golf panel at the second half of last year, recent findings for the quarter of April to June revealed that golf club sales totaled over USD 104 million in the three months, registering a considerable 37 percent growth over quarter one’s USD75.3 million.
"The number of golf enthusiasts in the country is on the rise and gauging by its good performance in the latest quarter, there’s no doubt that the industry is gaining grounds at a fast pace,” commented Mr. Moongen Kwon, General Manager of GfK Korea.”Nonetheless, it is important to highlight that the latest sales spike is relative to the previous period’s less impressive showing due to the fact that golf is a seasonal sport,” explained Mr. Kwon.
Korea’s intense cold weather during the Winter season is an off-peak period for outdoor golfing, accounting for the slowdown in golf club sales during the beginning of the year; hence lowering the overall performance in the first quarter. A comparison of quarter one sales against 2010’s final quarter sales of USD 94 million reveal a 20 percent decline.
Monthly results reflected a gradual downward sales trend at the end of the year, reaching the lowest level in January before regaining its sales momentum subsequently. Comparing the performance of the market for three consecutive quarters, it was the Spring months that registered greatest golf club sales.
GfK findings also revealed that Koreans invested the most in Iron sets and Drivers, with nearly 70 percent of the entire market’s golf club budget being spent in these two categories. Club sets occupies the largest share at 41 percent, while 29 percent was contributed by Drivers in quarter two. There are currently 12 key brands available including major brands like Yamaha, Nike, Dunlop and Callaway, but it is still the Japanese models which are more favored amongst consumers despite their higher pricing.
"As the golfing industry evolves, we can expect intensifying competition as new local and foreign players enter the scene with more exciting offers to satisfy the swelling golfing population,” said Mr. Kwon. "With Korea being one of Asia’s fastest developing markets for the sport, the golfing is definitely an exciting industry to be watching out for as the country in many more years to come,” he concluded
Source: The Financial