The timing of current equipment delays and availability is terrible, because the global pandemic has made the sport I love as popular as it has been in many years, and more golfers has led to additional sales.
As I’m writing this, it has been about a month since I last spoke with a company about sending a 4k projector to be featured in one of C+RB’s unboxing videos. The projector, which is ideal for clubs that are looking to add a simulator experience for members at an affordable price, is coming from overseas, and that seems to be just one of the issues.
The company has the order placed and I’m prepared to record the video once I get it, but we’re still waiting. Turns out, I’m not the only one.
Our daily e-newsletter recently included a report about how pervasive supply-chain issues have become for the golf industry, with shutdowns of factories in Vietnam and elsewhere over concerns around the Delta variant now making delays the norm for both sellers and buyers.
“It’s a challenging time for the industry with the demand being at an all-time high, and our valued partners are navigating all sorts of obstacles to try to supply the globe with the necessary products,” said Jeff Crawford, Associate Marketing Manager of Mizuno’s golf division.
Golf clubs and components—such as grips—have also been hard to find because of global shortages. Another news report that we picked up even highlighted an odd side effect of the pandemic—an emerging “shortage” of pushcarts.
The Wall Street Journal took to social media to share the surprising news: “Having fallen out of favor due to the rise of motorized golf carts and popularity of caddies, pushcarts are now following the trend of toilet paper and hand sanitizer … hard to find.”
Where the “once-disparaged device” is concerned, The Journal added, “Warehouses are empty, retailers are out of stock and price gouging is now taking place.”
The timing of these delays and availability of equipment is terrible, of course, because the global pandemic has made the sport I love as popular as it has been in many years. Millions of people have either begun playing, returned to golf, or increased their activity.
The National Golf Foundation estimates that a record three million people played on a golf course for the first time in 2020. More golfers has led to additional equipment sales. Callaway reported a record fourth quarter in 2020, with consolidated net sales of $375 million and a 20% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
Our e-newsletter also included a report that Green Hill Golf Course in Worcester, Mass. is seeing revenues up around $590,000 over this time last year. Director of Golf Matthew Moison said his course probably won’t end up needing the budgeted $200,000 subsidy the city earmarks for it—and while he expects that the record numbers of golfers at Green Hill may start to taper off as restrictions for other activities are relaxed, he also thinks the pandemic just may have gotten a lot of people hooked.
“People came back because of the COVID bump, but they liked it, they enjoyed it [and] I think that will continue,” Moison said. “I think we’re looking at a once-in-a-generation growth bubble.”
I want to know: How have you been affected by delays at your club and how are you dealing with the situation? Please share your thoughts and experiences.
Dog Days of Summer
Before we go, can I mention that researchers at the University of Michigan—who evaluated more than 5,800 foods by the minutes “gained or lost” from eating them, as well as their environmental impact—have pronounced that eating one hot dog could shorten life by 36 minutes?
While I hate to think of all the days I’ve lost, I’m glad that I’ve kicked my dog-at-the-turn habit. That said, I will not completely abandon the food that got me through many cheap college meals. To paraphrase Charlton Heston, “I’ll give you my [hot dog] when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”