March 2024 Industry Report

The post-COVID golf boom continues with its positive effect on the bottom line. According to Golf Inc., the percentage of public courses reporting financial distress dropped from 25% in 2016 to 4% in 2022 (latest data available). For private clubs, that number dropped from 14% to 1% over the same time frame. Impressive to say the least.

Golf Versus the Super Bowl

The average cost for a Super Bowl ticket on StubHub was $8,400. How does golf stand up in pricing? If you had $24,000 laying around, you could have purchased one “tee side seat” on the famous 16th hole at the WM Phoenix Open. The advantage? You receive the seat for all four day of tournament play. What a bargain (insert groan of choice)!

Costco Lawsuit

TaylorMade recently filed a complaint against Costco for selling a Kirkland Signature Players iron set claiming it copied many features of its P790 irons and its patents. Sound familiar? Approximately seven years ago, Titleist brought suit against Costco claiming that its Kirkland golf balls improperly incorporated patents of the Pro V1.

Marlboro Friday

What was Marlboro Friday? The term Marlboro Friday refers to a significant day in the history of tobacco company Philip Morris. In 1993, it announced a drastic cut in the price of Marlboro cigarettes to fight off generic brands that were eating into its market share. The announcement wiped 26% off its stock price within hours. The ensuing aftermath served as a lesson for corporations, which began moving their emphasis from advertising to branding. While golf and cigarettes are very, very different businesses…the example shows how sudden discounts can negatively affect your image in the marketplace.