Industry News

Taking the guesswork out of the distance market

Golf Datatech, the golf industry’s leading independent market research firm for retail sales, consumer, and trade trends, this week introduces the 6th Edition of its comprehensive study covering the Distance Measuring Device (DMD) market in the United States. The new report estimates the total market size by key product sub-category - exclusive to Golf Datatech - as well as usage trends, on and off course sales, preferences, likes, dislikes and much more.

Among the key findings of Golf Datatech’s DMD Study of more than 1,500 Serious Golfers, while the category declined in 2022, the total market was close to $180 million in sales and remains larger than hybrid clubs and slightly smaller than putters.

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The study also shows that Serious Golfers are moving toward lasers and smart watches and away from handheld and dedicated wristwatch DMDs. Additionally, where golfers buy their DMD has changed rapidly over the years, with online purchases soaring, particularly direct sales from the manufacturer.

“Golf continues to enjoy positive momentum, with total participation elevated and rounds played remaining strong,” said John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech. “Today’s golfer embraces technology and uses DMDs more frequently than ever before. When you combine increased usage/purchasing of DMDs by long-time players with new players wanting their own devices, sales remain at lofty levels.” Krzynowek adds, “After riding the wave of popularity in Covid-era golf during 2020 and 2021, US DMD sales were lower in ’22, but they still remain almost 50% above pre-pandemic levels.”

The study provides many other insights into preferences and attitudes about DMDs, including how golfers believe lasers are more accurate than GPS-based devices, resulting in future purchase intent shifting toward lasers. Interest in smart watches also remains high, but it is still relatively small in comparison to GPS devices and lasers. “Today, Golf Datatech is the only company in the world that has insights into US retail sales of DMDs and combining that data with our in depth understanding of consumer attitudes and practices places us in a unique position to project the full market,” said Krzynowek.

“Our research shows the DMD category has moved from a niche product used primarily by very good players 15 years ago, to being an essential part of almost every golfer's equipment today. However, one of the most significant challenges for both manufacturers and retailers is that DMDs today are very durable, extremely accurate, rarely malfunction and don't easily wear out. Getting current users to buy a new DMD to replace an older model remains a challenge.”

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For more insights into this fascinating new study, or to purchase, visit Golf Datatech’s dedicated page HERE.

To accompany the release of the new study, John Krzynowek dives into the history of the Distance Measuring Device market and looks at the future of this fast-evolving category in his latest article, “Taking the Guesswork out of the Distance Market”. If you’re in the business of making, selling or marketing Distance Devices for golfers, this article is a must-read. Read it HERE