Eric Lohman, a four-time Southern California PGA Section Special Awards winner, is the President of the Southern California PGA Section and the PGA General Manager at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California.
Carrie Matlin is the PGA Retail Manager at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point, California.
Over the past decade, and particularly during the pandemic and in these years immediately after, athleisure wear has given us an opportunity to grow our golf shop sales and to attract a new customer who would not otherwise frequent our shop. This is especially true of our resort guests and non-core golfers. Carrying athleisure wear lines helps drive sales of other non-golf items. As a result, we are enjoying a great new revenue stream via sales of T-shirts, hoodies, leggings, joggers, sweatshirts, all-purpose athletic shorts, Theragun percussion massagers and drinkware.
We have seen an increase of approximately 10 percent in the number of hoodies sold in our shop, and not all of these hoodies are being sold to non-golfers, as a majority of our core golfers are buying into the hoodie sensation too. After all, many of them probably have a decent supply of more traditional golf pullovers in their closets, but no golf hoodies to call their own. In fact, golf hoodies are being manufactured in softer materials, and there are even some vests with hoodies on the market – something we definitely didn’t see five years ago. In addition to enjoying their new on-course look, this is a style that golfers can wear off the course as well. As a side note, T-shirts have long been a staple in our shop, but during COVID we saw about a 10 percent increase in this category as well.
Overall, with the movement toward athleisure seen on social media, in advertisements, across golf retail marketing and worn by tour professionals such as Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Lydia Ko, we now have an opportunity to capture sales from our resort guests and our new “COVID” golfers, as well as our core golfers who have been a reliable customer base at our facility for a long time, but are now buying into the trends and dressing more comfortably. What used to be more of an outlier is now more the norm. Who wouldn’t want to wear softer, stretchier, lighter clothes and throw on a pair of Jordans to get in a quick nine?