FIT FOR THE COURSE
At Par One Golf Specialties, Householder said the company sells a selection of golf apparel and accessories, including golf shirts, mocks, windshirts, jackets, pants, sunglasses, watches, caps, shoes and gloves. “FootJoy gloves are probably [our] most popular, since they are the No. 1 glove in golf, and most golfers use a glove,” she said. While the items are not logoed, Householder also pointed out sunglasses are a big seller for corporate programs. Furthermore, she said distributors should consider selling uniform programs to high school and collegiate golf teams, as well as to women’s leagues. “There are very low minimums for apparel and I think some distributors miss these markets,” she said.
To help distributors sell golf apparel more effectively, both Householder and Rhodes offered valuable advice.
“Many distributors only think of golf apparel when a customer comes to them for a golf event,” noted Householder. However, she said “corporate incentive programs and employee reward programs are great areas for selling premium golf items.”
In an even more creative twist, Householder suggested distributors approach companies with such programs to find out not what the company itself is about, but what its workers do when they are not at work. “These are the items employees will value when they are away from the job,” she said.
Rhodes offered a slightly different approach. He said golf apparel could be included as part of a package of other items as a gift or promotional tool. He said golf apparel could also be used as a means to enhance a bigger goal or sales promotion. For example, if a customer orders 48 polo shirts, the customer could then receive a $100 gift card, good for use with the distributor’s company, according to Rhodes.
FORE THE FUTURE
While he does not particularly believe in making predictions, Rhodes said he sees “continued growth in this area based on the effort [of] manufacturers to keep placing new and innovative products in the marketplace.” He praised golf apparel manufacturers’ commitment to stay at the forefront of the latest technology, in the same way as the golf equipment industry strives for innovation.