Would you rent a golf club online?

By: February 19, 2010

In my previous post I wrote about how golf courses are becoming part of airlines' loyalty program. In the very same post I mentioned all the hassle that is connected with flying with our golf equipment (golf clubs, golf balls, golf shoes and golf bag etc.). Now here comes not a fresh new idea, but relatively new idea online golf equipment rental.

Beside it is comfortable for golf players thanks to companies like FedEx, but it is a good opportunity for golf equipment companies (Acushnet, Callaway, TaylorMade etc) to sale latest golf clubs or upgrade players' golf equipment. How is it possible? In many cases these online rental service provider offer trial, rental and sale. So it is just question of mechanism how we motivate to make the necessary steps toward buying a new golf equipment.

These online golf equipment rental companies easily can become partner in loyalty program, promotions. Based on what I have found it is still not perfect sales channel or marketing tool. Some of these golf rental companies are focusing either on a country or number of counties and states (especially in the US) or not every golf equipment brand is available in one place.

Probably the most serious service provider is Rentaclub from the UK. It is not surprising that TGI Golf is already cooperating with Rentaclub (UK company). Thus became TGI Golf, Rentaclub’s official retail partner. Rentaclub is one of those golf club rental companies where you can chose from leading, well known brands like Callaway, TaylorMade, Wilson Staff, Nike Golf, Srixon, Cleveland etc. And they are quite good is social media as well, by connecting their website to Facebook and Twitter.

Here are the major players in the golf club rental business:

  • Rentaclub.co.uk
  • Golfrentalandsales.com – global service
  • Golfclubsaway.com – in Florida, Arizona and Las Vegas areas
  • Testandrent.com – in Spain only; Callaway and TaylorMade golf equipments
  • Golfrentalworld.com – only in the US
  • Rentalclubhub.com – it seems to be global; Nike Golf, Cobra and TaylorMade
  • Golfclubhireorbuy.comin Spain only; partnership with TaylorMade, Ping, Nike Golf, Callaway
  • Hrsgolf.com – for those who are in San Diego region (US)
  • Golfclubsforrent.com – only in Ireland: Spalding and Callaway
  • Golfgearhire.com – only in Scotland
  • Clubstohire.com

Why all these important? There are many reasons.

Average rounds played on a golf course in the United States fell 1.1% in 2009, a drop of approximately 300 rounds from last year’s average of 25,000. As I can see from 2006 we are playing less and less. This cause smaller willingness to buy new golf equipments, renew golf course membership, golf players will spend less on golf courses etc.

Merchandise revenue dropped 11 percent in 2009, while revenue from golf fees and food and beverage were down approximately 5 percent. The amount of money spent on golf equipment declined moderately in 2009 amid restrained consumer spending. Probably Acushnet was the only golf equipment company last year who finished they year with positive balance.