- A quick glance at price tags on golfing gear can make you wonder whether golf is the most expensive sport on the planet.
But, Do You Know Why Golf Apparel Is So Costly?
There are 4 reasons:
1. The overused “rich man’s sport” stereotype
Golf is consistently portrayed and even marketed in golfing blogs and every other outlet as a sport for the rich.
Showing Tiger Woods or Donald Trump and a couple of celebrity friends together in one of his many golf courses playing a match does a lot to popularize it as a reserve of the wealthiest in the society.
The perception towards golf is very much the same as people have towards luxury brands.
Brands are built to have a certain meaning to the specific target audience. It all starts and wraps up with what the audience thinks – or, more precisely, what the brand can inspire buyers to think.
If you market stuff towards people in a certain social class, the price needs to match that specific class.
The exact way you would find a $20 HUGO BOSS sweatshirt to be odd, a $20 golfing polo shirt doesn’t make sense either.
2. The influence of logos and status symbols
Not all golf apparels out there are expensive but most of them cost an arm.
Like anything else with a logo on it – be it a brand name or any other status symbol – you get overly inflated prices. Fashion apparel in high streets is priced almost the same as average golfing apparel.
The issue here is that brands always want to make the most out of their trademarks depending on how they market them.
For example, you may have learned by now that the cost of producing an iPhone is about a quarter of what the eventual buyer pays.
Many people associate that bitten apple logo with status and they are willing to part with huge sums of money for a slightly more than average smartphone.
Much of the money you spend on an iPhone, therefore, is used to acquire a logo!
If you are just looking for a bag you can get one that costs next to nothing.
However, if you want an LVMH bag it will certainly cost you a king’s ransom.
The same logic applies in the world of golf apparel and pretty every other golfing merchandise.
If you stop at any golf pro shop, all the apparel you on display have famous brand names on them: Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc.
This means the brand factor will have a big influence on the price.
Also, such things as the club crest or logo mean you will want to acquire the merchandise as a souvenir for your visit to the golf club.
For that reason, don’t be surprised to pay as much as $100 for a golfing shirt.
A downtown store would offer a similar shirt at $45 minus logos and all that other extra stuff.
3. Manufacturing processes and technologies
Firstly, it is worth mentioning that all sporting apparel undergoes unique manufacturing processes and comes with certain technologies that aren’t commonplace in average fashion apparel.
These technologies are geared towards performance and comfort for players.
Apparel makers spend a lot of money on research to come up with those technologies.
A close look at a golf polo shirt reveals such assertions as:
- No-Stink Zinc™ technology (aimed at inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the material)
- Aerofiber™ Technology (for wicking the moisture)
- Breathable, moisture-absorbing fabrics
- Something like “Two-Tone Mesh” made from 100 percent recycled polyester mesh
- Lightweight Lux Tri-Blend materials
But, “why is basketball or soccer apparel cheaper than golfing shirts even though both come with these technologies?”, you might ask.
The difference is in how the apparel is ordered or sold. In soccer, for example, the clubs order apparel for their teams.
The fans buy the apparel from the club as replicas but they are the same most of the time albeit with minor alterations.
The players don’t buy it – the club caters for everything.
So, the soccer team simply asks an established maker like Nike to come up with the best design of the apparel (or “jerseys” as they are referred to in soccer) for their players before the start of the season.
It is up to Nike to decide the kind of technologies to incorporate with their own money.
And since the teams normally order them in bulk, the maker gets to reap the benefits of the economy of scale, reducing the cost per shirt.
Therefore, although the cost of research for such things as sweat-absorbing technologies can be high for Nike, the fans get to buy them at low prices as a result of the aforementioned economy of scale.
A soccer jersey costs about $70 sometimes lower but it depends on the size of the club’s fanbase.
Another reason why apparels in other sports tend to be cheaper has something to do with the low profile of some makers.
A soccer club can ask a not-so-famous apparel maker like Umbro or Kappa to produce the apparel for the team and fans.
This removes the influence of the fame of the brand on the price.
Things are slightly different in the world of golf.
Here, golfers buy their apparel directly from the maker often with zero involvement of their clubs.
This means that all the costs of production and research for technologies are passed down to the average golf player or fan.
That’s why Adidas shirts, for example, having undergone the same manufacturing processes and incorporating the same sweat mitigation technologies, bear different price tags across different sports (soccer and golf in this case).
4. Golf Apparel Is Durable
You don’t get to replace your golf apparel as frequently as you would in other sports.
If you buy genuine apparel from one of the recognized brands, and you care for it, there’s a good chance it will last as long as the rest of your golfing equipment.
Also, most golfers don’t show up on the course often. The fact that you won’t wear your apparel often means it won’t wear out fast.
The price of the apparel, therefore, tends to be higher because it is very much a one-off purchase.
Five Ways To Save On Golf Apparel
Golf apparel doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.
You will be surprised with how easily you can save some good money on every piece and still end up with the quality apparel you deserve
1. Go for…ahem! Secondhand apparel
First off, we’d like to inform you that penny-pinching won’t make you look good among your golf peers – this is “a sport of the rich folk.”
However, if your wallet doesn’t permit you to go for the new and original gear, don’t be afraid to sneak out and buy second hand apparel.
Some of the equipment and apparel worn by participants in golf tournaments often end up in secondhand shops inside or on the fringes of the gold course.
That doesn’t mean they are low quality – they’ve just been worn once or maybe twice.
These items won’t cost you a lot of money and can keep you going until you can afford new gear.
2. Wait for clearance sales
I realized that this trick works for almost all sporting equipment across different sports.
If you want to buy several items at dirt-cheap prices, lie low until the end of the season of your specific sport of interest.
That’s when most stores look to get rid of the season’s inventory to pave way for the next season’s merchandise.
The fact that this occurs every year means you don’t really need to stress yourself buying the same apparel at high prices at any other time.
Take a glance at this clearance sale at PGAtoursSuperstore.
3. Look for discount stores
Rather than stop at Nike or Under Amour store or buy from your club’s stores, go searching for discount stores that sell golfing gear from top brands at cheap prices.
You can start at GolfDiscount.com.
Such establishments as Rock Bottom Golf and Golf Galaxy don’t disappoint.
4. Don’t Overlook Amazon
You probably shop Amazon for almost everything from home appliances to gifts.
The best thing about Amazon is that they deal in every imaginable fast-moving product, so you are guaranteed to find apparel that suits your taste.
You stand to save up to 40 percent off select gear including apparel.
Even better, if you are a frequent Amazon Prime member, you will receive free shipping meaning you will have your new apparel at home within two days!
5. Try out “one-day deal” websites
These sites offer golfing gear and apparel at steep discounts but not all the time.
The trick is to keep an eye on them and always be ready to paunch on a deal that pops up. For example, the deals at Big5 last for just 24 hours.
If you put together the stereotype of golf and the influence of brand names, you end up with ever-expensive golf apparel and gear.
Fortunately, such stores as Amazon and GolfDiscount make it possible to acquire these items at more affordable prices.
Do Golf Retail Prices Fuel The “Rich Man’s Sport” Stereotype?
Why is golf so expensive? An Important Reminder