×
51 770
Fashion Jobs
ADIDAS
Senior Manager Buying (Concept Stores)
Permanent · Portland
NEW BALANCE
Loss Prevention Officer (Day Shift)
Permanent · Skowhegan
L'OREAL GROUP
Mgr/sr Manager-Demand Planner
Permanent · Newport Beach
L'OREAL GROUP
Kiehl's Since 1851 - Director of Ecommerce
Permanent · New York
L'OREAL GROUP
Salon Business Partner (Saloncentric) - Troy, mi
Permanent · Troy
ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH CO.
Asset Protection Investigator
Permanent · Concord
OLD NAVY
Asset Protection Lead - Outlts @ Little Rock
Permanent · Little Rock
OLD NAVY
Assistant General Manager, Merchandising - Northcross
Permanent · Huntersville
OLD NAVY
External Asset Protection Lead - Franklin Park
Permanent · Toledo
OLD NAVY
General Manager - Four Flaggs
Permanent · Niles
OLD NAVY
Assistant General Manager, Merchandising - Crossings of Decatur
Permanent · Decatur
OLD NAVY
Assistant General Manager - Festival Mkt@Dogwood
Permanent · Flowood
OLD NAVY
General Manager - Barrow Crossing
Permanent · Bethlehem
OLD NAVY
Asset Protection Service Representative -Sports Arena Plaza
Permanent · San Diego
OLD NAVY
Buyer, Girl's, Outlet
Permanent · San Francisco
OLD NAVY
Asset Protection Agent - Fulton Street
Permanent · New York
OLD NAVY
General Manager - Franklin Park
Permanent · Spokane
OLD NAVY
Assistant General Manager, Merchandising - Brickyard Square (New Store)
Permanent · Epping
OLD NAVY
Assistant General Manager - Eagan Promenade
Permanent · Eagan
OLD NAVY
General Manager - Conyers Crossroads
Permanent · Conyers
OLD NAVY
Asset Protection Manager - Utah
Permanent · Salt Lake City
OLD NAVY
Assistant General Manager, Merchandising - Bradford Plaza
Permanent · Stillwater
By
Reuters
Published
Oct 6, 2016
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

China golf out of the rough? PGA, club maker Honma bet on post-Olympic boom

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 6, 2016

A year after China ordered public officials off the fairways in a crackdown on graft, the business of golf is betting hunger for the game among middle class fans and an Olympic medal for a home-grown star can drive the sport back to growth.

Despite adidas and Nike's exit from the golf apparel and gear market, Honma is betting on China's uptake off the game - Honma


The PGA Tour, organiser of golf's flagship events, says it wants to more than double the number of events on the Chinese mainland as Beijing basks in the glow of a bronze medal in Rio for Feng Shanshan - also a multi-millionaire winner on the international Ladies PGA Tour.

Meanwhile Honma Golf Ltd, maker of the world's most expensive clubs, makes its debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday after a HK$1.26 billion ($162 million) listing, touting the chance of China growth as a key attraction in its prospectus. Feng, sponsored by Honma, also appears in the document - and helped out in roadshow presentations.

"Double-digit or triple-digit growth in the population (of golfers) is very achievable," said Gregory Gilligan, Beijing-based head of the PGA Tour's Chinese affiliate, speaking in a recent interview at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club in Hong Kong, where the China PGA Tour will hold its first event outside the mainland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6.

After years of being unofficially tolerated, golf was officially banned for members of the Chinese Communist Party in October last year during a draconian anti-corruption drive. The sport's popularity took a severe hit, and over a hundred courses closed.

China has since softened its position, arguing earlier this year that golf itself was "not a wrongdoing", according to a report in China Daily, as long as officials pay their way and stick to playing outside working hours, rather than stroll the fairways while during work time on the public dime.

RETAIL SALES SEEN JUMPING

In the meantime, according to Frost & Sullivan, China is primed to be one of the fastest-growing markets for golf products, driven by its growing middle class and rise in disposable income.

Frost & Sullivan estimates the China golf products markets will jump by more than a third to $646 million in retail sales value in 2019 from $469 million last year.

The hopes for growth in China come at a time when the sport has seen player numbers dropping globally, prompting some international sporting goods maker to cut back on golf and focus on other areas.

German sportswear maker Adidas said in May it aimed to sell most of its money-losing golf business including TaylorMade and Adams, while Nike in August said it was looking to the exit golf equipment business.

But for Honma, which will have a market capitalisation of about HK$6 billion ($773 million) the time was right to prepare for expansion in China. Based in Japan but controlled by Chinese businessman and chairman Liu Jianguo, Honma's clubs can fetch as much as nearly $5,000 for a top-of-the-range set, with celebrities including Donald Trump reported to be fans.

"We have to prepare to capture the market in case the demand explodes one day," said Honma's Liu, speaking at a pre-IPO event.

($1 = 7.7574 Hong Kong dollars)

 

© Thomson Reuters 2021 All rights reserved.