Golf is a sport played with clubs and balls on a standard golf course. A standard game of golf is generally comprised of nine or eighteen holes on a course that is mapped out and numbered to be played in a certain order. Golfers typically play by having the lowest number of strokes needed per game, this is known as stroke play. The objective is to hit the ball into a hole.
The other form of golf play involves a golfer having the lowest score on the majority of holes; this is known as match play. Golf requires specialized equipment in order to play the sport effectively. Equipment typically includes golf clubs, golf balls, tees, golf shoes, and a golf bag. Golf courses are operated privately as country clubs, or are open to the public for a daily fee. Commercial and municipal courses are the most well-known types of courses. Courses often offer food and drink services, lessons, and equipment rental services. These services, combined with potential membership dues and daily fees, result in the majority of revenue generated by golf courses.
Demand in the golf industry is dependent upon personal income of consumer and population trends. Competition in the golf industry exists between on-course retailers and off-course retailers. Both types of retailers attempt to offer a wide array of products, brand names, and superior customer service. The profitability of the golf industry is reliant upon several factors. These factors include creative product design, compelling marketing strategies, excellent merchandising ideas, and effective inventory management.