With trendy new designs and a range of fairway-friendly features, smartwatch manufacturers appeal to young golf fans.
The move comes as golf is increasingly seen as a popular hobby of young Koreans. People between the ages of 20 and 40 make up 65 percent of novice golfers, according to data from screen golf company Golfzon, and people aged 44 or younger accounted for 41 percent of golf-related transactions at second-hand service provider Bungaejangter as of September this year .
In response to this growing market, Samsung Electronics has launched a cheaper Galaxy Watch called the Galaxy Watch 4 Golf Edition, priced starting at 299,000 won ($ 250). The watch contains the Smart Caddy App, which provides “distance and stroke history of 40,000 golf courses around the world”. Satellite maps and “automatic hole information recognition” are also some of the functions.
So far, Samsung has only offered the Smart Caddy app for its premium model at a price of 770,000 won.
The company “is lowering the price limit to appeal to Millennials and Generation Z who seek reasonable spending,” said an industry insider from the smartwatch industry anonymously.
Last month, KT started offering a service that allows Galaxy Watch 4 Golf Edition users to make calls or text messages without having a smartphone in hand. The telecommunications company has also partnered with golf product brand Callaway and golf apparel brand Clove to offer discounted golf products to smartwatch users.
In April, Garmin, which sells golf smartwatches, launched the Approach S42 digital watch with an easy-to-read 1.2-inch color touchscreen display for entry-level golfers and includes the AutoShot lap analyzer that tracks and records shooting distances.
For both Samsung and Garmin, the new versions are part of an ongoing effort to break down Apple’s lead in the smartwatch market. From the second quarter, Apple controls the smartwatch market with 28 percent, according to Counterpoint Research. In third place is Samsung with 7.6 percent and Garmin in fifth place with 5.8 percent.
Garmin is also targeting female golfers with a rose gold-colored smartwatch.
The colored product “is a model with a sensual design and innovative functions and is aimed at golf beginners who want to enjoy the pleasure of elegant rounding,” said a spokesman for Garmin.
Online services for young golfers are also becoming increasingly popular.
The number of users of the mobile AI-based golf booking service from Kakao VX, a screen golf company, has reached 1.08 million since it was officially launched in June 2019.
Kakao VX offers “a one-stop service from booking custom golf courses to getting traffic guides and getting home,” said a company spokesman, adding that the company plans to expand the services to include automated payments.
At Bungaejangter, the number of golf transactions doubled this year to 200,000 by September, which is a doubling compared to the same period last year. The total transaction amount was 29 billion won.
“The demand for affordable golf equipment and clothing is increasing as the number of novice golfers increases,” said a spokesman for Bungaejangter.
“Unlike the older generation who played golf for business or relationship building, Millennials and Generation Z use golf as a channel to express their personality through eye-catching golf apparel and products,” said Oh Sang-yup, a researcher at One Research Institute of KB. Financial group.
BYKIMKYUNG-JIN, JINMIN-JI[[email protected]]