Golf News for Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Business

Golfsmith and GOLFZON partnership opening stores in South Korea

AUSTIN, Texas -- Golfsmith International, the world's largest specialty golf retailer, has signed a definitive licensing agreement with GOLFZON Co. to create a premier retail chain in South Korea under the Golfsmith brand. The new partnership will result in the opening of several Golfsmith-branded stores in and around Seoul over the next five years, with the first store expected to open later this year.

Similar to Golfsmith International's North American locations, the South Korean stores will offer an unparalleled merchandise selection featuring the best brands in golf. In addition to clubs, balls, shoes, tees and other golf essentials from brands like Titleist, PING, Callaway, TaylorMade, Cobra, PUMA, Nike Golf, Mizuno and more, Golfsmith Korea locations will offers a wide selection of authentic golf apparel brands and fashions not found in Korea.

According to Korea's Yonhap News Agency, South Korea has around 3 million golfers and more than 400 golf courses despite its land size being smaller than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. South Korea's golf-related market has an estimated worth of more than $15.7 billion.

"We're thrilled about the opportunity to expand the Golfsmith brand into South Korea—where golf has been rapidly growing over the last several years thanks to its strong golf culture and the success of numerous Korean PGA and LPGA Tour stars," said Sue Gove, Golfsmith International President and CEO. "GOLFZON's superb understanding of the local market, combined with our deep industry expertise and OEM relationships, will result in an unmatched retail experience for the South Korean golf consumer."

GOLFZON, based in South Korea and growing rapidly, is the world's premier golf simulation company. In addition to simulation technology and experience, GOLFZON is expanding into golf course management, equipment sales and other golf-related business areas.

GOLFZON CEO Kim Young-chan commented, "GOLFZON brings together golf and technology to create fun and excitement for golfers of all skill levels. Our focus on making golf enjoyable for everyone, and growing golf culture globally, is well aligned with the Golfsmith brand. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership that will deliver a unique customer experience."

Under the terms of the agreement, Golfsmith will provide distribution, merchandise and retail counsel and support in addition to store branding rights; GOLFZON will handle day-to-day execution and overall management of store operations. The alliance allows both Golfsmith and GOLFZON to build a strong collaborative working relationship, while supporting each other in the design, marketing, and development of their joint Korean retail golf operations efforts.

About Golfsmith International
Golfsmith International, based in Austin, TX, is the largest specialty golf retailer in the world operating Golfsmith stores in the U.S. and Golf Town stores in Canada. The business operates as an integrated, multi-channel retailer, offering customers the convenience of shopping through any of its 150+ experiential retail locations or 24/7 shopping at its e-commerce sites, www.golfsmith.com and www.golftown.com. Golfsmith International offers extensive product selection of premier branded golf equipment as well as its proprietary products, club-making components and pre-owned clubs.

About GOLFZON
Established in 2000, GOLFZON is one of the world-largest sellers of virtual golf simulation systems. With over 23,400 systems operating in 30 countries, over 200,000 people play on GOLFZON systems every day including participating in real-time tournaments with other golfers or taking swings at internationally recognized golf courses -- such as those in Pebble Beach, California. For more information about GOLFZON, please visit the company's website at http://golfsimulator.golfzon.com.

Contacts:
Jim Barillo jim.barillo@golfsmith.com 512-493-7824 or Lynn Luczkowski, L2 Communications Lynn@L2comm.biz 860-313-1426