Report: Golfsmith considering bankruptcy

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On the heels of Nike's announcement that it is getting out of the golf equipment business comes a report that a prominent retailer of golf clothing and equipment is considering filing for bankruptcy.

Bloomberg cited "people with knowledge of the situation" in reporting that Golfsmith International, an Austin, Texas-based chain with approximately 150 stores, is considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it looks for a new owner.

According to Bloomberg, Golfsmith has hired investment bank Jefferies LLC to solicit buyers for the chain, and has hired professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal to help it restructure.

“The company’s management team is focused on strengthening the company and its business operations to maintain and expand its position as a leading golf retailer,” a Golfsmith spokeswoman said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg. The company “has engaged financial advisers to explore potential strategic initiatives,” she said.

“Golfsmith currently has the necessary liquidity to pay the company’s financial obligations as they become due,” she said.

The report represents the latest example of a difficult economic climate for golf. On Wednesday, Nike announced that its golf division will no longer manufacture or sell equipment, including, clubs, balls and bags, instead concentrating on its apparel and footwear business. Adidas, owner of the TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth golf brands, has been trying to sell all or some of them.

Golf participation is down in recent years. According to the National Golf Foundation, the number of players in the United States declined to 24.1 million in 2015, down from 25.7 million in 2011.