More than 500 PGA Pros. Not a good sign for the golf industry.
Did they provide any real value to the store? To be honest, I never knew they employed PGA professionals at their stores.
This quote from the article:
"Young people entering the game after high school, 18- to 30-year-olds are down 35 percent in the last 10 years. So I don't like where the game looks like it's going."
In my opinion, it's going to continue to drop if the community can't get a handle on cost and pace of play.
Damn, I think my cousin was the pro at the Clackamas, Ore. store. I haven't spoken with him in more than 30 years and have no desire to anytime soon, but I feel bad that he's likely out of a job.
This dude always bounces back somehow, though. He's had a bunch of jobs at high-end clubs all over the country and was once the director of golf at English Turn in New Orleans until an ugly incident that involved the cops on New Year's Eve about 15 years ago.
That's too bad.
I had no idea that Dicks Sporting Goods even had PGA pros in their stores. I've never shopped there for golf equipment. I'll buy balls, tees, bags, anything besides clubs anywhere (even Target), but I've only bought clubs at golf specific stores.
Plus there is a Golfsmith AND a PGA Superstore closer to my house than the nearest Dicks, so there has never been a reason to go there.
EDIT: LOL, I nearly said the exact same thing as @Gunther
I hope I didn't contribute to this by getting my Callaway X20 Tours reshafted instead of buying new irons.
As suggested, the arms race between Callaway and TaylorMade could hurt the standing of both with retailers. TM, with perpetual wave of new products, had winter double whammy of supply chain problems and merchandise glut. Here's a May article on the golf slump:
Adidas and its TaylorMade division had a variety of spring problems:
Talked to a Callaway official a few weeks ago, and he say his company was moving to stretch the product cycle.
As someone observing from the sidelines, it's interesting how things have shaken out the last two years:
Dick's bought Galaxy in 2007, but kept GG as a separate operation. Idea: Operate two sources of golf equipment out of the same supply chain. The Dick's golf sections I saw in different states never matched up to the GG operations. (I purposely went to Dick's and GG's when I traveled).
Dick's golf sections sometimes had ardent and well-meaning golfers as player's reps, but not very well trained: I usually knew more about the new gear than they did. Other times Dick's had a guy on loan from the baseball/softball section working the floor. The most memorable in-store PGA pro was a little overbearing, with a "shut up and buy SGI" attitude.
Dick's seemed to have more in-stock variety in drivers and FWs than in irons - most of the on-shelf irons seemed to be SGIs and legacy models. (Legacy = reissued prior models w/ often Uniflex shafts, such as Callaway XHot.N14 and TM Burner 2.0).
Galaxy had wider selection of clubs, and more knowledgeable personnel.
New ripple: Sports Authority - local store for years had 40' x 40' node with golf clubs - mostly SGI and boxed sets, majority of bags stacked 16 feet high in wall racks, and an 8 x 12 hitting bay (no electronics). Now, the store moved, and the new site has a golf section with more floor space than your average Dick's golf area. No hitting bay yet, but selection now equals what you would find at Dick's.
Have any of you seen Sports Authority expansion in your area?
Back to the in-store pros. As a former caddie, it bums me out to hear all those guys and gals are out of work.
I am one of those 560 PGA Professionals looking for a job as of 12:00 today when I had to call my wife and tell her the news. I am sorry you aren't going to miss us, it's nice to know I busted my ass to try and give my store the same feel I had at the green grass level my entire career to our customers at Dick's but clearly it didn't matter. All you cared about was getting your plastic tees and cheap golf balls, begging for discounts etc.
I won't miss you either
Well, I had a very good experience with the pro at my local Golf Galaxy the last time I bought a new set of irons and just about six weeks ago when I bought a new driver. So, there's one good story.
Golf pros seem similar to executive chefs. When the restaurant or store is flailing, they fire the highest priced employee and hire somebody cheaper with less qualifications.