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Dick's Sporting Goods Fires In-Store Golf Pros - Page 7

post #109 of 266

My Dad bought me a new Driver and 3 wood from Dick's back in 2005 when I 17 and just starting to get good. Don't remember much about the fitting process but the clubs seemed well suited to me and served me well. But nowadays I buy everything I need off of ebay because I know my needs and simply can't afford the latest and greatest. Only thing I ever buy new now would be wedges. Granted I couldn't really get much at Dick's nowadays because they can't justify stocking extra stiff shafts for clubs that are already overstocked in regular and stiff.

post #110 of 266

I worked as a PGA Professional for Dick's for years before leaving last year. From the inside the real problem was two fold. One, the Pro was limited to 40 hours each week for financial reasons but the store was open for 86 hours. Therefore untrained employees were running the golf department most of the time. At one location the apparel girl whom never played golf worked most evenings after the pro went home. After I took over the department I convinced the store manager to pay a little more to allow me to hire a golf guy. Sales were up 43% by the third month I was there. I even won an award and a contest within the company.

The second issue was Dick's decision to tier their golf departments which basically means most stores had no hope of offering a great selection, technology or expertise to the customer. SHOCKER! Their business plan failed! Short sighted and stupid. It was developed by retail guys that took retail merchandising classes in college but knew NOTHING about golf or how to relate to golfers. Unfortunately my fellow PGA pros are now paying the price for the company's ignorance. Very sad and Ed Stack broke his promise to the PGA of America and the PGA pros he hired.

post #111 of 266

haven't read the whole thread, but i somewhat understand this decision, SOLELY based on my personal experience with Dicks.  I worked there about 6 years ago unloading trucks and filling in occasionally in different departments during the day.  This could be an isolated situation, but the PGA pro at my store was hardly even in the golf department due to understaffing. Granted, he was experienced in retail and helpful to the store on a large scale, so i understand why this may have been how he was utilized.  This particular person was considered a manager and the designated PGA pro.  i'm sure it's costly to employ such a person, as you'd have to pay them as a manager and as the PGA pro probably?  this is pure speculation, but maybe this was common within the company and they decided, for whatever reason, that its better for them to just employ the manager.  

 

disclaimer: i realize this isn't likely to be the widespread situation in the company, but who knows, just a theory. 

 

 

edit: @ncgolfrx just read your post and this was/is most definetely a problem in their business model.  i worked the golf section back then with VERY little knowledge on the subject.  Ironically enough, now that i'm somewhat into golf and understand it much more than the average person, i went into Dicks last week and the only person to be seen was a guy who admitted to me that it was his first day in the department after i asked about impact bags.

post #112 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob0225 View Post

Dicks sells Mizuno clubs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SavvySwede View Post

And titleist, probably ping as well.

Maybe it's a regional thing. They don't sell either of the above brands golf clubs in my area.
post #113 of 266
The only big name iron sets I see in DSG here is TM, Cobra, Nike and Callaway. Seems like they focus on over-stocking whatever the new popular drivers are more than anything. If I see people there demoing clubs it is almost always a driver.
post #114 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by SavvySwede View Post
 

My Dad bought me a new Driver and 3 wood from Dick's back in 2005 when I 17 and just starting to get good. Don't remember much about the fitting process but the clubs seemed well suited to me and served me well. But nowadays I buy everything I need off of ebay because I know my needs and simply can't afford the latest and greatest. Only thing I ever buy new now would be wedges. Granted I couldn't really get much at Dick's nowadays because they can't justify stocking extra stiff shafts for clubs that are already overstocked in regular and stiff.

 

You should watch the last issue of Jimmy Roberts "In Play" about all the counterfeit clubs on the market. It will make you never buy from eBay or a random dealer.

post #115 of 266
It's nothing more than a ploy to get everyone to start buying new clubs again and generate more revenue for golf companies! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find my tin foil hat.
post #116 of 266
it becomes a self fulfilling thing, but things like this are precisely why I won't go to a place like Dicks for anything other than generic sports clothes or equipment. I know plenty about equipment, but I still need someone knowledgeable to talk to before a purchase.

I wouldn't think that I could drop in at Dicks precisely because you can't count on big companies to be steady and long term on anything. I know there was a pro at the local Dicks from several years ago, but DSG never promotesd it, or posted hours or did anything other than the gentleman's name over the golf counter register.

I agree with some of the posters, big company or not, I would not take up the pro's time to buy elsewhere. but no long term investments and because they didn't hit their numbers is why this didn't work and I'd rather go somewhere that has long term in mind.

I've seen this before in electronics. circuit city cut back on all their more expensive and knowledgeable people because best buy ate into them. now best buy gets showroomed from amazon. but one of the reasons they do is that their stores are staffed with people who are told to push crap.

I doubt the pros would do that, but it sounds like Dicks didn't support them enough. a big shame for the 500 plus people. they deserve better
post #117 of 266

mdgolfpro--

 

 

Good luck finding a new gig!

 

And no problem with the rant.  Anybody in your situation needs to blow off steam and the internet is a good place to do it.

post #118 of 266

Last year was Edwin Watts ... bottom line - golf retail is one tough market today

post #119 of 266

Not surprising considering most don't need to buy new equipment every year. The retailers/manufacturers would like us to believe we need the latest and greatest every spring but we don't. Especially when last years gear is practically worthless as a trade or used. That $400 driver they said would get you 15 more yards has a couple more adjustments and is a snazzy new color. Problem is you haven't finished scratching last years game fixer and now it's worth $65.

post #120 of 266

It would be interesting to add a poll to this thread to see if people are more inclined, less inclined, or indifferent to buy from Dick's without an in house pro.

post #121 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

Not surprising considering most don't need to buy new equipment every year. The retailers/manufacturers would like us to believe we need the latest and greatest every spring but we don't. Especially when last years gear is practically worthless as a trade or used. That $400 driver they said would get you 15 more yards has a couple more adjustments and is a snazzy new color. Problem is you haven't finished scratching last years game fixer and now it's worth $65.

They dug their own graves.

 

I actually think there's a silver lining here. I think the recently unemployed pros will better serve the golfing world by giving lessons than selling clubs. Given all the latest and greatest junk that's pushed out every spring, the average handicap still hasn't gone down. Proper teaching beats buying the next best driver to gain 17 more yards into the woods 

post #122 of 266
I usually buy my gear at Dicks. There are 3 locations all within 15 - 25 miles from our house. One of them has a "PGA pro" in the golf section. He is really arrogant and not friendly. The sales guys there are nicer and I usually deal with them.
post #123 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3putter View Post
 

They dug their own graves.

 

I actually think there's a silver lining here. I think the recently unemployed pros will better serve the golfing world by giving lessons than selling clubs. Given all the latest and greatest junk that's pushed out every spring, the average handicap still hasn't gone down. Proper teaching beats buying the next best driver to gain 17 more yards into the woods 

That is assuming they can find jobs.  With the contraction of the golf industry that could be difficult.

 

The other problem is that the reason people don't take lessons has nothing to do, IMO, with there not being enough PGA pros available to give lessons.

post #124 of 266

The turnover is high even at the courses. All the courses I play most have at least one new person in the pro shop this season. I played my home course last night and the kid at the counter was one of the cart shed guys. He said he was just watching the counter until the pro returned from the grill with his food. I'd never seen this pro before and I am there couple times a week minimum. He asked if I had ever played there so he hadn't seen me either and I am first name friendly with everyone there, crazy thing was I stood right in front of him with a course logo shirt and hat on. I think there are 10 DSG in this area and probably more than a hundred courses so they will have options. If they even want to do something like that. There was a job posting for a lower level PGA job at a local course I saw on the city site. The starting pay was shockingly low given the requirements, not much more than the listing for a mower job at the same course.

post #125 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

That is assuming they can find jobs.  With the contraction of the golf industry that could be difficult.

 

The other problem is that the reason people don't take lessons has nothing to do, IMO, with there not being enough PGA pros available to give lessons.

I agree, I think it has to do with cost (I have zero data to back this up), but an influx of new, eager teachers may reduce cost because....ya know....supply and demand...right?

post #126 of 266

To be honest I never realized that each DSG had a PGA member on staff.  The people were always helpful but that is about all I expect from such a large retailer.  Like many, I do my research and then do my purchasing, whether it be at Dicks or a smaller store.  I have bought a couple of clubs at Dicks, but what gets me into the store are the golf ball brands that they manufacture and sell  exclusively with GG (Maxfli and Top-Flite) at great prices.  It is too bad about the pros losing their job which is reflective of the economy and also the false expectation of manufacturers and retailers that golfers would buy new slightly tweaked 460cc drivers every year for $400.

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