Sorry for those that lost their jobs. Retail is a brutal business. I have never been impressed by the PGA staffer at our dicks but ours isn't the biggest store either. He's usually on a smoke break anyway and not around. But I certainly won't generalize all of them based upon him. I'm certain there are lots of good ones out there.
I personally won't buy clubs or most accessories at Dicks. I prefer to support my local shop. And after building a relationship I get better pricing too. The locals are taking a beating by places like Dicks because guys come in and demo stuff on the range, then run buy it at Dicks for $20 less. It's worth $20 to get the service from a local shop IMO.
As far as buying clubs online, never ever. Too much fraud and fakes. It seems timely that the golf channel just did a bit about fake clubs out there bought online.
TM and Calloway are a big problem but consumers must support it as well as shops. IMO Titleist and Ping are on the money. New models every year or 2. It's no surprise that my Dicks doesn't even stock Ping or Titleist.
I think if the golf industry was like archery it would help the little shops better. Who wants to support a big business that isn't invested in a community? Look at the archery equipment at Dicks. You won't see any top line bow from any major mfg. Hoyt, Mathews, Bowtech, PSE, Etc. They will only let their low tier bows be sold there and you can only get Pro series bows from dealers. Even Cabelas and Bass Pro can't get them.
Anyway, I digress. Golf is dying and no one is will to change. The mfg want to make money now with no regard to the future. The players want it their way as cheap as possible.
That's a lot of PGA positions thrown into this bad market. Good luck.
I just recommend not going into insurance sales like most seem to. It's getting just as bad with the all the online deals.