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Dick's Sporting Goods Fires In-Store Golf Pros

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More than 500 PGA Pros. Not a good sign for the golf industry.

http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/11248733/dick-sporting-goods-fires-more-500-store-pga-professionals

Quote:

Faced with a decline in the golf equipment industry, Dick's Sporting Goods, the largest retailer in the United States of TaylorMade and Callaway products, fired all the PGA professionals that it employed in the golf sections of its more than 560 stores.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but three PGA professionals who were fired confirmed to ESPN.com that more than 500 full-time PGA professionals were let go Tuesday.

"I'm sincerely disappointed that the careers of so many PGA professionals have been hurt today," said PGA of America president Ted Bishop in a letter to the affected employees, obtained by ESPN.com.

Dick's aimed to have one PGA professional at every store to better differentiate the experience from online retailers that try to undercut brick-and-mortar stores. But the economy, the downturn in participation, the decline of Tiger Woods and too many products flooding the market cut into Dick's bottom line so much that the company seems to be giving up on winning the golf equipment business.

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Dang. A few of them are friends. And this seems awfully sudden. Dick's owns Golf Galaxy too.
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That sucks. I stop in at the Dick's by me every now and then to try new equipment, and the pro there has always been pretty helpful. Seemed a bit over extended at times, though. Honestly the selection is pretty limited at Dick's. When I'm serious about making an equipment purchase and need to compare clubs, I'll drive the 5 extra miles to Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith. I guess the pro there really made the experience worth it for me. I guess I'll just skip Dick's from now on.
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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.

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Hate to see anyone lose their job, but that's the way things are these days. Glad I am retired, and don't have to depend on anyone for a payday anymore.

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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.

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I just read it as well. golf definitely has been in decline for some time.   I do think just like anything in life there is ebb and flow.  Golf is going to come back.

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Wow, that really sucks. Feel bad for all of those PGA pros losing their jobs. I don't imagine that job market is great right now. Can't particularly say I'll miss them though.
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That sucks. I stop in at the Dick's by me every now and then to try new equipment, and the pro there has always been pretty helpful. Seemed a bit over extended at times, though. Honestly the selection is pretty limited at Dick's. When I'm serious about making an equipment purchase and need to compare clubs, I'll drive the 5 extra miles to Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith. I guess the pro there really made the experience worth it for me. I guess I'll just skip Dick's from now on.

Ditto here, I only go to Dick's to buy athletic gear for my daughter, and I do that regularly. I never knew they had PGA pros in-store. All my golf purchases are at the Superstore, Golfsmith, or Edwin Watts. I wonder if this is more a reflection of that, rather than a downturn in the industry. Similar to how many mom and pop hardware stores were run out of business by Home Depot in the 80s and 90s or how Target and Walmart did thw same to independent 5&Dimes; and grocery stores.

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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 :beer:

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Fun fact: dicks.com actually redirects to Dick's Sporting Goods's website now. Didn't used to be the case; I learned that the hard way...

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Fun fact: dicks.com actually redirects to Dick's Sporting Goods's website now. Didn't used to be the case; I learned that the hard way...

No pun intended, I'm sure. :-)

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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:
http://http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks-profits/index.ssf/2014/05/post_38.html

Adidas and its TaylorMade division had a variety of spring problems:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303417104579544981225919024

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.

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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

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Sorry for the rant, been a shitty day and I don't appreciate the comments I have read online about golf pros at Dick's all day
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I liked the pro at our local store. He did me more than one solid while he was there. He was fair with trades and always mentioned if there was a trade promo. Seems weird DSG wouldn't try to offer these folks a different position. It wasn't uncommon to see the pro at our location doing more than hanging around the golf section. He helped me find belt lube for my treadmill once.
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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.

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Sorry for the rant, been a shitty day and I don't appreciate the comments I have read online about golf pros at Dick's all day

Best of luck finding your next job quickly, and here's to hoping it's a better deal than the Dick's gig.

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