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Dick’s Sporting Goods may close many of its Golf Galaxy stores

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Things seem to be going from bad to worse for the golf business at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

While the dust is still settling from the company’s massive layoffs of more than 500 PGA pros in July from all of its nearly 600 stores, Dick’s suggested during its second-quarter earnings report that it might close a substantial portion of its more than 80 Golf Galaxy stores over the next three years when leases end. In addition, the company will consider closing or not renewing leases for underperforming stores.

While same store sales for Dick’s Sporting Goods increased 4.1 percent, same store sales dropped a sizeable 9.3 percent at Golf Galaxy this past quarter.

The restructuring of its golf business cost Dick’s $20.4 million in the quarter, which ended on Aug. 2, including $3.7 million in severance charges due to the layoffs and the consolidation of Dick’s golf and Golf Galaxy corporate and administrative functions.

“We have eliminated specific staff in our golf area within our Dick’s Sporting Goods stores,” said Edward Stack, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “These changes are necessitated by the current and expected trends in golf. We will invest these cost savings into other aspects of our store operations and into the growth areas of our business.”

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John Lahtinen is a Connecticut-based writer with nearly 20 years of experience involving news, media, communications, higher education, PR and marketing. He has been playing golf forever and is still finding unique ways to ruin a good round. Adding to his confusion, he plays both right- and left-handed.

76 Comments

76 Comments

  1. chris

    Jan 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    There are several reasons these stores are losing money. They are too big. Too many clubs, too much inventory, crappy clothing designs, etc. They are paying big lease payments for square footage they don’t really need. They have too much staff, most of them are hitting balls in the simulator or at lunch or screwing around in back, not selling product or being productive at all. Nobody needs to go into a store and look at a huge wall of golf clubs, some that you can’t even see or reach. Taylormade comes out with a ridiculous amount of golf clubs, most if them are junk. Jetspeed ? Really. Superfast ? Rocketbladz ? Aeroburner ? These all came out in the last 2 years !!!! Thats not even half of their line. Callaway is just as bad. The prices on these clubs is a joke. The perceived value from the customer is very low. $400+ for a driver is stupid. The shafts are worth less than $100 RETAIL and that leaves the heads being valued at $300 ? No thanks. All you have to do is wait 6 months and you can get them at half price, or you can buy used for an even better price. Thats what people are doing now. Nobody buys new when it first comes out unless its an Xmas gift or it’s someone very wealthy and they don’t care. Its a select few. Slim down the stores and have the people that work there be real golf experts, not these dorks that stand around and act like they are a golf salesman. Stop releasing $400 drivers and $1000 sets of irons every 3 months, everybody in golf thinks its stupid and makes your company look like a joke. Titleist is the only one that have a clue, and their technology is a bit behind the times, yet their clubs hold their value better than anything.

  2. Kevin

    Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I bought my Ping clubs online and they were sent from Ping in AZ. I also sent some back a year later for work. They are not counterfeit clubs as Ping confirmed the S/N before I could send them for re-work.

    So even Ping clubs can be purchased on a discount online if you look. I saved $200 over any Golf Smith or Golf Galaxy. If Amazon sold them, I would buy from there before any store. That’s just the way it is today.

  3. BillyO

    Aug 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I have bought plenty of clubs online mostly on ebay and have never got a fake. If you look at the sellers stats you will know if they are real. Many are pro shops. However I must add that the deals seem better but are really not much better and a driver will normally nor come with a headcover and the wrench and shipping. By the time you add it up it is about the same price. I have also bought clubs at Dick’s and they were great service and fixed any problems. When it comes to things like golf shoes you can not beat online they can be as much as 40% cheaper on name brands but buying new drivers or irons better off paying more at gold retail sites.

  4. FTWPhil

    Aug 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Shop a Golf Headquarters near you!

  5. KM

    Aug 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

    My son is an avid golfer. He said that the comment by Bart Wallace is accurate. Many people buy clubs online and think they’re getting a killer deal. The clubs look like the real thing but the performance is nothing like the original. My son believes that counterfeit products are the main reason golf stores are struggling. The old adage still applies – if something is too good to be true… Check your serial numbers.

  6. Carl Paul

    Aug 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

    GolfWorks was once an independent company but acquired by Golf Galaxy. Then Dicks acquired Golf Galaxy. I wonder what will happen to GolfWorks. Originally a component company but of course that market declined precipitously. Wonder how Dicks can justify holding on to GolfWorks?

  7. Bart Wallace

    Aug 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    In regards to equipment pricing, if you are buying anything new or even year two of a product’s life, the pricing is regulated by the manufacturers and ALL retailers have to be at the same price or else they risk penalties from the manufacturer. So if you or your buddy got some great “deal” from an online retailer on these clubs, odds are it’s a fake so good luck with that as counterfeits are everywhere online and to the naked eye they look good too. The only true “deals” that exist are once a product is no longer made by the vendor and they want to clear out of their inventory, then stores can price it how they wish. This is where the industry has gotten in trouble recently, manufacturers have overproduced thinking that each next new club will be the new “IT” item, meanwhile, as each one fails to meet that lofty goal, they have to mark it down to move through it, thus creating too much inventory and lowering the profitability for all parties involved. Just think about how little a Ford dealer & manufacturer would make if they released 3 new Ford Escapes each year with no differences in engines, performance, or gas mileage, but rather just new colors and a few new custom options…

    • Fsu baseball

      Aug 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Not entirely true. I’m in the business and ping is the only company that sets price restrictions and will suspend accounts for violations. Titleist strongly suggests but doesn’t enforce. Tmag,Callaway,Cleveland,mizuno,Adams etc. they all just want to pump up your volume and couldn’t care less what you discount it to.. Let’s all understand one thing. There is no money in clubs. After shipping most of us are lucky if we make $85 on a $400 driver or $140 on a $800 set of sticks. The online guys have no lease payments and very little payroll therefore they can afford to discount and make close to zippy on clubs cause it all adds up and all they have to do is ship them out. Example. SLDR irons are $799 for 8 steel set. Wholesale is $630. Online guys can go $699 and charge you for shipping and be happy with $70 profit where retail stores can’t or staff would not get paychecks and the lease would not get paid.

  8. Bobby

    Aug 24, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Stores need to be as competitive as online retailers with their prices. I personally don’t buy clubs online, but I can see why people do. When you can save $100-$200 on a set of new irons that cost $900+ online shopping has a huge advantage. Money talks

  9. Nash Carr

    Aug 24, 2014 at 9:18 am

    GG even sells the SAME products for less on their website which undercuts their own brick and mortar stores. Went GG went into having MORE clothes (higher profit margins) than actual golf equipment the signs were on the wall. It’s all about showing a higher margin. I know guys who work at GG and they are actually discouraged from custom ordering anything for people, they are trained to try and steer you to the off the rack stuff as it has a higher profit margin. Before Dick’s bought GG it was a cool store; after it has went downhill ever since. A year ago I called it that they would start closing stores and now they are.

  10. mike m

    Aug 24, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Paramus NJ GG—I agree, the old store had an unreal staff. I would go in every week looking for used clubs for over 5 years ( they always had really great prices and some real steals) Staff was super friendly and all called me by name.

    New Store, what a joke. So overbuilt, totally sterile, no comparison and the prices on used are ridiculous.

    Dick’s plan really blows–Lost me for good

  11. Jeff

    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    The GG closed in my neighborhood about 6 months ago. I am really down on the golf club market these days. Clubs haven’t really had any improvements worth the full retail investment of new clubs IMO. I think we need to see some pricing competition in the club market. The market is flooded with clubs and they are always at the same price point across the board.

  12. Tom

    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Golf Galaxy hasn’t even profitable since 2002.

  13. John

    Aug 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    John:
    Maybe I missed it on the earnings report, but I did not see anything about closing stores. GG has closed at least 10-12 stores within the past few years due to underperforming stores and not renewing leases.

  14. Jeff

    Aug 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Our local Dicks Sporting Goods here in Columbus GA has a good golf department. Sales are always great and the store Pro knows what he is doing. Balls are always on sale and the bargains are pretty decent. I’ve been shopping at the Columbus GA Dicks for golf equipment for about 8 years now and it’s been a good experience for the most part. The previous Pro was not friendly at all but the current guy is good. Bought a few nice marked down fairway woods at a real low price recently so I have no complaints. Also bought a seriously marked down Odyssey putter which is working great for me. No complaints with this Dicks golf department. Got a pair of Puma Golf shoes for $19.99 closeout. Beat that one.

  15. Rwj

    Aug 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    They are filled with clothing. Clothing that is priced so ridiculous you just shake your head. $75 for a pair of FJ shorts? $60 polos and $50 belts. The material cost + child labor cost in Indonesia does not warrant such high prices

    • Craig

      Aug 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Try $95 TW polos and $79 UA polos. $60 is the “sale” price.

    • Fundy

      Aug 24, 2014 at 1:32 am

      RWJ,
      No, the slave labor costs do not justify the high prices, but US tariffs and marketing fees do cost and arm and a leg in the US, and the umbrellas for the CEOs and their retirement plans do too, as do gas prices…

    • Dreg Golf

      Aug 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

      I want to see golf clothing and shoes DIE as a market. $80 for a shirt….hahahahhahah. Get real. Back in then70s and 80s no one cared what you wore or played, it was how you played. I’d like to see golf get back to that instead of some worthless fashion show…where some 90s shooting hack parades around in his full getup cause he ain’t got no game, but acts the part.

  16. Seriously?

    Aug 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Couple things to remember when we’re hating on GG.

    1. Lots of us go in to demo all of the clubs we want on the simulators, only to buy elsewhere, usually online.

    2. Why complain about pricing at GG? They have price matching services for 30 days after you buy something as long as it’s from an authorized retailer. You find it cheaper? Tell them and they’ll match it.

    Everybody complains about the price of the items but I wonder how many actually say anything or know the policies?

    And if you go in to the store to try things and you buy it elsewhere, you are exploiting someone’s sales model to your benefit. The local shops are great, but many don’t have the resources to offer full launch monitor fittings, nor are some of the sales people at these shops up to speed on the new stuff. And while they might come down on certain clubs, plenty of them are breaking the rules from Titleist and PING when they go below the price set by those.

    I believe a few online retailers even got their accounts pulled for doing this.

    Like anything in retail, people make the experience good or bad.

    • Don

      Sep 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Agreed. Besides how do buy a custom fit club on line?

      • David

        Oct 14, 2014 at 9:23 am

        Easy:
        1. Go get fit at a local retailer.
        2. Order custom clubs through Golfsmith or The Golf Warehouse. I’m sure other online retailers offer customization as well.
        or
        2. Search ebay/classifieds for used clubs with your specs.

  17. randywildman

    Aug 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I was in the Portland GG the day they found out it was being closed. The people who worked their were is total shock. The Dick’s news coming 8 months later is not a shock after seeing the people at GG having the rug pulled out from under them.

    I feel bad for the people who work in these mega golf shops, with so much overhead it’s hard to keep moving it, every 3 to six months when the new gear comes into replace the old.

    My kids did like the GG putting green though.

  18. BJ

    Aug 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm


    Where did it say this? I read the entire report and listen to about 80% of the conference call for investors. Didn’t hear store closings once. You may glean what you want from the report, but suggesting and confirming are two different things.

  19. Connor

    Aug 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Golfsmith just opened up in my town. Beats the heck out of our Golf Galaxy. Better staff, better simulators, similar prices. GG is a ghost town now that GS has come to town.

    • Chuck

      Aug 23, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      I don’t think you have ever shopped or ordered anything from GS. What are you smoking? Demo clubs are demo clubs. Older models get tape on them when you hit them. Their website only ships out new equipment. I have never heard otherwise from a legit source,

      • Mcgraw

        Aug 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

        TJ,

        You must have had one bad deal, I would give them another try because they really are a very good company. I personally have bought a ridiculous amount of stuff there and never had a bad situation.

        • Gonzo

          Aug 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm

          Too bad Tj’s rediculously asinine comment got deleted!

  20. EJ

    Aug 23, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    In about a 3 mile stretch of Butterfield Road in Chicago’s western suburbs, there’s a Dick’s, PGA Superstore, GG, and Golfsmith. Too much supply for 7 or 8 months of demand.

    • Clark street

      Aug 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Good for us. Bad for them

    • Chuck

      Aug 23, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      That is a real nice Golfsmith!!!

    • Tom

      Aug 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      That golf galaxy is 100% closing before the next calendar year. I know the GM and he was told 2 months ago. So that area will be a little less diluted

      • EJ

        Aug 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        I’m surprised that GG has stayed open as long as it has. That strip mall has terrible entrance/exit traffic patterns.

    • Don

      Sep 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      My old stomping grounds. I was back for a visit (from Vegas) and went in to the new PGA store. I wondered how long it would take before it put the other out of business.

  21. JM

    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    They already closed the 2 stores in the northwest. Portland recently, and Renton, south of Seattle was short lived, was only around for a year or two before becoming a Dick’s. Interestingly enough Dick’s is expanding out here even though those stores are dead in general, not just golf sales.

    • hdymnstr

      Aug 24, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Yes but we also have great local golf chains like Puetz’s and Pro Golf Discount.

  22. steve

    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Who cares if they close all of them. Golf is a niche sport, the Tiger effect is over. Golf will go back to where it was before Tiger. It is not the end of golf, the bubble has popped. And all the expansion done during the Tiger effect is collapsing. Economy 101 supply and demand. Too much supply, not enough demand. Bad business model.

    • Martin

      Aug 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      I agree, that plus the newer 8 month product life is killing it,

  23. Marc Duncan

    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Golf equipment is over saturated, and we all know what it’s really worth, especially with the short release cycles. I wish they would go back to 1-2year cycles on equipment.
    and get the big box stores out of the business, except for entry level stuff.

  24. enrique

    Aug 23, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Golf is dead. It’s going full circle. Back to the 70’s when it was your grandfathers sport.

    • Marc Duncan

      Aug 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Well, since I was born in 61, I am my grandfather! LOL
      And honestly, if we could get some of the decorum back, I’m ok with this.

  25. nikkyd

    Aug 23, 2014 at 10:15 am

    The one positive thing i can say about golf galaxy is that they at least use trackman for fittings.(the store i was at anyways) . Dicks uses some kind of hachikawa flightscope cheap assed thing and the balls they have are maxfli rock hards. Funny how basically the same company uses two different kinds of equipment

  26. Dan

    Aug 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I went to GC last weekend the prices for used clubs made Golfsmith look cheap.

  27. John Lahtinen

    Aug 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

    As always, you guys are making some great points. I wonder if you feel smaller, almost “boutique” style golf shops are the way of keeping the game personal? It seems as though the smaller shops where the pro knows you by first name and knows your game was once the way it was done. While I know there are still many, many of these great businesses across the country, it almost seems as though as some of you have commented, golf retail has gone the way of Amazon, Dick’s, etc. While each I’m sure offers benefits, they don’t seem to be able to provide that personal touch that a smaller shop can. It would seem the major way the big box stores like Dick’s and GG can keep people coming in is the same old reason, they can undercut the smaller guys on price. But, much like buying a car, if you are basing your decision solely on the lowest possible price, you might not be getting the best possible product each time.

    Wondering where you all prefer to spend your dollars and also would love to hear about some great local shops in your area that you have had great experiences at.

    Thanks for the great feedback and insight.

    • Tom

      Aug 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      I agree with you 100%. My friend went to golfsmith to buy a set of irons. He knew what club he wanted which was rocketbladze which were on sale. The sales rep at golfsmith was doing his job I guess by trying to sale him the new and the next best just came out te SLDR irons. He tried and told the rep he hated it. The rep than had an reaction that he punched him in the gut like this guy doesn’t know anything!

      The rep goes away and talks to he’s manager saying this guy aint buying anything I’m not paying attention to him and proceed to help others that clearly stated they are not looking to buy though my friend informed him he wants to buy a new set of irons.

      My friend was heated and told the managed I will not buy these irons if this guy that “helped” get any kind of commission. He didn’t do a damn thing to help him decide or give him any numbers to compare.

      I think it’s always the same if you go to any big box stores regardless of what they sale. My father own a small business and the only reason he has the same customers coming back is because he build the relationship and trust amongst his customers for them to come back again. Like you said he is very friendly and go beyond his duty to make sure they have a great experience just like many small business that are successful.

    • Hunterdog

      Aug 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      John – interesting issue and question. I always try to give my pro my business and am willing to pay a little more to do so. That being said, that business is mostly soft goods (shoes, gloves, balls, apparel, etc.). I don’t buy a lot of clubs and care about the manufacturers’ cycles. But when I do, I prefer to be fit a professional fitter with Trackman, outside facilities, and who is not wed to just a few brands. I have been willing to drive 3 or 4 hours for a fitting. My pro just can’t justify that expense. I am confident that he appreciates my business and I still spend a fair amount with him and I am open with him about my club purchases. In my boutique golf world there is nothing at Dick’s, Golf Galaxy, Golfsmith for me, except window shopping.

    • Don O'Brien

      Aug 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      I’m 64 and LH. No one at the local GG is even capable of fitting me – or because I don’t fit the floor models. Titleist and Ping custom ordered are my best option. After having an in-stock driver pushed at me, only ever going back for accessories. I have the top Titleist fitting center in WI nearby, and I have gotten great fittings to none of the standard sets, and even got pricing better than MSRP. Just have a hard time convincing friends that “My Clubs” work best for me – they still want Rory’s or Bubba’s driver. Cherokee also brought in the Titleist Tour Van, and those guys were magic fitting me for wedges.

  28. Joe

    Aug 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

    This isn’t surprising considering how terribly they’ve handled the launch of their new flagship store in Paramus, N.J. Their old store was personable, helpful and friendly. This new one is like shopping in a dick’s. They have 8 or 10 hitting bays, plus 4 manufacturers fitting bays and when I went in there at 11:30am on a Tuesday to work on my 3 wood search, only 1 bay was being used for a fitting and the rest were empty. Another gentleman and myself grabbed a club and stepped in to hit (the standard bays, not the manufacturer ones) the new Pro there came over, asked us if we were doing fittings and when we said no, he told us he needs us to move along then because these bays were only for fittings. So with 12 or 13 empty hitting bays, we couldn’t use two for a few minutes! The smaller staff in the old store was terrific and for that reason, I used to exclusively buy any of my off the rack stuff there. Now this superstore has really pushed me away from them. The staff at the PGA store across the street may be useless, but at least they don’t turn me away.

    • Docx

      Aug 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Drive about 23 minutes to THE TAPPAN GOLF CENTER…. the pro shop there, NOVOGOLF is awesome. Full 300 yd range, all top shelf. Awesome new restaurant/tap room. Golf Heaven. Top 25 Pro Shops in America, Top 100 golf facility, Golf Mag AND Golf Digest top 100 Fitters, Top 25 Custom Shop, Master Builder and Fitter, IN HOUSE SST puring, State of the Art Putter Fitting, and every top shelf shaft in the world….Edel, Machine, SAM Puttlab, Epon, Miura, Callaway, Titleist, Ping, Exotics, etc. No Crap only the best staff and gear.

    • JC

      Aug 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Did you go in and ask for help or like everyone else just go in and bang balls for an hour like most? I know the staff there and the biggest problem going on there is all of freeloaders that come in to practice on their lunch breaks every day and don’t buy anything. The launch monitors cost serious money and people go in and get ” free” info and don’t always purchase there. It’s not a driving range for those who are to cheep to go buy a bucket of balls and work on their game. everyone wants something for free or thinks they are entitled to something for free. the staff there has more training then the rest of the GG stores combined, especially the PGA Professional there, go in and ask for help don’t just help yourself, trust me they are the best at what they do there!

  29. Double C

    Aug 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Worst store ever.

  30. Dave

    Aug 23, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Golf Galaxy feels like a clothes, accessory and apparel store that happens to sell clubs. They give you the worst value on trades and try to sell at MSRP on all clubs. It’s not rocket science why this model is failing for them especially during a time when being more competitive is imperative due to the decline in market demand. Perhaps they should rethink the model rather than blindly closing stores?

  31. Mat

    Aug 23, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Agreed with the thought of just stop selling stuff at Dicks other than balls.

    Golf Galaxy is the big ol Best Buys of the late 90’s. They are, by their design, going to offer a substandard experience in today’s much more custom environment. They need to take a look at what brings people in (demo selection), how to get them to buy (expedited custom ordering), and make them confident about those purchases (reasonable fitter quality).

    You can’t do that in warehouse sized stores.

  32. A

    Aug 23, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Amazon should buy Dick’s and store it all

  33. RG

    Aug 23, 2014 at 1:45 am

    People are still buying golf equipment from a store? Hmmm. I wonder if these people still have cords on there telephones?

    • JH

      Aug 23, 2014 at 4:08 am

      Good luck buying equipment online when you have no idea what fits you or what performs the best for you.

      • Larry Ness

        Aug 24, 2014 at 6:40 am

        I managed a GG for many years. Folks would come in and spend all day hitting the “new clubs” want a free fitting, then go buy it on line because they could save a few bucks. You people all talk about wanting personal service, but have no loyalty what so ever when you receive it. Good luck when all the stores close and all you will be able to do is find clubs on line.

        • Dreg Golf

          Aug 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

          Like it would matter to z99.9% of the hacks out there anyway! Hahahahhahah hit some balls, read /watch some instruction…take a lesson. The rest is feel good fluff. I say if a place allows you to hit it and then you can find a better deal…then to for it. If GG or Dicks can’t make em an equivalent deal, then tough….they ought to go it of business!

      • JC

        Aug 27, 2014 at 8:43 am

        Couldn’t agree with you more, I know GG charges $50 for the fitting and they wave it if you buy from them, can’t get fit online. I would pay the $50 anyway just for the expertise and time, , I tipped the fitter there the $50 for his time after my fitting, quality experience.

    • Alex

      Aug 23, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Well, if you’re experienced enough,when it comes to golf equipment you always try before you buy

    • Darius cabaddy

      Aug 23, 2014 at 6:46 am

      I stopped into a local Golf Galaxy just yesterday to search the pre-owned bin (I’m wireless by the way). You could drive a Mini Cooper through the entire store and not hit a display or clothing rack. They still had plenty of product, but you could really see how much they used to jam into the store.

      It will be interesting to see how retailers adapt to consumer buying preferences because this is happening throughout all brick and mortar retail businesses.

  34. Chuck

    Aug 22, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Good riddance

  35. storm319

    Aug 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Not a bad business decision to close low performing stores that are not profitable. Would not be surprised if they are trying position GG to be sold (which may not end up being a bad thing).

  36. Billy Joe

    Aug 22, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Went into Dick’s to get some balls and the shelves barely had anything on them and many of the balls were in boxes that were taped shut! Place is garbage.

  37. Johnny E

    Aug 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    i agree, Dicks should get out of the golf business and leave that to Golf Galaxy, the one in Durham, NC is awesome.

  38. TW

    Aug 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Price,Price,Price …….with the internet prices cutting the big box stores by sometimes 25% on the day a new item is released, its almost impossible for stores to compete for golfers who spend money each season. Most of these golfers will demo the item, check the numbers and either order direct from the manufacture if custom or go online and get the stock setup at a big discount…. It is easy to find and verify the authenticity, just follow the “if its too good to be true” logic and youll be fine. I think in todays economic times the key word is discount and the Dicks is always the last store to give those out.
    Plus there is little to negotiating prices with Dicks. The only reason I might shop at Dicks is for a Titleist glove and some tour balls, nothing more

  39. Joseph

    Aug 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Not really surprised. Many of the Galaxy stores have the same layout and shopping experience that they had 10 years ago. They literally do nothing other than restock the shelves every year with the new stuff. Business today changes so quickly. If you’re not in tune with your customers, you’re dead. The small local shops are better at relationships and understanding what customers are really interested in. You don’t need 10-15,000 square feet to accomplish that. The industry is due for a shake up.

    • Jeremy

      Aug 23, 2014 at 12:44 am

      Agreed. Roger Dunn in West LA is probably the best retail experience I know of. Knowledgable staff, fantastic return policy, great used selection, 5 simulator stations, and honest prices. I once broke a club and while they sent it away for warranty service they gave me a comparable gap wedge from the used clubs to play with until mine was repaired. I have long drive contests with the staff without buying a thing sometimes. Basically, it’s a nice place to spend an hour.

      Yes, like everything nowadays their prices are higher than what I can find online. But the experience is better, and worth the extra cost. I won’t buy many things in retails stores anymore, but golf gear will always get me into the building. It’s a business model that should be able to survive, but maybe not on the scale of a sporting goods megastore like Dick’s/Golf Galaxy.

  40. Danny

    Aug 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Love PGA Superstore!

  41. Ken

    Aug 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I have generally bypassed Dick’s to head to any other store. It always seemed they were tepidly in the golf biz.

  42. Bert

    Aug 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Went into Dick’s in Pensacola yesterday to purchase a golf bag. They didn’t have the one I wanted or anything similar. Also the retail clerk was rude and lacked a desire to answer my questions. Really sad to think Dick’s may believe they should be in business. I’ll shop elsewhere! Also perhaps Disk’s should remove 90% of their golf merchandise and keep Golf Galaxy open?

    • Robin

      Aug 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      While Dicks Sporting Goods is the leader in most sporting goods sales, Golf Galaxy has the experienced and most knowledgable staff, especially their PGA Professinonals who give lessons, fit equipment, and consistently show their professionalism to the customers. I love my PGA Pro at the Devon store. If I need golf equipment, I prefer Golf Galaxy. If I need other sports equipment, I go to Dicks.

  43. Sully

    Aug 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    It is unfortunate. But retail in all areas, not just golf..Must evolve as internet sales increase…

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Morning 9: (People’s) Champion Golfer of the Year | BK on J.B.’s pace of play | Xander vs. R&A? | Portrush triumphant

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com; @benalberstadt on Instagram)

July 22, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans.
1. Champion Golfer of the Year
Look, you watched Shane Lowry win The Open by six strokes, holding his never to improve by upon the margin he started Sunday at Portrush with by two. No need to recap that. Instead, let’s check out some of the fantastic writing inspired by Lowry’s hoisting of the Claret Jug.
For example, this passage from Tom English at BBC Scotland…
  • “…The 16th is infamous around here. It’s called Calamity Corner for a reason. Lowry, though, was in a place where nothing could hurt him. He was kicking for home and preparing for victory. Still a steely focus, still in his bubble. It’s impossible to know if Lowry heard it, but on his way to the 16th tee a Northern Irishman shouted out at him: “You’re doing us proud, Shane.” Us.”
  • “Through the sunshine of Saturday and the brutality of Sunday, Lowry was serenaded. He wasn’t south or north, he wasn’t Catholic or Protestant, he was Irish. He was their guy. He was the one they transferred all their passion and all their love to when Rory McIlroy exited on Friday.”
  • “Through Lowry, they united. And it was powerful. Back in the worst days of The Troubles, the people trying to build bridges were always horribly undermined by those trying to blow them up. The badness always got more projection than the goodness.”
2. Lowry’s day in the sun was windy, rainy for pretty much everyone else
Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”The final round of the 148th Open Championship will be remembered for Shane Lowry’s fairytale victory and the sordid horror stories that many of his pursuers will recall with strains of bemusement and bewilderment.”
  • “Royal Portrush was as mendacious as advertised on Sunday after three days of general hospitable appeasement. All it took was a strafing wind out of the southwest – the wind most oppressive on the Dunluce Links – to provide the kind of necessary accouterment.”
  • “…It’s not that the weather that moved in over the Causeway Coast and Glens was more severe than anything most competitors had seen before. But as Russell Knox explained after shooting a 77: “We’ve played in worse rain. We’ve played in more wind. But it was on the biggest stage on a demanding course. So everything is kind of highlighted.”

Full piece.

3. BK won’t blame J.B. 
Per Golfweek’s Steve Dimeglio Koepka (who finished tied for fourth after a final-round 74) had this to say about his exceedingly deliberate playing partner…”J.B. had a rough day. J.B. is a slow player. I know it’s difficult with the wind, but I didn’t think he was that bad today,” Koepka said. “I thought he was all right. There were times where I thought it was slow. There’s a lot of slow guys out here.”
  • “What I don’t understand is when it’s your turn to hit, your glove is not on, then you start thinking about it, that’s where the problem lies. It’s not that he takes that long. He doesn’t do anything until his turn. That’s the frustrating part. But he’s not the only one that does it out here.
  • “But like I said, it wasn’t that bad today, it really wasn’t. It was slow, but it wasn’t that bad for his usual pace. It was relatively quick for what he usually does.”
4. Leaning on Bo
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”Lowry needed someone to talk to Sunday afternoon.”
  • He knew he was lucky to escape the first hole without significant damage, dropping just one shot to Tommy Fleetwood by making a bogey putt of significant length. All afternoon he held his lead, and all afternoon thoughts persisted about how bad it would hurt to see it slip away in front of his countrymen. Some of them were faces he recognized from back home in Clara, County Offaly.”
  • “Enter caddie Brian ‘Bo’ Martin.”
  • “He was unbelievable today,” Lowry said. “He kept on my back all day, kept talking to me, he kept in my ear. I kept on telling him now nervous I was, how scared I was, how much I didn’t want to mess it up. All I could think about was walking down 18 with a four- or five-shot lead. And lucky I got to do that.”
5. John Bradley’s bad Sunday
Golf Channel’s Jay Coffin…”Holmes began the final round in third place and in the penultimate group with Brooks Koepka. He shot a final-round 87, seven shots worse than any other player, and tied for 67th place, beating only three players who made the cut.”
  • “The first shot of the day flew left off the first tee and into the internal out of bounds. He reloaded and opened with a double-bogey 6.”
  • “By the time Holmes made the turn, he shot 41 and was well out of contention. But the next nine holes were much, much worse than the previous nine.”
  • “Holmes, 37, made triple bogey on the par-4 11th hole, then followed it with a double bogey on the par-5 12th. After two more bogeys over the next four holes, he closed with consecutive double bogeys on the final two holes to shoot a second-nine 46 and a 16-over 87.”
6. A relatable champion
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch…”Only his exquisite command of a golf ball distinguishes Shane Lowry from any Irishman you’d get from central casting. He is a dry wit, is fond of a pint, is colorful with his language, is devoted to his family and is a stranger to the gym. He looks like a man more likely to be guarding the Claret Jug than having his name engraved on it, but he’s undeniably a man you’d want to be drinking from it with.”
“Lowry grew up just 130 miles from Royal Portrush, a journey of four hours across Ireland’s backroads and, crucially, the U.K.’s border. That’s why Lowry can escape the yoke that has often been draped on the shoulders of Northern Irish natives who make a name in the world beyond. Unlike Rory McIlroy, he need not navigate the binary bigotry of Northern Ireland, and isn’t asked to declare an allegiance, Irish or British. In a place consumed with identity, he is someone fans can simply identify with.”
7. Take us back to Portrush!
So pleads Golfweek’s Forecaddie...
“After all, players have given their thumb’s up, as The Man Out Front’s colleague Alistair Tait reported. And R&A officials on site all seemed giddy about the venue, openly gushing about ticket sales and mostly pulling off a successful operation. The club members, other than having their phones ring off the hook with golfers wanting to experience one of golf’s best courses, struck TMOF as quite pleased they hosted and sounded ready for another.”
  • “Golf architect Martin Ebert, the club’s consulting architect who was doing his best to take in the proceedings in between congratulations for deftly touching up H.S. Colt’s design, told The Forecaddie that meetings this week will determine what went well and what needs work. Topics may include adjustments to Ebert’s new 7th hole, the internal out of bounds that killed Rory McIlroy’s week and a few other intriguing restorative elements held back from the pre-2019 preparations.”
8. Xander vs. the R&A?  
ICYMI: Xander remained unhappy over the weekend about his (driver’s) failed test (he did delete a couple of tweets on the subject though)…
Geoff Shackelford…”At issue: Who went public or even leaked news of Schauffele’s Callaway Epic driver failing a COR test for “spring like effect”?
  • “Schauffele says it was the R&A, host this week and one of two governing bodies in golf. But assembled media and fans were unaware of the issue until the world No. 11 spoke following Friday’s second round. While there were rumblings of failed tests on the grounds, according to Schauffele, within the “traveling circus” of pro golf the failed test was known. One player jokingly heckled Schauffele, and he blames the R&A.”
  • “It is an unsettling topic,” Schauffele said. “I’ve been called a cheater by my fellow opponents. It’s all joking, but when someone yells ‘cheater’ in front of 200 people, to me it’s not going to go down very well.”
9. Other golf stuff!
On the LPGA Tour…(AP report)Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura ran away with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on Saturday, shooting an 11-under 59 in best-ball play for a six-stroke victory.
  • At the PGA Tour’s alternate event, the Barbasol Championship, Jim Herman fired a final-round 2-under 70 for a one-stroke win over Kelly Kraft.
  • Kristoffer Ventura won on the Korn Ferry Tour.

 

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Not even gaoth and basiteach could stop Lowry’s march to the Open Championship

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In Gaelic, gaoth is wind, and basiteach is rain. Don’t ask for a pronunciation lesson, however. Neither of those elemental forces offered much opposition to Shane Lowry, in his essentially, wire-to-wire victory in the 148th playing of the Open Championship.

10 years after he won the Irish Open, as an amateur no less, at Baltray, Lowry came to Royal Portrush and held off Tommy Fleetwood to win his first major championship.

We’ve identified 5 keys to victory, and are pleased to relate them below. It was a glorious week in Portrush, and our return should not be too far off in the future.

1. The atmosphere

In Scotland, it’s the craic; in Ireland, it’s the shebeen. That wondrous, celebratory mood that transcends age, weather, and any conceivable obstacle. Lowry withstood a short, missed putt in 2009, and here he was again, a decade later, in similar circumstances. Eager to lay away the burden of his 2016 US Open loss to Dustin Johnson, Lowry breathed in the environment with enthusiasm. Eschewing a Saturday evening of monastic contemplation, he and his caddie went out for a pint or two. It was the craic and the shebeen that carried him on its shoulders, to victory.

2. The quick starts

There was no doubt that Brooks Koepka’s caddie, Ricky Elliott, had much experience going round the Portrush. Trouble was, Brooks didn’t. His putting abandoned him for four straight days. In complete contrast, Lowry appeared to make every roll in site, until Sunday. By then, no one was making putts. Have a glance at these starts for the burly Lowry:

  • Thursday: -2 through 7
  • Friday: -5 through 8
  • Saturday: -2 through 7
  • Sunday: -2 through 7

Never once did he get off with a struggle. 11-under par each day, heading to the back nine, was a whale of an advantage. Many will point to the glorious birdies he made over a closing hole or two, but it was that knowledge that the outward half was his, that doubtless buoyed his spirits.

3. Grace while scrambling

It would be fitting that, in some dialectal variation of a communication system, the word Lowry or a derivative, meant Big man with soft hands. His driving was exquisite all week, but in order to secure birdies, he needed to chase it on here, bump it on there, flop it on here, and roll it up there. The launch pad made no difference: short grass, thick stuff, or sand. Lowry was on point from start to finish. If it were a Ryder Cup year, the European captain would doubtless search for a partner for the Irish Hagrid. As it is, they have plenty of time to figure out how to use this latest weapon.

4. Consistently great play

Not once all week did Lowry make a fortunate bogey. Even as he gave a shot or two away  (8 bogies in total, 5 in the final round) he was never on the brink of disaster. Near as the cliffs and the causeway were for some, Lowry never dance along gravity’s edge. The entirety of the week was an artisan’s master class. Fortunate us, we have the video to review, to review what Lowry taught us in real time.

5. The fan support

There’s a difference between atmosphere and fan support. Atmosphere is for the fans, and can distract the player if he allows it. Support needs nor writing nor speech; it is felt by the intended recipient and utilized to will shots toward their target. After Clarke, McDowell and McIlroy gave evidence that they would not challenge for the title of Champion Golfer of the Year, Lowry became a de facto Ulsterman. And why not? County Westmeath borders County Cavan, and the later is one of the 3 non-Northern Ireland counties of Ulster. There was great affection and appreciation for each competitor this week, but a special warmth was reserved for the eventual champion.

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5 things we learned on Saturday at The Open Championship

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On Saturday, the Royal and Ancient announced that tee times would be moved up on Sunday, in anticipation of, well, British Open golf weather. Cue head scratch and chin stroke. At least the organizers didn’t opt for split tees or some other, silly-American addition to the game. On Saturday, we again watched the ebb and flow of Royal Portrush. The “strike early and hold on late” mantra that has characterized this tournament.

On Saturday, we marveled at one man’s near-mastery of this wondrous, Harry Colt design, whose absence from the Open Championship rota must never be repeated. To limit ourselves to five things learned is lamentable, but it is both burden and duty. Accordingly, here are the 5 things that we learned from Saturday’s 3rd round of the Open Championship.

1. European golf fans are marvelous, while American ones have much to learn

“Ole, ole ole ole” is the most supportive thing you can hear on a golf course. Not bah-bah-black sheep, err, booey, not mashed potatoes. Today, the “ole” was replaced with “Lowry,” in tribute to the Irish champion. There is community in European events, and much as they want their golfer to win, they support everyone who plays proper golf. There will be no appeal here to the wags who insist on cementing their unfortunate place in history as burdensome; instead, we tip our cap to the great golfing fans of Northern Ireland, who carry all who compete on the wings of appreciation.

2. Shane Lowry is happy to dream a dream

Don’t wake him just yet, thank you very much. Another 24 hours of this hypnagogic state will suit him well. The Irishman had 8 birdies on Saturday, for 63 and 197. He has 19 birdies and a mere 3 bogeys on the week. He sits at 16 shots below par, 4 clear of his nearest pursuer. No, it’s not over. It has barely begun. Royal Portush has shown that it will cede a low score to great golf, so a 62 is not out of the realm of the possible.

In truth, perhaps a dozen golfers have a chance, but you would be challenged to find a better selection of challengers. Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood are four Englishmen who would love to lift the Claret jug in triumph on Sunday. Brooks Koepka, J.B. Holmes and Rickie Fowler represent the American contingent who hope to spirit the trophy away to a distant shore. And lest we forget, the young Spaniard, Jon Rahm, continues to take steps toward the highest echelon of championship golf. Above them all sits Lowry, current occupant of the Iron Throne. He has lost a final-round lead in a major event before. Sunday will give him a chance to demonstrate all that he has learned in the interim.

3. Brooks Koepka blueprints major championship golf

Speaking of Koepka, he’s still here. He birdied 17 and 18, just as viewers and fans were convinced that this tournament had left his domain. Only the envious and the haters (cousins to the envious) find fault with his golf game. They attempt to marginalize his skill set, focusing in desperation on his power, calling him one dimensional. In truth, we haven’t yet seen his best. He has reached -9 with a B+/A- effort at best. If the cylinders that fired for Lowry on Saturday, find their way to Koepka’s engine on Sunday, he will claim the title. It’s not possible to say that confidently nor currently about any other golfer than him.

 

4. Tommy Fleetwood will have his major opportunity on Sunday

The Englishman did what he needed to do on Saturday, to secure the coveted pairing with Lowry in round 4. Fleetwood made 5 birdies on the day, and didn’t threaten to make worse than par. The only difference between his round and that of the leader, was his concluding run of 6 pars. Reverse hole 15-17, and Fleetwood sits at -15, while Lowry resides at -13. Fleetwood has been accurate as a laser this week, and he will need to repeat that performance from both tee and fairway, to give himself a chance at victory.

5. What will the weather bring?

Wind, for one thing. For three days, competitors have dictated the shape of their shots. On Sunday, that right will not be theirs. Winds from the left, from the right, from every possible angle, will demand that golfers play shots low, under and through the gusts, to reach their targets. Rain, for another thing. The moisture will thicken the rough, allowing balls to drop deep into the native grasses. It will cause shots to squirt sideways, perhaps down a ravine, perhaps worse. If what is predicted, comes to pass, we’re in for an entirely-new tournament over the final 18 holes.

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