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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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European Tour announces 4-point plan in a bid to tackle slow play

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On Monday, the European Tour announced a four-point plan aimed at tackling the issue of slow play in the game.

The plan, which will come into effect this November, will focus on four areas—regulation, education, innovation and field sizes.

Of those four areas, notable updates include that players will now only have to breach the time allowances twice in a round to incur a one-stroke penalty, and players who are put on the clock at least 15 times next season will now be fined £26,000 compared to the £9,000 fine they currently face.

In their statement, the European Tour said

“When players are out of position and either being monitored or timed, a one-shot penalty will be incurred after two bad times – currently a player would be ‘monitored’ and if he breaches the time allowance (50 seconds for first to play, 40 seconds for second or third to play) he will then be ‘officially timed’ and would then have to breach twice more before being given a one-shot penalty. Players will, however, have the option to request one time extension per round, giving an additional 40 seconds to hit a shot on this request.”

The Tour will also look to reduce the number of players in the field at events where possible, while rules officials are set to be proactive regarding targeting slow players on the course.

Speaking on the four-point plan, Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, stated

“We are already at the forefront of pace of play management in the professional game, but after being mandated by our Tournament Committee to be even firmer in dealing with this issue, the time was right to take these additional steps.

I believe the plan we are implementing for the 2020 season will bring about meaningful change that will make golf even more enjoyable for the players and our fans, whether they are at the course in person or watching on television.”

To retain their European Tour card, each member will have to pass an interactive online rules test, while a trial pace of play timing system will be implemented at the Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth next month where there will also be larger gaps between start times over the weekend’s rounds.

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Tour Rundown: How the pros (and amateur) got it done this weekend

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The Presidents Cup automatic-qualifying chase came to an end on Sunday. While students returned to schools across the country, and football teams played their 2nd preseason games. 10 USA golfers and 10 World professionals were named to their respective teams. Each captain has two at-large selections to make. For team USA, the unfortunately-underperforming Rickie Fowler may have two weeks for more Farmer’s Insurance commercials, as he finds himself in the #11 slot. Only Tiger Woods’ beneficence will save him from an early vacation. Xander Schauffele left nothing to chance this time around. After being ignored for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick last year, he made the PCup team on merit this year. The World team still has a load of Aussies (4 at last count) but has the presence of golfers from Taipei, Mexico, Thailand, China, South Africa and Japan. This year’s competition at Royal Melbourne has the potential to be quite memorable, assuming that the qualifiers don’t lose their edge over the next four months.

As for individual competition this week, we had lots of it. Playoff events on two tours, a male US Amateur champion to go with last week’s female winner, and a terrific story of rags to riches on the Champions tour. Seize the day and enjoy this week’s Tour Rundown.

BMW Classic

You had to chuckle a bit this week as another of the game’s vaunted hollows caved to the expansive skill of the modern golf professional. Medinah #3 has long been held as a bastion of defense, but this week, well, they ate it up. Hideki Matsuyama shot 63 on Friday for a course record, then did it again on Sunday. Not only did he not win (he had 73 on Saturday) but his course record lasted all of 24 hours. Matsuyama did finish 3rd at -20, 2 shots behind Patrick Cantlay. The fellow who broke Matsuyama’s fresh course record was someone for whom 2018-19 has been relatively quite: Justin Thomas. So quiet, that is had been 53 weeks since his last victory. Thomas blistered Medinah Tres with 8 birdies and 2 eagles on Saturday, moving oh-so-close to the hallowed, sacred 59. In the spirit of generosity, he made bogey at the 6th (after opening with 5 birdies) to not completely eviscerate Matsuyama’s record (and Medinah’s spirit.) Of course, JT would open Sunday with a bogey, to give just a bit of hope to the chasers. He had 2 birdies on the outward nine, steadying the ship but certainly not assuring himself of anything. After making 6 at the par-5 10th (twice as many strokes as he needed 24 hours earlier) Thomas was once again forced to dig deep. In the past, he has been unable to follow up super-low rounds with the needed performance, but he was up to it on this day. The Kentucky lad made 4 birdies over the closing 8 holes to hold off Cantlay by 3.

Nationwide Championship

Scottie Scheffler knew that he was headed to the PGA Tour after this year’s FedEx Cup playoffs. The Korn Ferry Tour playoffs would offer him an opportunity to better his standing, and he accomplished that task during week one of the finals. Scheffler, 3rd place during the regular season, vaulted into 1st on the strength of his 2-shot win over the Killer Bs (Brendan Todd, Beau Hossler and Ben Taylor.) Scheffler played like a seasoned vet, despite his 23 years of age. Scheffler made just 4 bogies during his final three rounds of 68-67-67 at the Ohio State University’s Scarlet course. That miser’s touch separated him from his chasers and gave him his 2nd win of the season. 25 PGA Tour cards were awarded during the regular season, and 25 more will be delivered at the Korn Ferry tour championship on September 2nd. If nerve-wracking putts are your flavor, stay tuned over the next fortnight.

Real Czech Masters

Thomas Pieters reminds you of every great range superstar. His swing exudes control and power, and you can’t help wondering how he doesn’t contend every week. That’s the mystery of golf, but Pieters reminded us why he has played Ryder Cup golf for Europe with a win this week in the Czech Republic. The tall Belgian sat 2 back of Edoardo Molinari after 36 holes, then took charge with a 66 on Saturday. On his heels was the young Spaniard, Adrian Arnaus, who posted middle 65s to stand one back on Saturday evening. The final round was half-shootout, half-stumble. Defending champion Andrea Pavan came out of the woods with 8 birdies over the first 15 holes. On a day when he needed perfection and 10 birdies, Pavan closed with 1 bogey and 0 birdies to tie Sam Horsfield for 3rd spot. Arnaus had three bogies on the day, and 2 of them came on the heels of birdie and eagle. The opposite of bounce-back, Arnaus gave Pieters breathing room with those mistakes. Closing with birdies at 16 and 18, Arnaus reached 18 below par, to put pressure on the leader. Pieters was 4-under on the day through 12 holes, and needed only to avoid disaster over the closing stretch. He stumbled with a bogey of his own at the 16th, but finished with pars to claim his 4th Euro title, 2nd at the Czech Masters, and 1st since 2016.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Open

Sometimes, the right person wins. Doug Barron epitomizes journeyman; he had to Monday-qualify to get in this week, and even has an are-you-kidding suspension on his record … for testosterone supplements. He’s not a big guy, and has low testosterone. He’s not Fred Couples, nor Langer, nor McCarron. Today, however, he is the Dick’s Sporting Goods champion. Barron and Miguel Angel Jimenez began the week with 65s, and Barron never let up. He followed with 68 on Saturday, and came home in 66 on Sunday, for a 2-shot victory. Understand that he had one of the game’s great personalities, and top golfers, on his heels on Sunday. Fred Couples turned in a tremendous 63 to finish at 15-under par, 2 clear of 3rd-place Woody Austin. Couples had the luck of the sleepy on his side: he dunked his tee shot on the par-3 14th hole, took his penalty drop, then chipped in for 3. Staying at the birdie-par timeshare in round 3, Couples had 9 of each to put serious pressure on Barron. How did the unlikely winner respond? Nearly identical to Freddie. Barron had 0 bogies on the day, and only 1 the entire week. The title elevated him 50 spots on the Schwab Cup money list, giving him an opportunity to move into the season-ending, playoff chase over the next 8 events.

U.S. Amateur rests in Ogletree’s arms

Andy Ogletree and John Augenstein were a perfect match in the U.S. Amateur final at Pinehurst. Ogletree was the 18th-ranked golfer in on-site qualifying, while Augenstein was #20. Both have had distinguished careers in college (Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt, respectively) and both were named yesterday to the USA side for the upcoming Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool, in England. In a most unique final, the morning 18 was played on the #4 course, while the afternoon round took place on the #2 layout. During the AM, 10 holes were won by the golfers, while 8 were halved. Augenstein stood 2-up after 18, but Ogletree delivered a warning bell with a birdie at the last. Ogletree returned to the course in identical form, making birdie on the 2nd hole to close within one hole. Augenstein remained in command, as most holes were halved until the 29th. At that juncture, Ogletree seized command with 3 wins in the next 4 holes, moving from 2 down to 1 up. A par at the par-3 17th hole, the 35th of the day, gave the Georgia Tech golfer a 2 up lead with 1 to play, making him this year’s national amateur champion.

In other news, the USGA added 7 golfers to its Walker Cup side. The one surprising move was the naming of Ricky Castillo, #9 in WAGR rankings and winner of 2 matches at Pinehurst, as 2nd alternate. The USGA decided that Steven Fisk and Alex Smalley, both ranked lower than Castillo, were better bets for success. Fortunately for the California kid, he is 18 and should have an opportunity to make both the 2021 and 2023 squads.

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Morning 9: JT! (and other winners) | Why were scores so low at Medinah? | Why Phil nearly missed his tee time

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

August 19, 2019

Good Monday morning, golf fans. If there was ever a golfer built for point-and-shoot golf in wet conditions, Justin Thomas is that man. Power. High apex. Steep swing to handle wet rough. JT always looks like a soft-course specialist on paper.
1 JT triumphant
The AP’s Doug Ferguson…“Justin Thomas had more stress than he needed Sunday before regaining control with four birdies on the back nine at Medinah to win the BMW Championship and claim the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings entering next week’s TOUR Championship at East Lake.”
  • “Thomas closed with a 4-under 68 for a three-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay, who shot 65 and moved into the No. 2 spot in the FedExCup standings.”
  • “Thomas started with a six-shot lead and still led by that margin through seven holes. Three holes later, Cantlay narrowed the lead to two shots with eight to play. Thomas, who earned his 10th PGA TOUR win, answered with three birdies on the next five holes, and Cantlay couldn’t keep up.”

Full piece.

2. Season over for TW
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”Woods provided a glimmer of hope with Saturday’s 5-under 67, but he fell well outside the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings after a final-round 72 Sunday at the BMW Championship.”
  • “…Woods finished the week 7 under overall and recorded his first bogey-free round of the season Saturday. He made back-to-back birdies at four and five Sunday to get to 9 under and provide a glimmer of hope early in the day. But he stalled out from there and just wasn’t able to give himself many birdie looks.”
  • “Now we won’t see Woods again until October, when he’ll almost certainly begin his 2019-20 season at the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan. He’s also slated to play an exhibition skins event that week with Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama.”
3. Meanwhile, among the guys who don’t play for money…
Win one for the bespectacled! 
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard..“Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree defeated Vanderbilt’s John Augenstein 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final match to win the 119th U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst on Sunday evening.”
  • “Earlier this week Augenstein explained his strategy of winning the first six holes, and he did just that, taking an early 4 up lead through the first five holes. Ogletree, a Yellow Jacket senior, was able to weather the storm and eventually cut the deficit to 2 down after the opening 18 holes on Pinehurst No. 4 with a clutch birdie on No. 18. Through the first 18 holes, Augenstein was 4 under while Ogletree finished 3 under.”
  • “For the first time in history, the 36-hole final match took place over two courses: Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4. After a 2 hour break, the finalists teed off on Pinehurst No. 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET for the final 18 holes of the tournament.”

Full piece.

4. A repeat Czech master
AP report…”Thomas Pieters shot a 3-under 69 Sunday to become the first golfer to win the Czech Masters for the second time, beating Adri Arnaus by one stroke.”
  • “Pieters took a three-shot lead after a birdie on the seventh only to bogey the eighth. The overnight leader added a birdie and a bogey on the back nine in the final round to finish on 19-under 269 for his fourth European Tour victory, and his first since the 2016 Made In Denmark tournament.”
  • “I felt like I was in control today, almost the whole day and I kind of did my own thing,” Pieters said.

 

5. …and at the World Invitational…
BBC report…”Stephanie Meadow earned an emotional home win at the World Invitational in Northern Ireland after holding off England’s Charley Hull by one shot.”
  • “Solheim Cup star Hull had a four-foot eagle putt on the 18th to draw level but missed as Meadow, 27, holed out for par to take victory at Galgorm Castle.”
  • “Playing in her first pro event in Northern Ireland, Meadow’s level-par 73 gave her a 10-under-par total.”
  • “Jack Senior beat Matthew Baldwin in a play-off to win the men’s event.”

Full piece.

6. Scottie!
Golfweek’s Dan Kilbridge…”Scottie Scheffler already earned his PGA Tour card by finishing in the top 25 of the Korn Ferry Tour regular season points list.”
  • “He carried that momentum into the first of three Korn Ferry Tour finals events and won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.”
  • “There are 25 PGA Tour cards available in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals series, while 25 were handed out for the top points finishers at the conclusion of the regular season. The top 75 players in the regular season advanced to the Finals, along with PGA Tour players who finished 125th-200 on the FedEx Cup Points list.”
  • Scheffler shot 4-under 67 in the final round Sunday at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course for a two-shot victory. He totaled a 12-under 272 for the week and finished two shots ahead of Brendon Todd, Beau Hossler and Ben Taylor.

Full piece.

7. Why so low? 
Plenty have been wondering why so many red numbers (and four course records) were posted at Medinah…
PGATour.com’s Mike McAllister reports on the matter…
  • “It doesn’t matter what golf course it is. You give us soft good greens and soft fairways, we’re going to tear it apart,” Thomas said after his 11-under 61 that included two back-nine eagles. “It’s just how it is.”
  • Indeed, the conditions this week have essentially left Medinah defenseless. Rainy weather has softened up the course, turning greens into dartboards. The wind on Friday came from a different direction than the first round, throwing a few players off, but for the most part, it has been a non-factor.
  • When Finau first stepped on the course Tuesday for his first practice round at Medinah, he never expected the birdiefest that has developed.
  • “I was almost convinced single digit was going to win,” Finau said his 68 on Saturday – his highest score of the week. “It’s a long golf course. I felt like it was going to firm out. Obviously hasn’t firmed out.

Full piece.

8. Phil and the phire
Wild stuff made wilder by Mickelson breaking the news on Twitter… 
  • “Mickelson said on Twitter that lightning struck the hotel where he was staying, leading to an evacuation. One problem: He was staying on the top floor, his clubs were in his room and his tee time at Medinah was approaching.”
  • “Kind of a funny deal,” Mickelson said after ending his season with a 71 to fail to reach the Tour Championship. “The building got struck by lightning right above me and blew out a brick chimney and caught fire a little bit. There were 10 fire trucks. I got in my car and left and couldn’t get back. The roads were closed and the hotel was closed.”
9. Have modern drivers made the game too easy? 
Golf Channel’s Will Gray on some noteworthy remarks from one Adam Scott
  • “…But in the Aussie’s eyes, the scoring this week highlights a glaring issue with the current state of the game. Scott pointed to shorter layouts like Colonial and Harbour Town as examples that length is not synonymous with challenge, and believes that the task required of top players has become overly simplified.”
  • “If you require us to shape tee shots to get it in play, I think we’re going to struggle,” Scott said. “We just play straight. Everything straight. And if you had to draw a driver to get it in the fairway, down where you want to be and long, then I think we’re going to see different scores. But while there’s an option to go over trees and go over bunkers, it’s just relentless.”
  • “The driver is the most forgiving club in the bag now. You swing as hard as you can and get it down there far, it’s not skillful. It’s not a skillful part of the game anymore.”

 

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