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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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Keegan Bradley Puts Srixon Z-Forged Blades in the bag

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This week at the BMW Championship, Srixon staff member Keegan Bradley switched irons from the cult classic Z745 to the company’s current Z-Forged blade irons.

For most players, an iron change is not something you would do during the playoffs, but when talking to the team at Srixon, Keegan had been trying to replace his set for a little while. The Z745s were getting on in years and with recent swing changes, he was also looking for more consistent numbers and distance control. That’s an impressive request from one of the top-50 ballstrikers on tour

Let’s take a quick look at his stats

  • 12th in Proximity to Hole with an average distance of 34.2″
  • 16th in Strokes Gained Approach with .642
  • 38th in Greens in Regulation at 68.45%

His new Z-Forged Iron setup is 4-PW with Nippon Tour 120 X shafts.

Although Keegan started the BMW Championship in 66th place in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, he still has a chance of making it to the Tour Championship with a solid weekend in Chicago.

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Senior golf: Practical suggestions for lowering your scores

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This is the second article is our senior series. I was away for a while, so let’s get back to helping you seniors! If you missed the first article, take a look.

I live just a few yards from the green of a par 3, and it never ceases to amaze me the number of times I see two shots turned into three. Or more. All golfers, (particularly seniors) looking to cut their scores need to pay attention, not just to putts, but to the simple up and down opportunities that they missed. The par three by my house plays anywhere from 160 to 200 years, has a pond bordering the green on the left, and out of bounds (MY HOUSE) on the right. So it’s not an easy hole, and golfers miss that green all day; but even the poorer shots will come within 15, maybe 20 yards of the green. I see no reason a player should leave that hole with anything more than a bogey. Yet I see fives and sixes more than you can imagine…a chip shot is a very simple shot to learn.

MOST of your senior golf years should be spent chipping, pitching and putting.  Here’s why:

After a certain age. or perhaps when one has played a certain number of years, your golf swing can be changed slightly at the most! By slightly I mean this: Let’s say you are a 15 handicap player, you are hitting around five greens a round in regulation. If you make huge improvement in your swing, you may get to seven greens a round in regulation (the average of a 10-handicap player). That still leaves you 11-12 times per round OFF THE GREEN. Now, it’s true of course that swing improvements can also lead to missing closer to the green, but even here we are talking perhaps a pitch instead of a chip from the edge. BOTH these shots are within the skill set of most any golfer if they think and play differently around the greens. Hitting more greens is not always in that player’s capability, but getting the golf ball in the hole in fewer strokes IS!

I’ll use the green by my house as an example: the green is over 25 paces (75 feet) long. Like most courses, carts are kept on the cart path on all par 3s. I can’t begin to tell you how many players leave the cart with ONE, maybe TWO clubs regardless of the length of the shot. Those clubs are very often a wedge (of some loft) and/or a sand/lob wedge. Again most golfers are short with their tee shots (on all holes not just par 3s). So now they are standing in front of chip possibly 70-80 feet long with a 55-degree club. They either stub it or skull it, leaving themselves in double-bogey (or worse) position. That club selection is like taking a hit on 16 in blackjack when the dealer is showing 6!

Again, I know studies show that ballstriking is primary. Of course, you have to get your swing to the point where you can get the ball in play off the tee, but let me ask this question: when ballstriking is as good as it is going to get, you will still miss plenty of greens. What then? Are you doomed to shoot 94 because your swing cannot change greatly? The answer is NO, if you think better, and learn to hit short shots better. A big change in a golf swing requires time and athleticism. Short shots need technique and feel, but MUCH less strength, flexibility or general athleticism.

As a general rule, I teach most of my students the following priority list when near the green

  • PUTT whenever you can
  • CHIP if you can’t putt
  • PITCH only when you must.

Putting and straightforward chipping or bumping-and-running is a MUCH higher percentage shot. Do yourself a favor and play the shot that you are most capable of NOT the one you’ve seen on TV. Look, you’re probably not gonna hole a chip or pitch, so where do you want to be on your next shot?

Many of you have heard of the “rule of 12.” I’m going to try to explain this as simple as possible and suggest quick math for the course.

  • Pace off the distance you want the golf ball to fly and land two paces (5-6 yards) on the green. NO FURTHER THAN THAT!
  • Let’s say that distance is 4 paces (two yards off the green, two yards to land on the green).
  • Now pace from that point to the hole. Let’s say for the sake of simplicity the hole is 8 yards (25 feet or so) from the landing spot.
  • You have a 2 to 1 relationship of carry to roll.
  • Here’s how to do quick course math in your head: 12-2=10 iron, PW
  • If you have 3X roll vs carry, 12-3=9, iron.
  • If you have 4X roll vs carry, 12-4=8 iron. and so on…
  • This is NOT CAST IN STONE, it is merely a guide.
  • NOTE:  This applies to chipping only; next time I’ll deal with pitching. And course, just like putting uphill, downhill, into grain, down grain etc. have to be taken into consideration.

 Simple drill:  Put a headcover two paces on the green. Chip to it, no further! See what club it takes to reach various hole positions.

No one knows better than a golf instructor of nearly 40 years how difficult it is to get someone to change their habits. I can’t tell you how many times I have suggested people try another approach around the green, and invariably they go right back to their “favorite club.” It’s your choice, but PLEASE practice your short game most of the time!

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Morning 9: U.S. Am, BMW report | Tiger’s start | ROY race

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

August 16, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Round 1 report
AP report on Justin Thomas’ opening-round 65…”On the range, Justin Thomas had no idea where the ball was going. Some five hours later, he had a share of the course record at Medinah.”
  • “Ultimately, all that mattered Thursday in the BMW Championship was taking a good step toward an important goal. Thomas already is set for the TOUR Championship next week and the chase for FedExCup and its $15 million prize. That’s not what interests him.”
  • “It’s about winning tournaments,” he said.
  • “He made his first birdie after hitting a tree on the fourth hole, leaving him a 5-iron he hit to 2 feet. His last birdie was a putt from about 60 feet on the fringe from the back of the 16th green. He did enough right in between for a 7-under 65 and a share of the lead with Jason Kokrak.”

Full piece.

2. U.S. Am
Golfweek’s Adam Woodard on the action from the Round of 16…
  • “The afternoon session on Pinehurst No. 2 began with a handful of lopsided matches, highlighted by Parker Coody’s 6 and 5 loss to Spencer Ralston. Before his Round of 16 loss, Coody had been cruising through match play with victories of 7 and 6 on Wednesday and 5 and 4 in Thursday’s morning Round of 32.”
  • “Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree followed suit shortly after with a 5 and 4 victory over Blake Hathcoat, with 17-year-old junior golfer Cohen Trolio defeating Alex Fitzpatrick by the same margin. Fellow teenager Palmer Jackson, 18, earned a 2 up victory over Isaiah Salinda, who earlier this Spring went 3-0 in match play to help lead his Stanford Cardinal to the NCAA national championship.”

Full piece.

Other matches: Austin Squires topped John Pak…William Holcomb V beat Pierceson Coody…Karl Vilips eliminated Brad Dalke…
3. Green in front
EuropeanTour.com report…”Gavin Green picked up where he left off 12 months ago with an opening 64 to take the first round lead at the D+D Real Czech Masters.”
  • “The Malaysian made his debut at Albatross Golf Resort last season and was one of four players to match the course record with an opening 64 before he went on to post the lowest 36 hole total in tournament history.”
  • “Another eight under par effort handed him the solo lead after 18 holes this time around, as he led the way from England’s Lee Slattery and South African Erik van Rooyen.”

Full piece.

4. Tiger’s start
Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek“On a day when most players were in the Diamond Lane rising to the top of the leaderboard as venerable Medinah Country Club was vulnerable after recent rains, Woods got stuck in the slow lane and got lost in the leaders’ rearview mirrors.”
  • “Woods put his signature to a pedestrian 1-under-par 71 on a day when nearly half the field was speeding along in the 60s. While breaking par was a victory for Woods after he was forced to withdraw from last week’s Northern Trust with an oblique strain, there was little to celebrate.”
  • “Once I got on the golf course and felt how soft the greens were, it’s like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go. We’ve got to make birdies,'” said Woods, who did make three in his first five holes but only one after that. “I didn’t feel any tightness in my oblique at all, so that was a positive, and I just need to clean up my rounds and get going. Seems like the whole field is under par. The golf course is soft. Even though it’s long, it’s just gettable.”
5. ROY race
Cameron Morfit at PGATour.com…”It was hard to miss the symbolism as Sungjae Im, 26th in the FedExCup and the current favorite for Rookie of the Year, stroked putts on the practice green after an opening-round, 2-under 70 at the BMW Championship at Medinah No. 3.”
  • “That’s because behind him, meeting the press after his 5-under 67, was Collin Morikawa.”
  • “…Five rookies have advanced to the 69-player BMW Championship: frontrunner Im (FedExCup No. 26), Morikawa (57), Cameron Champ (58), Adam Long (65) and Wyndham Clark (68).”
6. The fateful call
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”Speaking on Wednesday night as part of his induction into the Western Golf Association’s Caddie Hall of Fame, LaCava regaled attendees with this simple back and forth between him and his current boss, Tiger Woods, circa 2011.”
  • Woods to LaCava: “Are you interested [in being my caddie]?”
  • LaCava: “F*** yeah, I’m interested!”

Full piece.

7. Viktor! 
Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker…”When the PGA Tour regular season ended a couple of weeks ago, former Oklahoma State star Viktor Hovland found himself on the wrong side of getting his card straight out of college, coming up an agonizing 67 FedEx Cup points short.”
  • “Naturally, there was a swell of support that he should be granted one anyway, since in five of his starts he didn’t earn any points because he was an amateur. Among the finishes that didn’t count: A T-12 at the U.S. Open and a T-32 at the Masters. Had he been retroactively awarded those points, he would have earned enough to qualify for the Playoffs and more importantly gotten a card for next season.”
  • “I knew going in that most likely the way I had to make my PGA Tour card was through the Korn Ferry [Tour] Finals,” Hovland said from this week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Ohio, where he continues his quest to earn a PGA Tour card. “So I’m looking forward to getting off to a good start here at Scarlet.”

Full piece.

8. Top instructors on slow play
Digest’s Matthew Rudy chatted with some of the biggest names in instruction about pace-of-play in pro golf…
  • “Jim McLean (Jim McLean Golf School at the Biltmore, Coral Gables, Fla.): It’s a major issue. Slow play ruins golf, whether you’re talking about a tour event or a regular weekend round at a public course. How many tee times is a course losing when a round takes five and a half hours?”
  • “Mark Blackburn (Greystone Golf & Country Club, Birmingham, Ala.): Yes, it’s an issue for the Tour, but I wouldn’t call it a universal issue. So much of it has to do with course design. In the U.S., you’re usually riding, and the tee boxes are far away from the previous green. I walked 11 miles following [student] Chez Reavie in Kapalua. That takes time. A course with water and sand? It just takes longer. They’re not having the same problems in the U.K., where the classic courses have tees and greens that are closer together. You’re playing in two and a half hours over there.”

Full piece.

9. Screw the haters
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”During the Wednesday round he recorded a video for another user’s Snapchat account, which was subsequently recorded and made the rounds in a more public manner.”
  • “In the video DeChambeau remains unapologetic, noting that despite the viral putt he was “never on the clock last week” at Liberty National.”
  • “I’m out here, doing the right thing, having a great time with the pro-am guys, killing it,” DeChambeau said. “And honestly, we’re on these guys’ asses all the time. Last week I played under time par, this week we’ll do the same thing.”
  • …”Y’all can say whatever you want, but we’re having a f—ing awesome time,” DeChambeau said. “So screw all y’all haters, no big deal. I still love you all, even though you hate me.”
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