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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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Equipment

TaylorMade signs Matthew Wolff to a multi-year deal; Wolff WITB

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TaylorMade Golf has officially announced the signing of Matthew Wolff on a multi-year agreement that will see the 20-year-old play the company’s metal woods, irons, wedges, putter and ultimately, TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball, the TP5x.

Wolff had previously unveiled that he would be making his professional debut at this week’s Travelers Championship, and just as top prospect Collin Morikawa did earlier at this month’s Canadian Open, Wolff will do so as a TaylorMade staffer.

The NCAA All-American and 2019 NCAA Division I individual champion made his debut on the PGA Tour at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year where he finished T50 after opening his week with a round of five-under par.

Matthew Wolff WITB

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (8 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design TP 7TX

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 6.5 TX

Utility Iron: TaylorMade P760 (2)
Shaft: Nippon Modus 130x

Irons: TaylorMade P750 Tour Proto (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon Modus 130x

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Raw (52, 56, 62 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

 

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5 questions with Justin Kinney of Virtual Golf Caddy

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We chatted with Justin Kinney, founder and CEO of startup Virtual Golf Caddy about his product, which serves both courses and players, by offering drone arial photography of golf courses (with graphics overlayed).

While drone photography and videography of golf courses is an established phenomenon, using the photos and video for better course management and preparation is a relatively new approach.

We wanted to learn more about what VGC is doing, and Kinney was kind enough to answer a handful of questions and include an example of the company’s work.

1. Tell us a bit about your background

I am 38 years old, born and raised in Connecticut. Lifelong golfer. Just finishing up my career as a middle school math teacher to focus on VGC full-time. I also have five years of business experience managing people’s retirement accounts. I played as many sports as I could growing up, and love the thrill of competition.

2. What’s the opportunity you saw?

I agreed to caddie for one of my students two summers ago. When researching the courses he was going to play, there was NO info on the courses. I thought there was a huge opportunity to provide course management strategies for players and give players a view of the entire courses with drones. No one was really doing anything like that, so I spent the past two years working on and building my business plan. Two months ago I secured funding to work on this full-time.

3. What is Virtual Golf Caddy, exactly?

VGC is a golf preparation and mental conditioning program designed to help give golfers a game plan to attack courses with. We provide drone views of each hole as well as course management strategies on how to best play each hole. Shot suggestions are given based on how far and confident players hit their clubs. We include mental conditioning tips and exercises to help players “zone in” more often and consistently. We are considering getting into golf fitness and nutrition as well to help build the whole golfer. Players purchase access to each course’s videos and info for either $15 or $25 per course, depending on how much info they want. They get unlimited access to the videos and can watch them wherever (home, airport, hotel, course).

4. What stage is the business in, and can you show us an example of VCG in action? 

We are still in the start-up phase. We are making agreements with and filming at courses. The website is being redesigned and will be up in June. It appears like things may take off quickly so stay tuned!

For an example, check out the video below.

6. What else should GolfWRX members know?

We are looking for courses to partner with. We will give courses free publicity on our site, a promotional video from the footage to use on their site, and share 15 percent of their courses profits with them. A win-win for everyone involved! If readers know of any courses, please email us.

One other thing to add: the mental prep/conditioning program is being built by renowned sports psychologist Bill Cole, MS, MA. It is legit and comes from over 40 years of research and experience! We’re also pursuing options in fitness and nutrition.

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Morning 9: U.S. Open ratings soar | ….and still, calls for Joe Buck’s head | Woodland’s big betting buddies trip

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

June 18, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. U.S. Open ratings up 44 percent
AP report on the big uptick in viewership…”This year’s U.S. Open was the most watched since Fox started televising the event in 2015.”
  • “Nielsen ratings show Sunday’s final round averaged 7.31 million viewers and peaked at 10.17 viewers from 9:15 to 9:30 p.m. EDT, when Gary Woodland clinched his first major.”
  • “Sunday’s final round saw an increase of 44% over last year, when an average of 5.09 million watched. It is the first time since 2013 that the final round has averaged over seven million. The 2013 U.S. Open on NBC averaged 8.4 million for the final 18 holes.”
2. When the U.S. Open returns to Pebble…
Good stuff from Geoff Shackelford with some modest (in a Swiftian sense) suggestions regarding what we could see when the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach in 2027
Here’s one thing he sees when looking into his crystal ball…”This year’s pre-tournament buzz centered around how many holes would require driver. But as a new wave of 5-9, 150-pound super jocks continue to overtake pro golf and the governing bodies cave to their marketing departments instead of regulating distance, players in the 2027 U.S. Open ponder whether to add a sixth wedge to their bag over carrying the big stick. Just days before the event and citing pressure on their business model, equipment manufacturers successfully lobby the USGA for a local rule mandating players carry at least one of their drivers, now priced at $750. But 58-year-old Phil Mickelson, playing on a special exemption, bucks the trend and carries three drivers.”
3. Woodland’s debt to basketball
The New York Times’ Karen Crouse…
  • “Gary Woodland grew up a serial monogamist, in love, depending on the season, with basketball, baseball and golf. He bonded with his father on the golf course, aspired to be like the Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett and had shooting-guard dreams of glory until they were crushed in college by a future first-round pick of the Chicago Bulls, Kirk Hinrich.”
  • “Woodland, 35, was tasked with guarding Hinrich in his first game for Division II Washburn University against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. It did not go well. He can remember thinking, “O.K., I need to find something else, because this ain’t going to work.”
  • “The next year, at roughly the same age that the three-time major champion Jordan Spieth won for the first time on the PGA Tour, Woodland transferred to Kansas and fully committed himself to golf. Sixteen years later, Woodland became the first Kansas alumnus to win one of the four major golf championships.”
4. On Gary Woodland’s equipment…
Golf Digest’s E. Michael Johnson…
  • “It’s in the woods where Woodland gets particularly lumberjack-like. His Ping G410 Plus driver is a 9-degree head that actually measures out at 7 degrees. Only Bubba Watson on Ping’s staff plays with less loft. Woodland’s driver shaft is an Accra RPG 472 with the company’s M5 rating, which equates to extra-stiff, and it weighs 76 grams, again probably 25 percent or more heavier than your driver shaft. But that’s not enough for Woodland. The shaft is “tipped” approximately two inches, which makes it play at a stiffness like a triple-X shaft.”
  • “Woodland was fit for the Accra shaft almost three years ago at the RBC Canadian Open, and he’s used the same specs through multiple heads ever since. According to Accra’s Gawain Robertson, on the range Woodland “hits it farther probably than anyone in the world,” but in a tournament he wants to play a controlled fade. Like most pros, he hates the hook, so by choosing to play a fade, Woodland’s also bringing more spin into the equation. So he is doing everything equipment-wise to drop that spin. Hence the stoutness of the stiffness of the shaft on his driver and the extra-low loft.”
5. Family pleads guilty to Masters badge scheme
Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…
  • “On Monday a Texas family pleaded guilty to federal charges to a scheme involving stolen identities to obtain Masters badges.”
  • “In the tournament’s hometown of Augusta, Ga., Stephen Freeman appeared before a U.S. District Court to admit to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. As part of a plea deal, Freeman agreed to three years in a federal prison.”
  • “Freeman’s sister and parents pleaded guilty to the same crime. However, their pleas called for no jail time. The four will have to pay more than $275,000 in restitution, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine.”
6. Opinion: Joe Buck has to go
West Valentine at Pro Golf Now has had enough…
  • “On Monday a Texas family pleaded guilty to federal charges to a scheme involving stolen identities to obtain Masters badges.”
  • “In the tournament’s hometown of Augusta, Ga., Stephen Freeman appeared before a U.S. District Court to admit to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. As part of a plea deal, Freeman agreed to three years in a federal prison.”
  • Freeman’s sister and parents pleaded guilty to the same crime. However, their pleas called for no jail time. The four will have to pay more than $275,000 in restitution, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine.”
7. Suh sticks to his sticks
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”When Suh turned pro after last month’s NCAA Championship and teed it up in the Memorial Tournament, the flatstick remained in the bag. So did Suh’s other 13 clubs.”
  • “While Suh signed a head-to-toe apparel and bag deal with Puma and a contract with Titleist to continue playing the Pro V1x ball, he decided to hold off on an equipment agreement and continue using his all-Ping setup that he’s used for three years.”
  • “It’s a rare move during a time where the top amateurs are chasing six-figure paydays from equipment companies.”
  • “What I have in the bag is something that I’ve had success with for years, and when I tee it up at a tournament, that’s something that I want in my hands,” Suh said. “I don’t want to look down and look at something completely new. I’m a big believer that the success on the golf course is ultimately going to determine the success you have off the golf course.”
8. Gary’s big betting buddies trip AKA “a little much for some of the guys” 
As told to Jason Sobel at the Action Network…”I went out to Pebble Beach with some buddies. Me and another guy were playing a shamble against two guys scrambling. Each team got three presses. The money got up to where it got to be a little uncomfortable.
  • “Fortunately, though, we were winning.
  • “It’s coming down to the 18th at Pebble and we give them a half-shot on the last hole, just because it got a little out of hand for guys who didn’t have it.
  • “There were a couple of us who could afford it, but we were playing the last hole for $32,000 each. That was a little much for some of the guys.
9. Why Was it Great?
I love this video series from our resident equipment expert Ryan Barath. If you haven’t caught it yet, take five minutes of your life and stroll memory lane…or green as RB discusses the iconic Bullseye putter.

 

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