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Terrible Golfsmith & Golfmart Experiences


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#1 J-Rod11

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

I went to Golfsmith today. I wanted to hit some of the new drivers, and figure out what shaft/loft I need on my driver now. My driver swing has improved quite a bit over the past few months, and changed some as a result. I need to get a new driver, and move away from my 11* driver. After I hit a few balls I walk over to see what the chart says for my ball speed, launch angle, etc. I click on the icon on the computer to pull it up. In walks this 22 year old kid, and says, in the most smartass attitude "Sir, I know our other associate has already told you not to touch any of the equipment. We have all of these signs posted for a reason . . blah blah blah. There are now several other customers standing around watching.

He has not once looked me in the eye the entire time he's spouting off this little rant of his. He then walks into another bay. I then followed him to the other bay and said "Excuse me. I don't apprecaite what you just did. One of your other associates actually told me it was ok to do what I just did. I don't appreciate being accused of something and belittled in front of a group of people. Perhaps you should get your facts straight next time, rather than insulting a customer in front of other customers." I didn't shout it in front of other custmers either, I walked over to him and said it quietly. Of course, he still did not look me in the eye.

I spoke with the manager on my way out of the store, and all I got was the usual "I'm sorry, we certainly hope you werent humiliated" with the clear subtext that he had no interest in actually doing anything about it at all.

-----------------------

We then went to Golfmart, where it was made very clear that if I wasn't a single digit handicap who was there to try out blades, I wasn't worth their time.


Has anyone else had terrible experiences at "brick & mortar" golf stores? Of all the places that should be extremely focused on customer service right now, it's a brick and morter golf store, who's prices are often hundreds of dollars higher for equipment than online retailers. I would gladly spend a bit more money for quality service, but these two stores have essentially made a lifetime internet buyer out of me.

Overall, my experience today, and other times I have been to golf stores, is that of self-righteousness and arrogance. Is this common?


On a side note, every time I have gone to Dicks, every single person who has ever helped me has been extremely courteous.

**End Rant**


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#2 Hookshot33

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

In my experiences with my local golfsmith, I've found that the employees who work there know much less than I, and probably ~75% of people on this site, know about golf and equipment. I do my best to say "hey" when I walk in and leave it at that. They know, too, that I'm not interested in having them hawk over me while i browse so it's a win-win. But I can definitely see something like that happening because more often than not, those guys don't have a clue and work there simply b/c it's a job, and not a passion.

#3 mgoelz

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:56 PM

They recently opened up a couple of PGA Tour Superstores near me and I haven't been back to Golfsmith since.  I've had issues with them (Golfsmith) in-store, online, swing/fitting related, golf apparel related, refunds, etc.  Very happy I now have another option

#4 TNReb

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:17 PM

 Hookshot33, on 26 January 2013 - 08:48 PM, said:

In my experiences with my local golfsmith, I've found that the employees who work there know much less than I, and probably ~75% of people on this site, know about golf and equipment. I do my best to say "hey" when I walk in and leave it at that.

I agree 100%.  Dick's Sporting Goods is usually the worst.  I don't go there specifically for golf stuff often.. but will browse while my wife is in another store or something.  I don't think I've ever met a single person at Dicks, Golfsmith, Golf Galaxy, or Edwin Watts that seemed really knowledgeable about what they were doing.  

There was ONE time a guy talked me into a Taylormade Ghost Spider putter (34").  He seemed to really know his stuff, but when I said I wanted it adjusted a couple degrees upright he kind of balked.  Eventually he puts it on a machine and bends it, but chips the white paint off the top of the putter.   He tried to play it off like it was no big deal.  I insisted I didn't want it, but there wasn't another 34" in stock.   I basically said "oh well.. I will look somewhere else".  He said "well you wont be able to adjust it.  It's going to be impossible to adjust that without chipping the paint.  That is normal".  :swoon:   idgit

#5 player12

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

 Hookshot33, on 26 January 2013 - 08:48 PM, said:

In my experiences with my local golfsmith, I've found that the employees who work there know much less than I, and probably ~75% of people on this site, know about golf and equipment. I do my best to say "hey" when I walk in and leave it at that. They know, too, that I'm not interested in having them hawk over me while i browse so it's a win-win. But I can definitely see something like that happening because more often than not, those guys don't have a clue and work there simply b/c it's a job, and not a passion.
  Same experience. +1


#6 Rusty88

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:16 PM

I think everyone has had bad experiences. It happens everywhere. I look at it in a couple of ways. It's a job for them. Most play golf but will never know or keep up with the average wrx'r knowledge. They deal with 99% of stock products. So unless they have an interest outside you can't expect more. And heck their pay isn't going to be great. Why do the BST forums exist here. Everyone is price sensitive. Hence leads me to the second point. People will go in there test then buy elsewhere for cheaper. That would annoy me to if I was on sales incentives

I'm not defending them. All I ask is they are honest, polite and judge. I don't expect tour fitting staff in golf shops. If I want that experience I believe I should pay for that.

But heck with it. I love these bad experience stores. Once they tried to sell a divine series odyssey putter to me. I laughed and walked out

#7 NickPhillips

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

I have a golfsmith and two PGA superstores in a close vicinity. I have no issues at the golfsmith but I do realize as you said, I know more about golf equipment than the majority of the employees. However, at one PGA superstore in my area I get this exact same reaction nearly everytime I go in.

#8 RJRJRJ

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:05 AM

The guy just sounds like a douchebag.  Some places are run by clueless people, and it trickles down to the employees as a result.  Ive got Roger Dunn here so im happy :)
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#9 schuyler

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

The people at My golfsmith are idiots, I want to wear noise canceling headphones just so I don't have to hear any of the idiotic things they say. Just the other day I heard one of them telling a customer that "secretly Phil Mickelson is playing a Scotty Cameron del mar, but he is keeping it a secret." (he was referring to Phil's  Japanese Protype #9 HT, for those that don't know). I love the people at my Golf galaxy, they are smart, educated, and a pleasure to deal with. Only problem is Golfsmith has more bays, bigger green, and more club selection, so I find myself going there more often. But, I know exactly how you feel. I just absolutely cannot stand the some of the idiots who work at these big golf stores who think they know everything, but really know so little. I find there are some great people at these stores but at the ones near me they are few and far between.

#10 MiniJ83

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:10 AM

It's retail. I don't go into a Macy's and expect every employee to be a seamstress and know everything about the jeans I want.

In my opinion, going into a store like that, you should research prior.


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#11 alsponge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

I've actually had good experiences in my golfsmith, they always ask if I need help but leave me to do my own thing when I don't. I haven't had to really ask for a lot of golf equipment questions so I can't comment on that.

On the other hand, no one offers to help me at my local golfmart. They greet me as I enter and are willing to help if I ask but they usually won't approach me. I don't see many people make purchases there compared to the amount of people hitting in the bays.

#12 PooN

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:46 AM

High-end shops have product reps that come in and give demo's and explain the new product (usually to most/all of the employees).

I'm not sure if the big box shops do this, and I would assume that even if they do, most of the employees don't get the demo, probably just the upper level employees (managers, buyer, etc)

Edited by PooN, 27 January 2013 - 07:47 AM.


#13 kevcarter

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:55 AM

Just out of curiosity... It sounds like you demo clubs there often. Do you buy your equipment there, or demo it there and buy elsewhere?
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#14 wobgon

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:12 AM

Imagine if you owned a launch moniter and you allowed 100 people every day to start pushing buttons. Where do you draw the line between serious golfers and buyers,which you well may be, and irresponsible browsers who will skrew up the system and then be on thier way. I have seen many stores that do not allow customers to operate equipment and i really don't blame them.

Edited by wobgon, 27 January 2013 - 08:49 AM.


#15 Mulligan26

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:35 AM

The guys at my local store are very knowledgable and friendly. They know I know what I'm doing and let me play around on track man, with the demo carts etc. I make sure to give them business so my mucking around isn't for nothing.


#16 kwelifan

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

I tried to buy a Nike vrs 5 wood at dicks yesterday.  Their price was 129.99, and tgw had it for 89.99.  They agreed to price match until they realized that there is no tgw store in our area. I tried to explain that its not 1953 and I don't have to physically drive to the other retailer to get the better deal.  They stuck to their guns and decided to hold onto a club that will be worth about $50 in 2 weeks when the covert line comes out.  

This is why I go in there just to try stuff out and then buy it somewhere else.  I know they can't match every website's price, and I'm willing to pay a little more to buy the club I just tested in their sim because I know I like that specific club.  But when the price gap is huge and you have to deal with their attitude, my money will go somewhere else every time.

#17 wobgon

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:14 AM

 kwelifan, on 27 January 2013 - 09:06 AM, said:

I tried to buy a Nike vrs 5 wood at dicks yesterday.  Their price was 129.99, and tgw had it for 89.99.  They agreed to price match until they realized that there is no tgw store in our area. I tried to explain that its not 1953 and I don't have to physically drive to the other retailer to get the better deal.  They stuck to their guns and decided to hold onto a club that will be worth about $50 in 2 weeks when the covert line comes out.  

This is why I go in there just to try stuff out and then buy it somewhere else.  I know they can't match every website's price, and I'm willing to pay a little more to buy the club I just tested in their sim because I know I like that specific club.  But when the price gap is huge and you have to deal with their attitude, my money will go somewhere else every time.
You "tried to explain that it's not 1953", then had to deal with thier attitude?

Edited by wobgon, 27 January 2013 - 10:28 AM.


#18 kwelifan

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

That's not attitude.  Just reality.  Do you want my money or not.  I guess not.

#19 hangubber

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

I wouldn't condemn the entire chain based on a few bad experiences. You just ran into the wrong employees.  I've had positive experiences at Golfsmith.  Last month I had time to kill while the wife was shopping.  I probably hit about 30 different drivers and no one came to hassle me.  Store was dead at the time but emplyees just left me alone.  I wasn't looking for any advice and thankfully didn't get any.
I have purchased clubs there on other occasions and received pretty good service.  I was about to purchase a used 3 wood and their club repair person did some measurements to ensure it was not damaged.
It all depends on who is working that day.

#20 wobgon

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

 kwelifan, on 27 January 2013 - 09:25 AM, said:

That's not attitude.  Just reality.  Do you want my money or not.  I guess not.
Would think the fact that they did not want to sell you the club for what you wanted to pay was reality also.


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#21 swizbeatz

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

I went to golfsmith yesterday for the first time in a year or so and was pleasantly surprised.  Got set up in a sim with every 3 wood I wanted and then was left alone except for the occasional check in to see if I needed anything else.
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#22 J-Rod11

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

 kevcarter, on 27 January 2013 - 07:55 AM, said:

Just out of curiosity... It sounds like you demo clubs there often. Do you buy your equipment there, or demo it there and buy elsewhere?

This was actually my first time there to demo clubs. I had been there once before, to get my fiance a new outfit, and while we were there, these two women (one of whom had a stroller), parked their stroller in women's changing room, and proceeded to rotate in and out of the room for 30 minutes. We asked the manager if he could please say something to them, as this was extremely inconsiderate. He said he would do something right away . . . what he proceeded to do was walk away and never return.

So, in total, I've been to this store twice, and had two bad experiences.  I'm sure there are Golfsmith stores out there, or Golfmart stores out there with helpful people, just not near me . . .

#23 J-Rod11

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

 wobgon, on 27 January 2013 - 08:12 AM, said:

Imagine if you owned a launch moniter and you allowed 100 people every day to start pushing buttons. Where do you draw the line between serious golfers and buyers,which you well may be, and irresponsible browsers who will skrew up the system and then be on thier way. I have seen many stores that do not allow customers to operate equipment and i really don't blame them.

I completely understand the rule. However, when one employee says it's ok for my to just click that, just don't touch anything else, and I follow those instructions, it gets a bit mucky. I get permission to do something, and then have another employee insult and belittle me for it, accusing me of having already been told not to do it. If the rule is the rule, that's fine. They should do a better job of ensuring that all employees can effectively communicate it.

And regardless of that, the way the employee handled it was utterly unprofessional and completely inexcusable.

Edited by J-Rod11, 27 January 2013 - 11:31 AM.


#24 fairways4life

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

Do you have to be PGA certified to work at GolfSmith? My guess is not. What about Golf Galaxy or Dicks? I know a couple of the guys at my local Golf Galaxy and Dick's are PGA certified but I don't know if it's actually a requirement or not.

Based on talking to some of the employees at my local GolfSmith, there is no way in hell some of those guys are PGA certified. A driver fitting at GolfSmith basically goes like this:  the employee will pull out a handful of the most expensive TaylorMade drivers with adjustable heads and have you hit on the launch monitor while fiddling with the weights and face angles and what not. Once you hit a ball  further than the rest he'll start to ring you up for the order. My advice to anyone looking to get fit for a club -- seek out an independent club fitter or a mom-and-pop shop. The big-box stores will try to push the most expensive product and they can only sell what they are contracted to sell anyway.

Ever notice how when you hit on the launch monitors at a GolfSmith you always hit everything so far? Seems like every time I go in there and hit a driver for the hell of it I'm carrying it 280. I know that's a bunch of B.S. I hate to throw out accusations but I'm convinced they fudge the sensitivity of the machine to spit out inflated numbers in an effort to sell the product. Just my opinion.

#25 EricZ116

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

I've never (yet) experienced the "high elevation, downwind" settings while hitting at golfsmith, but I do know for a fact that the last time I went there they pre-set the smash factor for driver at 1.5. It was my understanding that they were only measuring swing speed and then the resulting distance would "assume" perfect 1.5 smash factor contact.


#26 mxtitleistgolfer

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

 J-Rod11, on 26 January 2013 - 08:19 PM, said:

I went to Golfsmith today. I wanted to hit some of the new drivers, and figure out what shaft/loft I need on my driver now. My driver swing has improved quite a bit over the past few months, and changed some as a result. I need to get a new driver, and move away from my 11* driver. After I hit a few balls I walk over to see what the chart says for my ball speed, launch angle, etc. I click on the icon on the computer to pull it up. In walks this 22 year old kid, and says, in the most smartass attitude "Sir, I know our other associate has already told you not to touch any of the equipment. We have all of these signs posted for a reason . . blah blah blah. There are now several other customers standing around watching.

He has not once looked me in the eye the entire time he's spouting off this little rant of his. He then walks into another bay. I then followed him to the other bay and said "Excuse me. I don't apprecaite what you just did. One of your other associates actually told me it was ok to do what I just did. I don't appreciate being accused of something and belittled in front of a group of people. Perhaps you should get your facts straight next time, rather than insulting a customer in front of other customers." I didn't shout it in front of other custmers either, I walked over to him and said it quietly. Of course, he still did not look me in the eye.

I spoke with the manager on my way out of the store, and all I got was the usual "I'm sorry, we certainly hope you werent humiliated" with the clear subtext that he had no interest in actually doing anything about it at all.

-----------------------

We then went to Golfmart, where it was made very clear that if I wasn't a single digit handicap who was there to try out blades, I wasn't worth their time.


Has anyone else had terrible experiences at "brick & mortar" golf stores? Of all the places that should be extremely focused on customer service right now, it's a brick and morter golf store, who's prices are often hundreds of dollars higher for equipment than online retailers. I would gladly spend a bit more money for quality service, but these two stores have essentially made a lifetime internet buyer out of me.

Overall, my experience today, and other times I have been to golf stores, is that of self-righteousness and arrogance. Is this common?


On a side note, every time I have gone to Dicks, every single person who has ever helped me has been extremely courteous.

**End Rant**

If you don't mind me asking, what happened at Golf Mart? Your title makes it sound like both places had something outrageous happen but then your post just talks about Golfsmith with a vague sentence about Golf Mart.

#27 J-Rod11

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:24 PM

I should qualify that my golfmart experience was not as bad as golfsmith. I have had a suspicion that my irons were too upright, as I've never been fit for Irons, I just played with a standard set off the rack. Anyways, he puts the lie board down and I took a couple of swings. He then took the iron from me to check it out. I asked him what his advice was based on the lie board. He said in an arrogant tone "get some lessons".  I then asked what the board said again and my current irons are about 2.5* too upright. If everyone's swing is supposed to fit a standard length and lie, then I'm not sure why every OEM offers custom options . . . I guess this guy knows better.

I'm not a tour pro, but not a hacker either, and no matter how my swing, release, etc improves, it won't change the length of my arms or my height. Apparently the guy wasn't interested in selling irons to anyone who's swing doesn't look like Ben hogan. I hope Arnold Palmer never goes to golfmart to get fit by that guy.

It could be that I just ran into two jerks on the same day, and its bad luck, but I wanted to see if anyone else had similar experiences. If so, I would know to avoid other locations as well, as it might be a chain store problem, not just one or two individuals.

#28 Johnny4379

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Sounds like you were at goldsmith and golf mart in mission valley

#29 mxtitleistgolfer

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:39 PM

Ya I'm guessing you're in San Diego. I'm surprised to hear that about golf mart, I know a lot of the guys that work there and they are usually pretty good about that stuff. I'd recommend going to see the guys in the repair department about the lie angles and length stuff.

#30 SoCalTitleist

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

Rick is great to work with at GolfMart Escondido.


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