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Golfsmith 2014- no components


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#1 clrichmond

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

This seemed to be coming....called Golfsmith and asked about the 2014 Component Lineup (new Snake Eyes).  They said they are NOT coming out with any components.,  Basically, finally getting out of the component business.

I will miss their Snake Eyes line.


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#2 GolfMonster09

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:49 PM

Like you - I've seen this coming for a while. Unfortunate, the Snake Eyes stuff was always pretty solid.
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#3 ode1

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

Not surprising. The 685x and 685OS irons were good offerings from 2012; the 695OS from this year look good too...but that's about the only think worth talking about in the last two years.  The writing has been on the wall for a while now.

#4 Golf64

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:24 AM

Golfsmith is now owned by Golftown, so maybe they decided to get out of the biz of components?
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#5 Backspin9

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:27 AM

Golfsmith built their reputation on components and club building.  When I first got into doing my own work I could go to the local GS store and get anything I needed.  They even had a puring machine.  Now, the store only stocks the very basics, grip tape, solvent, epoxy, etc. and little else.  They barely have any shafts anymore.  It's frustrating when you need a part and have to order it and wait.  Their shipping times are also extremely slow.

In my area there is a Golfsmith, Golf Galaxy, and PGA Superstore all within a mile of each other and all on (believe it or not) Golf Road.  The PGA store is far and away the best of the three and it's no wonder the Golfsmith is often as dead as a doornail.  I'm surprised the Golfsmith is still even open these days and don't expect it to last much longer.

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#6 drstroud

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

Noticed the last several years that the catalogs have been getting smaller with fewer and fewer offerings.
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#7 golf215

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:19 AM

The influx of the lower cost driver (Burner $149 etc.) has taken enough component market share that it no longer makes sense to dedicate floor space to components.  Golfsmith still sells components on their website.

#8 theboypinoy

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:37 AM

 Backspin9, on 23 January 2014 - 11:27 AM, said:

Golfsmith built their reputation on components and club building.  When I first got into doing my own work I could go to the local GS store and get anything I needed.  They even had a puring machine.  Now, the store only stocks the very basics, grip tape, solvent, epoxy, etc. and little else.  They barely have any shafts anymore.  It's frustrating when you need a part and have to order it and wait.  Their shipping times are also extremely slow.

In my area there is a Golfsmith, Golf Galaxy, and PGA Superstore all within a mile of each other and all on (believe it or not) Golf Road.  The PGA store is far and away the best of the three and it's no wonder the Golfsmith is often as dead as a doornail.  I'm surprised the Golfsmith is still even open these days and don't expect it to last much longer.

Yup, same exact situation. Within four months or so of the PGASS opening, Golfsmith closed.

#9 Fellaheen51

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:10 AM

 Backspin9, on 23 January 2014 - 11:27 AM, said:

Golfsmith built their reputation on components and club building.  When I first got into doing my own work I could go to the local GS store and get anything I needed.

Golfsmith, with a total inventory of heads, shafts, etc. was what got me involved in club building as well. Always thought that selectively, their snake eyes line was pretty solid. Especially going back to the Wishon/Sheets era. I've built a number of sets for people looking to improve their golf game (particularly women's clubs) without spending big $ and getting a pretty high quality set of clubs without a lot of waste (clubs that would never be used).  Always liked the appearance of a number of the heads (again, selectively), they didn't have that "component" look.  Flipping back thru their late 90's early 00's catalogues, they sure had a lot of heads to pick from!

Once had an all S.E. bag, still have a set of 600XC forged irons and their more current 600 series wedges. Allways thought their wedges were a real solid offering, could build a nice SW for like $45 or so.

I'm sure that their business model says no money to be made in the component business, and as mentioned, one could see this coming for some time now. But without being to melodramatic, after all its just a damn golf store, I do feel that its an end of an era so to speak and feel a little saddened by that.
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#10 BIG STU

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:20 AM

They just built from scratch and opened up a brand new one in Myrtle Beach less than a year ago. At first it was going like gangbusters . I did not really look at the new offerings but bought a lot of grips and supplies from them and some used clubs. In the last 3 months or so they don't seem to be restocking stuff like grips and seem to have gotten slack. The PGA Superstore acquired 2 stores in the area from a local source and one of them is about 1 mile up the road. I don't know if it is going to make it or not.

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#11 Backspin9

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

Well, Golfsmith did it again.  I ordered 3 UST Recoil iron shafts from them on Jan 15th.  These were the 110g and 125g taper tip shafts UST just released for sale by distrubutors.  The order said they would ship to the store on Jan 23rd so I waited.  Called them on Jan 27th and they are now back-ordered until Feb 10th.  What got me was that they didn't send an email to let me know that.  Nothing.

I really don't need these until my Florida trip March 8th so there is no rush.  It does make you wonder, though, IF they will ship them Feb 10th like they said.  Golf Works also has them and they're back-ordered there until March 1st.  My best guess is that they'll come in the day before I leave and I'll be scrambling to get the clubs put together.  At least I have 5 minute epoxy, LOL!
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#12 TomWishon

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

 Fellaheen51, on 27 January 2014 - 05:10 AM, said:


I'm sure that their business model says no money to be made in the component business, and as mentioned, one could see this coming for some time now. But without being to melodramatic, after all its just a damn golf store, I do feel that its an end of an era so to speak and feel a little saddened by that.

Having had experience there, I did LOL at your comment that after all it is just a damn golf store !!  That's a hard, cold fact for any of us within the larger scheme of things!  

But you're right, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that once they started to open retail stores one after another, it was not going to be long before they distanced themselves from their component clubmaking roots.   Heck, even in my last years there they were starting the process by cutting back component inventory in all of the retail stores.   GS's component business always had thousands of inventory items and it just became impossible to manage an extensive inventory at each of their stores.  By the time they got to 25 stores, adding up the component inventory for all stores together was a scary number, given the component sales at each store.  

So as the increase in stores caused the percentage of sales coming from components to get smaller and smaller, and as more and more of the management team came from retail while those more associated with components left and went elsewhere, less and less emphasis was placed on the component side.  Turning my successor Jeff Sheets from an employee to a consultant in the 00s started that in earnest and then when they chose not to re up Jeff's consulting contract last year was an even bigger statement.  Doubtful they will completely close down components - of course you never know  but at this point they have carved out the lion's share of the expenses from the component division, cut back the inventory items hugely over what they were, sold off their UK division, so now they can just let it run itself in essence.   They simply have to do their sales analysis to know how much and when to buy the items and then just pick up the phone and take the orders.  

But it was interesting - I remember when I was in charge of the whole product line at its height, there were 12,000 separate SKUs in the component catalog in total all added up - it included no less than 25 different sets of woods, 25 different sets of irons at all times in a 220 pg catalog that was mailed to over 450,000 people each year.  At its height GS's component division did $65 mill in annual sales (year 2000) and had over 200,000 unique buyers of components each year.   I have no idea what they have shrunk to these days but based on the more recent actions of the company, it has to be a whole lot less.

#13 sheppy335

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

I am not surprised about the components but hope they still carry shafts and Grips and supplies.
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#14 bellview17

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:09 AM

Could they have the stores for OEM, and keep the catalog with components and have internet and ship to store abilities from a central warehouse, with some small
(grips, tape, and maybe some shafts in store)?

 TomWishon, on 28 January 2014 - 10:47 AM, said:

 Fellaheen51, on 27 January 2014 - 05:10 AM, said:

I'm sure that their business model says no money to be made in the component business, and as mentioned, one could see this coming for some time now. But without being to melodramatic, after all its just a damn golf store, I do feel that its an end of an era so to speak and feel a little saddened by that.

Having had experience there, I did LOL at your comment that after all it is just a damn golf store !!  That's a hard, cold fact for any of us within the larger scheme of things!  

But you're right, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that once they started to open retail stores one after another, it was not going to be long before they distanced themselves from their component clubmaking roots.   Heck, even in my last years there they were starting the process by cutting back component inventory in all of the retail stores.   GS's component business always had thousands of inventory items and it just became impossible to manage an extensive inventory at each of their stores.  By the time they got to 25 stores, adding up the component inventory for all stores together was a scary number, given the component sales at each store.  

So as the increase in stores caused the percentage of sales coming from components to get smaller and smaller, and as more and more of the management team came from retail while those more associated with components left and went elsewhere, less and less emphasis was placed on the component side.  Turning my successor Jeff Sheets from an employee to a consultant in the 00s started that in earnest and then when they chose not to re up Jeff's consulting contract last year was an even bigger statement.  Doubtful they will completely close down components - of course you never know  but at this point they have carved out the lion's share of the expenses from the component division, cut back the inventory items hugely over what they were, sold off their UK division, so now they can just let it run itself in essence.   They simply have to do their sales analysis to know how much and when to buy the items and then just pick up the phone and take the orders.  

But it was interesting - I remember when I was in charge of the whole product line at its height, there were 12,000 separate SKUs in the component catalog in total all added up - it included no less than 25 different sets of woods, 25 different sets of irons at all times in a 220 pg catalog that was mailed to over 450,000 people each year.  At its height GS's component division did $65 mill in annual sales (year 2000) and had over 200,000 unique buyers of components each year.   I have no idea what they have shrunk to these days but based on the more recent actions of the company, it has to be a whole lot less.


#15 TomWishon

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:37 AM

 bellview17, on 29 January 2014 - 10:09 AM, said:

Could they have the stores for OEM, and keep the catalog with components and have internet and ship to store abilities from a central warehouse, with some small
(grips, tape, and maybe some shafts in store)?


I'm so far removed from them that I could not possibly answer this.  You'd need to contact them to ask.  

The general consensus among those with experience in this in the industry is that they'll keep the component division going, keep doing a thin catalog with mostly shafts and grips that have the most demand, and just keep it going with as little support and as little effort as they can.  The guess in the industry is that while the component division there is not even close to the dollar contribution to the company as it was in the late 90s/early 00s, it is still large enough that they would never "throw it away" by closing it down.  

But I cannot imagine from a pure cost of inventory vs sales business decision that you would ever see any type of component inventory show up in any of their retail stores.  It's just not a good business decision money wise for them to do that.  

TOM


#16 Fellaheen51

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

TY Mr. Wishon for your insight. I've found it quite interesting given your historical perspective.

I would surmise that margins on club building items (heads, shafts, tools, etc.) are substantially less than oem clubs, shoes, apparel. Factor in inventory carrying costs, product  turns, new product development costs (heads), revenue % per sq. ft. of retail floor space....it doesn't take an MBA to determine which direction to take.

Club building supplies have IMHO, become a strictly online endeavor, especially for the hobbiest such as myself.  If I'm looking to buy shaft x or grip y, I buy from the cheapest "reliable" source possible.  Who that source is is immaterial.  Brick and mortar cannot compete with that, not with golf supplies, computer equipment or widgets. I don't know if it a good or bad thing..... that's just the consumer level reality these days.
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#17 juggernaut0629

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:48 AM

So my question is...Are they still going to be selling shafts, grips, club making tools, etc.? And are they going to still offer club repair/shaft puring? I want to have my Bombtech reshafted. I was going to buy the new shaft ( once I figured out which shaft ) online then send the shaft and my Bombtech in to Golfsmith to be SST Pured and reshafted. Makes me wish there was SOME store local that had the ability to do this, But there's nothing.
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#18 craniac76

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:02 PM

That's too bad.  I was waiting for a new line of Snake eyes iron this year.  I guess I will look somewhere else for component heads.

#19 Wriggles

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

I haven't ordered anything from Golfsmith for around 10 years.  The last time I had an order for grips, supplies, the guy on the phone said there was some kind of mandatory surcharge if the order wasn't delivered to a "business."  I couldn't understand what difference that made, as long as it was a regular street address, not a P.O. Box or something that could cause delivery problems.

I didn't argue with the guy, did order the stuff, but I never ordered again.

#20 juggernaut0629

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

 Wriggles, on 29 January 2014 - 04:25 PM, said:

I haven't ordered anything from Golfsmith for around 10 years.  The last time I had an order for grips, supplies, the guy on the phone said there was some kind of mandatory surcharge if the order wasn't delivered to a "business."  I couldn't understand what difference that made, as long as it was a regular street address, not a P.O. Box or something that could cause delivery problems.

I didn't argue with the guy, did order the stuff, but I never ordered again.

WTH!!!.....surcharge! Sounds like a load of crap

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#21 TomWishon

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:47 PM

 Wriggles, on 29 January 2014 - 04:25 PM, said:

the guy on the phone said there was some kind of mandatory surcharge if the order wasn't delivered to a "business."


Fed Ex and UPS do charge more for delivering to a residential address vs a business address.  Some companies pass this on to the consumer, some will eat it.

#22 clrichmond

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

They will still carry grips, shafts, and I'm guessing some club building material.  Just no component heads.  That's what I was told by their online sales team.

#23 TomWishon

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:12 PM

 Fellaheen51, on 29 January 2014 - 11:13 AM, said:


I would surmise that margins on club building items (heads, shafts, tools, etc.) are substantially less than oem clubs, shoes, apparel.

Club building supplies have IMHO, become a strictly online endeavor, especially for the hobbiest such as myself.  If I'm looking to buy shaft x or grip y, I buy from the cheapest "reliable" source possible.  Who that source is is immaterial.  Brick and mortar cannot compete with that,

Actually during my days at GS, the component division had a higher gross profit and net profit percentage than did the retail division.  That was why back then they always used to say "we'll never get rid of the component division."  But back then before they had too many stores, the component division comprised 40% of the company's total revenue.   I suspect profits would be higher for the components today because if nothing else, all these super high dollar shafts have a higher profit margin than did the shafts being sold in the 90s and early 00s.  The high dollar shaft makers have a MAP so this actually helps the component sellers who offer these shafts.  And since these high dollar shafts are somewhat popular, the component division today may only be 5-6% of total revenue of the corporation, but it would probably still have a higher net profit percentage than the retail side.  

None of the retail chains make good money selling OEM clubs.  In my days at GS, the gross margin (revenue minus cost of goods) on OEM clubs for the whole retail division was not more than 25%.  And back then, 50% of all revenue in the retail chain came from the clubs.  That's why the big retail chains scramble like crazy to either develop their own club brands (GS buying Lynx, MacGregor) or work to get first crack at any OEMs' close out items so they can bolster what otherwise are poor retail margins.   It's also why the retail chains have high turnover of personnel because they can't pay their sales staff more than $10/hr or so, nor spend much time training these people.  

The OEMs have turned retail into a commodity business pure and simple - same thing you are talking about with component shafts and grips.  The OEMs never limit the number of retailers selling their clubs, so there are too many retailers all selling the same exact thing.  And since the OEMS spend the marketing money to generate the demand that drives golfers in the doors of the retailers, the OEMS rule the roost and the retailers are nothing more than a commodity fulfillment center for the OEMs.  The retailers who get the business are purely the ones who offer the lowest price.  Which means lower margins which means a crummy business to have to be in.   Which also means the only way you make money at retail is doing big volume, hence the reason the mom and pop golf retailers struggle, pro shops are nothing more than showrooms for the OEM clubs, and the big box chains are under pressure to keep doing big volume to make it.

What's going to be interesting and not just in golf retailing, is what you allude to.  The lack of need for brick and mortar.  On one hand when it comes to golf clubs, Joe Golfer wants to see, touch, waggle, hit and feel it.  So the brick and mortar probably has to stay alive.  But it has been a trend for several years for consumers to go see, touch, waggle, hit and feel it and then go home to shop on line for the lowest price.   Rent and overhead on 10,000 + sq ft stores can get a little pricey in that type of situation.  

With shafts, there doesn't seem to be a trend to want to see, touch, feel before you order as there is with assembled clubs - which is interesting in a sense.  How the heck can a golfer really know how this or that shaft will play for them unless they have hit it, or unless they can see/compare the full bend profile specs of the shaft to others they know?  And 99% of all shafts are sold without the golfer really knowing if it is going to work out for them or not.  That's a little dodgy when it comes to $100, $200, $300 shafts.  

TOM

#24 BigVolGolfFan

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:48 PM

As a previous employer of a golf store that focused on selling components as a big box retailer that might have had a reptilian branded club....

I saw the demise happening years ago as the club heads sold less and less.  Component clubs are awesome, but rarely have even close to enough of the all powerful marketing dollars to be spent talking about them.  Also, as OEM's bring new clubs out so often, driving last years clubs to half the price, the components are no longer a viable cost savings.  Consumers can get a great product with plenty of marketing for less than building it himself.

Mr.Wishon I do agree that it is strange that people play shafts without ever trying them.  Its the idea that if it works for one person (probably a Tour Pro), it ihas to work for me.   The component business is going to continue to slowly die out since we can get our hands on clubs all day with sites like this and eBay.




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