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Dick’s fires more than 500 PGA pros



The strategy was always a risky one: Put a PGA pro at every Dick’s Sporting Goods location as a competitive advantage over online retailers.

The company acknowledged yesterday that the approach hasn’t worked: Dick’s Sporting Goods has fired all the PGA professionals working at the company’s 560 stores. An obvious cost-cutting measure in the face of industry contraction, the move leaves more than 500 PGA pros out of work.

“I’m sincerely disappointed that the careers of so many PGA professionals have been hurt today,” wrote PGA of America president Ted Bishop in a letter to the affected professionals, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association recently recorded its fifth consecutive drop in the number of U.S. individuals who claimed they played golf on a course at least once annually, and the figured dropped 2.5 percent from the year before. The National Golf Foundation reports 400,000 people left the game within the past year.

Given macro-trends like the above, the move—although shocking in its all-at-once nature—isn’t totally surprising. Same-store sales for Golf Galaxy, which Dick’s acquired in 2007, dropped 10.4 percent for the most recent quarter. Dick’s stock price is down more than 25 percent from its 52-week high.

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  1. sir gil

    Oct 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Having just went through a dispute with Dick’s on deceptive on line advertising, its clear Dick’s has hurt golfers in general and PGA in particular. As an organization PGA’s executive body should issue a marketing statement in defense of its Professionals and boycott Dicks.
    I know I am!!

  2. Larry

    Oct 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    They sure are advertising on the golf channel. So if I go in there now, all I will get is a salesman. No Thanks

  3. JI

    Oct 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I shop at Dicks but only for minor items. I prefer driving the extra 15 minutes to Golfsmith because the prices are better and you can hit clubs and really get a feel for them. I never knew my dicks store had a pro available. I golf regular and it is hard for me to get any assistance at dicks. With online prices being so good I’m only surprised that this move wasn’t made sooner.

  4. Eric

    Sep 4, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I am 49 and just started playing golf this year. The first place I went to to check out clubs and see what it would cost me to get involved with the game, was Dick’s. Shortly thereafter, I found Goldsmith in my area. I had no idea there was such a place. It was like golfers heaven for me.

    I can say this. I didn’t go back to Dick’s after I found Goldsmith. And it wasn’t because the person I met and helped me wasn’t nice and also very knowledgeable and helpful. He was the epitome of a sales person.

    I never went back to Dick’s because 1. The prices were too high. 2. No place to swing a club and get a feel for it.

    If golf is to survive and thrive and club makers expect the new bread of players to drop a $1000.00 on clubs, each year! Then have a place where I can swing a club and feel what is the difference from one club to the next.

    Dick’s could not compete in that fashion. There isn’t a place to build into their store a dedicated golf shop like a Goldsmith has.

    It’s unfortunate to read 500 pros were let go. My heart hurts for this job loss and I pray for those folks. But honestly, the business model doesn’t seem conducive to employ PGA pros.

    • justin

      Sep 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Most Dick’s have a fitting area with a launch monitor. Did you ask to swing the club?

    • Dean

      Sep 28, 2014 at 8:20 am

      not sure what Dicks you went into, but all the ones Ive been in have a hitting bay with a golf monitor/analyzer. All also feel their prices are competitive with GOLFSMITH, Roger Dunn and any pro shop. Yes golf is expensive.

  5. john flavia

    Aug 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

    The thing that gets me is nearby (OKC), Dick’s built a store within 100 yrds of Golf Galaxy which they own (almost side-by-side). So how would they expect the golf portion of both to survive? I would go to one (Golf Galaxy) than the other having seen both, but then…. Golfsmith puts in a huge facility about 1/4-mile away and it dwarfs the Golf Galaxy. Needless to say, they have 4-5 small hitting bays with their own swing analyzer and one large hitting bay with about 10 stations, each with own swing analyzer where the net is about 30 yrds out. And they let you bring your own clubs to practice hitting when it’s slow. How do you compete with that?

    • Rich

      Aug 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      I am sad to learn this news as I new several pros that worked at local stores. The problem is not the pros at Dick’s, it is the overall retail prices for clubs these days. No golfer that plays once a week wants to spend $400 for a new driver and a set of irons now only 4-PW are around $1k. You can get the clubs for a fraction of the price shipped to your door free without leaving the house. People are realizing that as soon as a club hits one ball it is “used”.

  6. Sean

    Aug 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    As a current employee at Dicks sporting goods i can say without a doubt that this decision will haunt them in the near future. The pro that i worked under built many bridges and trust with customers. Because of him being let go the all have gone to our local sports store. I can say for a fact they will regret this decision by the end of the year.

  7. Pingback: What is going on with the game of golf today? - Golfingdad | Golfingdad

  8. Greg Hunter

    Aug 7, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    One of my very good friends was one of the pros that was let go. I never bought at dick’s and I will make a effort to continue not to buy there. No deals there!

    • Tyler

      Aug 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Well, if he was such a very good friend maybe you SHOULD have bought product there. He might still have a job!

  9. DM

    Aug 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I just heard about the pro’s being let go and truth be told how would you even know that their was a pro in those stores? I have shopped in my hometown Dick’s for years and every year would walk in to buy tourney prizes and drop $1000-$1200 and ask for a discount for a charity. This has been for the past 17-years and never was I ever not allowed to get 10% off until this year. They looked at me and said NO, our prices are already discounted. The pro who I just found out that was let go, had never identified himself as one and had to be one of the rudest people I ever dealt with. He acted as if he was doing me a favor to wait on me. I specifically shopped Dick’s because their the only game in town…but honestly, I bet he didn’t help bring in ant additional business. Sad but if you’re an average golfer then discount golf is where its at.. if you are a member of a club, then you have money and could care less about paying top dollar prices at the golf course.

    • TS

      Aug 11, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Individual pros might not have brought in additional business but there’s no doubt that the PGA pros were the only reason a company like that got their foot in the door with Titleist, Ping, Mizuno, and a few others. The pros separated them from the competition in the early days and opened doors that might not have been opened otherwise. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.

  10. Andy

    Aug 3, 2014 at 12:44 am

    It is obvious that we are all different with different expectations from the game. I have no doubt that properly fitted clubs would benefit us all but some want to pay for it and others choose not to. We can buy new clubs or second hand ones sight unseen and untried off the internet. I did and am happy with mine.
    We can have lessons off a Pro or just play naturally with no lessons. I have never had a lesson from a pro but there are always other players willing to give free advice.
    As for speed of play, we can play a tough up and down course in about 4 and a quarter hours in the hot Australian summer. The people who seem to do the complaining are the ones who drive buggies and are up your backside several times. My only complaint of the game played by amateurs is the proliferation of these buggies which damage the course and give people advantages over other players and in general detract from the game. Players with medical certificates are obviously exempt.
    Also reduced golf club membership fees for people under thirty will keep a few more players in the game.

  11. Pete the Pro

    Jul 29, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I am a Golf Professional and golf shop owner. Many of the comments are factual; sadly many are way off the mark. The major loser, ultimately, with the loss of so many experienced professionals at Dicks will be you, the customer. Sure, there are plenty who have aired their views recently who clearly hate everything about the stores, plus sometimes everything about all golf stores because the staff will NEVER reach their expectations.

    Dicks put PGA pro’s into shops because it was the easiest way to buy in expertise. This way, the testosterone driven male who is equipment minded can exercise his superiority by telling anyone who is at all interested how the Callaway blah, blah, blah, 2.2 degrees torque set 0.5 degrees open when in the closed setting and the 913 D2 blah, blah, 10.5 in D4 is just not working for him (without getting into the complexities of shafts. These pro’s most often soaked up this nonsense (2 handicap or better are excepted!)by understanding it and offering advice, or alternatives.

    You used to go to the butcher’s shop for meat – you now go to the supermarket, but the supermarket now employs the butchers. The vast majority of these golf pro’s can put grips on straight, they can tell you the weights of the shafts and the influence this has on the club, they understand shaft kick-points and play the game with enthusiasm. The economics of selling golf equipment in a declining marketplace mean that the expertise goes away – some pro’s will stop alogether, others will choose another profession, some will find alternative work. It’s the way of the world that occasionally a set of workers have to be made redundant. One day it might happen to you, or someone you care about. Your children, perhaps. It’s not just golf, is it? Next week it could be medical workers, car workers, construction, and so on. Professional golf has had some good times too, so it is unfair to suggest that is is a poor career choice. It’s a crowded marketplace for sure, but there are plenty of students out going through college or university right now who will equally struggle to find work on graduation in their chosen profession.

    Many golf shops have to close to leave behind the corrected number of stores. Try being a store owner! I’m just completing yet another month of not getting paid. Nothing. My car is used to get me to work and to buying meetings. In 7 years I have never paid myself even the minimum wage, preferring to keep that money in stock. No income for 2014 for me. Depreciating stock – the downward spiral. The staff get paid, the (never-ending) taxes are paid, the manufacturers are eventually paid and there is nothing left for me. One day, the contracts have run their course and I decide that I cannot put myself through this incessant punishment, so I sell what stock I have and call it a day. Who’s the loser here? Me, for sure. Big loser, big time. Who else, well plenty of our customers, some of whom are genuine customers who want to see and buy brand name equipment, 80% of which is custom fit. Custom fit costs nothing extra – it’s in the price. Broken shafts, trolleys, bags with broken zippers, leaking shoes, golfers coming in to tell me how much they know about golf clubs already and how great it is on E-bay these days, these customers lose out too. Gone are the genuinely good, helpful shops, leaving the survivors. One of our local courses has a so-called fitting centre where the staff remove shafts from one set, re-fit them in another set, rotate a few of the shafts (steel included) and tell the customers that they are now spine aligned. Worse still, the customer pays 30% extra for this because “Titleist / Ping / Callaway can’t build golf clubs properly”. He’s there when I’m gone. Don’t believe my shop is poorly located or operated by a retard. I have equipment from each top brand name, we sell everything at discount because the customer is looking on-line and expects that price in-store. Previously, volume has pulled us through but if golfers are leaving the game in droves, my retail model must change too. Smaller selection next year. Less brands. Limp through until end of contracts and get out. Nearest golf shop to us that offers similar or same – 50 minutes.

    You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

    Have a think about it.

    • Callaway X Hot

      Aug 4, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Brilliant reply. I could not have said it any better. The customer in the end will lose because as the number of vendors decrease more power will be in the hands of those that remain. Those survivors will then increase price and offer less service.

    • Mark

      Aug 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      I know some have said they recently sold exotic expensive clubs but quite frankly as a frequent club purchaser over the past few years, I have to say that this year I cut back quite substantially. Why? Most specifically, the prices have gotten very expensive, with some irons approaching the $1000 mark for graphite. I picked up a very nice set of Ping G25 Graphite irons used as a substantial discount at a major golf store when in the past I would have bought new. I could see thought that for a new golfer, someone just starting out, when you add up the cost of a prime time set from a named brand company, it is simply out of their reach. For instance, at least $300 for a driver, $599 steel irons, $150 putter, 3-5 wood and hybrids at least $600-800. There are of course more expensive and some cheaper sets. In fact, I see a lot purchase close outs are at the end of the season to save. So why would someone who may not even know yet whether they will like this game, lay out all this cash when they may end up seeing it at best a once a month event? This is not an easy game and once a month play will undoubtedly lead to poor play and for their clubs to probably be in the in the corner of their garage or eventually be found on eBay. I play weekly and love the game but for those who have not played, these prices do not encourage non-golfers to get into the game. That is why those that play will pay for top dollar and why most sets are now being made designed for the avid player. Years ago while traveling, I was paired with some retirees playing with clubs not sold in stores but by mfgs.that sell their products online. Their answer: “they play just as well and sell for a price that we can afford.” And they hit them good!

    • V Murphree

      Aug 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      We have a new Dick’s store in my city. I have been in at least 5 times in the last 2 months and wanted to buy clubs and a putter, cloths, etc.
      Every time I waited and waited to find someone to help me, but never once
      did a sales person or “pro” even begin to approach me. Last time I was there another customer showed me what putter I should buy. The guys who worked there were back in an area hitting golf balls at a screen. Another customer told me they had the same experience as me, had never been helped by anyone in the store. My days trying to buy something at Dick’s new store are over. I will gladly buy from my club pro who is always available to help me and give me good advice.

    • PBGS

      Sep 8, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Teach my economics class!

    • Peter Blowitz

      Sep 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      I feel your pain. I owned a retail golf store for 13 years. Carried all the name brands, custom fit everyone (except those who ‘knew better’). We had record years from 1997 to 2007. Then came 2008-2010 and sales plummeted and, I too, took no income only losses. I closed the store got into a regular job and now tell my wife, “I get paid every two weeks and it’s not my money”

    • sir gil

      Oct 15, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      so true, and owners like you can comfort in the fact the professionals who know and understand the biz survive, because there are golfers who persist in the game, and quite frankly adapt, improvise and survive. Maybe not in the retail model, but rather as a source to players, many of which have been playing for years and have not a clue of what is best for them, I can mention thousands of player who have yet to upgrade equipment not based on cost but rather how the old technology has served them well. So have at it get a reputation as to the go to guy for the game and its components. You’ll have many in your market beating down your door, for as Hogan put it “The Secret”.

  12. Kirk

    Jul 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    ALL IS WELL IN THE GOLF DEPARTMENT AT DICK’S NOW. They put the team sports lead in charge of golf yesterday. Just in case you wonder, he or she is the person that played baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball or the like in high school and is now looking for a “real” job while making a few $$$ (very few I might add) at Dick’s.

  13. tlmck

    Jul 29, 2014 at 3:03 am

    I stopped going to Dick’s for golf because they only carried game improvement type clubs which I have no use for. I did get my AP2 2014’s from Golf Galaxy, but only because they had a 150% trade-in deal. The new clubs were a custom order which would have cost the same elsewhere.

  14. Tony

    Jul 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Never really understood the reason to have a certified PGA pro at Dicks.
    I get it at a dedicated golf store but not when the next aisle over you’ve got fishing tackle.

    • Mark

      Aug 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      I met a golf pro that worked at the local Dicks and its predecessor company. At the predecessor his job was to give lessons and collect what he earned. I took lessons with him at the store and made some purchases over time do to his recommendations, which was the idea: to have a pro on hand to give you unbiased advice in making a purchase. He had a bunch of golfers show up at lunchtime seeking his advice and presumably bought clubs. Dicks then took over this store and over time things changed wherein he forced to also serve as a sales person. Over time he gave up as he was a PGA pro and not retail store sales person. He had nothing against this kind of work but it was not what he had signed up to do. He left to serve as a pro as a golf course.

  15. cody

    Jul 28, 2014 at 12:51 am

    I dont have a single club in my bag that is newer than being produced in 2010. Heck my bag is 10 years old. I play titleist T irons, Adam 9015d driver, I have two cally jaws wedges, and a rifle putter that I bought out of a used bin. Sorry silly golf industry. I wont buy new. Ever.

  16. FtwPhil

    Jul 27, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Hardly anybody is blaming the consumers. Not surprising, but still a part of the dynamic. DCSG is the Wal Mart of sporting goods bad service low prices. Pay for what you get.

  17. TheLegend

    Jul 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I wont buy crap from dicks again.

  18. DDD

    Jul 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Would someone ask what the unit sales are in Dick’s for clubs this year vs. the last two years. My guess is units are not off but a fraction of the $ amount. Then the follow up question is, why dump the prices and who drives that decision? I think you’d start to ferret out where the issue really lies.

    • Joseph

      Jul 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      To blame the manufacturers is just silly. Why isn’t GolfSmith or Galaxy having issues? I see this as a fundamental business decision. If the pros weren’t helping Dicks grow revenue and profit, why continue to do that? I think they either need to get into the golf business completely, or significantly reduce the selection and only offer the basics ( balls, gloves, apparel etc.)

      • Tom Wishon

        Jul 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        They are. We just haven’t heard the actual numbers from them yet for this year. With Dick’s size and presence at retail, if they drop 1000 sq ft in each store away from golf to put some other products there, and drop the 500 pros, that means they obviously aren’t selling nearly as much in golf equipment. GS, GG and every other golf specific retailer would be no different.

        To sustain a business model with the big 5 golf companies doing over $3 billion each year and multiple big box retail chains having to do $7 mill a store or more to make it, the only way that model can stay healthy is if the number of golfers willing to buy is much larger than it has shrunk down to be these days.

        As Barney Adams said in one of his stories, it’s the avid golfers, those who play 25+ times a year, who account for 70%+ of the golf spending every year. That segment along with every other segment of golfers is well down for all the various discussed reasons – recession, cost to play, time to play, working longer hours, spouse who doesn’t take to being alone with the kids for 6 hrs, the game being thought as not as cool to the current 20/30 age group, etc.

        Unless the core golfer group that buys the bulk of the products gets a whole lot larger than it is presently, the big golf companies and big golf retail chains just cannot all hope to keep doing the business they have been doing.

        • Barney adama

          Jul 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

          Can make the argument that unless a company has a flourishing golf ball business or is owned by someone who values the name recognition association that equipment alone has a dismal future.

          • docx

            Jul 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

            Bunch of brilliant MBA’s can’t see the obvious. Last year for instance a whole bunch of loyal TM customers rushed out to buy the ‘greatest driver ever made’ for 400. Never mind no that human would repeat their couple times a month swing perfectly enough to take advantage of 48 possible settings. It was a dog! and people hated it (it actually hits better if you load it up with lead tape or heavier weights from a fitting kit)…

            They figured Americans didn’t appreciate their fine euro style rally car paint job, so rushed one out in black…it sucked too….

            Anyway, folks were back a short time after that purchase asking if we still had their old driver they traded in for the R1. Most were so unhappy they subsequently bought a second driver for 1 or 299 that same year. In the New England section we still had snow on the ground this April, and you couldn’t play most courses even if you wanted to.

            Sooooo, no one rushed out to buy the NEWEST ‘greatest driver ever made – no really, this time we mean it’ this year before getting out and actually using the last one they just bought 9 months ago.

            And if you don’t think TM blew it up….They rushed out SLDR in August because the killed R1 after only 4 months knowing it sucked. They tried to salvage something from the season so they rushed out a million 9.5’s and said to “just loft up”….Turns out humans don’t hit the product like their lab robot and most needed 12 degrees +…

            If they knew that, why all the 9.5s? I don’t want my students to twist the set up of the club that much to get artificial loft . I think a little – like Ping – adjustment isn’t a bad thing, but to tell 80% to just buy a 9.5 and crank up the loft is just criminal. They fell in love with themselves, and believed all their own BS. They indeed help create a terrible situation.

      • cody

        Jul 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm

        FYI dicks owns Golf Galaxy

        • setter02

          Jul 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm

          DocX, they rushed the SLDR because Cally was coming out with the BB, so tried to beat them to market with the same gimmick. Cally patented a pile of names like slider, but not SLDR… and BAM TM has a new driver out called… SLDR…

          As a golf pro in Canada, working in a private club as well as a big box retailer, people are spending money. Maybe not as much, but they are. In the past 2 days alone I’ve sold over $6k worth of gear to customers.

          • docx

            Jul 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm

            Totally agree. people are buying, and a lot are buying better, high end stuff and shafts…I sold a boat load of Apex irons, Alpha Drivers, Exotics, and Ping with upgrade shafts. Probably fit 20 people w Oban shafts this season….We also custom build Miura and Epon irons, and sales are steady….

            If the R1 wasn’t getting such horrible feedback they wouldn’t have killed it in 4 months. I couldn’t give ’em away…People wanted it sure enough, but it simply didn’t test well when they tried it, and when going through a fitting session and comparing other drivers, it just didn’t get bought.

            I recall Mizuno drivers w/ the hemi adjustable weight – when was it – 2006 ish?

  19. Nevin

    Jul 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

    For all the doom and gloom comments about the future of game of golf, maybe what this event really means is that putting PGA pros in sporting goods stores isn’t a great idea.

  20. Jay Altmeyer

    Jul 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I am a golf store owner of a large store in the midwest who is looking to hire a PGA professional..someone who likes to give lessons, likes to run a busy retail shop and provide great customer service. Email me at [email protected]. Maybe I can help out one or two guys who lost their jobs at Dicks. Oh, we have a Dick’s in our city so you can help me sock it to them.

  21. Rich

    Jul 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Well this story certainly garnered some interest. I’m an Aussie so can’t speak intelligently about what’s going on with Dicks and the 500 pros but it’s bad when any group of people lose their jobs all at once, from any company. It’s hard for all involved (except the company that’s just trimmed the bottom line). It’s a bit different here in Australia. Golf pros tend not to be the main knowledge centre in the golf retail industry and because I’m a golf club nut, I tend to know more about the gear than most of the guys in the shops anyway. Maybe there is a saturation of golf pros and not enough jobs in the golf industry as well. Should the PGA maybe take a look at the qualification criteria for pros in the USA? Not saying the guys that are already pros don’t deserve it, just that it may be that the demand for golf pros is declining as well but if the rate at which people can qualify as PGA pros is still the same, it turns into a saturation of the market. Just a thought. Cheers.

    • Anon

      Jul 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      To become a full PGA member, it takes about 2-3 years for most to do it. They have to pass the PAT. After that, they have to pay about 8,000 dollars to go through 3 seminars. They have to complete 3 books of work on their own time, while they are employed at a golf course. Most of these guys are working about 50-60 hours a week for barely more than minimum wage. Golf courses have stopped paying for PGA expenses, yet still want PGA pros. There is nothing easy about joining the PGA, and they don’t have too many members. The thing that bothered me about the seminars though was that it was more about selling shoes than it was about golf instruction.

      • Rich

        Jul 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        Fair enough. Hope I didn’t offend. It was just a thought. You’re right. Sounds like a lot of time, money and effort to become a PGA pro in the States. Hopefully they can all find a new job and forget about Dicks. By name, by nature from the sounds of it (Dicks that is). Cheers

      • Tourseeker

        Jul 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

        While some of what you said is true, not all of it is accurate. The PGA charges far too much to join their program. As an a golf professional and owner of a golf course I can say with confidence that many of the members of the PGA are little more than a glorified secretary. The good instructors and club fitters don’t have a hard time finding and keeping jobs. My issue as a course owner is to justify spending money for a PGA member that expects me to pay his dues, Pro Am fees, and a clothing allowance when they don’t know how to generate more income than I am producing without them. What does the PGA do for us the golf course and retail owners? I think the this is the question that needs to be answered. How do they justify themselves to us? To be totally transparent, I wouldn’t take a single lesson or get fit from any of the PGA members in our area. Maybe the question that the PGA members need to answer is what is the relevance of the PGA to the people that are looking to hire them and is the PGA credential really a necessity or just a $650 annual magazine subscription?

        • David lee

          Aug 2, 2014 at 11:35 am

          I’m sorry you feel you haven’t received the benefit of having a PGA professional in your shop, maybe instead of piling all of us members in the same group you might rethink your hiring process and the questions you ask. WE ARE experts at the business, game, and people and course that I have seen go away from employing us sell every year to the next sucker because john smith from down the street can’t compare to us. You think we don’t know about product, test us! You think we can’t play, put your money where your mouth is, you think we pressure sell, we don’t sell anything we don’t believe in. Good luck in the future and I hope you change your mind about the PGA professional

          • ken

            Sep 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

            Gotta tell ya..I have a friend who was out of the golf business for a couple years and let his PGA membership lapse.
            He was hired as a GM at an upscale public course.
            He asked the PGA of A about reinstatement. They wanted him to pay two years dues. He weighed the pros and cons and decided to forgo the option based on his perception that membership in the PGA of America did nothing for him.
            He knows lots of PGA teaching pros and GM’s in the area. Many of them are frustrated at the cost of the membership and lack of benefits.
            And due to the current economic issues in the business, many employers are reluctant to pay or flat out deny reimbursement of fees to their head pro/GM.

        • ken

          Sep 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

          I bet you as an owner have been hit by the downturn in the economy and somewhat waning interest in the game.

      • Uphill both ways

        Aug 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm

        …………….and that’s why 500 of them are out of a job. I know a lot of golf pro’s that are pressure sales people and very few that can break 80 let alone give knowledgeable advice about equipment without regurgitating something they have read and clearly don’t understand.

        • TS

          Aug 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

          The anti-PGA sentiment on this and many other comment threads is very telling. The PGA hasn’t done it’s job educating the public on what a PGA Professional is or does. Here’s a few things the golfing population should know about PGA Professionals:

          *All PGA Members are NOT all “Tour Quality” players! They aren’t supposed to be….. Many of them are 2-8 Hdcp…. and most don’t spend the time on their game that they used to. If you want a PGA Pro that is scratch or better….. look for the young guys with no families or full time teaching Pros that have a club in their hands all day.
          *They aren’t all equipment experts! They aren’t supposed to know every property of every shaft on the market and fit it to every level player that walks into his/her shop. Ever try to fit someone on a launch monitor that varies his launch angle 15 degrees from swing to swing?
          *Just like in any other job, they have duties and responsibilities that the customer/golfer never sees or realizes. Do you know why that PGA Pro shoots 78? Maybe he just spent the last 8 hours sitting at a desk working on an upcoming full-course corporate outing instead of hitting balls all day. If you aren’t him, or work for him….then you can’t even speculate.

          I could go on and on…. but the point is that the PGA Pro is something different to everyone around them. To the owner, he’s a revenue generator who doesn’t care about his playing ability. To the equipment buff, the Pro needs to be an expert that he can bounce ideas off of and test his knowledge. To his PGA apprentices he needs to be a mentor and role model. The list goes on and on…It’s a balancing act that isn’t always perfect….. and never will be. So ease up on these guys….. they aren’t all great….but many of them are….just like every other profession in the world.

          • scratchITguy

            Sep 9, 2014 at 9:57 am

            I agree with the above, as a former Class “A” PGA member for 10 years the PGA of America does a poor job in educating its members. The business classes in the PGM are decades out of date and the sales model is from the glory days of the golf business. When I left the “business” due to my 3rd layoff from a course I ventured into IT and now am successful, and play 3 days a week and enjoy the game again. My interviews were interesting because ALL employers had no idea what a PGA professional was, “so you play golf everyday”? I got my first job in IT by changing my job description to Operations Manager. The PGA of America is too blame for the current job losses by its members by oversaturation of members, PGM programs in colleges, and the inadequate education of its members for real world experience. My two cents from someone whose experieced this first hand. Good luck to all 500 members (soon to be more), polish your resumes, go back to school, you will need it in the “real world”.

  22. Joseph

    Jul 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Lets be honest. Dicks has never been in the golf business. They’re a sporting goods store that happens to sell some golf equipment. They don’t merchandise well. They don’t carry all manufacturers equipment. I can’t even tell you where their hitting bays are. Do they have Track Man technology? Today’s buyer is much more sophisticated than they were 10 years ago. The players who stuck with the game are the die hards. They want equipment that fits them. They want new technology that can help their games. They want a one stop shop for all of their needs. Golf Galaxy, GolfSmith and locally owned golf shops figured this out years ago. What’s funny is that Dicks owns Golf Galaxy if I’m not mistaken. I’m not sure what this means for the future of Dicks and selling golf equipment. They have some tough decisions to make.

    • Jeff

      Jul 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Dick’s is “in” the golf business more than you might think. In addition to owning Golf Galaxy, they also own Slazenger, Maxfli, Top-Flight, Golf Works, Nickent, and they either own or used to own Walter Hagen. I may have missed one or two as well, so if anyone knows of other brands they own, feel free to mention them. I’m sure this is part of the reason they carry certain brands but not all of them. But I agree that their stores tend to not be merchandised well (at least in the golf dept).

      • Joseph

        Jul 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        I did mention Golf Galaxy in my original comments. If they do own all of those sub tier brands, then that also explains a lot as well. None of those brands make top tier equipment. If you want to be taken seriously by the players who spend the majority of dollars you must sell all of the top brands. I know they don’t sell Ping, Titleist(equipment), Cobra and I’m sure I’m missing a few others.

        • Will Stevens

          Jul 27, 2014 at 11:21 am

          200 Dick’s stores carry PING. 50 carry Titleist and even have Tour Edge & Mizuno online and in select stores. If there’s even a hint of demand for any of the smaller companies they at least give them a shot. The problem is despite how much people on this site claim they want these “high-end” brands they just don’t sell fast enough to be profitable as people just don’t have the $ available to afford them.

  23. Duffer Pauly

    Jul 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    What a load of crap – I’m a 7.6 index, play 2-3 times a week, play with Adams irons I bought off eBay, use a used Razr Callaway I bought from 3 balls, play with top flites and never practice. Club fitting is a total waste of time and money!

    • Stev

      Jul 25, 2014 at 1:52 am

      Not true. Fitting matters. Golf clubs can be as wrong foryou as a wrong sized shoe. If you swing with poorfit clubs you can have same affects as wearing shoe that is too tight. ifyou have right Shoe you can run walketc. If you have Proper fit clubs you mak more consistent Contact when club impacts ball. It’s been proven with statistics an that is why PING was so popular. They fit the User … rather than one siz fit all

      • RG

        Jul 25, 2014 at 11:29 pm

        I can go to a tee pull out a limb carve a club out of it with my pocket knife and beat you with it. or I could use a baseball bat a rake and a shovel if you prefer. It aint the arrow is theindin.

        • Anon

          Jul 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm

          Maybe you could beat him, maybe you couldn’t. But could you beat yourself with improperly fit equipment vs being properly fitted? Loft, lie, club length, and swing weight matter a ton! Did you know that if you take any set of clubs off the rack, that some of the lofts will be the same? I.E. If you measure the 6 and 7 irons, a lot of times they will be about 1 degree away from each other. Did you know that the lie angle matters because it determines where your clubface is pointing at impact? It is similar to why the ball goes left or right on sidehill lies. If your lie angle doesn’t fit your swing, you are constantly playing on a sidehill lie! If swing weight is wrong, the club will feel funny to you. If the swing weight is too light, you won’t be able to feel the clubhead at the top of your swing, and you will not be able to adjust very well. If the swing weight was too heavy, the club will feel like you are swinging a fun noodle and it will feel very whippy. Every golfer has that 1 club in their bag that they can’t hit to save their life. It is because one of the previous parameters that I named isn’t right for them. Sometimes it very well could be the arrow and not the indian!

      • Uphill both ways

        Aug 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        I can get a good look at a steak by sticking my head up a bulls’ a……… wait, I mean if your swing sucks and does or doesn’t work it will still suck and work or not work with fitted clubs as well. Fundamentals first. How many people do you know who got a top to bottom club fitting before launch monitors? Not many. Gary Player would have been put in standard or slightly short clubs, Nicklaus would have had his about 4deg. up and Palmer would have been encouraged to quit and where would golf be today without the big three. The idea, folks is to grab a club, figure out the heavy end and get the lowest score you can anyway you can. Not to rely on technology.

    • Dan

      Jul 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      I used to feel the same way until I bought a new driver and let the guy at the PGA Superstore spend some time with me. I found I hit the ball better with the reg flex shaft than the senior flex and got all the settings set right since it was an adjustable driver. I also had my irons bent 1.5* upright and started hitting them straight instead of pulling them left. You don’t have to go to a clubfitter and spend hours to get some improvement in your clubs and have more fun playing. PS, It was all free.

      • christian

        Sep 29, 2014 at 9:37 am

        Getting an uppright lie made you NOT hit it left? That’s odd.

    • Rich

      Jul 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      And to think you could be even lower than that if you were properly fit……….

    • Sean

      Aug 1, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Duffer Pauly,

      If you are playing to a 7.6 index congrats to you for being one of the lucky few with the hand eye coordination and natural skill to make that happen. I’m lucky enough to be scratch and yes I can keep it under 80 with any set of clubs pulled right of the shelf, any flex any configuration……RH of course. With that said, I can assure you I have the potential to play my best golf with clubs that are properly fitted as mine are. Poor bugger, you are likely a 3-4 hdcp or better you just don’t know it! Truth be told, a novice with no clue on how to hit the ball is going to shoot a million with a $200 set just as much as with a custom $2,000 set. Bottom line is, a proper thorough fitting can be extremely beneficial for many players. I have friends that are also scratch hdcp players and several are standard everything in their specs. Other guys 3-degrees upright, extra length shafts and oversize grips. Fitting is a different experience for everyone. If you are serious about the game and seeking to reach your potential whether that’s breaking 100 or breaking par, a fitting with experienced technician will cost you about the same as a round of golf at a decent track and is a worthwhile investment.

    • Wow

      Aug 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Ignorance abounds…. and yours astounds.

    • Dave C.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

      I agree. The idea is to work towards a proper swing, not fit clubs around a crummy swing that can’t be repeated most of the time.

      It’s been said many times. If guys practiced putting and chipping instead of worrying about 300 unattainable yard drives, scores would plummet.

  24. DDD

    Jul 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Let’s cut to the quick. We know golf is time consuming, costly, hard and considered elitist. So what do we do about it? Tons of discussion since the economy tanked of course yet few solutions. Tough to change such a big industry in short order.

    At no point was the game growing at the rate that courses were being constructed in the 1990s and 2000s. Total overbuild. So golfers have declined by 1-3% each of the years of the current (and deep) recession. Courses cost too much to build, too much to maintain, and the costs are funneled down to the consumer. Jumping on the bandwagon (the reality of which didn’t exist) equipment manufactures designed, built, distributed and promoted the “latest and greatest” and was pouring the sweet elixir that the consumer lapped up until monies got tight.

    Those with push marketing strategies moved a lot of inventory. Pushed it right out of their warehouses and into yours, the retailers with promises to issue credit for what isn’t sold, etc. Keep the life cycle narrow and the next push for goods comes down the pike – out of their warehouse and into yours. (Once the bill is paid good luck ever getting one to come back to you). Every time the new product is about to hit the market the price gets dumped to move inventory, only to have it drop further when the new product hits the market. At which point where is the old inventory? Back in the warehouse of the manufacturer? Nope, it’s dumped somewhere else. You see, it’s all about the manufacturer. So several life cycles later the system slows down, if not pushes back. The bubble bursts. And the blame game starts.

    If golf was growing by 1% (regular players that is) would Dick’s sales suddenly surge into a profit? Absolutely not. So is it the lack of growth of golf that results in 30% drops in sales numbers? The game didn’t shrink by 30%. When drivers sold one month for $299 are then $199 90 days later, then $179, then $99 – all in an 8 month product cycle – the guy holding the inventory is the one that’s screwed. In this case that’s Dick’s. It’s not the PGA that caused the giant drop in sales. It’s not the game that caused the giant drop in sales. The business model simply doesn’t work any more. Particularly for those who are left holding the bag – the retailer.

    This is simply one portion of the bigger issues surrounding the golf industry. Those coming into the game typically don’t line up and dump $2,000 into a whole new set of clubs, bag, balls, etc. The equipment manufacturers make new clubs, change them frequently, and then blame the professionals and USGA for not growing the game (?) News flash! The new players that the manufacturers are relying on others to bring into the market are more likely to walk before they run into emptying their bank accounts on new product. They’ve been trained to wait 6 months when the prices plummet. Not indifferent to the electronics industry with one big difference – EVERYONE uses electronics, NOT everyone plays golf. Good for the consumer, bad for the retailer, and the manufacturer has to justify why the retailer should still do business with the manufacturer.

    Just some food for thought. I feel bad for the PGA professionals whose jobs were eliminated at Dick’s. I would suggest that a business model, at least in this instance, blew up in the face of the manufacturer and the retailer. It’s not alarming. It’s reality. Maybe time to stop shoving product down the throats of the retailers.

    • Brian Wallace

      Jul 25, 2014 at 7:47 am


    • Abba

      Jul 26, 2014 at 12:44 am

      Has zero to do with manufacturers shoving product down the throats of retailers. Has everything to do with dicks being a retail superstore. Shipping product into their golf department that they don’t need. Not listening to the PGA pros that they hired to run their golf departments. Don’t know if you know this or not but the PGA pro has to go through four or five managers in order to fill in inventory they are short on. And guess what it never happens and all the product that continues to come in is usually the prior years equipment. That has everything to do with the dicks corporate structure and not the manufacturer. Those pros had their hands ties. I feel bad for all the pros that lost their jobs but this was all dicks fault.

  25. adan

    Jul 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I’m SOO glad I convinced my son to major in Accounting and NOT PGA Mgmt!

    • Stev

      Jul 25, 2014 at 1:57 am

      I caddied and got through college. Now I work in computers and play golf as a sport … will give back to the game … not the retailers. I go to Dcks for apparel, never for Golf equipment unless it is Balls, o something to help the Firs Tee Kids.

    • Chris

      Jul 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Strong work!

  26. 4under

    Jul 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

    This is a sad day for the industry. A good portion of this is a direct result of TMAG’s relentless, constant releasing of new equipment.

    • Jim Jones

      Jul 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Seriously…. blaming a manufacturer for sacking PGA golf pros…. without new equipment the guys would have less to sell and less to be traded in if the market stood stil! Its basic cost cutting and also the PGA golf pros not making a difference….. as a PGA golf pro myself I know there are many out there that can deliver more!!

    • Justin

      Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Wow, I bet you think gas prices are high because of relentless releases. You might even believe teen pregnancy is rising because of that too. Seriously I hope you didn’t sprain your ankle, hopping on the bandwagon.

  27. OhBee

    Jul 24, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Doesn’t Dick’s consider the fact that their golf equipment exchange and return policy is by far the worst of any golf store, especially in Southern California where we have Roger Dunn Golf and Goldsmith in nearly every city? Speaking from personal experience, I had such a difficult time exchanging a club even with their 90 day satisfaction policy that I went three times,, waited over an hour each time, and was told all three times to come back as the right manager or staff wasn’t there to do the right paperwork or have computer access etc. Definitely BS excuses to prevent an exchange and this was within 2-3 weeks of purchase. I swore I’d never buy another golf club from Dicks again. Why do that when customer service at both big golf retailers and smaller specialty proshops are far superior? Dick’s is a terrible retailer. I’m glad their sales are down. Its an obvious reflection of how they treat their customers. My experience is obviously not an isolated situation. Seems like all their golf customers voted with their wallets.

  28. Chuck

    Jul 24, 2014 at 9:54 am

    People have just become busier, especially since 2008. The time to play the game is already difficult enough to find in a busy schedule, so where can you find the time to improve?

  29. tony t

    Jul 24, 2014 at 9:33 am

    The reason more people are not coming into golf is to learn it will cost a lot,the PGA pro will charge u big time.U join any other sport and the cost of learning is O

    • cliff

      Jul 24, 2014 at 10:17 am

      You can learn up to 75% of the game around the practice green. A cheap putter, a wedge, and a couple of balls and you are good to go. You can even play 18 hole matches with friends right on the practice green.

      • Uphill both ways

        Aug 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        Amen, Cliff. I’d be willing to bet that you are NOT a Peter Gobbler Association member. It’s radical thinking like yours that gave us the likes of Trevino, Watson, Palmer, Cabrera, Hogan, Snead, Nelson………………………………………………

    • Justin

      Jul 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      You don’t necessarily need lessons from a Pro…watch and learn…single digit hcp here and didn’t take lessons from a Pro…I think alot of lessons can be a pain, swing how you want to swing and feels comfortable.

    • Stev

      Jul 25, 2014 at 2:02 am

      Why blame a pro for charging $ for lessons. If you don’t and buy Pro-v1 balls at Dicks you will burn about 5 dozen ( 250 bucks ) in balls for a few tips you could get in three sessions for a PGA PRO. Same as any lesson you get. If you try to learn on your own ( Basketball, any other sport ) you won’t get too far. What’s a Tennis lesson run you? Golf is expensive yes, but If you take the time to learn it … and when I mean time I mean “lifetime” … you will see results. That person who says they can shoot 78 and then tee it up and hit it OB seven times , those are the people that need a lesson. Work on technique on the range … too many people try to learn on the golf course .

      • Anon

        Jul 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm

        Even if you don’t hit it OB seven times, why is that guy content not improving? I don’t know why people say “I can shoot in the 70’s and I’ve never had a golf lesson!” They say it so matter of factly like they are bragging. That’s the equivalent of saying “I learned to read even though I dropped out of school in the first grade!” Congratulations, you got somewhere the hard way when you could have gotten there faster, and could be even better than you are now.

        • cliff

          Jul 28, 2014 at 9:06 am

          I am proud to shoot in the 70s with out taking a lesson. I played with too many people that had lessons and still can’t break 90. I do agree that I could possibly have been better if I had taken lessons but it just did work out that way. Lessons are expensive. Range balls are expensive. Add them together and you are talking about $75-$150(1/2 hr. lesson) per week to learn the golf swing. Not may people have that kind of money to throw around per week.

          I actually hit the ball more consistent shooting in the 80s than I do now. Only difference now is that I can actually putt.

  30. Rick Altham

    Jul 24, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Some of the problem is that when golf was booming future owners and architects thought it was a good idea to make hard courses that cost a small fortune to build and maintain. The costs gets passed down to the customer in the form of higher greens and membership fees. Also, the tougher courses slow down the pace of play and the average Joe can’t break 110.

    The average golfer should be playing on a 6000 yard course with generous fairways (single row irrigation would be fine), rough that is cut low and isn’t watered, greens that role around 8-9 on the stimp, and limit the amount of fairway and green side bunkers. These changes will help the pace of play problems, make golf affordable and most importantly golfers will have fun.

    • Stev

      Jul 25, 2014 at 2:03 am

      average player today has a pot belly and rides a cart. Averageplayer from twenty year ago hitit down he middle and still carried his bag. If you are lazy you will shoot 100.

      • MHendon

        Jul 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        No they still had pot belly’s and rode carts 20 years ago. But if you had said 40 years ago your statement would have been accurate.

  31. Cwolf

    Jul 24, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Dicks is a public company and this is just an expense reduction opportunity to decrease their run rate and increase earnings. This is all about the stock and nothing about the industry or the OEM’s.

    Unfortunately I work in Corporate finance and am surrounded by decisions like this all day. Thankfully my focus is cost reduction opportunities that do not influence headcount.

    I would guess this would reduce the go forward operating costs or “run rate” by $5-7m; a drop in the pan for a company like dick’s but enough to show eps growth for shareholders and keep the BOD happy; for now. Unfortunately, 500 families will be negatively impacted much more than the temporary satisfaction of the shareholders; and next Q will just have more reductions to impact more people to satisfy the short term needs of Wall Street.

    Enough of my rant…

    • MHendon

      Jul 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      That’s right Cwolf tell this to Fred down the page who berated me for using the term corporate greed. These guys salaries where just a drop in the bucket to such a large company and these guys families depended on that drop they were making from DICK’s to pay their bills each month. But because corporate made some bad business decisions mainly choosing to lay in bed with a company like Taylormade who pushed them to buy their products to the point of losing money they put over 500 guys out of work to try and make up for it. There is absolutely no loyalty to employees in corporate America anymore.

    • TS

      Jul 28, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Could not agree more CWolf. This might have been in the works for a while but the recent stock plunge (18% in one day based on sluggish golf/hunting sales) was the catalyst for this seemingly snap decision. I think the execs were in panic mode after that. That being said, I think they underestimated the PR hit they are going to take in the long run. PGA Pros aren’t just hanging out at the course…. They have families and friends and are generally more active in their respective communities than many people. A lot of those people have kids and can choose where to shop for soccer shoes and baseball gloves….

      What isn’t getting mentioned much in the discussion on this topic is the bind that Dick’s has put the manufacturers in. Stay loyal to the big-box masters and lose support of the PGA members? Or support the PGA and sacrifice your big-box cash cow?

  32. Tony

    Jul 24, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Has anyone ever experimented with only letting two-some’s go out at a time. It seems to me the big bottleneck is when you have 4 guys standing around the green chipping/putting. If you let two go at a time it might speed things up? If I’m totally wrong here forgive me, i’m just trying to think of ideas.

    • Shallowface

      Jul 24, 2014 at 9:51 am

      You’re absolutely right, but the problem is the PGA of America is the most resistant to change of any business organization in the history of American business.

      Those in charge think the solution is in three word slogans like Play Golf America and Get Golf Ready. How’s that working out for you?

      The biggest waste of time on the golf course is watching three other people play in your own group, or being stuck behind foursomes as you said.

      Now, if you are a course operator and you’re blessed with tee sheets full of foursomes, you don’t need to change a thing.

      But if you are struggling as so many claim to be, why not try something new? Try a twosomes only day one day a week. Make sure you promote it. See what happens. If it doesn’t work (but don’t worry it will), you can always go back to the status quo.

      But I won’t hold my breath. The industry is waiting for the 80s to return. It’s not going to happen.

      And as this debacle with Dick’s has shown, when you are seen to not have the answers, then you are a luxury that can no longer be afforded. We’re starting to see it at the municipal course level. As long as you have a good superintendent, the rest of the operation can be run with clerks, sometimes volunteers working for green fees.

      If you are the person in charge of the operation, and you are unsuccessful, and expensive, you’re out. That’s just common business sense.

      It’s basic evolution. Adapt, or perish.

      • Lucy C.

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

        Could not agree more. No other game or industry to resistant to change has ever survived. Golf is going that way…

        • Rich

          Jul 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm

          No ones should ever be standing around watching their playing partners play. Unless they are ready to step up and hit their shot straight after. Ready golf is all about being ready to hit as soon as your away. If everyone played this way, the pace of ploy would not be an issue. The pace at which people walk can also influence the pace of play. The Jason Dufner’s of the world that’s amble along do not help. As I’ve mentioned in one other post here, the laser range finders and line up lines on balls for putting have slowed this game down IMMENSELY! I like Ricky Fowler but I cringe every time I watch him putt. He is PAINFULLY slow and I think a lot of people are the same.

          • Shallowface

            Jul 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

            This has nothing to do with Ready Golf, Rich. Only one person can hit at a time. I’ve seen some of these “ready golfers” walk 50 yards in front of their playing partners who have yet to hit. Stupid with zeroes on it. Same with the foursomes who claim to play in three hours. They put the short guy with the big mouth up by the hole and he knocks everyone’s first putt back to them. Sorry, that’s not golf.

            Eliminating the foursome is the solution to the amount of time it takes to play this game. It is the one solution that has never been given a fair trial. As I’ve said, if a course is successful with the status quo, it doesn’t need to do a thing. But how many of those are there?

    • Stev

      Jul 25, 2014 at 2:04 am

      It’s not about the pace of play. It’s about how many Paying customers a Daily fee course can fit in the Daylight hours or the Peak times.

      They drop rates as the “crowd” dwindles.

  33. don davis

    Jul 24, 2014 at 1:30 am

    One of my goals for 2014 is not to change my clubs. Almost made it , trusty rusties and a driving iron only. I have very little sympathy for the big box stores who not to long ago ran the green grass guys out of business. Golf has always been hard that is why we love it. There are too many people who don’t get the allure of the game. Slow down, enjoy it , forget about instant results and play for the joy of the game . All the hype and worry about the almight dollar and the people who are missing what the game really should be about can disappear tommorrow and I will still be hitting the ball around no matter what the conditions.

  34. Eric

    Jul 24, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Let’s face it people, the economy is down. In the 70s the middle class income was 57,000ish with the price of everything about 20% of what it is today. Middle class income today is roughly 53,000ish and like I said, prices of everything is much much much higher. I can remember as a kid my dad making roughly 50k a year and worked between 3-4.5 days a week as a truck driver. We played a lot of golf and could afford it. Today, he works 14 of every 16 days to make about 80k a year with his own business and has played 2 times in 15 months. Myself, I work about 60 hours a week just to afford my habit of playing 1 day a week and an occasional 9 holes one evening during the week. Times are tough and when iron sets are 799+ and drivers are 399+ WITHOUT the upgrades a +4 handicap would like to keep the game sharp, it gets hard to keep up. I just bought a new set of irons this year for the first time in 2 years and I got them for 10% over cost and they still cost me $780. I will purchase a new driver this fall and be done until 2018 probably as now I have a new son. Golf is not as easy to play as it once was. People work harder/longer for less money and they just don’t have time to spend $2000 on a set of clubs to play once a month. Golf will make a comeback but the club companies need to stop the 2 new drivers every 6 months nonsense and pricing them at 399-499. Lets get back to $599 iron sets and $299 drivers and people might play more. Just my $.02. Sorry to all the pros who lost their job. The oil industry is booming, I would suggest looking there.

    • Dave C.

      Aug 4, 2014 at 7:36 am

      I don’t know what line of work your Dad was in, during the 1970’s, but I never knew ANYONE making $57K. I had a pretty good job in 1975, bought a $150 set of Staffs, $5 greens (18) fees at a public, and walked. Only the old and infirmed rode.

      At the time, I earned about $11K, and bought a new car that cost $5,600.

      I had money to burn. With income in the $50K range, your family lived large. Your family was blessed.

  35. T A B

    Jul 24, 2014 at 12:33 am

    This is the first I have ever commented on GolfWRX, and for that matter, my first comment on any sort of blog. After thinking twice about posting I thought to myself, “Why Bother?”… but the topic at hand and the subsequent comments are too central to one of my biggest passions in life: the game of golf, and sharing it with others. I write this having spent my entire career dedicated to the game. Along the way, I have spent time as a top-ranked junior, and collegiate/amateur player, Tour professional, club caddie, professional caddie, Club Designer for a major equipment manufacturer, Golf Professional, Cart Guy, General Manager, Range Rat & Golf Instructor. My most recent stop finds me running a run a state-or-the-art fitting and performance center that utilizes biomechanics/motion capture technology as a Master Club Fitter for a major equipment manufacturer. I do not list these experiences for any other reason other than to suggest that I have seen the business from every angle, and am extremely knowledgeable of just about all aspects of the “Golf Business.” Unfortunately, after reading many of the previous comments, I am moved to write the following..

    The blame for what has happened to those terminated from Dicks Sporting Goods lays on the shoulders of many entities and factors, but none so much as the 3 governing bodies of the game, the PGA of America, R&A, and USGA. However, the PGA of America is more specifically the culprit, in its lack of foresight and stewardship.

    The reason these employees were terminated has NOTHING to do with product cycles, people. In fact, the short cycles helped stimulate sales, which only enabled Dick’s to employ these sales associates longer. So you don’t think that short product cycles lead to more sales? Look at the data… The strongest manufacturers financially are the ones with quick cycles that promote year-long earnings. The ones that follow the longer cycles in many cases are struggling financially, a few of those companies have been bought out or auctioned within the past 5 years (one major manufacturer that follows this model has been bought once and auctioned once in just 4 years). My rebuttal to the argument that short product cycles HURT the game… bulls#!t!! As with ANY innovation, some ideas work, and some don’t. The philosophy of “paint against the wall” definitely applies to coming up with new, fresh, innovative designs that CAN help CERTAIN players perform better. Unfortunately, if the company designs a “dud” they have expended the R&D capital to put it through the process, so of course they will launch it to recover some of that investment. And yes, the golfer will buy it with out having it fit, or without realistically demo’ing the item before deciding if it is better FOR THEM, all because they fall prey to the marketing campaign. (SIDE NOTE: Do not demo a club in a store, do it in as close to gaming conditions as possible with your current gamer available for comparison). The result is that the player hits the item poorly, in all likelihood worse than what they currently play, and therefore decides… “this new equipment is not any better”. What they fail to realize is that certain offerings are designed with certain clubhead speeds, attack angles, strike locations, etc. in mind. This means that just because a product performs poorly for one, it will perform poorly for all, or vice-versa.

    No, the reasons these Golf Professionals were let go is because of one single certain fact… the game of golf is getting smaller. So the question is, why? Of course, economic factors through the late 2000’s that are continuing today have contributed greatly to the attrition rate of golfers in the country. However, I offer it only exposed an industry model that was not healthy to begin with, which expedited the inevitable. The game is now mainstream, something it was not before Tiger. The game saw an infusion of people in the Tiger-Era, and the governing bodies of the game were totally unprepared for golf in the digital age. The PGA of America is churning out Golf Professionals whom have no idea about the history of the game, have no real idea how to play it, or how to teach it. I doubt anyone in this forum knows what the 3 fundamental purposes of the PGA of America were when it was founded. They were to promote the game to new audiences, to teach others to play it, and to build the equipment needed to play it. Most PGA Professionals today are lucky to be able to do one of the three. Today’s PGA is about “Merchandising Concessions”, and “Tournament Pairings Programs”, and “Ez-Links Tee Time Systems”. Golf Professionals have no clue how to stimulate newcomers to the game into improvement, or how to fit an 85 y/o life long golfer into clubs so that he doesn’t quit from frustration with his aging game. Most could not build a full set of clubs from putter through driver without making a major error. The failure of the PGA to be a steward of the game is the reason for the state in which the game finds itself.

    Let’s not forget our friends at the USGA and R&A. Their failure to grapple with the many issues facing equipment and course design has resulted in more difficult courses that take longer to play because the equipment has obsoleted the course for Tour Professionals. The result is a course that is TOTALLY unplayable for most players. In an effort to offer the customer a better experience than their competitors, most facilities to have the best playing surfaces their budget allows, and in most cases, larger than their budget allows. The maintenance budgets escalate on these courses and swallow any revenues generated, so the facility must raise fees. This leads to the other two MAJOR contributing factors to why people just cant go play 18 Saturday with the guys… TIME AND MONEY… Who wants to shoot 105 over 6 hours and pay $150 for it? The GAME is TOO HARD and takes too long to play, players aren’t improving, and it costs too much for equipment and course fees.

    So… suggestions? One would be the Bifurcation of the equipment rules. Let the amateur player play whatever tech that will help them have more fun! A second would be to standardize the ball for professionals. This would cap the possible distance players can hit it, requiring smaller courses and smaller turf maintenance budgets (which could also be positively effected if all of us tolerated a little more “brown” on the course). The end result here is lower expenses to maintain courses and therefore lower course fees. For those interested in helping find solutions, I suggest you look into HACKGOLF if you haven’t already. One thing is certain… the only way to KEEP golf mainstream, and ensure its a game that continues to teach life values, while providing exercise and enjoyment, is if we start thinking outside the current model. If we stay the course, this game will be marginalized again and continue to be an experience only the elite can enjoy.

    • Shallowface

      Jul 24, 2014 at 10:04 am

      I liked a lot of what you said until you got to HACK GOLF, whose goal, if I understand correctly, is to fundamentally change the game.

      There is NOTHING wrong with golf just as it is.

      Truth is, anything and everything that is difficult, requires commitment and effort, requires time spent outside of air conditioning, and forces one to put the phone down for a minute, is lost on the younger generation.

      I don’t care what changes you make to the game. If the younger generation takes to it at all, it would be for “fifteen minutes,” and then you’d be worse off than you started because you would have run many core golfers out of the game.

      Golf, much like it’s equipment, is oversized. It is in the process of becoming right sized. Courses will close. OEMs and retailers may go out of business. And, believe it or not, that’s OK.

      But until we decide to change how we raise our young (and the Asian model of discipline and respect is a great one to visit, it’s really how we used to do things, and you see the game growing there do you not?), golf in America will continue to decline. And that’s a problem we can’t hang on the PGA of America, OEMs or retailers.

      • Lucy C.

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:37 am

        And there’s the misinterpretation again. There’s nothing about Hack Golf that intends to fundamental change the game. Its about fundamentally changing the ENTRY into the game. No one is picking up golf and initiatives like Hack Golf are trying to change that, but with most golfers so unbelievably resistant to ANYTHING even resembling change its a non-starter. Does softball fundamentally change baseball? Does Tee Ball? Its about getting people engaged and moving down the path of learning the game and being interested enough in it to continue…

        • Shallowface

          Jul 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

          Lucy, 15 inch cups are a fundamental change to the game, and that’s no misinterpretation.

          Nothing is ever gained by the lowering of standards.

        • rgb

          Jul 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm

          Hell, I have a hard enough time trying to get public course players to apply a little etiquette and not walk across (and invariably step right on) the putting line. And now some dweebs want to make the game easier, with less rules, less distance and bigger holes? Hell, tell them to take up tennis if they want instant gratification.

    • DDD

      Jul 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Simple question. I put $30,000 of goods (wholesale) in my golf shop. At MAP it’s worth $38,000. 3 months later MAP is dropped on some goods that the manufacturer realizes isn’t selling at all. 3 months after that MAP drops again and suddenly I’ll be lucky to break even on the goods that I bought. Why am I in business with you the manufacturer? Why should I trust your next line is worth buying if your last was a dud? Why wouldn’t the manufacturer offer complete refunds for goods not sold? We both know why yet what isn’t good for the manufacturer is just assumed to be ok with the retailer.

    • AggOwl

      Jul 25, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      To T A B and SHALLOWFACE…

      I agree with a lot of what you each said.

      I started playing THE GAME when I was 6 years old and not on some elitist course. I never knew THE GAME was considered elitist. My dad and grand-dad both played and we lived and worked very middle class. It was nine holes where the greens were the same grass as the fairways and a local rule allowed use of a tee in the first fairway depending on the wind direction and tide conditions. We could walk and play 18 in 3 hours or less before we were 12 years old.
      As unimpressive as this course was, I was not allowed on it alone until I had demonstrated I could conduct myself in a manner befitting THE GAME, was familiar with golf etiquette, aware of my pace of play, could play quickly, understood to let faster groups play through, ALWAYS fix ball marks, divots, bunkers and generally leave the course in better condition than it was before I arrived. I learned this at six years old because I wanted to play, and to play, I had to learn it. I had no right to be on that course otherwise.
      I still play that way today.
      The time and energy it takes to learn THE GAME and play well is much more than 95% of golfers can ever comprehend.
      I agree our next generation’s attention span and need for instant gratification will only decrease the number of rounds played in future years. I also agree, on the average, it is a result of how they are taught life’s lessons (or are not) and other cultures are doing a much better job, to the benefit of their future generations.
      In my prime I was a 2 handicap, today I am sixty and a 10. I am married to a wonderful lady and still work full time. I manage to play over 100 rounds a year and in the last few years I have played over 60 rounds on courses all over the country. THE GAME, and the comradery is why I play and why those golfers that understand THE GAME will continue to play.
      I recently left a corporately owned club with 1200 golf members and about as many social, tennis, athletic and weekday members. It could take 5 hours to play a round, most of the members damaged the course during their rounds and felt it was beneath them to rake bunkers, repair ball marks or divots, stay off worn areas and just use common sense.
      It is managed by one the best known “named” companies yet management is dictated to by a hedge fund. There is a push to sell memberships for the initiation fee rather than maintain the existing members. The course and services went to the dogs and new members kept signing up. The problem was they were only about 100 real golfers as members. It had become an event venue with a golf course as an attraction. It was is longer a golf club, they are in the entertainment business. A perfect example of the business of golf betraying THE GAME.
      I joined a 460 member club that has no other membership but full golf. It is a true Golf Club.
      My point is, the corporate owned clubs, manufacturers and promoters, including the PGA and other tours are more interested in the business and profits than THE GAME. They have bastardized THE GAME to create a spectacle that sells well. What they sell is equipment and fantasy to those who know nothing about THE GAME or playing THE GAME and a place to try and hit the ball with the club.
      I was taught about THE GAME at an early age and learned to play THE GAME over 50 years. Not everyone learns THE GAME, then learns to play THE GAME. When you do, you then play THE GAME for THE GAME itself, NOT for your score.
      There is nothing wrong with golf courses closing and manufacturers and retailers going out of business. The problem is the business grew too much and too fast at the expense of THE GAME. If you want to call it downsizing or rightsizing, OK. The public gorged itself on the fantasy the business was (and is) selling. There were way too many “wannabe” golfers in the last 20 to 30 years that were never going to stay with THE GAME because THE GAME did not live up to what the business of golf had sold them on.
      Woods (and to some extent Nicklaus) was the best thing that ever happened to the business, but the WORST thing that ever happened to THE GAME. The business of golf has hurt THE GAME of golf.
      THE GAME will recover, the business may not. In fact that may be best for THE GAME.

      • jim

        Jul 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm


        And all God’s children said “Amen”!

        I’m 70 played THE GAME from 27 to 58. From a dusty 9 hole course to an invite to Augusta in ’87.

        Thus I can truly say, how well written you are.


    • Anon

      Jul 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      The PGA only teaches you to be a better shoe salesman. Any credible instructor in the PGA learned what they know on their own, not from the PGA.

    • Dave

      Jul 27, 2014 at 1:20 am

      Well said. Many sports have governing bodies (for lack of a better term) that utilize “amateur” rules to allow their games to be more accessible to the masses. Golf needs to go there if it wants to grow. The Tiger effect is probably over.

  36. LongBall

    Jul 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I’m of the opinion that even though the game is expensive & very difficult to be any good at…The pace of play has caused more damage to its player base than any other factor. I have been a golfer since the early 90’s and I have noticed more slow play over the last two season than ever before. I think the fact that courses are seeing revenue shrink mean they are not hiring Marshals to police the pace. It does not take much longer than a 4.5 – 5 hr round to make you start questioning where else you could/should be instead of grinding out the last 3 holes behind guys in front of you playing army golf.
    Its a serious issue and if they could get it down to 3 hrs or less more people would play more often.

    • William PGA

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:18 pm


      I am a PGA Professional and take what the consumer “says’ very seriously as this is my profession. I came up the old school way through the PGA Program and stuck it out through the lean years. If you have people skills and customer service skills you will succeed in this business and will get the good jobs in the industry. I am sickened by what Dick’s did and blamed Taylormade and Tiger Woods.

      Give me a break! It is very hard for PGA Professionals to find good jobs in the industry. I currently work for Golfsmith and run the Callaway performance center for them. I have dedicated my time to being the best at my profession I can be. A “great fitter” has to be a “great instructor” in this business to gain repeat business. I have been fortunate to be given the proper training from golfsmith and I know my fellow associates have been trained properly as well.

      I can’t speak for what Dick’s does in training, but I have never been impressed with their level of service, so my guess is no one held them accountable. As far as these people bashing the PAT, give me a break. I passed mine and have been as low as a +2 handicap, but as a PGA pro it is very hard to maintain your playing level while working long hours to provide service to members/guests and have a balanced family life.

      PGA Professionals deserve more respect from the general public and the hacks posting on this board about eh PAT. It is just a requirement and trust me, shooting 80 in front of your membership is the last thing anyone wants to do to discredit their teaching ability.

      I bet Sean Foley, Martin Hall and other excellent teachers could care less about their playing ability. It’s about knowledge, growing the game and being a PROFESSIONAL!

      • Dreg Golf

        Jul 24, 2014 at 2:24 am

        The fact is, there is a glut of PGA professionals given the state of the economy in this post 2008 bubble economy and these layoffs represent house cleaning. It’s about shareholder value…not people…never was…cmon. If these guys are good, some will find pro jobs. If not, they’ll run the counter, work the range or find another job …selling insurance or cell phones like Rich Beem use to.
        As for the 5-6 hr round and the current state of golf? I love it!!! Cheap golf and plenty of courses to choose from. Consumers = winning. This is why the golf industry is whining………sorry you better learn to contract. Better renegotiate those players salaries and TV contracts! Maybe the hacks you see out there daily don’t need a new driver ever 6 months?

      • Jim Awad

        Jul 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        In my PGA Section you pretty much had to wait for a head pro to die or retire after 38 years to create an opening to advance. When I first started in the (not mentioned, but very influential and wealthy) section, every year there were over a dozen assistant or teaching positions at ‘to die for’ private clubs that advertised pay from 50-70k. Last few years maybe 3 or 4 offering pay up to 50….Meanwhile, my organization – I was proud to be a member of as any other major accomplishment in my life – started opening up the doors to membership and cut all our throats. Class A used to be the standard of excellence. Now, to “Enhance my VALUE to my employer (hah…got canned Tuesday) I’m supposed to PAY them MORE money to get ‘Certified’ in such nonsense as ‘cart management’ or turfgrass, or food & beverage, while some green horn w/ no family to support will work for peanuts for Billy Casper. The P in PGA now stands for PAY…. they never got us health insurance as a major group, they had half ass access plans, but never the rates and buying power of a group of 30+ thousand people should have, because they were always looking out for thier own bottom line ans the few class A1 members who could jack up a place like Winged Foot for AAA health insurance as part of their contract package, and always left the rest of us hanging in the breeze. They and large OEMs cut our throats. And PS….my DSG shop was UP from last year….took 2 years and help from a guy high up to better equip my shop for my area, but with his help and my enthusiastic and yes SKILLED service we did it. So much for “universal bad service and unskilled pros” as so many of you chimed in

        • Jim Awad

          Jul 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm

          I worked hard making my DSG shop better and I loved the way the company treated us (until of course this week) but we had excellent benefits – including adoption assistance. I’m proud of the staff of associates I assembled and I know we had helped a lot of our customers with a neverending supply of tips, coaching and equipment selection that was best for them. I’m sorry this went down this way, but a lot of good folks did get hurt. As far as the minority of DSG associates or pros that didn’t give great service goes…well they won’t be in this shrinking business much longer and we’ll all be better off

      • Anon

        Jul 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm

        That’s the same argument I always provide when someone tries to say a good player makes a good instructor. Do you think Sean Foley is going to even come close to being able to beat Tiger Woods? Playing and teaching golf are two completely different animals. A professional golf instructor hones his skill by constant research and has to communicate effectively. All a good golfer has to do is swing, it doesn’t make him a teacher.
        But yes, the PAT should remain in the PGA. It is a badge of honor and pride to pass it, and it keeps the riff raff out!

        • Uphill both ways

          Aug 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm

          “A badge of honor”?! Give me a break. 6200 yard course of avg. rating (69 or 70) and an avg. (115) slope and having to shoot double the rating plus 14. Mind-blowing skill it s not come in at 154. And you don’t even have to pass it anymore, until you are up for membership, that is. The P.A.T. is simply a money maker, nothing more. Case in point, my D.O.G. had to take it 15, yes that’s correct 15 times!!!!! If you are a 12 hdcp. great, but should you really attach the word “professional” and give the implication of skill?

    • Joe

      Jul 24, 2014 at 12:03 am

      If you really want to play golf in under 3.5 hours you should play at 5-6am or find something else to do because that’s ridiculous. I have a group, no one is over a 7 handicap, we usually play a course at 6900-7100ish (unless we have hangovers), we play ready golf, and cart about half the time. 4-4.5 hours is what we play in with nobody ahead of us. If you want to play under 3.5, god forbid 3 hours, just strap your clubs on your back a go for a jog. If courses required 3-3.5 hours nobody would play, except you. Golf is a game not a race, I feel bad for you that you have reduced a great game to a stopwatch. You really should find something else to do. Golf is “a great walk spoiled”‘ not a great jog spoiled. Too bad for you.

      • Kirk

        Jul 24, 2014 at 12:22 am

        sorry but you guys must be slow. we play six and sevensomes with 3 walkers in 3 hours 15 minutes all the time.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 12:59 am

          I don’t know what to tell you, we enjoy hanging around each other. We also play $50 Nassau and birdie drink bogey buy. I just don’t see how playing that fast would be any fun, but to each his own.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 1:22 am

          No offense, but you guys are probably playing at about 6000 yds max. We’re playing min 2 par 4’s more than you over 18. That’s about 40 minutes more, give or take? Let me know what your time is next time you play the tips, I’ll bet were very similar.

          • Brian Wallace

            Jul 24, 2014 at 8:56 am

            7 handicaps playing the tips is part of the problem. 2 things: If you can’t play a round in less than 4 hours you are slow and 7 handicaps should not be playing that far of a course. The main problem is slow players don”t know they are slow. Like this gentleman. You can be the worst golfer in the world, I don’t care, but you cannot be bad and slow. I am not saying Joe is bad, but he is definitely slow!

          • MHendon

            Jul 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm

            This is to ole’ Brian’s comment about who should and who shouldn’t play the tip. First even the play it forward initiative doesn’t suggest which tee’s you play based of handicap. It’s based off how far you hit your tee shot. Second 7 handicap is pretty good and generally able to handle the yardages suggested by joe. I can guarantee moving up a tee wouldn’t speed them up much if at all unless joe and his friends are really good but short hitting senior golfer.

          • WOW

            Jul 25, 2014 at 9:15 am

            7 handicaps aren’t bad but I have 16 handicaps at my club that can hit it 300 yards, should they play the back tees? What tee you play is somewhat based on both factors, distance and ability. People think the two go hand in hand, but they certainly do not. Golfers need to play a tee they find slightly challenging but still fun that they can play in under 4 hours as a 4-some. Agree with Wallace, if you aren’t done in under 4 you sir are part of the problem.

          • Joe Blow

            Jul 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm

            By your logic golf is a six hour round? 20 minutes per par 4, say 15 for par 3’s, and 25 for par 5’s. And people wonder why there is a pace of play problem. You sir are the problem and need to take a good long look at how you play. Show some consideration for the other people on the course. Golfers never realize their actions affect more people than just themselves. You probably also think that it is maintenance’s job to fix your ball marks and fill your divots!!!

      • MHendon

        Jul 24, 2014 at 12:22 am

        The only way to really play in under 3.5 hours is to play as a single. I’ve found for me in that rare occasion that I can play by myself and not be held up by anyone in front of me, my pace for 18 holes is right at 3 hours. But that’s obviously not reasonable for a foursome. I would say add about a half hour for each additional guy, so a foursome should take about 4.5 hours.

        • Rich

          Jul 24, 2014 at 5:47 am

          Sorry mate but I think that’s slow for a single. I’ve played 27 holes with one ball (no mulligans) in 4 hours. And that’s walking a 6600 yard course. I think lasers and putting a line on your ball to line up putts has been the worst thing for pace of play. Pros have a lot to answer for in this area.

          • MHendon

            Jul 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm

            27 holes in 4 hours isn’t that much faster than 18 in 3. Besides I didn’t say that I couldn’t play faster I have played 18 in as little as 2:15. But my optimum pace of play where I’m actually trying to score well is 3 hours. Also I don’t put a line on my ball, I’ve always found that more of a distraction than a help. But to say lasers have slowed the game is far from accurate. It’s much quicker than someone walking around for 2 to 3 minutes looking for a yardage marker.

      • Bob

        Jul 24, 2014 at 6:18 am

        You play slow…srs…you play slow.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

          This isn’t just for Bob and Brian but all players that think 4-4.5 hours is slow. You guys need to address slow play to the courses then because every course I’ve ever played stated that the recommended time for 4somes is somewhere between 4-4.5 hours. We always play one of the back two tees, adding about 800-1000 USA extra to the whites, where the vast majority of golfers play, and meet that mark. Also, for Brian, I’m not a golf snob, if you can play the tips and keep it under 88, you deserve to play them. Over that number though, well that’s just a mess.

          • Uphill both ways

            Aug 1, 2014 at 8:13 pm

            They never recommend that. READ CAREFULLY: Pace of play ( the absolute maximum allowable time) is, for most courses, between 4 and 4.5 hours. If you complete your round in four hours it took you the LONGEST acceptable time to play. Furthermore, that time is only acceptable if those behind you are not playing more quickly in which case you should move the hell over. Pace is addressed in the rules and so are 4 player groups as two fundamentals of the game.

      • John

        Jul 24, 2014 at 9:49 am


        4.5 Hours is a very slow round where I come from. I suspect you always play with no one in front of you because your half a hole behind on the second teebox.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm

          We rarely get to play that way, but we do tend to meet the time allotted! Also, our 7 (6.8) is not handicapped from the whites, so he has no problem with the tips. Yes, putting a 7 handicapped from the whites would be a disaster! I don’t know what to say about slow except we play at well regulated courses and never have any problems. If you want to play fast get up early and you shouldn’t have any problems. We rarely tee off before 9-9:30.

          • Uphill both ways

            Aug 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm

            He is handicapped from the whites. you stated his index (6.8) that is his relative ability. His COURSE handicap will differ and be a whole number. You should get more information about handicaps before you proceed.

      • Craig Smith

        Jul 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        YOU are the problem. You. You and your drinking buddies are making every other group on the course wait. If you want to drink, go drink. And move up a set. A group of 7’s shouldn’t be playing from 7100 yards. Look in the Mirror. YOU, personally, are causing people to quit the game.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm

          Craig, we drink a bit gamble a lot, play from the tips or the next set, maybe, maybe, one of us will shoot out of the 70’s (and get heckled!), and finish our round in the courses allotted time for a foursome without holding anybody up (except a single that might play thru).We’re the problem? Well if that’s the case………….so be it. But you my friend need to take a long hard look in the mirror……… see what boring looks like!
          Also, you should read the post more thoroughly, there’s only one 7, a 6.8 really. The rest of us are under 4, but we don’t want to rub it to the 7. So leave if you want, more women will join, they’re funner to play with anyways.

      • Justin

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:17 pm

        I’m sorry, but I can see 4 hours, but 4.5 hours is getting long…I’ve played a nice, steady, not rushed pace with a bunch of 20 hcp players, and played in 3 hours and 50 minutes. There’s no reason to play slow.

        • Joe

          Jul 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm

          I agree Justin, 4 hours is very reasonable, and that is the time we play in (+/-10) the majority of the time. If we play 4.5 or 5 it’s because that’s the pace the course is going at. Do I enjoy 4.5-5 rounds? If I’m in a tourney no, otherwise I don’t really care. But 5+ is just crazy, but a good golfer, at least around here, knows the days and times (roughly) the course is gonna be slow, so if you’re there it’s your fault. If you don’t love the game enough to put up with the things that aren’t gonna change, then find something else you do love enough. Because I’ll tell you, with people having to pay as much as they do, you’re not gonna get a lot of courses willing to risk loosing the business. Plus, the courses seem to think that 4:15ish is fast enough, or they wouldn’t use that as the target time.

          • MHendon

            Jul 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm

            I’m with you joe, I don’t know where 4 hours started becoming slow for a foursome. I’ve been playing for 20 years and that’s always been the standard for a foursome. I guess it’s this young generation always in a hurry.

      • Chris

        Jul 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        Well said, Joe. I hurry all week so I can slow down a bit on the course!

        • Joe

          Jul 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

          Absolutely Chris! It’s suppose to be played for recreation. It’s like these people want to beat their personal best time instead of their personal best score. And I agree MHenderson, if these guys have something else to do that’s so important that you don’t have 4 hours for golf then skip the golf and get to doing it. That will make everyone happier.

      • Callaway X Hot

        Aug 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

        My foursome walks 7200 yd courses in under 4:00 consistently without rushing. You guys must play slow.

  37. oso

    Jul 23, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Sorry to hear this. I hope the impact will find something and land on their feet as soon as possible.

  38. mike

    Jul 23, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Quit sugar coating it sorry guys lost their jobs but plain and simple truth the golfing industry,courses ,club makers etc have been greedy to long hence the drop in golf participation!!!

    • Kirk

      Jul 24, 2014 at 12:24 am

      participation in golf has dropped because the game is HARD. today every one wants it now. If you want to be any good it takes playing twice a week and practicing 2 or 3 times a week

  39. Martin

    Jul 23, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    As a Canadian I only have one experience with Dicks in St George, Utah.

    I had played a pretty sloppy round and went in to try the new Rocketballz TMAG irons. The guy was about 40 so he was probably the pro, he set me up on the simulator and I hit 5 balls between 220-230, I hit a 5 iron more like 170.

    I said that can’t be and he went on and on about how great the new clubs were, I was playing 2 year old Mizuno JPX800’s at the time, so I went out to my car, pulled my 5 and low and behold I hit it 226 yards.

    He didn’t have much to say at that point.

    Most pro’s I have known over the years become Pros because they love the game and envision a grand existence, by the time they are in their late 20’s they are generally sot of p/o’d at the game. They make very little money, they hardly ever play and they figure out as they become adults hanging around the shop just isn’t that much fun.

    • Parquet court

      Jul 24, 2014 at 3:54 am

      I have always sworn that those machines were cranked. I went into a similar store to dicks in Australia and tried out a set of i25s.

      I was hitting my 7 iron 175-180 metres. My jaw dropped at the figure and shot after shot got up to the 180 mark.

      Took them out on course and was straight away back to 160 metres (just like my old set). I’d love to be able to prove this one day and get them done for misleading advertising or fraudulent product information

      • docx

        Jul 24, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        The machine can be set to power boost but the ball speed is still the real ball speed. The rocketjunk went further because the lofts were stronger than mizuno and TM made the clubs 3/4″ long….as far as your 220 yd indoor 5 iron, he should have pointed out your launch angle – probably 13 degrees – and reminded you you were hitting off a MAT and that you were trapping the ball against a non-yielding surface. Out on grass you probably could’ve buried a cat in the hole you would have dug.

        • docx

          Jul 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

          Clarification…..the ball speed displayed on the screen is the actual ball speed regardless of whether it’s on ‘power boost’… …80% of people trying out clubs – usually some knob in flip flops who says he’s a 5 – swear the thing’s off because “no way that ONLY went 228 (carry) I crushed that one”….They all say they hit it 270+……sorry Judge Schmails…..135 mph ball speed with 19 degree launch on one hit and 138 & 11 on the next; the simulator was right….. And….No serious buyer shows up to demo and buy a $400 driver in flip flops. Show some respect to the fitter if you expect to receive it ….just sayin’….

    • DDD

      Jul 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Good for you for calling the sales guy out. BTW he’s incentivized to sell you those clubs. Did he offer to have you try other irons?

  40. Ballstriker

    Jul 23, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Well, Target carries “quality” Northwestern golf equipment. Any there’s always a quality box of pearls and a brand name sun visor on hand!! Hahaha!! Maybe I’ll apply as the “everyman” equipment specialist and expand their one isle display!!

  41. SS

    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    This comes from a PGA Professional who now has a bunch of friends out of work. Dicks was a very solid job and unfortunately maybe too solid. Class A PGA Professionals started between $16-$18 phr with medical , dental, eye, as well as section event stipends and msr credit support. Some Dicks even had their guys on on partial commission plan which really hit them hard when clubs were on closeout. I’ve heard that some apprentices received checkpoint reimbursement if they worked full time and hit certain sales numbers. At the end of the day retail is way down and they can save millions by bringing in a retired guy and a high school kid to sell nothing which is what their selling now and save big on wages and zero benefit packages. Dicks was good to the PGA for as long they could be so no hard feelings. Just think they should have offered these guys a lower comp package as an option. They might have been surprised how many would have stayed.

    • William PGA

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      They abused the PGA Logo for promotions and then sh*t on these guys. It is pathetic!

    • TS

      Jul 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Many of them would have stayed and re-worked their compensation packages. A good number of the Pros were working in multiple departments within the stores as well…. The PGA guy at my local store completely ran the racquet sports department as well as golf… He taught himself how to string tennis and racquetball racquets to be more of an asset to the store… I think he said he was doing 15-20 racquets a week last time I was in there. They were spread so thin and given so little support staff that to the average customer it looked as though there was nobody to help…. i.e. poor customer service. I know he was frustrated with the inventory as well….. tons of expensive, new-release product but they didn’t replenish the store with discount product after it sold….. again leaving angry customers who couldn’t get the loft/shaft flex they wanted on the club that was advertised in the paper. Too bad they lost a good solid worker…. I imagine he’ll be better off without Dick’s in the long run anyway.

  42. savarini

    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Lets cut the crap here-Dicks and Golf at least here in Portland OR aka PDX They did it half way sure they sell clubs however they don’t carry PING Titliest or Mizuno clubs oh and you can hit the clubs the three random demos we have available and no used clubs to be had . Now the good, quick club repairs and adjustments and good deals on golf balls and apparel. I have often said and thought golf is too expensive you want to get people out to the courses lower the greens fees and stop all the snobbery.There are several golfers that cant play a lick but think since they look like the traditional golfers pre Tiger woods era that are better than everyone else on the course when there games often lack the validation of this stance. The marshall’s at a lot of public course also ruin the experience sneaking around peaking from around corners and following people asking them dumb questions like “what time did you guys tee off” then there are days on the exact same course when the course decides to book times back to back to back and they know its going to be impossible to play a four hour round and then they wont have a Marshall at all and I’m wondering what the hell happened to pace of play .Golf needs a customer service overhaul or very soon only private course will remain. The Marshall’s should be the cart girls instead of grumpy old cats that are mad they lost the long ball….

    • Carl Spackler

      Oct 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more. The pace of play is no fun. More people usually take longer, yet the pro-shop scheduler does not account for this. They put a 2-some right behind a 4-some. Also many seniors and women play the shorter set tees, so then you have these elderly 2-somes barking up your butt because they are playing off the reds, yet they never want to play through.

  43. Dave

    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Golf was a game for the privileged, mostly private clubs with a few public courses that were small dog tracts. It cost big money and those at the lower end could not afford (30s-70s.)
    As more people obtained middle class, more played the game, golf grew and courses sprouted. Not sure of the peak, but during the boom of 90s and early 2000s more people were middle class and played the game of the privileged, my opinion.
    Times were good, more courses and clubs. Thus more people playing.
    This brought on a plethora of new club makers and products were produced for the masses. As others suggested, golf clubs, club makers and other golf related items were focused for profit. While the sun shines, right.
    Very few young take up golf as it is a slow game that requires focus for an extended time. Not many 10, 14, and 20 year olds want to play a slow game and would rather play other faster sports. I know that my 10s, teens, 20s and 30s I did not play much, other sports were more enjoyable. This has not changed since the 30s and will be the same for many decades to come.
    As one said earlier, it is not a decline but an oversupply created by a wealth boom.
    To suggest that club makers are responsible is hogwash. Sure more people, more clubs, more profit but that in and of itself did not bring more golfers. Wealth, adds and perhaps Tiger. I’ll refrain on personal comments, but he brought many to the game and increased salaries for PROs and caddies.
    Club whores will always want the new thing. Those better or smarter players will indeed know that clubs are not 50 to 75 yards longer than original titanium drivers. It’s the ball and shaft, stupid. Look at the 2014 driver test on here, its 17 yards shorter than last year? Did the PGA rein in the ball?
    Golf is overextended and the correction is absolute and is based on the recession.
    All the complaints of poor play or slow play irritates my bones to the core. I am a 100 golfer and I enjoy the game, hell I love it and know full when it’s my time and enjoy every swing. Yes I practice golf etiquette.
    As a bad golfer, (most of us as I have only seen 3 who were close to par) I’m tired of the PGA new agenda of fast play. This is not good for growth. Why do I want to pay $40 to $80 plus a round and be stressed and pushed only to realize that all of us suck. If I was a new golfer, I would not put up with this BS and spend my money on something that is enjoyed. Some of my friends are beginners and they want to quit due to this. Most of us are 30-50 are grown men and do not wish to be treated like a kid being pushed. Another better player (90s) constantly complains of slow play and he himself sucks. Way to go PGA.
    If you are good, sub 80s than I’m sure you are aware that weekends are full of us hackers, Dads with their son or daughter or beginners. Weekday golf than is your best bet for faster play, simple.
    How can it be possible PGA is losing 400,000 players but yet we show no consideration and complain about beginners? One answer $$$$$$$!
    To grow the game, we need to realize who plays and why. The PGA does not produce golfers nor club or golf product producers, media or adds, it’s the Dad, Mom, family, friends or job that introduces beginners to golf. Stop the hurry up and play so that new golfers will enjoy the experience and want to come back. Youth are not playing, look around the next time you play, most are 30s and up. It’s an age related game and 20 year olds are not going to be habitual golfers, no way no how.
    So courses are going to close and people will lose jobs as golf is not recession proof. Golf will continue as it is one hell of a game, maybe not as profiteers would like but those who enjoy will still play.
    People will re-play the game when it’s an enjoyable experience for recreation and fun. So next time any of you perfect golfers gets irritated at slow play, remember that for the game to continue, new players must have a good experience.
    Shame for anyone to lose a job. Many others have and more cuts are on the way. Recession still lingers and hurts all of us.

    • Will

      Jul 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      We have pretty much doubled the world population since 1970. There are more people everywhere. Traffic is worse, any line you stand in is worse, the golf course was crowded, etc. I don’t think allowing slow play is the answer because from what I have seen working at a course the last two years, more people want to actually spend less time playing. Very few people can spend 4-5 hours playing golf. We don’t have a 9 hole rate and I complain to the head pro about this constantly. But people always ask to play 9. 1. It’s cheaper 2. You can be in and out in under 3 hours.

      I also agree with the PGA wanting to add a larger hole for amateurs. Why not? Just like you have a choice of what tees to play, what is wrong with having a choice of what size hole you want to play?

      We have a 9 hole short course and have experimented with the larger hole and not one person has had anything but good things to say about.

      Golfs biggest problem is it gets in it’s own way. Instead of pioneering new ways to make the game more fun they cling to out of date conceptions.

    • Chris Loskie

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Hey enjoy the game and take your time….. BUT let me play through lol

    • Brad

      Jul 24, 2014 at 2:28 am

      Lots of good comments Dave. Dicks failed at this because they did not know their customer. If you are bringing in a so-called professional. (And let me say just because you belong to the pga does not make you the aforementioned. ) then you need to have people who know clubfitting and deliver instruction. And above all else someone who cares. My wife has worked for nordstrom for over 22 years and they are constantly changing based on knowing their customer. Dicks is just selling decent equipment. No custom clubs, or customer service. Im sure there were some good fitters and instructors there, and i wish them well. But young people want instant success and this game does not provide that. So I try to get them to see the journey ahead in myFirst Tee program and in my private instruction. The economy also cannot be ignored. Even at the course I work at times are tough. And we are one of the most affordable and lenient. “Teeing it forward” and pace of play will never be successful. People should be able to play whatever tees they want and take their time…just know the etiquette. Let people play through and have some respect. Also as an instructor I feel its my responsibility to get people using the right equipment. Especially juniors and women. They have the most ill-fitted clubs and perhaps thats why its no fun. Educate them and show them you care. Its working for my business. Also give alittle having beginner clinics at very little cost specific to women and juniors. It does take effort and it will take an improved economy but its doable

    • Peter

      Jul 24, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Sorry Dave, but I don’t buy it. Nobody is going to come back and play when every par 3 tee box is stacked up with multiple groups waiting for the “pros” on the green to make it through their Jim Furyk imitation. Being bad at golf is not an issue. Neither is being a good player who is slow. Being both is a problem.

      • mgm

        Jul 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

        Hey Peter,
        So it’s ok to be a slow “good” player but not a slow beginner? You just illustrated Dave’s point perfectly. Slow is slow. But let’s face it the 3 hour round for a foursome is the same as the 300 yard driving average everyone around here boasts about. Public courses are for everyone who pays green fees, not just delusional low handicaps that think they own the game of golf and don’t recognize that they themselves are the problem, not everyone around them.

        It’s simple why dicks fired these pros: they weren’t making them money. If you feel bad for them, well I do too. But if you are one of the people that treat brick and mortar stores like a showroom for stuff you order online for less money than you contributed as well.

        • Peter

          Jul 29, 2014 at 5:29 pm

          @mgm – my rationale for the slow or bad but not both comment was simply this — a slow golfer who takes 75 shots per round is inherently still going to knock a big chunk of time off the time from the guy taking 105.

  44. ChrisP2773

    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    The golf industry has been down for quite a few years now. The economy alone is a major reason, unemployment is another.Manufacturers don’t help the situation either. More specifically Taylor Made. The only people who make money in this game are the guys you see on TV. If you notice on TV, the gallery sizes on the Senior, European, and the LPGA tournaments.

    I play at a state park in New York, its called Bethpage. A complex that has 5 golf courses. One of them happens to be the number 1 public course in the country. And for the last few years the park is down 20% if not more in rounds played. That equates to 50,000 rounds. And this is a state park where greens fees are reasonable.

    • KB33

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Listen I get what you are saying…but…Bethpage Black is not the #1 public course in golf. I believe that honor goes to Pebble Beach or Whistling Straits.

      • MHendon

        Jul 24, 2014 at 12:27 am

        Pebble Beach and Whistling Straits are privately owned and not truly public courses, Bethpage is state owned so he may in fact be right.

        • threadjockey

          Jul 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

          I think the description Chris P meant to use was municipal, not public.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 24, 2014 at 6:07 am

      Enjoyed playing the Red & Blue in the 1970s!

  45. rixirox

    Jul 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I am sorry to hear this. It IS the economy. Obama needs to get out of politics and play more golf.

    My Pro at Dick’s will be missed. I won’t be able to get his advice and guidence. Yes, I get certain things done at Galaxy because they do certain things real well. It’s just a much longer drive to get to Galaxy. My DSG Pro was right around the corner.

    • Brian

      Jul 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      It’s very unfortunate that they had to fire all the PGA pros. There is a lot of good golf knowledge that will be looking for jobs and hopefully some of them find some small local courses and their knowledge helps bring attention to these small public courses.

      And I hate to go there and point this out, but the presidential position in General has very little influence in changing the economy, whether that is bringing it up or down

  46. Oldplayer

    Jul 23, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Golf bricks and mortar retail is really struggling, just like a lot of other retail because the old model is dying.
    Online sales if not now will soon be dominant. The world changes and there has always been business success and failure.
    Specifically regarding golf club purchases. Has anyone noticed the value that can be had buying from ebay and the like.
    The avid club enthusiast who over time will buy a lot of clubs have opted for this option more and more.
    I bet over the last ten years the volume of sales in new and used equipment has skyrocketed.
    I would image the price of ebay stock may be a little healthier than Dick’s and the like.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 24, 2014 at 6:11 am

      If you buy your clubs “on line” you are missing out on one o the great joys & experiences in golf. Working with a pro to decide what’s the best equipment for your game. That’s why people don’t stay either.

      • ken

        Sep 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Golf pros try to charge too much for what seems to me like very little work.
        I was in a golf shop which will go nameless to have a shaft replaced.
        I got into a conversation with the owner who is also a certified club fitter and club maker.
        OK, fine.
        Long story short, he wanted $200 for a 30 minute swing analysis and club fitting. And that would be in company with me buying a set of irons….
        TWO HUNDRED BUCKS?!!!!! Uh, hey buddy, if I buy the clubs here, how about you cutting the price of the other stuff?
        With that high rate, he lost a sale on a $700 set of irons.

  47. Joe V

    Jul 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Dick’s golf section and their employees are TERRIBLE. Many times I have wanted to demo some clubs ready to make a purchase but no one wanted to help me out. I have on several occasions asked them to see if I can demo a driver on their launch monitor only for them to tell me that it’s not working properly. Funny thing is, after walking around the store, it miraculously worked for someone other than me. They do live up to their name I guess. Good thing I found a local club maker now that seems to do good work.

    I have been playing golf for exactly 1 year now and have over 20 rounds in this year already. I’m in my early 30s. Finding cheap green fees definitely is a bonus for me otherwise I probably wouldn’t be playing as often as I’d like. I’d play everyday if I can.

    And I guess that goes to who the market can and should attract too to grow the game of golf – Former players from other sports in which they can’t participate in anymore. As long as I can compete in anything, I will try it out. Through my teen years, basketball and football were at the forefront. Then it was just basketball. It was easy to find a pick-up game and there were easily accessible parks and gyms to play. You can go out 4-5 nights a week and catch a few good games in. With basketball, as you grow older your mental game is great but your athleticism has declined tremendously. Golf should do something similar. Rather than putting up mega-18 hole courses, run with more 9-hole courses or par 3 9-hole courses. 9 hole courses are generally cheaper so people can get more rounds in at a perceived lower price too. More courses for different skill levels would be nice in golf. Just like in basketball, you go to a certain part of town, or a certain basketball court to play those “better” players or for a better challenge. If you want cupcake teams you can go to those courts too. Or just a friendly scrimmage you can easily find a court to play. People will always find ways of buying what they want, it’s just the nature of consumerism. Rather than buying $50 Spalding basketball because it “grips” better and the seams are better, rather than buying $200 Nike Air Jordans, you have to shift these spending habits into golf. I have relatives that buy $1000+ surf rods for fishing only to see use it sparingly or not at all.

    Seems like I’m rambling, but I feel good that I picked up a sport in golf in which I can play till I’m old. It still relies on some physical strength but I think it’s more of a finesse and mental game.

    • Dan

      Jul 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Their PGA pros were truly Dick’s if you get my drift. I was just about ready to buy a $700 set of irons there when the “pro” told me my swing was horrible but he could fix it with private lessons…then when I didn’t take him up on it he ran me out of the simulator. I bought a set of new Mizuno JPX Pros on eBay instead and had a local guy fit them.

    • KB33

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Honestly, I have this problem regardless of the golf shop I go to.

      As a young professional, this is a big issue for me. There seems to be a magnet to the old stodgy man or guy dressed like Ian Poulter…I could have $500 hanging out of my fly and a G30 in hand and they would still walk past me. Golf has a lot of internal issues with the people that play and service the game that needs to be sorted out before they can talk about growth.

      • Evan

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

        I agree 100% ALOT of attitudes that need to be changed in the golf industry. Definitely room for individuals who have good customer service skills and are knowledgeable golfers. Too much BS in the game, too many badges covering up poor service and dead weight.

      • ken

        Sep 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        That attitude is pervasive in the business.
        Here you have these guys who think to themselves “I have gone through all this training, have a college degree( if applicable) passed my PAT and now I have to deal with…..CUSTOMERS?!!!! And the questions from consumers looking out for THEIR wallets? What about ME?”
        They are not all like that, but there is a perception that the position of “Golf Pro” is a person who believes if they cannot make money off a consumer, that person is not worth more than 30 seconds of their time

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 24, 2014 at 6:12 am

      Good for you!

  48. mike

    Jul 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Had a pro, not just a clerk, tell me once that before I could hit a particular new release driver into their little net( Nike Sumo2) that I had to purchase it first. Haven’t been back since.

  49. James

    Jul 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    It’s the economy stupid…and the fact that people in this terrible economy are looking online at USED clubs. Why go pay 400+ tax on a new driver…let someone else buy it, hit it for a month, sell it for half.

    Also, golf itself is very EXPENSIVE…buy clubs, gloves, bag, shoes, tees, cost to play golf…drinks, snacks, gas to and from course.

    Everything is inflated now as well, money doesn’t go nearly as far now as it did 10-12 years ago, our dollar is becoming worthless. Back in 1999 I made min wage and could play golf 5 times a week…no way on earth I could do that now

    In 1980 35 cent was = to 1.01 today…

  50. Chuck W

    Jul 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I was working at Golf Galaxy when they were bought by Dick’s Sporting Goods. Boy did things change after that. But I do know the PGA Professional working there did a good job of giving lessons, was knowledgeable about product. When he was not giving a lesson he was on the floor as a salesman. Maybe others weren’t like that but this guy earned his keep.

  51. IO

    Jul 23, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I agree with laying the blame on major companies. Club manufacturers are beginning to hurt themselves with sales, and the integrity of the game. As with my other comment, I am big on the modern features/technology of clubs hurting the different types of golf business and sales:
    – For clubmakers, I feel the idea of “adjustability” takes the away from the integrity of a well-built golf club. I hate it! If it actually works?….Robs the well-trained clubmaking industry that was an art before. Now they have no work because everything is done with a crank of a wrench.
    – For teaching pros, I think the new technology takes away from actually learning how to swing the club correctly because people are just not as interested thinking technology will take care of flaws. “Longer, straighter” right?
    – For sales industry, the prices on clubs are so high now, people do not want to spend the money. And for someone like me,things like COR in drivers was max-ed out so long ago, how much better of a product are you actually getting. Introduction of “new” clubs and technology is just coming too rapidly and eventually demand will not keep up with sales quotas.

    Equipment and its effects is the cause for where I think the game is going to suffer, the actual amount of on-course play I think has always been a challenge. Golf has always been deemed a “rich man’s” game, but I think the economy furthers hurts golf course revenue as well.

  52. Dan

    Jul 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I too was in the off course golf business for 16 years, but didn’t get out because of contraction in the industry. I lose my lease and my location was sold in 2006. Lease amounts were sky high for new leases then and I decided the business had been fun but the future was looking dim and lease amounts were not dropping yet so I opted out of a business I loved. I was not and never wished to be a golf pro. Too many of them I knew were struggling as were the sales people representing all companies that were in the golf industry.
    So that being said, My business had grown to 75% online and 25% local. The locals would shop every golf establishment and then bust their golf pro friends balls for a cheap trade just for price. I was already below the industry prices by Watts, Warehouse, etc and they knew it. Most of them did all they could to try to get the biggies to cut me off. Bottom line is that the biggies would love to suck the golf pro, but the business was not there and they loved my volume.
    I do understand the past with the pros and know the future looks really bad for them. I do support them and wish them well, but am afraid that the die is cast for the immediate future. Don’t know where the industry is going but it doesn’t look good at this point.
    I don’t blame the TMades and Callaways, because big business demands that the managers there produce business as do their stockholders and that business is as competitive as selling any other high volume product.
    I’m out of the industry altogether now, but I sure wish good luck to all and especially those whose careers have been cut short by Dick’s and any others that have miscalculated the industry.

  53. ken

    Jul 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Dick’s prices and lack of service made the store the LAST place I would go for help. Most of the times I visited the Dick’s store here the PGA pro was not on duty. That meant, none of my questions could be answered.
    If the PGA Pro is not producing sales, there is no sense paying him or her.
    This comes as no surprise. Dick’s is a sporting goods store that sells golf equipment. It is not a golf store.

    • Double Ace

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Sorry to hear that, but the Dicks sporting Goods were i went had a very knowledgeable Pro, and most sales clerks were golfers of varying levels. Unfortunately i moved to Hawaii, and there are no Dicks stores over here.

      • MikeG

        Jul 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

        Also sorry, my Dick’s pro was a good friend.

    • Fred

      Jul 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      Ken: your last sentence is the reason why I never shopped sat Dick’s. The stores look great inside, but golf was treated like just a sideline to them. We have a Golfsmith here in San Antonio, and I’ll stick with them. Golf is their only business.

  54. tom stickney

    Jul 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    It was a great idea early on and from what I saw on the job boards they were paying their professionals quite well vs. the average club job at the same level. Sadly the golf retail business is TOUGH- margins on everything but soft goods are not enough to pay the overhead. Sad for all involved!

  55. Ron Owens

    Jul 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    It’s about time! Very seldom did I see the PGA pro in the “golf shop”. On the very few ocassions when I did, they were not very helpful. If I wasn’t looking for a high priced item, they weren’t interested in helping at all.
    Maybe they can find a “club job” and find out how to work for a living.

    • Evan

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I have been in quite a few Dick’s Sporting Goods and experienced the same thing. Although I think it has a lot to do with the friendliness of PGA Pros in general. Most PGA pros that I have met do not have good customer service skills and rely on their relationships with top tier customers and friends within the industry. Can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone rubbed the wrong way by the “stewards of the game”, PGA Professionals.

      • rixirox

        Jul 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        I have been playing and loving the game for over 50 years. I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of PGA Pros. They always did right by me. And most of the time, I liked that alot. I’d rather others stroke my ego at the 19th hole when I played an exceptional round than being BS’d into buying junk and fleeced at the store.

  56. Zorba

    Jul 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I would like to say that if all the companies didn’t pay all of those dollars to the PROS to play their brand, the clubs wouldn’t or shouldn’t be this expensive. Nor would they have to release so many new clubs to keep up the dollar flow. Tiger, Rory and Phil all thank us for being so loose with our dollars in buying their brands.
    It is funny that my old Callaway Fusion irons go just as far as my new Mizuno JPX EZs. Don’t you just love advertising and how they stroke our egos?

    • Double Ace

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Club prices for the quality clubs, like Titleist, Taylor Made, Ping, etc are set by the manufacturer not the sporting goods shop. This will have no affect on the price of clubs at Dicks Sporting goods.

  57. Lucy C.

    Jul 23, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Sadly its a vicious cycle. We can lay the blame squarely on TMaG and Callaway, but Dick’s is largely responsible as well for perpetuating the machine. The wouldn’t take in new product if they didn’t feel they needed it to ignite interest in the market. I completely agree that cycles need to slow down on hardgoods and go back to annual releases, but by the same token Dick’s was the beast fueling this fire and reaping huge profits in the industry. There’s also a substantial downturn in interest to get into the game, which is obviously another huge factor. The game is losing players, hemorrhaging them in fact in comparison to any other sport out there. Its not good for the game, and that in turn means its not good for businesses around the game. Until we can get more people into and the game and sticking with it, its all for naught… Their move to have a PGA Pro in each of their stores was a risky proposition at best considering its not a true golf destination to begin with and even with a PGA Pro in their golf section, the 17 year old making minimum wage who doesn’t give a damn is what a majority of the customers deal with anyway.

    Until we can grow the game again, none of it matters unfortunately!

    • Justin

      Jul 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      I don’t see how you can blame golf companies. They want to make money…and people are gullible enough to buy every new model that comes out. They’re a business, their main goal is to make money, and for most golfers, all they have to do is dangle “10 extra yards” infront of us, and we gobble it up lol.

  58. IO

    Jul 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I feel agree with another comment that the the introduction of “new” clubs and technology (actually new or marketed as new???)is just being brought out too fast the supply is there but the demand is only from a select few that can continue to “buy new” every year. I feel like, for example,the Titleist 983 drivers when they were in production were the driver line for Titleist for 2yrs before the 907 was introduced. I may be wrong on that, but it seemed like.

    Also I don’t think this age in “getting fit” for clubs helps the club industry as well. I figure if you get custom fit for a set of clubs or individual clubs and play them well, why are you gonna want to buy new clubs? A lot of people I know fall in to that “if it aint broke don’t fix it” category, or could be like I mentioned, they don’t see the need to buy the newest items every year

    • IO

      Jul 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      ——introduction of “new” clubs and technology (actually new or marketed as new???)—– to add to this, I always laugh at every company’s claim of 5-15yds “longer” with every new club that comes out if you’re just counting from year 2005 (about the time the famous Taylormade R7 appeared)if you were hitting that driver about 270yds…you should be around 370yds now with Taylormade’s latest offering,3yrs from now almost all par4’s may be drive-able from a yardage standpoint, HAHAHAHA!!!

      • Justin

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:24 pm

        Well, no offense, but if someone is gullible enough to believe that, considering they know there is limits on every club, they deserve it. You should buy a club based on look, feel, and accuracy. Most new clubs go about the same distance.

    • Dan

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      I dont know what you are talking about because I have gained 17 yards with each new release of Taylormade equipment for the last 6 years….as advertised. I am now hitting drives regularly 350 yards:)

      • Lucy C.

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

        Can someone, somewhere, please show me where, outside of RBZ Fairways, did TMaG every market anything to be a specific yardage longer? Every club company releases clubs as “their longest ever” as it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to do the opposite. Everybody on this site takes shots at TMaG for the distance claims, but as a close watcher of product releases I don’t remember a single time outside the release of RBZ where a specific distance gain was guaranteed. Everyone wants to fingerprint and talk about how Taylormade and Callaway are “ruining” the game. What’s ruining the game is the fact that no one wants to play because golfers are some of the most pompous, judgmental, hate mongers on the planet! Wake up!

  59. TheShawn

    Jul 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    We had 5 golf courses close around here, a couple that had been around 40+ years. It’s just the sign of the times with people being more judicious about where they spend their money, on top of the over building of courses during the real estate boom. Plus, with new equipment being so expensive and a weekend round costing $50+ at a nice course not including a snack/beverage it’s becoming less appealing. Add on lost balls and the game isn’t cheap to play.

    Plus, add on the ridiculous example PGA pros set that encourages slow play and taking 6 hours or more out of your day to play isn’t as easy to do.

  60. Adrian

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I often wonder whether pundits/industry/luminaries have been asking the wrong question. Perhaps it’s not a question of how to “grow the game” but rather dealing with the inevitable correction(s) of having “Overgrown/oversold/over-developed” the game for nearly two decades prior?

    • Joe

      Jul 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. I’m a less than 2 handicap, have two under 10 kids, my wife and I make a little over 100k a year, and I play maybe, maybe, 20 rounds a year. It’s just too expensive and time consuming. I only play tourneys or when my friends and I set aside a day to play and drink and just have fun. I have all brand name equip that 2/3’s I bought new, but nothing is newer than 2yrs, except balls of course. The game has become too expensive period, they don’t seem to get that. Luckily I live in Portland (OR) and we have terrific munies, but that’ll still run you $40ish weekends walking. The cost of equip is not the issue, you can get great stuff a few years old, cheap. The entry costs and the ongoing costs and time is the killer. Golf is contracting to a sustainable size. It won’t die, it’ll just shrink.

      • john

        Jul 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        What terrific munies are in Portland?

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 1:36 am

          A little course called Heron Lakes, an exceptional park course that’s call Eastmoreland and the course where the average men’s club handicap is maybe the lowest in the state called Rose City. Plus an in design 9 hole remodel of Colewood. Where are you from?

  61. Nathan

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Golf is a sport where they have blown distances and reality out of the water. It is also a sport that is not any fun to start playing. Typically, bad players are looked down on instead of embraced…It is amazing the average score is still the same after all these years. People should be getting better with all the technology we have. Kids are in the same boat. Kids hate when the more experienced players/older players look at them as if they play slow because they walk etc. I was lucky enough to have people watch out for me. You have to make it fun and low cost for certain players. Hell I work full time, but when the decision to join/play is a financial decision that is never good. If I play any other sport it is not a financial decision. Why cannot golf be the same?

    • LL

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      The reason golf is not as cheap as other sports is simply the cost of the playing field. Greens must be mowed everyday. Fairways, tees and fringes must be mowed at least 3 times a week. Rough is mowed continually. Bunkers are run 2-3-4 days per week and at many places they are run daily. Irrigation systems have problems and water costs money. Fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide costs are always on the rise. Trees continually lose limbs, leaves and the like. Trees need trimmed. Ropes need moved. Turf needs aerified and seeded. Water hazards need to have a weed eater run around the edges regularly, muskrat holes need filled and erosion has to be repaired. The playing field is 150-250 acres and maintenance is continual…. even when play is lacking. Very simply put, its not bowling or racquet ball.

  62. Ben

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I’m not surprised by this move. I’ve been to a few Dick’s Sporting Good stores and the service is terrible. I think if the PGA pros didn’t have their huge ego and were more customer service oriented, they’d still have a job. I’ve been to about 10 nationwide and I can honestly say I never got good service unless I was buying running shoes or at the register. Service should always be kind in retail and these pros failed because of that.

    • john

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Couldnt agree more. Ive been to several Dicks and Ive literally never had a single person come up and ask if they can help. Sometimes I would just stare at clubs and see how long it would take someone to help me. I ended up waiting forever and just leaving. This move comes as no surprise at all.

      • Justin

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm

        I’ve had some come up, I ask a simple question, and they can’t answer it lol.

  63. B-man

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Hey all: Just another thought on declining golfers. Who wants to spend BIG $$$ on equipment if they are only going to play 2 or 3 times a year. So they get any ol’ set of clubs that aren’t fit to then and wounder why they aren’t playing well or having fun then we go back to cost of custom fitting and maybe a lesson or 2 to get better which brings in much more $$$. It seems like a never ending cycle. P.S. most people that play golf aren’t buying new equipment every year so that seems to be a hard way to judge the state of golf these days as well. Thanks

  64. B-man

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Hey all: Yes it’s sad to see all these pga pro’s fired,but it all comes down to suply and demand. Companies expanding to fast and not enough demand for it. I think money, time and the fun factor the the biggest thing killing the golf industry in my opinion. I think companies are gouging the consumer with there insane prices on equipment. Add to that greens fees are insane at most courses. Finally I think that golf has to be played as an 18 hole round is outdated more courses should promote 9 holes and different scoring formats to attract more golfers and make the game more fun. Just my $.10 cents worth

  65. labillyboy

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    When you don’t have a job, have had your hours cut or have had to accept a lower paying position just to pay rent and put food on the table, you aren’t out buying a new driver every year. It’s just that simple.

    The failure of our economy will continue to keep people out of the sport and cut the number of rounds played until we get new leadership. When we return to a low tax, small government, less regulated economy; golf will come back.

    • Fred

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      labillyboy – as a small business accountant, the small construction guys: plumbers, elect, etc. are still hurting. I have a client in a leisure time business & they are struggling to stay in business. I have lost some business to this recession. Who knows what new business that I may have gotten… I agree with your comments. My son finds very excellent green fees at great courses at Golf websites. Proving that they are hurting.

    • Joe

      Jul 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      We had that with both Bush’s and part of Clinton, golf still declined just as much. Maybe, I don’t know, do some research or something next time before you start vomitting up typical republican “key talking points” next time. Maybe even try thinking for yourself, what could it hurt?

      • john

        Jul 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        Oh shut up and go watch your daily dose of MSNBC

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 2:06 am

          Nice, a “shut up” and an “MSNBC” reference, wow! Really thinking outside the box today! Maybe you should take a breather and rest up for tomorrow.

      • Double Ace

        Jul 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        WTF? Joe why invoke your left leaning politics onto a discussion on Golf? Go find a political website to spew your liberal rhetoric.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 2:03 am

          Try reading the lead post, that’s how things are suppose to work. Are you new to this type of technology?

      • 911

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm

        Golf took a big hit on 911. It was coming back until the market crash in 2008. Now, sorry to say, everything is on hold thanks to the crazy debt and deficits. That is a government and leadership problem.

        • Joe

          Jul 24, 2014 at 2:17 am

          Golfers and participation have steadily declined since at least 2000, we are in the middle of a long market correction. Golf will eventually find it’s right size, it’s a niche participation sport. It always has been.

  66. Pat M

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    The economy tanked in 2008 and it is not recovering. My local muni has seen business drop every year since 2008.

    • Oscar

      Jul 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Where do you live? Cleveland? Detroit?

    • Scotty P

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Take a look at the Dow. Run a two year. Get back to me about economy not coming back. What kind of business are you in?

      • Dow Reality

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm

        The Dow isn’t main street America.

        • Chris Loskie

          Jul 24, 2014 at 12:03 am

          Thank you.. take a look at the dow because that has shit to do with this awful economy…. people are making money with fake numbers on wall street.. meanwhile people are unemployed or underemployedthe

  67. MHendon

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    It’s a shame so many guy’s have been put out of work! Corporate greed has gotten out of hand in this country. These guy’s on average where probably no better than $10-$12 an hour which isn’t even a liveable wage but Dick’s knows they can put someone in there at $8 an hour with no real golf knowledge at all. On the plus side it should help boost business for the small golf shop again.

    • Fred

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      MHendon, as a senior, you are very foolish. You need to be self-employed for 5 years. You may find out that what you have swallowed during your attempt to be educated is wrong. Corporate greed is such a trite expression dreamed up by some liberal professor who has never worked a day in his/her life in the real world. Your own comments prove that you are greedy; you want to make more than $10/hour. Try to completely analyze an issue. You may find that there are more steps than from A to B.

      • MHendon

        Jul 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

        Hmmm lets see Fred since the introduction of Regan era tax cuts commonly referred to a trickle down economics the avg income for the top .1% has gone up over 400%, the avg income for the remaining top 10% has doubled and the remaining 90% of Americans have seen average income go from $34,000 in 1978 adjusted for inflation to $28,000 today. Virtually every economic law passed in this country is to help big business stay on top. Who do you think pushes all these regulatory laws on to the books making it next to impossible for the small business to get started. Yet people like you continue to buy into this false American dream. And Fred I was self employed, I left a very well paying job to chase this so called American dream only to get hammered down by the economic meltdown of 2008 caused by banking corporate greed. So I have more than completely analyzed the issue, maybe you should take your own advise!

        • Dan

          Jul 24, 2014 at 10:56 am

          MHendon, I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you for the truth.

      • Joe

        Jul 26, 2014 at 11:00 pm

        Fred I don’t know what world you think you live in, but I believe it is you who are truly misguided. My wive and I owned our own deprecate businesses for 5 and 6 years respectively. We gave up a portion of our profit so that we could pay our employees a livable wage and offer health insurance that was better than this basically “catastrophic” crap corporations offer now. You will NEVER find a publicly traded corporation that gives up profit for employee pay or anything else. THAT is corporate greed defined. I’ve worked for publicly traded and private corporations and I’ve never seen either that would sacrifice profit for anything. Corporate Greed is the very definition for the existence of Wall Street, because Wall Street rewards them for it. It’s called capitalism, been around for a while now.

    • raynor

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      …hahaha! $10 an hour! Lol I wish I made that. Been a golf pro 8 years, and have worked 60+ hours every week of it. Yearly pay is enough to pay bills, hourly comes out in the $7 range. Hell, I’d even take $7 plus the overtime…nope!

      It’s true, we don’t dig ditches. It’s not physically demanding, not mentally challenging, not emotionally rewarding. We’re warm bodies that can tell you why you keep hitting it through-your-legs-left. If you want to learn the piano, what would you do? Funny, when it comes to golf the word “lessons” just isn’t in the picture. Interest in golf is not the issue, people love golf, lots of them. Cost is a problem, but not for us pga. Our issue is that you don’t care if you get better, you won’t spend money to get better, especially when times are bad.

      • MHendon

        Jul 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        OMG that’s like $420 a week. You must have some really low bills.

    • Jim Awad

      Jul 27, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Actually, We were paid and treated very well by Dick’s. I had a very good teaching practice and was nationally recognized as a Top 50 Golf Instructor in America in 2007. After the birth of my son, I wanted more security and more comprehensive coverage than I could afford – that is, AFTER someone started screwing around with health care. In just a couple years following that wonderful idea, our insurance as individuals went through the roof.

      Dick’s offered me and my family an excellent benefits package that included short and long term disability insurance, life insurance, a BC/BS full medical package, paid holidays and even adoption assistance.

      We were salaried full time employees (mine wasn’t too bad, either) AND if we worked over 40 hrs, we even got paid OT. We were guaranteed and always paid full salary even if we came up a couple hours short during a pay period. Our PGA dues were covered as were section meetings and educational fees.

      A far better deal than most A-8 Assistant Professionals receive even at many of our nicer clubs.

      I take great pride in being a PGA Professional, and I worked hard there everyday for the company, my customers, the game of golf, but mostly for myself and my pride and reputation. My Associates and I gave great service and we constantly received excellent customer survey reviews.

      I enjoyed my job, the people in the other departments and the sports environment of the store itself. I’m disappointed this went down, but as they say, “sh*t happens”

      I’ll be OK, Dick’s will be OK & golf will be OK….Giant OEM’s will just have to think a little smaller and hopefully a little smarter.

      • Jim Awad

        Jul 28, 2014 at 12:26 am

        oops…getting late here….

        I forgot to mention paid holidays, paid vacation days, vacation buys, medical savings, 401K, periodic friends and family discount days….

        I was a fairly new hire when I was hit by a DUI driver and ultimately ended up having to have my shoulder rebuilt. I was out for 16 weeks and was completely covered, I didn’t miss a single paycheck. The HR folks were awesome and the company waited for me to fully recover despite me missing the critical first two months of our golf season here. They were great to me, and if I only had my ‘self employed’ aflac coverage, my family (baby was 7 months at that time) would’ve been in deep trouble.

        You hacks sneer at this gig and at Dick’s, but pros help fold shirts at country clubs too. Maybe just not as many. It’s also pretty neat to do fittings with a state of the art indoor system in a climate controlled facility when its 98 or 28 degrees outside….

        Not such a bad gig after all.

        I’d go back in a heartbeat.

  68. Brian Rattai

    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Sure some blame can point to club manufacturers that release new products every 6 months. Personally I love them because I can get golf equipment brand new, only 6 month old technology for a fraction of the price new clubs cost.

    But in my opinion, and it probably won’t be popular, most of the blame has to be put on the PGA professionals that got fired. How can you not look around what is happening in the golf industry and think becoming a pro is a good choice. When I first turned pro 16 years ago most head pros owned the shop, carts, golf services, etc etc. With in 5 years of me getting my first assistant professional job almost no pros owned any of that anymore. In my next of the woods an average head pros income has gone from well over $100,000 16 years ago to now just being a base salary with a modest bonus that equates to barely over $45,000. And cost of living has almost tripled. Of the 40 guys I graduated with in my PGM class not one person is still in the industry as a professional. True this can all be pointed at the golf course owners getting greedy and taking it away from the professional but in the end we all can choose what college courses we take and what career path we want to take. And in this case 500 people made a bad career choice in becoming golf professionals.

    I wish them all the best in finding new careers soon so they can continue to support their families. Who knows maybe they will find jobs that allow them more time to play the game they love.

    • Todd Heugly

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      That is crazy to say they made a mistake becoming a pga professional. Did you ever think it is someones dream to become one.

      • Brian Rattai

        Jul 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

        I’m sorry but dreams don’t pay bills. If I had a dream to sell type writers would it be a good dream to pursuit or a bad one? Believe me, I think it’s terrible the way the Golf Professional job has turned. I wanted nothing more growing up to be a golf professional but unfortunately the pay just doesn’t cut it for someone that also wants to have a family.

        Anyone involved with the game enough to become a Golf Professional can clearly see the way things are changing and that pay and job security is lacking and should be prepared for this to happen. Personally unless golf courses really change the way they pay their head pros I can see it becoming a thing of the past and many courses no longer having them.

        • MHendon

          Jul 24, 2014 at 1:50 am

          Brian it’s already happened at several of the public courses where I live. They no longer have head golf professionals.

        • Joe

          Jul 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm

          This doesn’t apply to Dick’s, but Golf Management Companies will be the death of the PGA Professional. They believe that all you need is an inexpensive basic manager, with/without a business degree, to run a golf course. Tthey have no idea. Everything is a profit margin, or lack thereof, to them. And they are becoming prolific in the industry, unfortunately.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Gentlemen, it comes down to this. When I grew up caddying in New Jersey, name brand clubs were only sold thru golf course pro shops. Head pros managed the shops and were known as a “titleist” shop; Spaulding shop; Wilson Staff shop; Power Built shop. Many times competing lines weren’t available at the same shop…you had to be connected at another club that carried what you wanted in order to get it.>>>Head pros left when a better position became available in the section. Quality of job was determined by the perks…like housing & staff; % of carts income & coffee shop etc. income. Nowadays, the owners/golf committee of the club treat the head pro like a well dressed clerk who runs the cash register. Only the upper 10% of clubs throughout the USA treat their head pro like the “traditional” head pro of old who could earn over $100,000 thru lessons/carts/coffee shop/equipment sales. Being a golf “pro” these days is about love of the game. And you know what? That’s the way it should be. If money is your desire…remain an amateur and join what’s left of middle class working AMERICA.

      • Joe

        Jul 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        Right, Golf Professionals and their families should basically live in poverty because the they love the game. Or Manet they should all have to be under 25 and single because those are about the only ones who could live of the current industry wages. You are truly and idiot, no other way to say it. What golf pro scared you for life? Did one steal your wife or something?

  69. hjsdl

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    There are just too many PGA pro’s for the amount of demand there is these days and the 500 that worked at Dick’s did not have the job they wanted. No PGA pro becomes a pro to work at Dick’s or any sporting goods shop… I put the blame directly on the PGA and the PGA will do nothing to help these pros out unfortunately.

    • Bert

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Ted Bishop always touts 27,000 PGA of America golf professionals as something positive and a positive for the game. I see it different. The majority of those PGAA Professionals I’ve met aren’t worth their salt!No difference at Dick’s, just guys who passed their PAT and believe they are professionals. No people skills leads to no job. At the club level those “serving” their membership need to take heed, your an employee. I would suggest the PGAA weed out the slugs and start developing golf professional managers who realize the golfer is the customer, not them.

      • Triumph

        Jul 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        I will concede that there are many PGA Professionals that may not be “worth their salt” as you put it, however, there are many more that are. How many PGA Professionals do you know personally? Do you know what they actually do day to day? Even if you think you know what they do…. I can assure you that you don’t. PGA Professionals play many different roles in their respective job positions and most of them are highly trained in specific areas of golf like instruction, retail operations, tournament operations, and many more. Sure some of them are weaker than others just as some doctors, dentists, plumbers, and teachers are. That doesn’t change the fact that a large number of hard working, good people were tossed to the curb with no notice.

        The last 2 days I have read comment after comment from people with very little inside knowledge of the business of golf pointing blame in every direction from Tiger Woods to Taylor Made as reasons why golf is declining. The middle class has been struggling for a while now…. When Tiger was at the top of his popularity your house was worth twice what you paid for it and gas was $1.61 a gallon. Now your home loan is underwater and gas is $3.75. Those factors play a much greater role than Tiger Woods or Taylor Made, and those are just 2 factors among many.

        • Bert

          Jul 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm

          Must apologize – I feel bad for any who has lost their job. I’ve been around and very close to the golf business for years, and yes have met many super professionals, but they are few; as are great surgeons. We all know somethings wrong and mention many areas. Of course “price fixing” by the manufactures are a deterrent to customers. Educated customers are catching on, tired of being scammed. Concerning fitting; I’ve seen fitting after fitting have the customer hit what’s in stock and then suggest which one of the in stock items are best. That’s not fitting. As for the simulators being juiced, no doubt. Concerning my comments about the PGAA. I sick by them. The PGAA must look within, the game plan is a loser.

          Again sorry for being calloused.

  70. wcavanau

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    The problem started decades ago when big business got involved in golf. Gone were the days of golf mfg’s being privately owned businesses. Now as part of large publicly owned corporations, mgmt needs to answer to share holders. Shareholders demand growth, which in turn means more new products to keep sales going. A decade or so ago, new clubs were released during the PGA mdse in January. Now, companies come out with clubs throughout the year (see Taylor Made). Retailers and golf professionals complained about the practice, but felt compelled to have the newest products in their shops. The newest, greatest thing is obsolete in three months!! It’s been great for the consumer as a $400 driver in Feb. is $200 in June, but it appears that it is catching up with the retailers!!

    • Fred

      Jul 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Market forces + the Great Recession. As I understand, F. Roosevelt did the same things to grow the economy as our current admin. & many economist say these policies didn’t work & won’t work. Just like ~ 52 wks or whatever it is for unemployment benefits + our food stamp policy. I have had tax clients say that they took a ‘vacation’ during the unemployment check time & started looking for a job the last 30 days or so before the unemployment benefits end. Just wait until our N’l debt is $20T.

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        Tax clients? Really? You’re doing taxes for people on unemployment? And they took a “vacation”? Wow these people must be loaded to need you to do their taxes. The guys I knew that lost their jobs and had unemployment didn’t get enough to pay half their bills. What state do you love in? Or state of mind.

  71. Dan

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    IMHO there are several factors at work here. One, the price to play decent golf courses. In Maryland they charge outrageous green fees for a lot of the quality courses. People can’t afford $85 to play golf in these times. I moved to northern Georgia and the price difference is crazy, I’m playing excellant courses for $30-$40 and there is never a lack of golfers on the courses I play. Second, the big 2, TM and Callaway are killing the golf business. Just look at this site right now and see the article on the new Callaway V driver. They just came out with new Big Bertha drivers. You go in and buy that one for $400-$500 and then a month later here comes another one that will make you even better. Now go out and buy the mini SLDR after spendind $500 on the SLDR that came out several months ago.It doesn’t take long before you start feeling cheated. Golf club prices are too high and to add new clubs every couple of months is nonsense. Third, is that Dick’s(not all of them)did have a problem with hitting areas not open and sometimes not being able to talk to someone who knew what he was talking about. I go to the PGA Superstore in Kennesaw, GA and they always go out of their way to help you and they know their business. I’m not saying that they didn’t at Dick’s but, that was the impression given. At the PGA store they have a larger selection and you can try out as many as you like with no pressure. I bought my driver there and I spent over an hour getting it fitted. This may not be as long as a “custom” fitter might spend with you but, I left feeling comfortable and I’m hitting it better because of the fitting. They also bent my irons up 1.5* after watching me hit balls for awhile and charged a $1 a club for it and I didn’t buy my irons there. One last thing, I bought a putter there and I have an old phone not one of the new fancy ones. The pro went over and opened one of the new gadgets that fit on your putter, downloaded the app to his phone and we continued with my free fitting. This can tell if you putt straight back, slightly inside etc. Good customer service goes a long way. Last, I agree with the guys above, find what you like and if you feel you need a change look into a new shaft which is really where the new technology is. The heads are all basically the same anymore. I’ve hit every driver that’s come out this year and they all gave me about the same stats give or take a few rpm’s or carry distance. Just an FYI, I play the Cleveland Classic XL from last year after playing the Launcher 460 for years. Enough said.

    • wcavanau

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      I agree about the price of golf. Golf Now lets you play great courses for great prices. I find it ironic how the USGA and PGA pats itself on the back for holding the US Open and PGA Championship on “public” golf courses! Have seen the price of those “public” courses? Pebble is $500! I played Torrey Pines right before the 2008 Open. It was over $300!!!!

    • Mike Dunham

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      My experience at Dick’s was if I was shopping at KMart for clubs – no service, limited selection, cramped isles, and no place to demo an iron or driver. I was shocked when I found out they had PGA pros in the stores! I ended up buying a set of Adams online, a hybrid, and a driver without a demo and was very pleased with the low price and easy return policy (turned out to be exactly what I wanted). As a coach with a son in sports, as much as I like buying local, I never felt Dick’s wants any of my business. Their entire customer approach needs revamping.

      • 6TEE8

        Jul 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        Hey Mike, IMHO, PGA Superstore caters to a different level of player. You don’t find PGA Superstores on every corner. When you go to a superstore you typically have done your research and know what you want, unlike Dicks where most customers are searching for the miracle cure to the golfing woes! Therefore level of service!!
        Don’t forget our buddy Scott!

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Dare you to go back to persimmon & play a man’s driver! “oh,no….weppy weeppee…I may loose 12 yards…

      • Joe

        Jul 26, 2014 at 11:53 pm

        Persimmon is a “stupid man’s” driver, in this day and age. Loose 12 yards? You have no idea or understanding of technology, I mean seriously, 12 yards? I grew up playing persimmon, along side my Dad. In his prime, mid 80’s ish, he could carry 270 all day with persimmon. Now, he’s late 60’s or so, plays modern equipment and can still carry 260-265 all day. That my misguided friend is not 12 yards. Why don’t you drive your grand kids around in a model T while your at it, get in an accident and see if they survive! Persimmon, your hilarious my friend. Why don’t you hop in the “way back machine” so you can get back to when women and minorities weren’t allowed to play. After all, they’re the ones who ruined the game, along with titanium, right? Ha, you’re a funny guy.

  72. Rodger

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    This is why I am loyal to Ping. They don’t rush products to market just to drive sales for the “next big thing.” They put the necessary time into research and development, and then only put stuff out when its proven to be of high quality. I respect the way they do business and their clubs are exceptional.

    • CM

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm


      • Jason Hat

        Jul 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        The G30 w/ Turbulators replaces a club that’s been out for 2 years. TaylorMade came out with the SLDR 6 mths after the JetSpeed…

        • CM

          Jul 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

          Don’t get me wrong. TM is probably the worst but ping is no angel here.

        • DDD

          Jul 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm

          And that was because they quickly realized Jetspeed was a sales dud, DOA and they knew it. So what better way to flush those out? Ship them out of their warehouse and pipe in the next line up in hopes that people don’t notice. The consumer might not but the retailers holding all in inventory costs certainly do.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Do your homework, Roger, before you sing the praises of Ping! They started the technology tsunami in 1968 with the illegal Eye I irons and the introduction of “square groves”. Then came the Ping Eye II…and a longer standard shaft length. Don’t forget about the Ping Echo putter and la tee da!!! it was Karsten Solheim that challenaged the R&A/USGA rule book at every turn. But in the end, blame no one but the USGA for an incredible failure to police the game starting with the hardness of the golf ball thru square groves etc. they were bought & paid for by equipment manufacturers around the world.

  73. Ken

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Finally…a company that lives up to its name.

  74. Simon

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Not a suprise. I used to work for GG and the way corporate treats employees is disgusting. I spent 4 years there and was given two raises, and was once told to not bother applying for a management position because I have a degree and am likely aspiring to work somewhere else. I’ll never shop with Dicks or GG again. I can’t get a raise or a promotion and the employee discount is horse crap. Yet, Ed Stack would roll into town to check out the store in his Gulfstream jet.

    Now they fire the PGA pros? So glad I’m not working there anymore.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      The solution: Right size the industry! Sell clubs only thu “green grass” pro shops like in the old days. The prices are right: $800 – $2000 for a new set of world class woods (opps…I meant to say metal woods)and USGA fully approved & registered irons. End all off course equipment relationships with USGA/R&A fully approved & accredited equipment. Then we’ll see which manufacturers survive!

  75. Shecky

    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Hate to see people lose their jobs but having worked in the industry for 6 years the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. There’s plenty of blame to go around from the manufacturers, courses/clubs and yes the consumers.
    Prices have been over inflated for equipment for quite some time and greens fees. Golfshops selling to their members the same products for a higher price than they could get at their local dicks or golfsmith.
    I could honestly care less if they all went bankrupt, Titleist, TMAG, Callaway, etc. They have all been lying to you for years with the latest and greatest gimmicks.
    But just like everything else, you either adapt and survive or get left behind. The long term sustainability of the industry is in jeopardy and if “they” don’t adjust their paradigm then there will be no industry.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Dude! I resent the word “industry” being used!!! This is not an industry! It is a sport. It is a game. Ship building; construction; electronics manufacturing those are industries. Golf is a game. Played for out of love for what it is and what it has to offer the individual and his playing companions. DEATH TO THE GOLF INDUSTRY!!! It is a sport!

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

        Sorry Dan, but it’s an industry. Owned and operated by Multi-National corporations and ruled and monopolized by the collusion of two world governing bodies who are in bed with the multi-nationals. We need a hero to help free us from the Golf Indusrial Complex called……………..Wall Sreet.

        • Double Ace

          Jul 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

          Joe, how did you become so cynical?

          • Joe

            Jul 24, 2014 at 1:39 am

            Well, I was being a bit sarcastic, but technically not that far off. I love golf, but I play by my own rules, unless I’m in a tourney of course.

  76. Ted Walker

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Sad about the pros. I wanted to be a pro and my mentor talked me out of it. He said to get a real job keep golf as my hobby. Its a shame people don’t play golf as much. I can understand if they think they need to invest about 1000 dollars just to get started with good equipment though. Seems like another hurtle is greens fees. Club I used to work at, reese jones design, was great till they built a 6 million dollar club house and 3 million dollar cart barn. now they need to charge 100 for 18. Probably not going to attract newcomers to the game.

  77. Justin

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Simple Corp greed! Yes-it is! I’m a very good golfer and know what I want and don’t want basically. So the Pro at Dicks I would maybe be able to relate with is no longer there. So now I have to speak with an 18 year old kid who knows nothing about golf? Or even better the ghetto boy who should stick to B Ball! Personally I don’t give a sh*t because I NEVER go to Dicks and pay retail. Said in the article people are leaving the game. Well, were I live I’m so happy to hear this. Wish more people would leave the game where I live. Freaking hackers who come to the public courses were I live and completely ruin the game for me and other good golfers. Think I’m out of line? Try a 7 hour 18 hole sometime and come speak to me. Hackers who drive the ball 150 yards (Way left and right might I add) and wait till people are on the green to tee off! This people need to spend more time on the range before hitting the courses. Honestly wish I had the $50k where I live to join a private CC. Makes me want to leave the game-and I’ve thought about it.

    • Brian

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Don’t think it there big guy, just do it…..smh

    • Chris Johnson

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Judging by your response- I’m not surprised you don’t have 50k to join a private club!

    • Joe

      Jul 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      This is a completely ignorant response. People like you should leave the game. Those “hackers” are trying to join the game. I’ll bet you the 50k you didn’t start playing golf with a scratch handicap. I’m sure it was common for you to drive the ball all over like the people you’re complaining about. And at the dicks by where I live, the “pro” working in the golf department doesn’t know a thing about golf and I bet he’s your age. You’re a disgrace to golf for wanting to leave because you played a 7 hour round. I pray you quit the game.

    • ken

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Justin….There are good players who embrace the hackers. Then there’s people like YOU…..The better player who thinks only other better players have a right to the course..
      Those so called hackers have no one to teach them the basic rules of etiquette so it is not possible to become faster players because they do not know any better. Ya know what happens? They quit playing…Revenue falls to the point where your favorite course no longer can sustain itself. Course….GONE….Try this….Next time you go looking for a game, leave your arrogance at home. Hook up with less experienced players and SHOW them how to play faster.
      When I was a beginner, the guys told me “learn to play fast before you learn to play better”….

      • Justin

        Jul 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm


        Again, people are missing the point. I DON’T care if your a hacker or not. I don’t think I own the course at all. Where I live people are dumb as hell, and very narrow minded. I don’t mind helping ANYBODY on or off the course. It’s the FREAKING HACKERS who think they own the course. Get it?

    • john

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Start a business and make money, stop blaming everyone else for your problems.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Obviously…you don’t love the game and what it has to offer….please leave.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      People & Ladies: you want sneakers…you want a sweat suit; you want jogging shorts…a baseball glove or bat… Go To Dicks!!! If you want to be fitted properly for golf equipment see your local head pro at your favorite course. Come on!!! It’s only logic!!!

    • Joe

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      News Flash! Even if you had the 50k they wouldn’t let you in! They have a little thing called the interview process, you’d never make it. Also, genius, you are as delusional as you are repugnant if you think that club doesn’t have it’s share of hackers. Most of which have prob 8-10 your net worth, lip off to one of them at the course and see where you end up! Ha, you’re such a fool.

      • Double Ace

        Jul 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

        That’s the pot calling the kettle black. Why are you dogging him for expressing his opinion? Besides he has some points. Too many people are playing golf who haven’t spent enough time on the range, and have never been taught golf etiquette. You know allow faster players to play through, rake the traps, fix your ball marks on the green, etc. i too have followed these players who are hitting seven or eight and still not on the green and that was on a par three. I agree everyone has to learn, and no one starts out as a good golfer, but i was taught to be respectful of other golfers on the course, and to keep up with the group in front of me. Golfers need to show some empathy for beginners, but they also need to show some respect for others and learn some golf etiquette.

        • Fred

          Jul 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

          I hear what you’re saying about slow players who take 5,6,7 seven shots to get on the green. But keep something in mind… not all of them are beginners. Some of them have been playing that way for 20-30 years. Many are doing the best they can do with the abilities they have. Others, and there are many of these, too – don’t give a damn what you think; they’re gong to play at their own speed, talk all they want with their buddies, and take as many mulligans as they want. I once saw a group come to a complete standstill in front of me and not take a shot for five minutes. When I got close enough to them to see what was going on, I spotted one of them standing in a sand trap talking on his cell phone.

        • Justin

          Jul 28, 2014 at 11:58 am

          Thanks Double! Yes, I’ll state my points and stick to them regardless of what people state. The people who had a problem with my statements are the people who take 8 hours to play 18 holes. You speak to ANY real golfer and anything over 4 hours for 18 is crazy. You stupid narrow minded people who think its ok to take 4 tee shots “just because”. And your right, I didn’t start off with a 4 handicap, but man, I spent months and MONTHS before hitting the field when I started. And like driving on the freeway, I don’t care if you drive slow, just move! Get the point people? I tell you story AFTER story about the clowns who you “TRY” and be nice too on the course who just don’t get it and are simply rude to you because they cannot play golf. Golf like anything takes very hard work. So people who want to not work hard at the game make my game suffer on the course because I take my golf seriously is…..ok? I really don’t care if someone is not good at golf or not. That’s not the point which most of you seem to miss. The point is, don’t take 5 tee shots, don’t spend 5 mins practice swings to hack it 10 yards “OFF” the fairway, switch clubs 5 times because you don’t know what club to hit, spend 10 mins looking at a line on the green because you think the Masters jacket is on the line. Get it?

      • Justin

        Jul 28, 2014 at 12:03 pm

        Ha Joe,

        Really? If hand some much $, what about a lesson? That’s beneath them? Trust me man, I’d get in. I make a very nice living, but where I live its really like $100k to get in.

    • Hunterdog

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      “Ghetto boy”… My nephew is a “ghetto boy”, he is also a decorated Marine. I have another “ghetto boy” nephew, he works for the FBI. I have a niece, I guess to you she’s a “ghetto girl” who recently graduated from Stanford Law School, and on and on. Justin, you’re the bigoted jerk that needs to leave.

  78. Tyler Brown

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Maybe the PGA of America should look in the mirror as well. They have completely destroyed the profession of being a golf pro. Back in the day being a “class A” pro meant something. Today it doesn’t mean much. Pro shops are full of guys who can’t play, can’t teach, don’t know much about the game or it’s history, and don’t know much about business. To pass the PAT you need to shoot what 16 over for two rounds? What a joke.

    • Mike

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      If you’ve never played in a PAT then don’t judge; plus your math is off. Target scores are equivalent the course rating + 15, and since it is played from the middle tees that typically equates to two consecutive sub-77 rounds… under pressure.

      However I will agree that the PGA of America could stand to do more for its members if that is what you’re saying. It makes me sick to see the dearth of benefits (retirement especially) made available to members in contrast to the lavish spending that is associated with events like the Ryder Cup.

      • Tomar200

        Jul 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        The playing qualifications should be harder! I’m sorry the PGA has made it more about the money. Have you seen the cost to get through the program? I wouldn’t want to get a haircut from a stylist that was allowed to get a hypothetical “+ 15” on their entrance exam or have a mechanic work on my car that would be what I consider to be a “B” rated mechanic. If you are a professional in your trade you should be able to demonstrate that you have mastered the skills of that trade. I know there is far more to playing to be a PGA pro, been there done that, but make it more prestigious to be one and not about who can shoot two 77’s and has $6k and the role of the club pro will return to a respected and compensated profession!

        • TS

          Jul 28, 2014 at 12:33 am

          Shooting 76/77 or better in 2 consecutive rounds might be a piece of cake on the weekend with your buddies….. try it under tournament conditions… knowing what your target score is… It’s a little different. I’m willing to bet that there are a large number of club Professionals that are making a good living and making a big impact in their communities that didn’t shoot 65-67 in their PAT. Those guys are B-rated because they shot 75? The best players don’t always make the best PGA members.

    • GLJaye

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Tyler, you are ALMOST correct in what you said about passing the PAT. If you check it out, I believe you’ll find that the PAT requires you to shoot no more than 15 over THE COURSE RATING over two rounds ON THE SAME DAY! Where I play, the course rating is 69.9 from the tees where they play the PAT. So two rounds is 139.8 plus 15 equals 154.8 which is two rounds of 77 MAX. That’s only TEN OVER par for two consecutive rounds. Give that a try sometime. And of course, there’s no pressure; only that each player has to pony-up some hard earned dollars EACH TIME they attempt the PAT. The cost per each attempt is $100.00 plus on-site fees meaning greens fees. The PGA’s own website states that less than 20% of those taking the test achieve a passing score. I knew of one pro who took the test 20 times before passing. He just couldn’t deal with the “have to” aspects of the scoring requirement.

      • twounder24

        Jul 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

        If you are in the Golf business and you can’t pass a test of shooting the target score from the middle of the tees, and all the pins roughly in the middle of the green, you have the wrong career. I’ve passed the PAT and in all honestly it is not that hard, just like any job you need to put in the work. Practice, and when you know you are ready, go and pass it. Its embarrassing when I am on the driving range, and I see these kids from The Golf Academy (not all of them) who couldn’t break 90 on their best day, and these are the people who are going to be running the industry? People think, oh I like golf, i’ll make it a career, and then waste 40,000 grand on the academy that gets you what? a cart barn job? The PGA is a joke, and they need to do something to grow the game, and make it fun again. I went through the program, and luckily have a 4 year degree from a college. These golf courses want to pay you $8.00 an hour, then the PGA wants you to spend $10,000 to get through all the levels? what sense does that make. Luckily I am at a good course, and have a decent lesson income to make a good living.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Tyler: Too many pros these days have never caddied. Too many pros have never cut greens; too many pros have never picked up fallen trees after a hurricane rumbled through. Being a “pro” means a heck of a lot more than putting on some nice fitting pants and Izod shirt & designer sun glasses. Get it! That’s where the PGA failed. When you get a chance, look into the eyes of the sun-blistered & dried out face of Tommy Armour III. If you are a TRUE golfer…you’ll see what I see…and weep a little.

  79. Tourseeker

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I can’t say that I am shocked in the least. They hardly carry any of the current equipment. Lets call the the PGA what it is, an overrated set of letter behind a name. Are some of the Professionals great? Yes. The problem in my experience is that the only pros that had time to complete the PGA were the people that were terrible instructors or fitters to begin with. This left them with lot of openings in their schedule and plenty of time to complete busy work for the PGA.

    I don’t believe this is all the PGA’s problem. I think that club manufacturers need to be knocked down a rung as well. They need to stop with the crazy prices, quick releases of new equipment, and stop cannibalizing the pro shops that sell their equipment. It is ridiculous to see a new driver get put on sale 3-4 months after release.

  80. Sam

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

    This is one reason I have supported Titleist over the 30 years I have played. They have remained in control of the pricing of their products and do not allow retailers the use of coupons to undercut their product value. If a retailer does, and Titleist finds out…they will loose their account. The quality of their product is top notch as well. Nearly all the great players have started off with Titleist until whoring themselves to TM, Nike, and Callaway eg. Tiger, Phil, Sergio, Els, Rory….. Just wait, Speith, and Scott will drop off for $$$

    • MHendon

      Jul 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Whoring themselves? You say that with such disdain like you would never lower yourself to such a level. 30 million a year to play Nike, I think most people would do that, I know I would. Guess that makes me a whore. Besides they all make pretty good equipment but Titleist has chosen to stay true to their business model. Just means they’ll weather this storm better than certain other companies. And lets not forget Mizuno and Ping. A lot of top amateurs tend to use their equipment before going pro.

  81. Tony

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Problem isnt so much Taylormade or Callaway it’s the sport itself. Less golfers = less sales at stores like Dicks. 5-6 hours on a weekend to a dad with kids is impossible. In this day and age when both parents work a guy cant just dump 3 kids on the wife on saturday morning and say “See ya at 2! Golf can keep pounding the square peg into the round hole or adapt to the demands/trends of the current generation.

    • Golfraven

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Agree here fully. Play only 9 hole rounds and comps, didn’t have time for 18 holes for years now. I hate to pay retail prices so go online to get better value. though realised that if I want proper fitting I better pay for it. still can order online once I have the specs

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Tony: I appreciate your perspective. A golfing father’s job is to make it “fun” for the kids! Play miniature golf. Let them wail on balls at the range for an hour. Name one kid who doesn’t love that!! No score; no performance evaluation. Only self-examination: “Do I like this game?” “Dad: Can we come again next week!!!” Wife will love you!!! Screw the $6.00 for a bucket!!! Kids will love you!!! You may even practice some more.

  82. Mike

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I would agree and purchase from w/ Eddy the shop owner, I quit going to Dick’s and Golf Galazy for Golf purchases. My local GG has 19-22 YO that does not have much of a clue on Golf equipment technology other than what iPhone App I could use for yardage or making tee times.

    I would up talking to some kid, or local pro who was beat down dealing in retail that didn’t give me what I was looking for or the time that I felt I needed when spending my heard earned dollars.

    THose companies that discount the prime product few months after release just shot themselves and their retails right in the head to educated consumers.

    Most all of the top tier brands are consistent in there pricing and delivery strategies. The others buy Pro golfers with these sales.
    As far as buying online after looking at brick shop, Good luck with that, especially with something as tailored to the individual as a full golf club set.

    My local shop (Top 100 fitter/ 1 of 5 Advanced Titleist fitter) took all the time needed to fit me and leave me feeling comfortable that I made the correct purchase of not only product but retailer. I went back 3 weeks later to replace a wedge with a very older model and he was able to pull up my previous order from Manfacturer and order another matching wedge with correct shaft and grip to match rest of my clubs.

    All of this at the same price as a Dicks or GG would. I’m not saying all of those Dicks locations are like that, but the 3 near me and 1 I went o in FL on vaction, I felt teated the same, We here to push shirts, shoes, and hats.

  83. Koko

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

    A few things
    1.Look at the way Titleist releases clubs. They have a two year cycle with irons on even years and woods on odd. So they always have something “new” for their brand on the market. The Titleist brand retains it selling value all the way to the end of it’s products life.

    2. The major manufactures should have a summit and have some type of allegiance to have a release and life date so that ALL equipment hold’s more value. If the figures of 400,000 a year leaving are correct, then companies need to find away to make more off those who stay.

    3. I feel companies need to have “downstairs” brand. With this brand they can produce previous models of their premium brand products that were successful with slight tweaks (i.e. color scheme, graphics) at a more value prices. There will be no added R&D cost and will make product more accessible to more people.

    The avid golfer will find away to get the best equipment in their bag. What needs to happen is there needs to be away to make golf more attainable and fun. Places like top golf help with the young crowd. Hmmmmmmm maybe Taylormade should buy top golf and open them across the country

    • Tyler Brown

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:46 am

      If they had a summit to fix prices that would be against US law…….

    • Brady

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Titleist is a golf ball company with about 80% of their sales being generated by sales of balls. This allows them the freedom to still generate sales without the constant pressure to design more clubs. I’m terribly saddened that so many of my fellow PGA professionals were laid off. But in the long run this move will educate the consumer about what I feel are business practices that harm the game not help it.

  84. Nick

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

    We can complain all we want about the fact that TMAG’s 6 month release cycle is hurting the industry. I agree with that for a number of reasons. However, the fact is, if it wasn’t profitable they wouldn’t continue to do it. Part of the issue is that the average golfer is very susceptible to marketing and advertised gains. “Why go to a PGA pro for lessons when I can just buy a club that will go straighter and further than my clubs now?” Therefore TMAG continues to release, continues to slash prices and continues to sell. Until the market (demand) impacts their bottom line, dont expect them to stray from the 6M release. The question then becomes how do we educate the market on the real science of club making? Do we ask the USGA to regulate advertised gains for the good of the sport?

    • t

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Their strategy is profitable because companies like Dicks are forced to buy and buy and buy. The profits aren’t coming from end consumers. They are coming from the middle men, who get stuck with inventory that doesn’t sell. I predicted this would happen. Why pay $400 or $500 when brand new drivres are on sale for $199…? And the cycle continues. Every time newer stuff comes out, new stuff goes on sale. Right now Golfsmith is selling optiforce drivers for $99. I can buy that, put in a $100 custom shaft and bam. I love this game but it gets harder to love it year after year.

    • Ric

      Jul 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      It’s short-term profitability solution doomed to fail. Mark King created this business model and it’s interesting that he was able to secure a new gig before the bottom fell out.

  85. Tom Wishon

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I was told last week by a veteran golf business writer that in addition to letting the pros go, Dick’s also said they are reducing the square footage allocated to golf in each store by 1000 sq ft. That says it right there – the business model of the large golf club companies is severely flawed and it’s time to pay the piper.

    For the past decade and a half, 5 companies have owned over 75% of the premium brand golf club business. Combined, their annual revenue is in the area of $3 billion. 4 of these 5 companies are publicly traded or part of a corp that is publicly traded, which brings the pressure to keep increasing revenue and profit.

    The OEMs have never controlled their distribution. The big club companies will ship product to whoever opens a store with proof they can pay their bills. This along with their standard off the rack approach to product distribution made the golf club industry a commodity business because there are too many outlets all selling the same exact products. He who offers the lowest price gets the sale.

    That in turn drops profit margins for the retailers who then have to pay low wages to sales staff, skip effective training of the staff, and pressure them to make sales in a short period of time, prioritizing selling the consumers what they have in their inventory first. An ever increasing percentage of retail sales going to online compounds the retailers’ problem even more. What the heck are the big box golf specific chain stores going to do with those long term leases for thousands of sq ft of brick and mortar? Split the footage and hope to sub lease it, I guess.

    But the big one is the ever shortening product life cycle from the OEMs. When you are a publicly traded company that is used to chalking up hundreds of millions in sales each year, a product will saturate the market in a very short period of time. Which means you have to roll out the new one sooner and sooner.

    No question golf consumers are fewer due to many things, most recession related. Of those who remain, more and more have gotten mad at the fact that the $400 driver they bought in March goes on close out a few months later for $199.

    Each new model comes out with its hyped claim for better performance and from all this, more and more consumers are just calling it quits when it comes to buying new clubs as frequently as before.

    To a business maven, it’s a logical outcome for such a flawed business model. Sad to see but they did bring it on themselves when the lure of going public triggered this horse race to get bigger and bigger. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here.

    • DC

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Well said as always Tom. This was a pretty big gamble that DSG took in the first place and in their case it did not pay off.

      I posted earlier about this but it’s somewhat maddening to me that the OEM’s will talk about everything under the sun that’s slowing the growth in golf – except the cost of their own equipment. Now they are publicly traded companies, their fiduciary responsibility is to their shareholders first.

      But man, they will talk about everything and quote you every statistic under the sun about rounds played – but they wont talk about the cost of equipment. Even in his article last week, Barney Adams mentions cost in one sentence and then says he’d rather talk about value you get out of the game. Well value *is* a product – in part – of the cost you put into it.

      I have to think that eventually consumers will reach a saturation point in their interest in $500 drivers and say hey, maybe this used one is good enough for now. The Dick’s CEO was quoted as being irritated that he still had $99 driver on their shelves 2 years later – well maybe thats because people were still buying them.

      I am not typically a sky-is-falling type person but the cost structure certainly does not seem sustainable in the long term.

  86. JEFF

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Wow…who cares…golf is dumb these days!

    • Roger

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Well, I happen to care.

      Golf is decidedly not “dumb these days”. What exactly does THAT mean? The game of golf is one of the greatest sports around. The game does have challenges that must be addressed such as slow play, declining player base, cost, and excess capacity, but the game itself is STILL as strong as it has ever been.

      I, for one, am happy that you feel that the game is dumb as that will ensure that I don’t have to meet up with you on the golf course and watch you spit sunflower seed shells on the greens, hack giant divots out of the fairway, and show up with a huge boom box and a case of beer to play your round.

    • Brian

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      And you are still here?? smh

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Jeff: we’re talking golf…not WWF…

  87. Joe

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:21 am

    The problem with Dicks is that they do not cater to real players, or committed golfers. Simulators are often closed, qualified help is seldom around, and they carry very little products that are going to appeal to better players. But it is the better players that spend more $$$$, and keep the industry afloat, get lessons, buy better products, etc…

    • Agree to a point

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Whenever I went to a Dicks golf section I was always unimpressed. This was due to the reasons you suggested.

      The problem is that they aren’t that many good players around. Something like 2% of golfers can honestly break 80. Game is hard and its hard to improve. Plus if I’m a good player I’m not going to Dicks for my equipment. If i’m a good player I probably am already loyal to a shop and have a fitter, and pro for instruction.

      • MHendon

        Jul 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm

        This was something I also noticed about Dick’s. It was a smart strategy to offer mostly game improvement equipment since that’s what most golfers need. However where I live even the small retailers took on this strategy to try and compete. I find it next to impossible to find the type of equipment that appeals to me to actually demo.

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm

        I agree. My 2 boys kind of make fun of the golf dept at Dick’s.

        Them offering PGA professionals would kind of be like McD’s serving filet mignon. It just isn’t their market.

    • Austin

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Joe, as someone that works for a major golf specific retailer I’d have to respectfully disagree. The better play will indeed spend more money, but usually 3 times a year and after months of testing and research. The majority of sales comes from 15+ handicappers trying to improve their game through equipment trials, pre-owned purchases and adding more gf specific apparel to their wardrobe. Barney Adams penned a great article on Golfwrx detailing the majority of the golf market and why people may be leaving the game. I am a low handicapper myself but for the health of the game we need to keep attracting new players (high emphasis on kids) to keep this ge great and courses open. Now how that is done is beyond my scope but I hope this article will foster new ideas.

      • MHendon

        Jul 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        Your right Austin, the better player is less susceptible to the marketing ploys and recognizes its mostly the indian not the arrow. So once he/she finds something that works well for them they tend to stick with it. I for one have had my irons in the bag since 2001 and my wedges even longer.

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm

        Yes, I can see that also. I, and my two sons all play frequently, but tend to already know what we like, and therefor are less likely to change out the old for something new.

        As far as growing the game, many of these great courses, and not so great, that have land available to them, should build nicer par 3 courses. It is a great way to learn the game, without the 4-5 hours invested, and without losing a dozen balls. More people just might find that they enjoy the game, BEFORE they hate it.

  88. Carroll

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

    While the club companies bear most of the blame. Dick’s and some other golf retailers share some blame also. When the margins are small, it’s bad business to constantly give coupons and promotions to cut into your margins even further. On top of that, Dick’s actually has special make up clubs from Callaway and Taylor Made that they sell at even lower prices. Margin percentages are one thing, but profit dollars are what makes a company successful and allows it to employ people. Stop giving away $50 profit on every sale you make and stop carrying low priced brand name “knock offs” and maybe those people would still have jobs.

  89. Burton

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I went in to Dick’s to purchase the Odyssey Tank Cruiser putter. This putter has adjustable weights that come with the putter. Dick’s told me they didn’t sell weights with the putter. They want full retail but don’t offer the full product. I bought it online later that day for less, and with the weights. Hate all the pros got fired, but it just shows again how poorly Dick’s handles the golf department.

  90. Jay gillespie

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Multiple drivers from each manufacturer a year are doing this. I am 2 handicap and I don’t ever but New except wedges. I will buy a slightly used head off golfwrx forum, usually a pro model with all the custom settings I like 8.5 degree, 1-2 degrees open, deep face. Then I will a New or excellent pull Diamana whiteboard or ahina 83g x stiff tipped 1-1.5″ for 1/2-2/3 cost of retail. Its not just the guy who plays a handful of times a year, most of us know that the technology advances are slim to none and slightly used is better then new

    • Ron

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Jay I say this same thing. The last great advancement in golf was the Titanium head from Callaway. Club technology is all hype and it makes the game more confusing, knitting what your doing by getting a foundational lesson is the key but folks think getting the newest club solves the problem. 4 handicap here and still play Titlest 990 and Cleveland 460 driver. Your right a shaft change and finding clubs used is the way to go.

      • MHendon

        Jul 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm

        Ron the last GREAT advancement in golf was the PROV1.

    • Agree to a point

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Me too. There is no reason to buy new. Most smart, skilled golfers buy “like new” stuff. Oh, wait, I did just buy a new set of Rbz tour irons from Roger Dunn cuz they the price dropped to $399 4-w. Last summer they were full price.

  91. Tim Rundall

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

    What is the name and author of the ESPN article you are referring to? Which golf companies don’t over produce golf clubs?

    • K

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

      PING, Titleist and Mizuno. Another growing one again is Wilson.

      • JD

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

        That is why I only buy Miura and Epon golf clubs. They hold their quality and their prices over time.

      • Dan the Man

        Jul 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

        Wilson Blade: FG-17…finest club ever made…they let it get away from them. I can’t imagine what possessed them to introduce the “fat shaft”.

  92. Richard

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:06 am

    The golf industry suffers not only from the equipment side issues noted (too much, and I might add – too costly) along with the cost / time necessary to play. Green fees at many places are high, play is slow, and “nine before nine” is nearly dead. The industry needs to pay heed to Jack Nicklaus and others who advocate: 1. Shorter tracks – save real estate, water, agronomy costs, taxes and $ to operate, 2. Which have shorter holes – with a more shot making orientation 3. Faster play. How about 18 in 3 hrs? 4. Nine hole green fees. What is so darn hard about doing that midday? Very simple. At the 9th or 18th hole you have a marshall – check the fee stub and you turn or not depending on the fee paid. “Ain’t rocket science”. And back to the equipment? ALL of them advocate “longer”, “more distance”, “tour series”, etc. The average golfer does not need any of that. Get the proper set of clubs at a reasonable (!) price and go play, ideally at a friendly, lower cost course.

  93. Pingback: Is Golf Really Dying And Are Drastic Changes A Good Idea? - Page 4 - LPGA Golf Forum

  94. patvball

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Clubs are a loss leader. It drives traffic into a store and hopefully, you buy a shirt with higher profit margins. It happens in all facets of retail and covers all categories. There’s a reason why all the dog food is in the back of the store. There is minimal profit to be made (10-15%) but hopefully you buy a squeaky toy with tons of markup (800 to 1000%) on the way out. It’s a balancing act and all retailers would be better off if they understood the psychology of retail.

  95. Bill

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I remember Spaulding, McGregor and Wilson being the topping of the line in the 50’s and 60’s. Great clubs. A set of irons $125. Woods $20 apiece. A Bullseye putter $30. You kept them for years. It’s psychological. The manufacturers are brainwashing you. Similar to weatherboarding.

    • Cwolf

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:15 am

      If you adjust the prices you list for 3% inflation from 1950 until today, they are about the same (830$ irons $200 putter).

      • Steve

        Jul 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

        There goes that argument lol

      • Carl Spackler

        Oct 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

        Too bad wages have not went up a constant 3%. Too bad some items have went up 10%. Oops there goes my budget and the middle class.

    • Joe

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

      I agree, but people need to realize that without club manufacturers there would be almost no professional golf. In the 40-50-60-70-80’s vastly more people played golf and played regularly. From the 80-90’s on vastly more people are quitting golf and regular play has fallen off a cliff. Before golf was subsidized mostly by the people that played it. Now so few play that is has to be subsidized by something else, manufacturers. Who do you think pays the purses at pro tourneys, pays the players, pays the golf organizations? Without manufactures paying various equipment fees to the usga, it almost wouldn’t exist. You think they could survive on our membership fee? Look around you, the only money making in golf is in equipment. Privately owned courses barely stay afloat, even country clubs, and muny courses are continually under fire and budget cuts from the public. Average PGA pros have to work extensive hours for a salary you can barely raise a family on. So go buy that counterfeit equipment and enjoy playing it on your local goat track that “used to be such a well kept course” for some reason. And pay more than you ever have for it, because only 40 other people played that Saturday. It’s coming, and the only thing that’s slowing it’s progression is manufacturers, the people buying the clubs and dedicated golf related professions. PGA Pros and grounds professionals. You don’t need new clubs every year, but when you do think about buying non counterfeited clubs.

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

        And maybe even try making your own or having club makers build you a set. If you can find one that is still in business.

  96. Ben

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Dicks wouldn’t even let the Pros give lessons at the store. They typically have two simulators or driving bays, access to clubs, and would have been a great way to teach as well as sell some merchandise… No wonder this experiment failed.

  97. Jose

    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:00 am

    This is one of many signs that Golf simply does not connect with the majority of the Millennial generation.

    The game is too long. Golf swing instruction is way too complicated. (the muscles used when swinging and tossing a log onto a fire in your back yard are practically the same”

    In my opinion, on of the biggest issues is that the Millennial Generation has been brought up with a paradigm of social learning. In fact studies have shown that learning in groups leads to a 5 fold increase in retention. However, there is no equivalent to this students helping student paradigm in golf. Thus, some one from the millennial generation looks at golf and does not connect.

    You ask a PGA pro about social learning, they genuflect and respond with a wall of defensive reasoning.

    Golf is in as much denial as a failing restaurant owner in Kitchen Nightmares…

    • Shallowface

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

      The Millennial Generation has been brought up with 24/7 air conditioning, everybody gets a trophy and “point, click, solved.” That’s why they don’t connect with golf and never will in the numbers the current industry needs to thrive.

      It’s about managing contraction at this point. Not just in golf, but in all of American life. But that’s a discussion for another time and place.

      • Carl Spackler

        Oct 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

        I bet the millennial generation could figure out how to schedule tee times based on group size and tee set rather than every 9 minutes. Your gold courses play like rush hour traffic like pack animals going up a trail like and Accordion, lol.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Interesting, Jose! You must have a drive to “be the best that you can be” to excel in golf. So many of this generation have had that “dream” stripped from them because being criticized as being “terrible; stinking the joint out”; and needing “to go home & practice – – -you stink” has been labeled “Bullying” or “character assaaination” but today’s parents. The kids, these days, are shielded from the reality that they do, in fact, “stink” and need to practice to get better (not only at golf – – – but at anything in life)!

      • Shallowface

        Jul 24, 2014 at 10:09 am

        Right on, Dan! Being told just that by coaches motivated me to get better. When I won their respect, there’s was nothing more satisfying.

        Trouble is, the ones who got their “widdle feewings” hurt were motivated to get on the school boards and other committees. And now we have what we have.

        • Shallowface

          Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

          Should be “there was nothing more satisfying. I’d hate for one of my old teachers to see that mistake!

  98. Archie Bunker

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:59 am

    That’s a lot of qualified professionals looking for new jobs. I can remember growing up in the sixties when certain brands were only sold through golf course pro shops. You couldn’t buy a Titleist ball anywhere else (and in those days, Titleist used the sales pitch “and no one is paid to play Titleist”!) Times have changed, and now we get a steady parade of the “next best thing” and sometimes bogus reasons to buy it. Balls may get lost, but clubs don’t wear out in 6 months.

  99. RAT

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

    KUDOS, TM and Callaway have diluted their product and left out the little shop guy. The PGA PRO’S at DICK’S in my area were unimpressive
    lacked knowledge and didn’t seem to want to help you. “lazy” .I’m sorry that they lost their jobs as a whole but some should have been never been hired. Great Idea but maybe only at select stores..

  100. richard

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I feel for these guys. Golf is not growing, and it is easy to pound out new clubs and balls every six months, so with online retailers taking an increasing share, it really puts the pressure on the brick and mortar guys. Just a sign of the times I guess, and a shame, but inevitable. This was a luxury strategy by Dick’s that just didn’t work out. TMAG and Cally are only a piece of the problem…some of it just reflects the times we live in.

  101. MD

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Dicks made the decision to buy TaylorMade and Callaway clubs. They can say no if they want.
    But they didn’t so not anyone else’s fault but their own !

    • Ric

      Jul 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Industry insider here.

      Actually MD, there are ways of getting retailers sign off on what the manufacturers want to sell them.

      “Hey, you want to sell the #1 selling _______ on the market? Great. We will put you down for 100, plus 50 _______ and 25 _________. No? You don’t want those, just the #1 selling ________. Sorry, but if you want that you’re going to get the others. Forget that we’re going to release something new in 3-4 months and you’ll still have 50% of your inventory, but we will credit you 10% on the new order, which will be a 5-10% increase over this order.”

      You can fill in the blank with whatever you want. This only helps manufacturers. It hurts retailers and consumers.

  102. steve

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I really think it is a sign of the times. All brick and mortar shops are becoming nothing more than showrooms. You go there to look at the clubs and see if you like them, then go home and buy them on the internet for less. Most golfers are more then happy with off the self equipment and are not willing to pay more for custom/fitted equipment. Look what Amazon has done to Best Buy, turned them into a showroom. You go there look and buy cheaper on the internet.

    • Jason

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Best Buy price matches Amazon. Why wait for the packed to be delivered when I can walk into a Best Buy, pay the same price and have the item that day.

      • Bruce

        Jul 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm

        I don’t shop Best Buy because they copy my driver’s license if I need to return something. Too invasive. Cost me $20 over an electric shaver part to learn that one…

    • patvball

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:58 am

      I usually do a quick Amazon search and give them a chance to match it at the store. Typically, if Amazon is doing the selling and not a third-party seller. They will price the match. I always prefer inspecting the carton and not leaving it up to UPS to deliver electronics.

      • steve

        Jul 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        I understand where you are coming from. But you are in the small percentage that does that. Also buying from the internet can give you Cash Back savings 5%-10% ex shopdiscover and alot of cashback websites. And I can check prices in 10 stores in 5 minutes on the internet.

    • Jim

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:58 am

      You are exactly right. I’ve gone into many of these popular retailers and swung many clubs. If I find something I really like I will then ALWAYS go home and buy online.

      • Ftwphil

        Jul 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        I’m sure the people who work there love seeing you walk through their doors. Hey keep it up long enough, and you won’t have a testing center to not support.

        • steve

          Jul 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm

          So your logic is to pay alot more for your sporting equipment so Dicks stays open? Dicks is a rip off, 90% of their merchandise is MSRP. I couldn’t care less if they closed. The one where I live is gigantic two floors and there are more people working there then shopping.

          • wcavanau

            Jul 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

            If you’re getting a product for a lot less than you can get it in Dicks, you better make sure it’s not a fake. Retailers like Dicks aren’t making the huge profits on ball and clubs that you think they are.

          • FTWPhil

            Jul 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

            No that’s your presumption of my logic.

            I have worked for Dick’s Sporting Goods, and I rarely shop there after that experience. I now work for a local small business golf shop, and from my experience 2/3 of weekend warriors barely know what their shaft flex is, but most can tell you their loft. Of those the large percentage think they hit the ball too high due to loft when in actuality it is the backspin due to cutting the ball. They commonly have a launch angle that is too low for their ball speed as well. I’m sure since you guys are on golfwrx you know all of that, and don’t need help with your clubs.

      • Hoosier Bogey

        Jul 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        So what you are saying is you prefer to hurt the local retailers that pay local taxes that go toward local services, employ local people who, wait for it, pay local taxes AND support other local businesses and abuse the demos that the local shop had to pay for in the first place. Stay classy.

        • steve

          Jul 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm

          Are you serious? Yeah that is my intention. Do you think this is a new way to shop? Welcome to the new world. I would rather have the same product for less. You must live in a bubble. But I rather the money in my pocket not theirs. You can go around spending more for less, thinking you are saving the world.

          • FTWPhil

            Jul 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

            Again, good luck finding a place to go to when they go out of business. Maybe then you will get what you pay for.

    • jim

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

      Dick’s is off my buy list until they hire the pros back.

  103. In The Biz

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I work for a Top 100 club fitter who happens to have been the top Ping and Mizuno fitter for it’s region. K is correct in that Tmag and Callaway have killed the industry. Sales reps have also. Sales reps come in constantly trying to get you to book these huge orders of product, without telling you that in 3 months these will all be discounted/discontinued. The margin in the golf business is typically 30%, when you factor in the cost of retail space in our country, a salesman to sell the item, and the corporation that owns the store where it is being sold, unless you grab that full 30% there isn’t much left. So when a Jetspeed driver, $299.99 released in October (Not golf season for many) is pushed by sales reps, and companies order say 100, only for them to be discounted to $229.99, then $199, all by July 1st, it leaves retailers short $100 on what they expected to make. Sure TMAG or Callaway will “Net Down” the original cost to you as a retailer, but that is simply done via credit on a credit line, it isn’t actual dollars back in your pocket, which leaves Dicks having to make a business decision essentially saying we can’t afford to have a PGA pro on staff when we lose $100 potential profit on every driver we try to sell thanks to the internet and companies like TMAG and Callaway releasing new product so often that the majority of golfers will just buy close outs or used because they can get them 3 months later for often 1/2 the cost.

    • K

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

      100% accurate. It’s honestly as simple as basic economic principles of supply and demand. Just to pick on Taylormade, they are a company all about hitting a number. If they don’t hit it, they slash prices and start all over. Problem is, all of the marketing and sales they put into that $400 driver, or $800 set of irons, is marked at half the price leaving golf shops defenseless.

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

        It’s called capitalism, been around for years now.

    • Silvie

      Jul 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Absolutely spot on. I think consumers will see smaller shops closing at a more rapid rate. I respect the companies who have not changed their business plan and are keeping their product out longer like Ping, Titleist and Mizuno. At least with them, you know the product won’t be slashed several months after it is released. It is extremely costly for stores to stock the countless models of product, only to have them be discontinued months later. The knee jerk reaction to releasing product that isn’t in demand is killing the industry and the vendors that carry that product are taking the hit for it. Often 90 days or sooner from it’s release date it is already slated for first round of discounts and another 60 days past that, is rock bottom pricing. Customers are wising up to the price wars and are the making the choice to hold out for a few months from the release date to get items at the severely discounted price. For many the golf season doesn’t start in February, but realistically the end of May when the prices begin to drop. I hope the industry turns around, but in the current direction it will be tough for many smaller shops to keep the doors open.

      • Joe

        Jul 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        I agree with you for the most part, but titleists, ping and mizuno release “new” models every year. Granted not like TM or Call, seemingly every six months, but those new models each year aren’t needed either. Plus, titliest, at least, doesn’t cater to the full spectrum that TM and Call do, not even close. Titleists is niche compared to even mizuno, who has recently expanded it’s spectrum. So apples and oranges there. Ping though does cater to the same spectrum, and only does it once a year. Although I don’t care for their equip I do like their approach.

    • Dan the Man

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Scary picture! Get the equipmenet back to green grass “pro only” distribution. Let’s see which manufacturers survive….surprise surprise surprise…Wilson; Mizuno; Ping (who I’m not fond of)and Titleist. Taylor Made & Calloway will merge. (remember when calloway’s stock was $60.00 a share??? I do…yuk yuk…

  104. bj

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:28 am

    The fired all of Golf Galaxy corporate too (who is owned by Dick’s)

  105. MG

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Stop charging 60 bucks for a dozen balls.

    • david

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Bud, I was one of those fired. Please tell me which dozen was $60. That’s false information you’re putting out there.

      • Ti

        Jul 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

        The new pv1 and pv1x are 57 a dz new rzn nikes are 45 I call that close enough.

        • Jason

          Jul 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

          $45 is not $60 and there are deals on golf balls all the time.

          • Robeli

            Jul 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm

            Jason, MG was probably referring to price at Dick’s, and yes, he can shop online, but still it shows Dick’s overpricing. $57 plus tax is more than 60. No wonder Dick’s had to fire the Pro’s.

        • wcavanau

          Jul 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

          If you’re paying $57.99 for Pro V’s you’re getting ripped off. $47.99 on the Dicks website.

        • Scooter McGavin

          Jul 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

          Pro V1s are not $57. They are $47.99 a dozen at a normal retail store (not a country club pro shop). So no, it’s not “close enough”.

        • MHendon

          Jul 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm

          Good lord $57 where do you buy yours, Manhattan? $47 in most places.

  106. K

    Jul 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

    If there is a finger to point here, it’s at companies like Callaway and Taylormade. To continue to make so many products, with no real demand for them, it leaves companies like dick’s making absolutely no profit. The industry as a whole needs to step back and realize what it’s doing to itself. I respect companies like PING and Titleist, because their philosophy works. I will never again buy another TMAG product nor Callaway. They’re destroying this industry more than they know.

    • dot dot

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Wow, Of all the things that could be construed from the article you really reached for the moon with that theory.

      • K

        Jul 23, 2014 at 10:21 am

        Read the ESPN article and you will see my point.

        • dot dot

          Jul 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

          I read the article K and I stand corrected. You are right in all that you said. I didn’t realize the extent of the situation.

        • Kevin L

          Jul 23, 2014 at 11:16 am

          What espn article. I would like to read it.

    • Eddie

      Jul 23, 2014 at 10:26 am

      You are absolutely correct. People who are not in the industry have no idea what we (owner of golf shop at a green grass facility) go through each year. If you come into my shop, you will not see Taylor made in it. I’m not just picking on them, any company that releases numerous new clubs every year, will not be in my shop. These companies have devalued their own products that they make.

      • Kenton

        Jul 23, 2014 at 10:31 am

        Amen Brother!

      • Bob

        Jul 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

        Seems legit. So if a golfer comes in looking for a TMAG(for example) product, you’re going to forcefeed him/her something they don’t want. Good business practice!

        • Jay

          Jul 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

          Maybe he will educate them that instead of spending $3-$400 today on that club they can wait 6 months and once everyone realizes it did not add 17 yards to their drive they can get it cheap, or they can buy a quality product today

        • wcavanau

          Jul 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm

          It’s a great business practice if he is forced to sell his inventory at or below cost because TMAG brings out a new driver in the middle of the season.

        • Joe

          Jul 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

          He sends them somewhere else Bob. Man I hope you don’t work in the business world!

        • Chris

          Jul 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

          I dont carry It in stock either, but can place a custom order for it anytime

      • wcavanau

        Jul 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        Unfortunately Eddie, you are one of the few who practice this. Once the majority of golf professionals gave up, or were forced to give up ownership of the shop, many stopped caring and took the path of least resistance.

      • docx

        Jul 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

        Worse yet….IF you do buy it, and it’s a dog (R1) they don’t credit you back when the markdown happens; they give you MORE of the dog free to help you ‘net down’ your cost….Great. now my little shop has 15 pieces of crap no one wants…I’ll never carry TM again. Epon, Exotics & Ping – almost every single one outfitted with our in-house SST Pured upgrade shafts are my 3 best selling drivers followed by Callaway & Titleist. Our average custom fit/built driver sells for around $850, and our business is steady. Once the customer actually hits and gets educated on real high performance products and properly fit high end shafts, they commit to the purchase. They play more, they start taking more lessons, they actually improve and subsequently stay in the game.

        Our clients are not all ‘loaded’. Most try a Miura or Epon demo iron for the first time and come back in and ask why they’re so good and how much do they cost, and once informed, they just kinda shake their heads, and mumble a little….

        A typical conversation goes like this…. “Wow, this thing’s awesome…how much are these?” “Well, with THOSE shafts, a set of 8 is 2200″…
        “….oh, wow……OK…”

        Next week, same guy comes in….”Can I try that iron again”?… “Sure…here ya go”….

        After the hitting session…

        “How much are these again?? ETC, etc, etc, etc….”OK. I’M GONNA ASK MY WIFE”…

        THAT’s the guy who comes back and orders ’em.

        The guy in the 100k car who says “I’ll just tell my wife to kiss my ass”…he doesn’t come back….

        …..Speaking of which……

        I don’t see how an adult who’s going to attempt to take up golf could ever be successful with a 27 & 1/2 piece all-in-the-box set of crap from a big box store for 179.99. I pretty much guarantee they’ll quit after a season….USGA and PGA should campaign against these boxes of crap, not to keep golf for the wealthy – I’m a driving range, publinx guy all the way – but because these clubs are so poor, they’re a detriment to the sport….I’d rather play a 1972 Spalding Executive than a 2014 offering from Top Flite, Lynx, Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, etc etc….

        While they might be fine for a kid starting, or transitioning to adult clubs there’s no way a strong young adult will ever get any good feeling out of them, and will probably snap two or three the first time they hit the range.

        Golf unfortunately is not inexpensive, and you do get what you pay for, which is why the glut of 3 & 4 generation old TM product @ Dicks is a good thing for the game. RBZ irons that were 699 three years ago are now 349. half price. Bad for DSG, good for the new golfer smart enough not to by the box-o-crap.

        If Dick’s would just stop selling the junk sets – even though they probably make a few bucks more on those than the left over ‘good stuff’, they’d boost their reputation AND help revive the game of golf they along with their too big OEM pals helped damage so much.

    • Terry

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:08 am

      The pressure to churn out profits is driving equipment makers to “invent” innovation, flooding the market. I think the Dick’s strategy struggled to establish a golf pro shop inside of a discount store. There was no way to build industry reference or collaboration as Dicks was the last place an on course pro would refer a student. Stock seemed good but fittings were inconsistent and the house brand Hagan gear I purchased pretty much sold me against ever purchasing that brand again. It’s tough all the way across.

    • B

      Jul 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

      This is right on the money!! Is it really necessary for TMAG to release the SLDR, then the SLDR white driver, then the step down version called the Jetspeed; and all of this a year or so after the R1, which was a year after the R11 and Rocketballz drivers. While still a a bit unrealistic, golf companies should follow more along the lines of what Titleist has started doing in that they release a new line of clubs/drivers every 2 years or so(909, 910, 913, 915…). I’m still gaming a 910, and have hit every new driver on the market at demo days. In the end, my 910 gets the same amount of distance that all these latest and greatest got me at those demo days; AND kept $300-500 in my pocket, and I would bet the same goes for 90%+ of weekend golfers out there.

      • Jack F

        Jul 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        I agree completely that TaylorMade has gotten crazy with their club lines. My first TaylorMade driver was the old System 2 which seemed to last on the market for a couple years until the Bubble line was released. Seems like since then they needed to roll out two models within 18 months of each other just to keep fresh.

        Now I’m so confused by TM’s choices that I have given up trying to keep up with the latest thing out there. The fact is, right now, there is not much out there that will outdo my current Callaway x460 tour on the launch monitor. Until that happens (or until I win the lottery) shopping for a new driver will be on the back burner…

        Now to wedges… and a whole new set of confusion…

      • wcavanau

        Jul 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm

        Titleist is able to do that because first and foremost they are a golf ball company! The profit margin on balls is incredible. It allows them to be less aggressive in clubs. Ping is also on a two year cycle. They are a privately held company so aren’t under the pressure of appeasing stock brokers. Ping also has a high tech engineering business that takes pressure off of golf.

    • MHendon

      Jul 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Well Dick’s could always stop carrying Taylormade and Callaway.

      • nwg

        Jul 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        I’ve read every comment on this and this is by far and away the most logical one so far. Everyone is blaming the OEM’s when in reality DSG always had the choice to purchase. Keep purchasing and the OEMs keep producing. Fairly simple supply chain theory…

        • Not Happy

          Jul 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

          The responsibility was with marketing and the buyers. They kept buying everything when there where 8 different models out there. People bought the $99 clubs and the manufacturers kept releasing more of the old model since people were buying them. The pros at dicks really were not needed since they did not teach there and many did not even fit people for clubs. But it was a crap way of doing it. All fired in one day. Dicks is blaming the industry, when they should have blamed the buyers and marketing teams.

          It is sad for those guys who lost their jobs, but the writing was on the wall when you truly are not needed and very little job security.

          • TS

            Jul 28, 2014 at 12:50 am

            Very true. A lot of the PGA guys were selling kayaks and stringing tennis racquets in addition to golf related duties. They never intended on using them for knowledge of the business. (Though many of them were likely instrumental in growing sales in certain categories based on location) It was to legitimize their golf operations and bring in higher end equipment… which they did… after that the Pros were expendable.

          • Lee

            Aug 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

            As a former manager at Golf Galaxy I can add to some form the inside. My position was Golf Clup Tech, my primary responsibility was the repair dept. I started with the company as a part-time employee in one store and transfered to another store closer to home. At this store is where I was promoted. Only mentioned this as to give more than one view. The pro in the first store was always walking the floor trying to help and sliding in his pitch for lessons. At the second store the pro pretty much stayed in his cage waiting for people to come to him. The common practice passed down from the top was for everyone to be on the floor pushing for sales, reguardless of your position. I was told to stay out from behind the club repair counter unless my club tech wasn’t in, I was to be on the sales floor. I also heard the G M tell the pro that he didn’t care if he gave any lessons, he needed to be out on the sales floor pushing merchindise. Point is there could be “blame” on both sides of the isle but the pro’s were there more for the draw for merchindise sales than the teaching aspect.

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm WITB 2022 (January, new photos)



  • Jon Rahm what’s in the bag accurate as of The American Express. 

Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (10.5 degrees @11.2) (10GF, 4GB)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX (45.25 inches, tipped 1 inch, D4)

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST LS Triple Diamond Proto (15 degrees @14.2) (14GF, 10GB)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75 TX (43.25 inches, tipped 1.5 inches, D3.25)

5-wood: Callaway Epic Speed Sub Zero Triple Diamond T (@18.1 degrees) (14 GF, 12 GB)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI (Black) 8 X (42 inches, tipped 2 inches, D4)

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Forged (52-10, 56-12 @55.25), Callaway Jaws MD5 (60-08W)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S (Micro Hinge Star insert, steel stepped shaft, 37 inches, 2.5-degrees loft, 68-degree lie, 544 grams overall weight)
Grip: Odyssey 56 pistol

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X 2022 (#10)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC (red/black)

More photos of Jon Rahm’s WITB in the forums. 

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Whats in the Bag

Thomas Pieters winning WITB: Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship



  • Thomas Pieters WITB accurate as of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Photos courtesy of @sms_on_tour

Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 75 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX

Irons: Titleist T100 (21), Titleist 620 CB (4-9)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

(Wedges have been updated since photo)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46, 52, 56), SM9 WedgeWorks (60)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: Scotty Cameron TourType SSS SB2

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (2019)

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Day WITB 2022 (January)



  • Note: We did not shoot a 60-degree in Day’s bag, but we assume he has one in play based on recent past setups. 

Driver: Ping G410 LST (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: TPT Prototype

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P7MC (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X7

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (52-08F, 56-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Daytona

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

More photos of Jason Day’s WITB in the forums. 

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