Golf isn’t less popular. Golf is a discretionary expenditure for the former middle class. They are spending their dwindling salaries on gasoline, food, utilities, rent, healthcare, and tuition. Nothing left for golf. It really is that simple. Even a CNBC bimbo or hack should understand.

Dick’s cuts 400 jobs as golf now less popular

By Sara Germano

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is cutting hundreds of jobs in its golf division as fewer Americans hit the links.

A spokeswoman for the PGA of America said more than 400 of its members who were employed as golf instructors at Dick’s were notified Tuesday that they would be laid off. The organization, which counts more than 28,000 members overall, said it would offer career counseling and employment services to its affected members.

Representatives for Dick’s didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to a Dick’s annual report, the company offered in-store private lessons with PGA and Ladies Professional Golf Association golf professionals across its Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy locations. There were 593 such employees as of Feb. 1, according to the filing. Dick’s employed about 34,300 full- and part-time workers overall as of that date.

News of the layoffs was earlier reported by ESPN.

Dick’s has been struggling with weak golf sales as players leave the sport. The retailer plans to take floor space away from golf merchandise in its Dick’s stores, and expand women’s and youth apparel instead. Dick’s Chief Executive Edward W. Stack said in May that there was more downside in the golf market, sales of which missed the company’s estimates for the quarter by $34 million.

An annual survey by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association earlier this year revealed the fifth consecutive drop in the number of U.S. individuals who reported playing golf on a course at least once, down 2.5% over the year before.

The downturn in the golf market has Dick’s rethinking its golf strategy. In 2007, Dick’s acquired specialty golf retailer Golf Galaxy for $226 million, according to a filing. Since then, it has expanded its store fleet to 79 as of May 3 from 65 stores at the time of acquisition.

Same-store sales for Golf Galaxy dropped 10.4% for the most recent quarter, and Dick’s executives said they would re-evaluate locations for potential closures, relocation, or remodeling as lease renewals come due in the next two years.

Write to Sara Germano at [email protected]

40 thoughts on “FORE HUNDRED LAYOFFS”

  1. It’s because Kunstler badmouthed their store in last weeks blog, You know, the clown suit one.

    Dick’s should branch out into survival gear. Frankly, everything about their store sucks dick. Not sure how they stayed in business this long.

  2. I think there was another post about peak golf a while back…wonder what other sport may be next?
    Can’t come up with any similar sport niche similar to golf in the respect of expense–maybe snow skiing?
    But that’s more regional and not many sports retailers offer skiing lessons, because lessons are given on the slopes by ski resort instructors.

  3. Dick’s is limping along right now, but I am sure Dick’s will rise again.

    I think they should branch out. Maybe sell food.

  4. The author of that article is full of himself thinking his friends father and classmates of his wife invented snowboarding. In the ’60’s, we had Snurfers:


  5. Golfing is fun when you know you get to keep doing it, once you lose faith that this is something you can get into, me at least, I just pulled the pin on the whole deal and did other stuff. Less expensive stuff.

  6. The most fun individual sport I ever did was sailboarding (windsurfing). I was an expert snow skier and had lots of fun doing that (but haven’t been skiing in years). But windsurfing, while you can sink $2500 into a good board and a couple sails, harness, and wetsuit, is absolutely more fun than a human being should be allowed to have. I used to outrun Hobie cats in 15-20 MPH winds. Unfortunately, I lost my boards and gear in a house fire some years ago (along with my snow skis!). Like to pick it up again.

  7. It’s amazing what you can do with two fingers and a thumb. Of course, I’m talking about bowling, the best sport of all time. Bullshitting with your pals, smoking, drinking beer, and this …

    Case closed.

  8. Golf, snowboarding, skiing, racquetball, gyms, rec centers nationwide. Next up will be the little tykes hobbies; dancing, gymnastics, travel hockey, football, etc.

    It isn’t the fact alone that the middle class was the primary customer base and with their slaughter so goes every “industry” that has popped up to provide us with pre-made hobbies.

    It is also the fact that fat-assed, instantly entertained, starving nutritionally, peoples do not participate in active sports. Which is probably half the reason they are obese to begin with.

    What a country!

  9. 1.jpg

    I was going to take up wind surfig until I discovered you need at least 2-3 sails for different wind conditions. That means I’d need a panel van just for windsurfing. Best sport: floaty bed. The only thing better than a floaty bed is a floaty bed and a beer. The only thing better than a floaty bed and a beer is a floaty bed and two beers. That’ll be me on Saturday, only I’ll be in a lake and my tits may be bigger.

  10. @Iska, I had a two sails: 5.5m and an 8.0m, which worked out for most conditions on the Potomac River next to Reagan National Airport. Not the cleanest water to be sailing in but some days I never
    fell off in 2-3 hours of sailing–took off straight from the dock and back on to it. South winds blew upriver so the current never took me downstream. Chesapeake Bay is usually too choppy and it was very hard to get up on a plane, which is where you want to be for the most joy and speed.

    What lake will you be at? I want to see those tits.

  11. Oh yeah, Iska, I had a roof rack on my Mazda 626 and could haul 2 boards, 2 masts, and with the back seat folded down, sails and other gear. No need for a van.

  12. “Golf isn’t less popular. Golf is a discretionary expenditure for the former middle class. They are spending their dwindling salaries on gasoline, food, utilities, rent, healthcare, and tuition. Nothing left for golf. It really is that simple.”

    Good analysis, but it falls into the “almost, not quite” category. In addition to sporting goods stores and less play at many municipal golf courses (frequented mostly by the middle class), the private and semi-private (usually at resorts) golf courses are also getting hammered.

    Private golf club memberships are expensive and consist of both wealthy and upper middle class members, and many of those clubs are CLOSING across the country. Meaning? Those with much more discretionary income are feeling the income pinch. The resort semi-private courses are also getting hit badly. If you’re staying at a resort, you can play on its course. But you pay big bucks to play the course, usually $150-200 dollars per round, depending on the season. Ouch.

    So the link of golf to discretionary income is valid. But nowadays it’s going much further than the middle class.

  13. In the current drought, it’s hard to justify the 300,000 (average) of water per day for Texas’ 800 plus golf courses suck out of the aquifers.

    I used to play on the old Willie Nelson course, but I finally gave it up. More important work to do these days.

  14. I miss golf books more than golf. There have been more books written about golf and golfers than just about any subject i can think of, and an awful lot of them are really good.

  15. Administrator says:

    “I hear it’s even impacting former government workers with big fat pensions.”

    That may be true. But not for those who saved a lot of money and don’t owe a fucking nickel to anyone. Dave Ramsey has it right ….. get out of debt and stay out of debt. Couple that with a modest savings plan, and it’s amazing how fast your money will grow even on a modest income.

    Plus it clears my mind on any money worries and allows me to concentrate on missing those 3 and 4 foot putts.

  16. For every one course that opens 10 are closing.

    One of the major drawbacks of golf is that it simply takes too much time. I was a good golfer when younger- a good, solid single digit handicap. Tee to green I was near scratch, but putting and short game sucked. Why? Well, I could go to a driving range for an hour a couple times a week, but putting and short-game needs lots of practice time to get good.

    And it takes probably a minimum of 6 to 7 hours to play one round – 4.5 hours minimum for the round, plus travel time, plus warm up, plus obligatory beer or two with the group, etc. Not many folks have that amount of time – and you need to do it 2 to 3 times per week to have a chance of getting reasonably good. Plus practice time.

    I put golf aside for almost twenty years, but rejoined a club a couple years ago, but have now dropped out again. I simply did not have time to play/practice enough to get my skills back, and kicking it around struggling to break 90 is not much fun when my previously I was always in with a shot to break 75.

    Combine time issues with how hard it is to get good at golf, and how expensive it is, and you get a sport that is going to have a lot of trouble thriving, especially in tight economical times/eras.

    Maybe Asian immigrants will save it – they love golf. Mexicans and blacks, not so much.

  17. llpoh

    I was a single-digit handicap when I was young. High 70s and lows 80s all the time. Now it’s high 80s and low 90s. 10 strokes worse. I carded a 76 last fall. And several low 80s since then. Play only twice a week. Yeah, mama, daddy can still play the game.

    All of which ….. So what? I’m getting old. I live precisely 2 minutes from the golf club. I enjoy the companionship. And these guys don’t fuck around. We complain about rounds over 4 hours, and the slow shits know who they are. We tell them. Put in $2 each for silly bets. Spend another hour or so for lunch. It’s fun.

    Lighten up.

  18. I paid $1750 for a one year membership which is just under $35 a week to play at a well designed, well maintained course.. I consider that to be good value as I will play about 125 rounds over the year.

    The real cost is compulsory caddies. $20 for 18 holes.

    With the exception of the 2 month tourist season, four of us (walking) get around in less than 4 hours.

  19. SSS – as a truism, only retired folks have the time to play, and are able to play often enough, to make the having a membership a cost effective proposition.

    Average Joe cannot play during the week, and the courses where average Joe can play will NOT manage to play in 4 hours on a Saturday or Sunday. Think 5 hours minimum. Golf is going to continue to fall off – younger folks generally do not have the time or the money to play golf.

    BTW – Shooting in the 90s is NOT playing the game – that is kicking it around. Those days in the low 80’s makes it worthwhile, tho, I expect.

    Glad you enjoy it, tho.

    Leo – same answer to you – if you can play regularly, and can play during the week and avoid weekends, a golf membership can make sense.

    Based on what Leo has just posted, he would be paying north of $5k per year, assuming no new clubs/drinks/practice buckets/etc. Say one ball a round, plus $2500 for the caddy, plus $1750 for the membership. $7k probably a lot more in the ballpark for Leo, I expect.

    Not a whole lot of young folks can pull that off. So there is going to be long-term difficulty for golf.

  20. Holy heartbreak, my buddy Iska is a gurl. That explains the strange Nessie joke. Now I get it, haha.

    Dammit, I never want to meet Eddie now, I will always be seeing him hanging out.

    Two shocking pics today. I’ll just go nuke a pound of bacon and end it all.

  21. “Lighten up.”
    —-SSS @ llpoh

    “Shooting in the 90s is NOT playing the game – that is kicking it around.”
    —-llpoh @ SSS

    The majority of golfers never break 100 and would love to shoot in the 90s. I admire the high performance, ethical and moral standards you set for yourself, llpoh. And I don’t know how old you are. But you’ve got some life lessons to learn on getting old.

    One of which is ……. lighten up.

  22. I-S, AWD, Billy and Boston Bob are about the same age. admin, bb and llpoh are about the same age. I’m close to Stucky’s age.
    I could be wrong.

  23. Stop it, I thought she was like Ilya Kuriyakin, you know, a guy. Now I know how Stuck felt when he found out Zara is a guy.

  24. e6e14634714177ad5c5a93d9881985f3.jpg

    This is me at the lakeshore. That one with the girl was the only picture I could find of a floaty bed.

  25. SSS – I know tons of guys in their seventies that break 80 everyday. Lifelong golfers and who have time to play and the money to do so.

    Lighten up is not gonna happen. I gave up any attempts at that some years ago. I am who I am and I ain’t who I ain’t. It is good advice wasted, but thanks anyway.

    I am happier as a grumpy ass.

  26. SSS, your initial comments on golfing’s decline hit me, there is another reason golf is dying, along with Staples and Office Despot.

    The elimination of small-to-mid sized business not only bankrupted the (former) customer base of Sam’s Club, Staples, and IBM’s small biz solutions, it is accelerating the destruction of many other industries.

    My guess is box seats and season-long passes are going to be experiencing a “slow down” too, if they haven’t already.

    Small business created the middle class. The rise of the foreign-sourced, box store retail is killing all that made this country as great as it once was.

    At least a handful of elite will still be rich, the rest of us will be trying to farm on the former golf courses.

  27. @ TE

    I don’t agree with your analysis of big box retailers. Capitalism is destructive and creative. This ain’t nothing new. Here.

    “The F. W. Woolworth Company (often referred to as Woolworth’s, or Woolworth) was a retail company that was one of the original pioneers, and arguably the most successful American and international five-and-dime stores, setting trends and creating the modern retail model which stores follow worldwide today.

    The first Woolworth store was opened by Frank Winfield Woolworth on February 22, 1878, as “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store” in Utica, New York. …. The two Woolworth brothers pioneered and developed merchandising, direct purchasing, sales and customer service practices commonly used today.”

    1878, TE. The problem today is we don’t have capitalism now as it was practiced then. The government got in the way a long, long time ago.

  28. Speaking of golf, you’re all chumps. When I played, I shot in the 70’s on a REGULAR basis.

    (The back 9 was usually a bit higher.)

  29. @ TE …… I don’t agree with your analysis of big box retailers. Capitalism is destructive and creative. This ain’t nothing new.

    @ TE …. I agree with your analysis of big box retailers. SSS gives ONE example (Woolworth) of a by-gone era. Too funny.

    Stucky, sometimes you’re the densest dickhead on this site. Want more old “big retailers” who have failed? JJ Newberry/founded 1911/475 stores. Gone. McCrory/founded 1882/1,300 stores. Gone.

    There’s more arrows in my quiver. Stop fucking with me. I’ll bury your sorry ass.


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