National retailer Dick's Sporting Goods laid off more than 500 of its in-store PGA professionals on Tuesday, according to a report from ESPN.com. The report detailed Dick's struggles to sell golf equipment during the past year.
"We are selling drivers in our stores this spring for $99 that were approximately $299 20 months ago," Dick's CEO Ed Stack said after announcing earnings on May 20. Stack said at the time that the company's overall golf business missed its first-quarter sales plan by $34 million and that he expected a downward trend for the rest of the year.
The golf side accounts for 15 percent of the overall revenues of Dick's on average.
Dick's said it sold only 2 percent fewer drivers in the first quarter this year compared to the first quarter of 2013 but that the average price of those drivers was down 16 percent. In a letter obtained by ESPN.com, PGA of America president Ted Bishop said, "I'm sincerely disappointed that the careers of so many PGA professionals have been hurt today."
Here's a tweet from ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell:
How much is the golf biz struggling? Dick’s Sporting Goods just terminated all their PGA pros in their golf sections
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 22, 2014