It was a Saturday around around 4:30 PM. I walked up, and the automatic door opened wide for me. I was instantly greeted by 5 employees, all asking if I needed any help. I responded no and kept on walking. The one other person in the store was doing the same thing I was doing, just browsing aimlessly. I took off to the area that typically draws my attention and it is pretty barren. The one item I checked was way overpriced. Can you guess where I was? I’ll give you a minute…
Yep, it was Golfsmith.
Golfsmith is what is known as a big box store. Think of it as the Best Buy of golf equipment. When it came into a town, it usually meant the small individual golf shop owner was going to go out of business. Golfsmith could buy in bulk and get prices lower than any small golf company could. When they first busted onto the scene, they were a good quality store with very good service. One of the stores in Houston used to do club building classes. It was around 50 bucks and you got to spend a couple of hours building a wedge, which you got to take home. It was a great idea and taught your average Joe the basics. They sold components and did a ton of great club work. The used club selection was always busy and had product consistently coming in.
Present day Golfsmith is a different story. The atmosphere is sad; most of the time, no one is in the store. It’s shockingly bad. There are usually more hitting bays than customers. Hell, most of the time there are more employees than customers. What’s worse: gone are the days of components. That’s a big disappointment for me because that was one of my favorite sections. Stores have gotten bigger and service has gotten worse. They are also completely out of touch with used club prices. They had an SLDR for $185. It shows on the PGA Value Guide for $69. Lets not forget the Callaway Razr Xtreme Driver listed for$125 in deplorable condition. Irons that sell for $325 used are listed for $650. It was a disaster.
Golfsmith is deteriorating for the same reason it first succeeded. They had to buy a ton of inventory to keep getting the incredible pricing from the manufacturer. This has led to serious inventory issues. The store I walked into still had G25 drivers! There were at least 50 M1 drivers and at least 25 M2 drivers. This doesn’t even include other brands. It was crazy! That is way too much inventory. There are a million bags,gloves,golf balls, and clothing. In no way is this sustainable. Their staffing is ridiculous as well. There doesn’t need to be 6 staff members in a store when its an hour to close. It also wouldn’t kill them to have someone at the club repair desk at all times. When I head back there, I never see anyone behind the desk. What if someone has questions or needs a club bent? I also would like to know if a set of used irons is bent. Maybe let me take the 8 iron over and have someone measure it. I don’t expect the components to come back, but at least have someone who can help me. There are 6 employees in the store, why can’t one stand by the club tech area?
The internet is also beginning to really beat up Golfsmith.When I can get that same SLDR new for $150 online why would I pay $185 for a used, beat up one?
Sorry for the rant, but it was something that has been bothering me since Saturday. I can’t believe Golfsmith has come to this. You’re better than this, Golfsmith. I don’t want to call you the saddest place in Dallas, but you’re really forcing my hand.