It's been a brutal week for golf industry news and while I'm saddened for the PGA pros losing their jobs at Dick's Sporting Goods, the lede from Darren Rovell's story says the move was made because the retailer was "faced with a decline in the golf equipment industry."
And while certain sectors of the business are undoubtedly flat or down, the story eventually suggests that the layoffs were in part related to the actions of a company that has since admitted in its own reporting a serious mistake was made:
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. On average, the golf business accounts for about 15 percent of Dick's overall revenues.
As TaylorMade's largest retailer, Dick's was hit hard after it bought all four models of the driver TaylorMade released last year. The glut of merchandise forced Dick's to sell at under the suggested retail price.
Four drivers in one year.
Reckless speculation here, but I'm going out on a limb that Old Tom Morris didn't tell his customers the Long Spoon they bought was outdated just three months after they picked it up at the shop.
Anyway, the PGA of America is taking the news seriously and this is a letter forwarded to me (with name cropped out) of one of the laid off employees of Dick's: