Offering the latest indication of a struggling golf industry, retail heavyweight Dick’s Sporting Goods has terminated all the PGA professionals employed in the golf sections of its stores, ESPN.com reported Tuesday.
Although the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, three pros who were fired confirmed that more than 500 full-time PGA professionals were let go, the report said.
“I’m sincerely disappointed that the careers of so many PGA professionals have been hurt today,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop in a letter to the affected employees obtained by ESPN.com.
Long known for differentiating itself from competitors by offering customers PGA professionals’ expertise, Dick’s has more than 560 stores and is the largest retailer of TaylorMade and Callaway products in the United States, the report said.
In a May 20 earnings announcement, Dick’s CEO Ed Stack said the company’s golf business missed its first-quarter sales target by $34 million and that he expected a downward trend for the rest of the year.