More than 500 PGA professionals were let go Tuesday after Dick’s Sporting Goods fired all of the full-time professionals in their golf sections, according to a report from ESPN.com.
“The PGA of America is aware of the decision made today by Dick’s Sporting Goods that affects the livelihoods of many PGA professionals who have been employed at Dick’s,” PGA of America president Ted Bishop said in a statement obtained by Golf Channel.
“We are extremely disappointed by the news, as any time even one PGA member loses a job we are extremely sensitive to such matters. … While we are sincerely disappointed with this news, we continue to support our PGA professionals who are extremely dedicated to share, teach and grow the game of golf.”
According to this report, Dick’s had employed a PGA professional at every store, and the golf business reportedly accounted for 15 percent of the store’s annual revenue. As ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell wrote, “the economy, the downturn in participation, the decline of Tiger Woods and too many products flooding the market cut into Dick’s bottom line so much that the company seems to be giving up on winning the golf equipment business.”
UPDATED: The PGA is refunding this year's dues to the PGA members who were let go by Dick's. Below is their full statement.
"After consultation with Secretary Levy and unanimous support by the Board of Control, the Membership Department will be working with the Executive Directors to allow retroactive transfers to Life Member, Retired Member or Inactive for those PGA Members who were let go by Dick’s Sporting Goods and so choose to transfer to one of these classifications. As we are only three weeks into the new fiscal year, for those Members who choose this option, this would allow a partial dues refund to these Members at this time of turmoil. For those Members who do not choose this option, the Bylaws allow them to remain in their current classification until June 30, 2016, before any classification transfer would need to take place.
"In addition, the Championships Department has agreed to provide a full refund for any Member let go by Dick’s Sporting Goods who now wants to withdraw from the Section PNC or Section Senior PNC."