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Golfsmith, Dicks Sporting

Goods, Golf Galaxy and

PGA Tour Superstore are all

included under the “Big Box

Store” category and represent

the majority of the retail golf

equipment sales in the United


I do not want to bash the

big box store, but rather

educate golf consumers,

about the hazards of golf

retail. Hopefully you can

make the best choices about

where to spend your money

and what to spend it on.

Spiffs and Commission

Working on commission

simply means that you get

paid based on how much you

sell. A spiff is a bonus that is

paid for selling a particular

item, or brand.

Having a motivated sales staff

is a fine thing – it gives an

incentive to help customers

instead of whacking balls in

the simulator – but it becomes

problematic, when it is the

reason to push certain products

on unsuspecting golfers.

Stores that have house brands

often pay a higher commission

on those sales because there is

more margin. Spiffs can also be

a major incentive, especially if

the sales clerk is making $10/

hour, andcanearnanadditional

$50 for selling Brand X.

A simple solution to this

problem is to be direct. Ask

your salesperson if they’re

paid on commission or with

spiffs. You don’t have to storm

out if they are, but take their

advice with a grain of salt.

Lack of, or Misused, Fitting


Most Big Box Stores have

invested in first-tier launch

monitors, but that doesn’t


is on the up and up. One of the

oldest tricks in the golf retail

book is “juicing” the launch

monitor to spit out distances far

beyond what golfers will see in

the real world.

“Wow, Mrs. Haversham,

you’re hitting it 320 with that

new driver!”.

There is a simple fix for this

problem, bring your own

clubs for comparison.

A more difficult problem

is the lack of fitting

components. If the shafts and

heads available for testing

Big Box Store

Club Fitting Advice

By: Matt Saternus,

NWO Golf Links