Sunday, October 23, 2011


There’s one name in golf that never fails to bring out the adolescent in me and that’s Dick’s. Every time I hear it referenced I chuckle a little.  Every time I drive to the mall and see it on the top of the building in 10 foot high letters: DICK’S I grin. I’m stupid that way. But I’ll bet half of you reading this, when you saw the title of the post, thought something similar.

Have you ever been to a Dick’s? I went three times this year and every time I had a similar experience. What I found is Dick’s is not just a name, it’s an attitude. The first time I went to a Dick’s I was with my daughter. We were looking to buy her first set of clubs. We saw two sales people sitting behind a counter looking at a computer screen. When we approached the counter we were promptly ignored. When I finally broke the cold shoulder and asked where the kids clubs were the workers looked at me like I’d just farted. “Over there,” one of them said in a disgusted voice while waving his hand in a vague direction. Both employees then continued looking at the computer screen. Facebook I’m guessing. Walking away from the counter I knew exactly where the hand had waved -- in the direction of another golf shop.

The second time I went to Dick’s was out of boredom.  My family and I were at the mall shopping and when we passed the Dick’s I told my wife I was going to go check out some golf equipment while she looked at shoes (or something like shoes, it was all a blur at that point). My daughter went with me and we proceeded to go directly to the golf section. Oddly, even though there were customers milling about I noticed there were no sales reps on the floor. But sure enough, there were two sales reps sitting behind the same counter looking at a computer screen. What do they put on the computers at Dick’s anyway? My daughter and I looked around a bit and after a while she took a putter and was messing around on the small putting green in the middle of the showcase. She’s actually a pretty good putter if I say so myself and she certainly wasn’t out of line in anyway. Want to know how to get the attention of a Dick’s employee? Have your kid start putting on the putting green. Within 30 seconds a sales rep was there glaring first at me, then at my daughter, then back at me. Ok. Strike two. I put the golf glove and University of Oregon towel I was going to buy back on their shelves and we left (maybe the employee was an Oregon State fan).

The third time I went to Dick’s was with my wife and daughter. We wanted to buy a golf cart and we knew we were going to spend a few hundred bucks to get a good one. After my last two experiences I was disinclined to go to Dick’s but my wife had a 15% off coupon so we went. Ok, you’re not going to believe me, but once again, we found no sales reps on the floor but one was sitting behind that damn counter. I wanted to ask some questions about the carts before buying one (I have a 2 seat convertible so I wanted to see how compact different models could get and how easy they were to fold and unfold). I went to the counter and I asked the employee if I could get some assistance. The employee was actually friendly and told me to wait by the golf carts and he’d have someone over there shortly. After ten minutes of waiting no one showed up. We left and dropped our 250 bucks elsewhere.

I once went to a restaurant in San Diego called Dick’s. The theme of the restaurant is that they treat you poorly and you throw wadded up papers at the waitresses to get their attention. Being a dick is part of the fun. Apparently Dick’s is bringing this idea to the sporting goods industry. I hope corporate is happy to learn that their employees are living up to their name.  

But even with all that, the next time I hear, “The Big Break is brought to you by Dick’s” I know I’ll chuckle. I just can’t help it.


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Unknown said...

Wow. That's a shame. The Dick's (yes, that does bring a grin) by me is always staffed by fairly helpful people and I've always found the golf department folk courteous and helpful.

ranjana said...

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