In the past year, the golf specialty market has seen the large become larger while the small have been left looking for ways to keep the doors open. With chains like Golfsmith and Golf Galaxy ever expanding, and now Golf Galaxy becoming a part of the Dicks Sporting Goods empire, the noose looks to be drawing ever tighter around the necks of small chains and single shops.
Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Austads Golf, which has been in business since 1963 and was one of the first golf catalogs in the United States, has a plan to combat the forces working against it: move away. The retailer has closed two stores it had in operation in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minn., bringing it to a total of 9 stores, with plans to open two new stores in the spring.
Though the locations of the new doors have not yet been announced, plans are for the shops to be in smaller towns with populations between 100,000 and 300,000.