A longtime golf store forced out of business by a devastating string of robberies

Sharon Wong

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California-based Golf Depot will be very sadly giving up the ghost on February 27 through no fault of its own. The family-owned store, which has been doing business since 1995, experienced no less than five brutal break-ins in 2015. Two of these happened in December and all in all, they were robbed of $50,000 worth of merchandise, far more than the owners could afford to lose.

“Financially, it killed us,” lamented owner Sandra Hayes, who runs the store with twin brother Andrew.

Here’s a video of Sandra conducting the most dispiriting interview ever as customers clean out what little merchandise remains in the stores.

The Hayeses also faced a $1,000 rent hike, but any discussion about that has been stalled since the twins made an unsuccessful bid for better security.¬†The store’s closing down will be a loss not just to its owners but its faithful customers from all its years of business.

“It’s like the ’19th hole’ for us,” revealed Sam Sheu, the former president of the Merced Golf & Country Club, “A group of us always come after work. We drop by to chitchat. There’s a friendship that’s developed over the years. It’s sad to see it’s going.”

We hope that Sandra and Andrew Hayes will soon recover their¬†foothold in the local golf scene again. It’s clear that their presence will be sorely missed.