It's time for stockholders to bid their Golf Galaxy (NASDAQ:GGXY) shares goodbye.

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) agreed to acquire this fetching company for $18.82 a share in cash Monday afternoon. While this is a substantial premium over Monday's closing price, I have to admit that it leaves this shareholder saddened. I appreciate the short-term gain as much as anyone, but Golf Galaxy, as I outlined in my original Take, had immense potential to do even better for shareholders over the long haul.

That said, I do think the merger makes strategic sense. Dick's acquires a group of highly skilled executives, drawn from successful stints at companies like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Target (NYSE:TGT), Calloway (NYSE:ELY), and Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS). It also gets Golf Galaxy's highly profitable market segment, a niche Dick's was not addressing well in its own stores. Bringing in Golf Galaxy's talented team now offers a new growth avenue for Dick's, and the acquisition promises to be accretive to earnings in 2007. No wonder Dick's shares shot up on the news.

Meanwhile, Golf Galaxy gets access to Dick's substantial resources to grow the chain. Ever since Golf Galaxy's failed secondary offering earlier this year, it was clear that capital resources for further growth would be hard to come by. Now that problem has been solved, and the company is no longer 100% exposed to any potential weakness in the golf market.

While both companies win in this deal, shareholders lose out on what could have been a big long-term winner. Once Foolish disclosure rules let me, I'll sell my shares and set about investigating my watch list for more big winners.

I'll let you in on a little secret, though. I found this stock through the Motley Fool Hidden Gems community discussion boards. We have a brilliant community of Fools searching for 10-baggers, and they're just as obsessed and determined as Hidden Gems advisors Tom Gardner and Bill Mann to find 'em. You'd better believe I'll once again be reading and posting in the community to discover other intriguing companies that can boost my returns, just like Golf Galaxy did. Hidden Gems can help investors win in more ways than one. See for yourself with a free 30-day subscription.

Tee off with further Foolishness:

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection, while Select Comfort is a Hidden Gems pick.

Fool contributor Stephen Ellis owns shares in Golf Galaxy, but no other companies mentioned. You can view the stocks he owns and check out his 96th-percentile ranking in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's new stock-rating community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.