February 13, 2009
Hope springs eternal, especially at the retail level.
That, and an apparently well-considered business plan, may be the necessary ingredients for potential success for Bruce Goldsborough and JoJo Romano. They’re busy preparing for the upcoming March 1 opening of their Tee II Green golf store, on Rehoboth Avenue Extended.
The new venture took over the space formerly used by Ed Larkin’s Clubhouse Golf store. Recently Goldsborough and Romano took a short break during their renovations for a short interview.
Goldsborough and Romano are longtime Sussex County residents, and Romano worked at Clubhouse Golf for several years. The two are also golf buddies, with lots of rounds at The Rookery and other local courses. Goldsborough admitted to a 7 handicap.
After service in Vietnam, Goldsborough stayed in the Army, finishing his career as a sergeant major after 28 years. He also worked at Fort Dix in New Jersey in a civilian capacity, retiring as the garrison manager in 2000. For several years thereafter, he ran his own construction company in Sussex County, which he’s now handed over to his son.
Goldsborough also had a long part-time career in the golf business. He started out 35 years ago making golf clubs as a hobby. “I then branched out to a side business,” he explained. “I did some club repairs for the previous owner. Ed told me he was getting out, and I talked to the landlord. On the eighth of January I signed the lease, and we’ve been busy ever since,” he said.
The two men decided that their new shop would focus on golf club repair and renovation for the new store, along with offering a full line of golf equipment from the well-known brands.
“We’ll do shaft replacements, club re-grippings, off-warranty fixes, you name it, and most of it with a two to three day turnaround. We can reshaft a club on the same day, if the grips you want are in stock. And they’ll be here,” Goldsborough said.
As for the equipment, Romano and Goldsborough said they will offer clubs, balls, and shoes from TaylorMade, Cobra, Ping, Callaway, Cleveland, Mizuno, Nike, Titleist, and Wilson.
“I want to provide good service and a personal touch,” Goldsborough said. “I want folks to leave here feeling like they have gotten a good deal. I want to sell them what’s right for them—the right clubs and the right balls.”
To help assure that responsiveness, the two men are restoring the golf simulator system that has been in the shop since its original Golf Day origins. “It’s a great fitting tool. We can measure people and their swings. We widened the space for it, so they don’t feel closed in,” Goldsborough noted.
Fans of golf artistry will also have a buying opportunity or two. Goldsborough is working with Cape Region artist Bing Smith, who will have oil paintings of golf scenes on display at the store. Smith is also lined up to paint a large mural that will take up most of the store’s western wall, above a dozen or so golf club sets on display.
Goldsborough is drawing upon other local talent as he prepares for their opening. The tech types at Ameritechnologies are installing the point-of-sale computer system, and attorney Robert Gibbs is handling the legal paperwork for the new business.
They’re also networking with Cape Region golf courses. For example, a $500 purchase at Tee II Green will earn a free round at Bear Trap Dunes, and an $800 purchase comes with a free round at Baywood Greens. “I also working with some of the hotels here on packages, and we have a deal with the local Izod store,” Goldsborough said.
The golf economy is not all that hot right now, both locally and nationally. Even so, you have to admire the drive and determination that these two are bringing to their new business, in spite of the challenges they will surely face.