February 12, 1999
Jean Pierre (“J. P.”) DuMortier started teaching over 30 years ago, and loved it.
Sometimes, though, family needs keep you from doing what you love. He switched to school administration because it paid better, and waited for the day he could return to teaching.
In the meantime, DuMortier developed his passion for golf. He kept up with the latest approaches to teaching golf, and also learned how to make and repair golf clubs. His personal collection of putters, irons, drivers, and fairway woods grew ever larger.
Finally his career in public education came to an end. He retired last June after 10 years in charge of a district in the Catskills region of New York.
DuMortier then moved to the Lewes area with his family. They joined Shawnee CC, and DuMortier also played other courses in the area.
One day last fall his wife Connie took a look at his pile of putters and other golf clubs. She asked if there was some way he could use his knowledge of golf and club making, and have some fun at the same time. One thing led to another.
DuMortier is now the owner of Dolphin Golf, a new golf business on Route 1. “It’s been wonderful,” he said with a grin.
DuMortier started the company last December. You can find Dolphin Golf in the small white building at 341 Highway One, two miles north of Five Points, and just north of Red Mill Pond.
The store is usually open from 11 to 5. The flag and sign outside the little storefront are the best way to tell if he’s open for business. You can also reach him at (302) 644-9249 or (302) 644-0765.
His shop is filled with dozens of clubs, in sets and singles. Some are trade-ins. He created most of the others.
DuMortier assembles his golf clubs from a wide variety of component suppliers. The results are impressive. The workmanship is certainly there on display.
If you’re looking for a new set of brand-name clubs, he’ll send you to Golf Day. On the other hand, suppose you’re a beginner who’s not even sure you’ll stick with the game. J.P. can sell you a custom-made set for a very reasonable price. You won’t be paying for all those TV ads on The Golf Channel and ESPN.
If you’re trying to replace a 5-iron for the one that somehow wrapped itself around a tree, he will make you a new one.
All customers receive a free golf ball with their purchases, which is a nice touch.
DuMortier also teaches golf. He’s perfectly willing to close up shop and take his customers down to the Midway Par 3 driving range. For the price of a large bucket of balls and the $25 lesson fee, his students learn some handy techniques to improve their game. “I work with the person at their level,” he said.
DuMortier is delighted that he’s able to combine his love of teaching with his love of golf: “This is the thing that I always wanted to do,” he said. “It’s a chance to return to what I started out to do many years ago. I want people to get excited about golf.”
The new owner is also pleased with how his business is taking off from this early start. He’s running a “cash-or-check-only”-based business, and won’t take credit cards. He says this limitation hasn’t hurt his sales.
DuMortier seems happiest with the fact that his clients usually leave his store with a smile. He thinks that has a lot to do with the kind of business he’s now operating.
I think he has a point.