December 7, 2022

Y M L P-243

Can you feel Business?

Need to repair your golf game? Boylston’s Don Sharron has thriving custom-making golf club business

Don Sharron in his Grip & Rip It Golf function store in the basement of his dwelling in Boylston.

Don Sharron discovered to regrip golf clubs when he was a 10-yr-outdated caddie at Nice Valley Nation Club, and more than 60 yrs afterwards, he’s nonetheless at it.

Sharron, 71, runs his regripping, reshafting, repairing, fitting and custom-generating golf club business, “Grip & Rip It Golfing,” out of his walk-in basement at his residence in Boylston that he shares with his spouse, Joan.

You could say that the game of golf gripped him prolonged back and never ever permit go.

“The most pleasure I get is when I do a mend,” he said, “or support with the golfer’s equipment, and they simply call me in a number of times to thank me for the perform finished and that their sport has improved.”

When he caddied at PV, he also washed the members’ clubs and put them away. A person working day, he noticed an assistant pro regripping clubs and asked if he could show him how to do it. Before long afterward, he was regripping clubs for PV users, himself and his buddies.

Sharron started his golfing small business 25 yrs ago as a passion, and he commenced doing it comprehensive time five many years in the past soon after he retired as a salesman for Lew Horton Distributing Firm, a wholesale distributor of firearms. In 1998, he attended a Golfsmith university in Austin, Texas, to discover how to fix and build golf equipment and how to match people today for golf equipment.

Sharron preferred the sound of the title of John Daly’s 1993 golfing e-book, “Grip It and Rip It,” so he named his enterprise, “Grip & Rip It Golf Operates.” Daly hardly ever contacted him about copyright infringement, but GolfWorks, a golf devices firm, did. So Sharron improved the identify of his business enterprise to “Grip & Rip It Golf.”

Performs a great video game, enjoys memorabilia

Sharron’s love of golf stretches outside of his company. He golfs at Cyprian Keyes GC in Boylston at least 4 occasions a 7 days and carries a handicap of 9.7. He also worked as a marshal on the 18th gap for each individual PGA Tour party at TPC Boston in Norton. In 2014 at TPC Boston, he had Rory McIlroy autograph a pin flag from the PGA Championship that he gained that calendar year.

A number of pin flags from the Masters, U.S. Open up, U.S. Women’s Open up, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and the Gamers Championship go over his shop’s ceiling. Another 1 that is signed, the 2021 Masters flag by winner Hideki Matsuyama, hangs on the refrigerator in Sharron’s store that he shares with drinking water, soda and beer for his consumers.

Don Sharron is removing the club head from a shaft in his Grip & Rip It Golf work shop in the basement of his home in Boylston.

Don Sharron is eliminating the club head from a shaft in his Grip & Rip It Golf get the job done shop in the basement of his house in Boylston.

The freezer is crammed with venison and wild turkey. Earlier in the working day of the interview for this column, Sharron shot a 24-pound turkey with a bow and arrow in Millbury where by he grew up. The head of a 10-place deer that he shot in his yard hangs on the wall of his store in close proximity to the fridge.

His store also has a huge display screen Television set to observe athletics.

His son, Jonathan, functions for Topgolf, a driving range activity with electronically tracked golf balls, and previously labored for the Golf Channel, NBC and other athletics networks. So he attended quite a few PGA Tour and LPGA Tour situations and gathered the flags for his father.

His youngest son, Patrick, is an assistant professional at The Haven CC in Boylston. His oldest son, Jason, functions in the movie field in Hollywood.

In addition to folks, Sharron regrips and repairs golf equipment for Eco-friendly Hill Municipal Golfing Program, Cyprian Keyes, Juniper Hill, Worcester Region Club, Holden Hills and New England Indoor Golfing in Auburn. Golfing teacher Jim Fenner also sends his college students to Sharron.

COVID supplied organization a boost

Sharron doesn’t promote, but he had a steady company until the pandemic hit in 2020. Then his company revenue multiplied by four or 5 moments.

“New individuals wanted to participate in golf,” he mentioned. “Families came strolling by the doorway, ‘I want golfing clubs built for me, my spouse, my youngsters,’ that sort of things. It exploded. It’s nevertheless that way appropriate now.”

Don Sharron checks the loft and lie of a 4-iron in his Grip & Rip It Golf work shop in the basement of his home in Boylston.

Don Sharron checks the loft and lie of a 4-iron in his Grip & Rip It Golfing perform store in the basement of his residence in Boylston.

Sharron employed to custom build 30 to 40 sets of clubs each and every calendar year, but through the pandemic, he has designed additional than 100 sets per 12 months, all at a price of very well below what you would pay out for the top brand names. He can establish a set of irons for about $500 and a driver for $200 to $250.

“It all relies upon on the shaft,” he mentioned. “A driver shaft can run from $10 to $450.”

Just about every 3 many years, Sharron suits himself for a new set of clubs and builds them.

He does not construct knockoffs, which mimic the best model names. GolfWorks, the equipment firm that had him transform the identify of his small business, is his major provider of club heads.

“A great deal of golfers want Titleist, TaylorMade or Mizuno,” he said, “but they really do not know about these.”

Hybrids and wedges are the most requested clubs.

Sharron stated he just cannot feel that some main golf providers cost $349 for a superior-conclusion iron and $1,300 for a set of irons.

“They’re way out of line,” he stated. “I know how substantially a club head costs.”

Unlike the main club brands, Sharron does not fork out PGA Tour golfers to play with his clubs, so he can charge a lot less. He helps make most of his clubs for newbies.

Jay Doyle, 75, of Worcester plays in a league that Sharron operates at Cyprian Keyes.

Doyle (no relation to this columnist) has had Sharron regrip his clubs for a lot more than 15 a long time.

“He does a great position, and he’s bought a great collection of grips,” Doyle explained.

Bruce Chansky, 74, of Worcester umpired sluggish-pitch softball with Sharron and has had him develop, change and regrip clubs for him.

“Just a pretty down to earth dude who won’t choose you to the cleaners for repairs or purchases,” Chansky reported. “Backs almost everything up.”

A lot of grips to be had

Sharron reported there was only a person grip when he caddied at PV. Now there are extra than 400 kinds, and he has additional than 150 in his store.

Consumers have had Sharron repair shafts that snapped and still left graphite splinters in their hands.

“I guess a good deal of folks do not know,” Sharron mentioned, “how simple it is to break a golf club by hitting a twig or hitting a rock or by hitting a mat. The head breaks off or the head will loosen and arrive off, but most of it is a damaged shaft.”

Sharron suits golf equipment and checks their loft and lie angles at an outside hitting region to the side of his property. He documents shoppers hitting golfing balls off a mat and into the trees in his backyard with a demo iron and a device spits out the calculations he requirements to custom made healthy golf equipment for them.

Sharron erected a limited net amongst the hitting location and his residence, but he admitted that wayward pictures have damaged a window a lot more than at the time. But he doesn’t head.

Saws, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches adorn the wall earlier mentioned his do the job bench in his store.

Sharron works by using a shaft puller and a heat gun to take out heads from shafts. He also has machines to alter the lofts and lies of golf equipment, reduce shafts, polish clubs and refinish ferrules, the black piece found just above the club head’s hosel.

“In order for someone to do the get the job done like I do, this is what you will need,” he reported, “and if you really do not have it, you seriously simply cannot do a professional task.”

He can shorten or lengthen shafts or install new types.

“There are a great deal of golfers out there who haven’t a clue about what goes into earning a golfing club,” he said. “The stiffness of the shaft, the bend level of shafts, the swing weights, the lie angles, the loft angles, they really do not know that. They really do not know that there are five distinct size grips out there.”

The most unconventional club Sharron at any time designed was for a 2-iron, but not the variety you’d count on.

About 15 decades in the past, a client asked him if he could make a 2-iron, Sharron explained he could, but the customer claimed he needed a club with two 2-iron heads to give to a buddy as a joke.

“So I took a few of golfing clubs and drilled holes all the way as a result of the hosels, and I place two golfing clubs on 1 shaft,” Sharron stated. “They loved it when they observed it.”

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This write-up originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Boylston’s Don Sharron has flourishing custom made-creating golfing club company