Bill Scheller took a leap into an untested space when he registered the domain name GolfClubs.com in 1995. The internet was still a big, giant question mark, but whereas most golf stores were constrained by space and stocked a limited amount of equipment, clothing, and robo-caddies, physical space was not an issue on the wild frontier of e-commerce. Bill set out to assemble the biggest selection number of irons, drivers, and apparel on the planet and couple that selection with great customer service.
Though the GolfClubs.com homepage looks different than it did in 1995, Bill's original vision remains the same. Golfers of all stripes can look to the website for equipment from major brands such as Callaway, TaylorMade, and NIke?indeed, just about anything that helps them play the game they love. Players can also head to the company's brick-and-mortar location in Portland to sample that same selection in person instead of online.
One of just 23 TaylorMade Performance Labs in the world, the location at Columbia Edgewater Country Club uses modern swing technology to gather data about golfers’ games, resulting in club recommendations that are uniquely suited to each player. A certified TaylorMade Club-Fitting Professional guides athletes through the entire experience. While the client swings inside a golf simulator, the pro helms the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade, an apparatus comprised of six high-speed cameras. These cameras turn the golfer into a three-dimensional digital rendering, similar to the process used by video-game developers and James Cameron whenever he searches for a spouse. Whether a customer opts for fitting with all 14 clubs in his or her bag or a single category—such as irons, woods, putters, or wedges—the technology captures their mechanics down to a tenth of a degree, revealing optimal club parameters ranging from loft angle to shaft flex.
The XGolf simulator at BirdieFinish Golf virtually transports players to 93 golf courses worldwide, where they can play and practice while enjoying the comfort of the indoors. The apparatus faithfully re-creates playing conditions at the chosen course, even adjusting the hitting surface to mimic lie angles, and improves upon them by canceling out the possibility of rain, excessive heat, and pelicans that perpetually hum "Happy Birthday to You" in a mocking tone. When not whisking foursomes off to imitations of exotic international courses, the simulator can also be used for club fitting and lessons under the expert guidance of golf coach Jari Hakonen. Repair services are also available for clubs that refuse to play on anything other than tangible courses.
Golf instructor Micheal Charles believes the process of learning golf should be as enjoyable as playing the game itself. From an early age, Charles became immersed in a life of athletic pursuits. His father was an international soccer star and a former head Olympic coach. Though Charles preferred golf over soccer, he still went on to an impressive career as a professional tournament winning player, as head coach of Lewis & Clark College and the University of Portland Women's Golf Team, and his current role instructing at Eastmoreland Golf Course. Instruction plans include private lessons to tighten individual aspects of the client's game and playing lessons where Michael plays alongside students while analyzing their course management skills and providing feedback on how to win any impromptu golf cart race.
It?s fitting that Brian Nosler?s hobbies include both golf and fly fishing. Both sports require concentration, appreciation for the outdoors, and a fluid backstroke to hit a specific target. But when he?s not intentionally wading in streams, the 2013 Oregon PGA Player of the Year does his best to avoid water at all costs. During professional golf-instruction sessions, Nosler guides students with a simple approach to swing fundamentals, teaching both full-swing mechanics and short-game techniques?a personal specialty that contributed heavily to his previous wins at the Oregon, Washington, and Montana State Opens. In addition to helping students master the art of reading greens' dense instruction manuals, Nosler provides club-repair services and personal club-fitting sessions.
In his 25-year coaching career, PGA professional Jack Young has taught more than 30,000 golfers, ranging from 5-year-olds to 90-year-olds, from scratch players to first timers. In 2007, he left a post as a golf club's head golf pro to dedicate all of his time to coaching, putting to use the encyclopedic knowledge of golf-swing mechanics and the clear communication skills that have made him successful from the start. Operating out of Vanco Golf Range, Jack often uses video swing analysis in lessons, providing his pupils with visual aids and material for their acting reel. His familiarity with multiple swing models lets him mold his advice to pupils' natural tendencies. "I believe in physics," Jack says. "There are a lot of ways to hit a golf ball; everyone has their own unique signature to their swing." Jack's skills extend to club fitting, which he has been doing for 20 years and offers free of charge. His expertise extends beyond simple swing mechanics: Jack also advises golfers on the mental approach, short-game skills, and unique kind of physical fitness needed to fortify swings and get away with late-night cart tipping.