Hope for Duffers: David Bass: Mr. Fixit for Clubs
Got a golf club that needs fixing? Better yet, got a golf swing that needs fixing? David Bass is your man.
Just walk right in, sit right down, and tell Bass all about it. He’ll take a look, and if it’s the club that’s hurting, he’ll put it in a vise and light up his torch and get to work.
If it’s your swing that’s broken, he’ll take a look at the part causing you discomfort and give you a remedy. Either way, he promises you’re going to leave his care with a prescription to help your golf game.
Bass can make that promise with conviction because he’s been running his care clinic for decades and he’s seen every swing that exists. He’s studied them from every angle, and he’s convinced he’s able to help with any problem.
And he’s got the documents to back up the claims, being named the Professional Clubmaker Society’s Clubmaker of the Year six times beginning in 2000.
The workshop at Foxfire Golf and Country Club isn’t quite complete yet. There are a couple of touches Bass wants to add. But he’s been here since November, and he’s already got a list of patients willing to provide testimonials.
The Garner native, who lives in Clayton and has shops at Reedy Creek and Crooked Creek golf clubs as well as at Foxfire, believes in his methods of teaching as well as the clubfitting that he swears by. He makes a golfer feel there’s hope even after another dismal outing.
The 56-year-old Bass began his career at Eagle Crest Golf Club near Garner. That course no longer exists, but Bass has flourished.
“I worked there for seven years,” he said. “I did everything, including cutting the grass.”
That led to a career with Carolina Custom Golf, a popular retail golf equipment business with several outlets that became a victim of the sluggish economy a few years ago.
“I worked there for 10 years and was the retail store manager,” he said, “doing club repairs and customizing clubs before opening my own shop in Cary in 1987. People broke a lot of clubs in those days, and we did lot of refinishing of the old wooden clubs as well as the metal ones. We did about 250 clubs a week in the shop behind my house.
“That was in the heyday of golf, and I got into teaching. I quickly realized that teaching and club-fitting go hand in hand. I went to work for Zack Veasey at Hillendale Golf Club in Durham. They were the No. 1 golf shop in the Carolinas for, like, 25 years in a row or something, and ranked among the Top 100 in America. I did all the clubfitting work and was on the teaching staff.
“I left there three years ago and went out on my own. I’ve worked with professionals, college players and club members — anybody that needs help with their swings or in making sure they have the right clubs for their swing and level of play.
“Right now I’m trying to attract people to come to the Pinehurst area to see us and learn about their swing. We’re here at Foxfire on Wednesdays and Saturdays and sometimes on Fridays. So far, it’s working well, because, typically, there are very few clubfitters who understand the golf swing and the human body.
“I put the golfer on camera, do a swing analysis and design a set of golf clubs for him or her that encourage staying on balance and promote rhythm and timing. With my 40 years of experience, we come up with a game plan that works.
“I have a lot to offer golfers who need help with their games. I’ve done it a long time and I know what works.
“One of the things I do is create a personal file on each client. It’s all there. Is it my clubs or my swing? We’ll find the answer.
“I help you understand your game and your needs, not only in things like better balance, but in a set of clubs that work for your swing.
“A golf swing is like a fingerprint — every swing is different, and I can pick up on the little things that make it personal.
“I learned from the best — people like Errol Marshburn, who was head professional at 16 country clubs across America, and who died two months ago. He helped me with his wisdom about the golf swing and the simple old-fashioned techniques.
“And Walter Masterson, who was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and was in the shoe business with Ted Williams and Sam Snead. He made a life study of human motion and balance and taught me about how the body works.”
Howard Cannon, the general manager of Foxfire, is delighted to have Bass on-site.
“What David brings is something new,” Cannon said. “With him, Pinehurst has what I consider the best club-builder in the U.S., and one of the best teaching professionals I’ve ever been around. He’ll fix whatever is wrong.
“Having him here makes Foxfire better than ever and gives us something that no one else has.”
To reach Bass for an appointment. call (919) 418-2767.
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