Good Recordkeeping=Good Clubmaking

If you are a professional clubmaker looking for a good New Year’s resolution you can keep, this is it. Nearly as important as cutting the shaft correctly, finishing a ferrule or making sure the grip is on straight, there is one other practice that clubmakers should work on.   That would be record keeping.  No, I am not talking about book keeping for your CPA, but the DNA of the golf clubs you just built for your customer.

What might seem like a little more time on your part may prove to save you time and money in the future.  Part of being a professional clubmaker is keeping good notes of what you did.  What components did I use?  How did I trim the shafts?  Did I make any lie or loft alteration to the clubs?  What length and swingweight were the clubs built to?  Did I add any extra wraps of tape underneath the grip?  Well if you kept good records, you wouldn’t have to ask yourself those questions.

What happens if your customer left their 9-iron by the green and forgot it?  Or their clubs are stolen or if they want a back up set to take down south for the winter? By keeping good records, the customer doesn’t have to come back in with their clubs for you to measure and try to duplicate.  The only reason why they should come back in is to pick up their club or set that matches as closely as what you made for them before.  Believe me, they will appreciate that.

Make a spreadsheet on your computer with columns clearly labeled of each of the specifications with the name of the customer and the date.  Make sure to back up your files from time to time as computers do crash and you don’t want to lose all your valuable information. You might even print off a hard copy and put it in a dedicated file drawer for future reference.  Over time, this will become a normal practice of building a club as much as mixing epoxy or installing a ferrule.

Not only is record keeping important for the actual making of the clubs, but also for fitting.  Even if you take the time to fit the player and they for some reason decide not to purchase clubs at this time, does not mean you should prepare your notes.  After all, they might come back and you won’t have to go through everything once again.  Not only will the customer be thankful for your record keeping to save him or her their valuable time, but they will have the feeling that you are a professional.

3 Comments on Keeping Good Records: A Clubmaker’s Best Friend

  1. Brian says:

    This is very timely. I just starting out and have come across this problem. I have been looking for a template for just this issue. Do you have a template or example that I can use?

    Thanks,

    Brian

  2. Norman Jones says:

    Amen! One of my first customers, 6 years ago, so enjoyed the driver that I made for him, that, after 2 months, he wanted me to make another just like it (He maintains a second home in Florida). I had done a lot of custom tweaking to get that driver just right, and I had not taken any notes. So, I had to find a convenient time to get that original driver from him long enough to make a lot of measurements. It worked out well: He was very satisfied in the end, but I could just as well have lost that sale. That experience taught me. I have get careful and thorough notes ever since. I have also found it useful to keep notes on intangibles, like my own impressions of a customer’s personality and apparent energy level – What sold him on my clubs in the first place?
    I doesn’t take a lot of time and it all helps.

  3. Joe Lawler says:

    ABSOLUTELY!! I even keep a record of repairs. Record is like a small work order for each project, in a “little fat book”! If I repair one club from a set for a customer, my records can be accessed from a data base my wife enters in computer and then prints out a copy for use in the work shop.

    No matter if I built the set or it was built by any company. If I repair it, he is my customer. If he needs another repaired, I can reference what I did and what I used to repair his club. When he needs grips or reshafts, he is my customer. If he loses a club I built, he knows I have the records to build a replacement.

    Many people have been very thankful when I assure them I have the records.

    I just can not say enough abut the value of this system. No spread sheets, no late night record keeping. When the set is fitted or a repair is to be done, the record of what is to be done is entered in the “book”. It is later assigned book and page number. Data base is arranged alphabetically, with phone number and column for brief explanation of whats been done. With multiple service for the same customer this info helps avoid looking at several page entries.

    When you take your car to a reputable dealer he writes a work order and files it away for future reference. He has a complete record of what he has done to your car. Our customers have many “cars” for repair or replacement!

    My reputation as a quality golf shop that cares, is enhanced by my record keeping.

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