Carolina Custom Golf is shutting its doors

Posted June 27, 2008

— John and Julian Bunn, who opened Carolina Custom Golf as a small repair shop 37 years ago and built it into a statewide institution with six stores and some 60 employees, is shutting its doors.

The Bunns met with employees Thursday night, and the store chain then notified some 28,000 customers by e-mail about the decision, said Director of Retail Operations David Grosvenor.

“It’s not a rumor; it’s true,” Grosvenor told in an interview. “The time has come. The decision was made to close the doors.”

Scores of customers showed up at Carolina Golf on Friday morning to ask if the e-mail was true, he added. “It was very sad,” Grosvenor said. “It was sad all the way around. We were just absolutely packed today once the word got out. A lot of people said they were sorry.”

Carolina Custom Golf operates two stores in Raleigh, one in Cary, two in Charlotte and another in Winston-Salem. The company sells clubs and accessories in addition to offering repair and customization services.

“It’s very tough for all of us,” Grosvenor, a 27-year employee of the firm, said of the decision. “We have a lot of longtime people. We are well known in this area. We’re like Char-Grill or some of the other institutions that have been here for a long time.”

The stores will close by late September or early October, Grosvenor said.

The decision to close was based on several factors, including increasing competition, a slowdown in the economy and fewer players playing less golf. “The number of rounds played is down this year and has been for the last couple of years,” Grosvenor explained. “There’s also a lot more competition in the market, and the pie is only so big.”


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  • whatusay Jun 27, 2008

    Prices and service got them...they had no trade in had to give them your clubs. Their prices were higher than the private Pro Shops. How did they expect to last.

  • SunnyDays Jun 27, 2008

    That is really too bad, I myself do not play golf, but love the game and any golfing needs I have I always go there, we bought our son's first golf clubs there and any additions they needed, and that is always where I bought gift cards for golfing in-laws, always found them very "customer service" oriented. It is always bad when a locally owned business has to close down because of non-support from the community. Hate to see them go.

    Wish them well.

  • smokie_robinson Jun 27, 2008

    As far as the triangle, you can't beat The Golf Smith.

  • scott_m99 Jun 27, 2008

    I'm a former employee of CCG (Downtown Raleigh & the old North Raleigh driving range location). I hate to hear that they are shutting their doors. The one thing that they preached to employees was that customer service and product knowledge must be priority # 1. I learned so much about the golf industry while working there and a great deal about the golf swing from the pro's on staff. I'm a better player because of it. I will truly miss CCG and appreciate the opportunity that I had there in the past.

  • Halyard Jun 27, 2008

    I played competive college golf against both John and Julian and think very highly of them both. Raleigh's own Sammy Brewer was on that same Campbell College team, they were all great players then and most likely still are.

  • A_News_Observer Jun 27, 2008

    I've lived here for 8 years, and as a former golf retail worker, I was never very impressed with their prices OR service. I am not surprised that they are closing - I am surprised that they have stayed open this long. The local firms need to compete by adding value through better service, and CCG never has shown me that they can.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 27, 2008

    I don't play golf. Probably would be fun to play. But its like watching grass grow to watch on TV. Still, as huge as the game has become, it doesn't make sense that there isn't enough business to go around.

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Jun 27, 2008

    OH NO! The entire Triangle golf community will be DEVASTATED! MERE WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE MY GRIEF! WHAT WILL WE DO?

  • foetine Jun 27, 2008

    You can't adapt when your competition is willing to take a massive hit in order to sell you that same set of golf clubs. It's just like idiots who think we can compete with the Chinese and Indian companies that don't pay their employees poverty wages. Everybody likes a good deal, but we're cheapskating ourselves to death.

  • FloydTurbo Jun 27, 2008

    John & Julian are first class "good guys" who bootstrapped a garage hobby into a very successful business. I've known them for 15 years .... they are winners and will survive.