Business

Carolina Custom Golf is shutting its doors

Posted June 27, 2008 2:42 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2008 10:10 p.m. EDT

— 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 WRAL.com 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.”