Golf And Club Repairs Go Hand In Hand For Cairns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Of The Game Inspires London Club Repair Technician
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioGolf.com

It’s not easy surviving within any business sector which is dominated by giants of commerce, but a local golf club repair technician says he has always relished the role of David versus Goliath. No surprise, it’s his love of golf which even today keeps him in the repair game on a part-time basis.

Photo: Jeffrey Reed

John Cairns, 65, of J C’s Golf Repair and Sales in east London first fell in love with golf growing up in Glasgow, Scotland where he played many of the local courses, including Royal Troon Golf Club and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. He once carried a handicap index of 8.0, and today still enjoys playing the game just as much as he does repairing clubs.

When Cairns came to Canada, he began tinkering with club repairs. But soon, his hobby turned into an obsession. In the past, he has set up local shops at Bob Martin’s Golf Range on Wonderland Road South, and at the now defunct Scotty’s Golf retail store on Dundas Street East.

In fact, in addition to local pro shops, there are only two local golf retailers remaining: London Golf Town in Hyde Park, and Fore Golfers Only in St. Thomas. And with the fading away of persimmon woods, combined with the fact we live in a throw-away society, there are fewer repairs made to today’s golf clubs than a generation ago.

However, golfers are particular about their gear, and that’s where Cairns comes in with his toolbox. He works out of his garage now as “more of a hobby” than a full-time business, but still has a loyal following amongst the most discerning of local golfers.

“When you start offering golf club repairs, it’s a big investment,” Cairns said. “But you need to take your time building a business with all that you need. For example, I’ve only used my putter bending machine once over 15 years.”

Loft and lie adjustments, re-shafting, re-gripping and, to a much lesser extent, re-grooving still keep Cairns active in the repair business. His arsenal includes his putter bender, loft and lie machines, shaft benders, belt sanders, chop saws, weight scales and hand tools.

Photo: Jeffrey Reed

“The most unusual job I’ve had was when a guy came in with a full set of Ping Copper Beryllium irons, and all he wanted was for me to re-groove them. The grooves were completely worn out. But he was happy with the job, and has since been back for re-gripping.

“You’re only as good as the last job you do in this business,” Cairns said, “and you must rely on word-of-mouth advertising in the golf industry.”

Cairns caters to amateur golfers of all skill levels, some of whom he golfs with in the local Back Nine Jitters Golf League, designed for weekend golfers – both men and women – of all abilities who enjoy playing at a variety of courses in London and area.

Cairns’ wife, Linda, is a triathlete. But for him, it’s all about golf.

“I still enjoy repairing clubs,” Cairns said, “and I still enjoy playing the game. For me, they go hand in hand.”

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989.

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