Jeff Sheets - Entrepreneur on his own
Oct 11, 2012
Prior to attending the San Diego Golf Academy Jeff Sheets was a non-golfer working in corporate facilities management while pursuing a hospitality management degree. He liked the diversity of his corporate job but wanted a career with the prospect of travel and the chance to be creative. Fortunately Golf Academy of America opened the door to many opportunities.
Jeff Sheets graduated from the San Diego Golf Academy in August 1988 back when only one Golf Academy of America campus existed. Upon graduation he was recruited to operate the PGA Tour van for Brunswick Golf (now known as Royal Precision under the True Temper/Grafalloy umbrella). His golfing career has been 100% focused on equipment, inclusive of fitting the world's top competitors, designing clubs for major equipment manufacturers, running focus groups with amateurs and educating up-and-coming clubmakers.
Jeff has designed, assembled and fit clubs that have been used to win tournaments at many levels including major championships and Ryder Cup matches. Some of his most memorable achievements include the work he has done with touring pros. Jeff worked closely with Nick Faldo and rebuilt his clubs both weeks prior to his back-to-back Masters victories. He began working on Lee Janzen's equipment while Lee was playing on the mini tours and eventually built his set used to win the U.S. open years later. Jeff has worked on clubhead designs with Payne Stewart, Lanny Wadkins and shares multiple patents with Lee Trevino. He enjoyed designing the set of clubs used by Dave Stockton to win the U.S. Senior Open and designed the woods and irons Chris Johnson used in her LPGA Championship victory. Jeff also enjoys the notoriety of building the first metal driver that Arnold Palmer ever put into play in a PGA Tournament (Arnie opened with a 66 in Palm Springs against the 'flat bellies' that day).
While the list of touring pros he has worked may look like a Masters leader board his greatest satisfaction is seeing the impact he has on recreational golfers, especially women and seniors. "They are so appreciative of what you've been able to do for them," he states.
Sheets turned his energies over to golf club research & development 14 years ago. At Founders Club he created classic player's models such as the Tour-CB cavity back forgings. Moving onto Spalding Jeff oversaw the development of the Top-Flite Tour irons which quickly became the #1 iron on the Senior PGA Tour. He was recruited to Wilson where he designed the first generation of Deep Red woods and irons. And since arriving at Golfsmith in 2002 has been responsible for the multitude of designs under the Snake Eyes, Lynx, Killer Bee and Zevo names, in addition to the companies other brands. With 21 patents to his name and over 250 clubhead designs to his credit Jeff is one of the busiest individuals working in the golf industry. Sheets claims he could never have achieved his success in golf without the education he received at the San Diego Golf Academy.
Jeff has seen his golf career come full circle starting with his early days as an independent clubmaker. At Golfsmith he teaches hobbyists and fellow industry veterans in the Advanced Clubfitting & Repair School. He also teaches the lost art of custom grinding clubheads in his Master Craftsman School at Golfsmith. While it took his Golf Academy of America education to get him where he is today, Sheets is providing an education to others so they can take advantage of similar opportunities for themselves in golf.
Recently Golfsmith and the San Diego Golf Academy entered into a partnership agreement bringing a variety of benefits to both organizations. "I'm really looking forward to our new alliance. Golf Academy of America is where I initially picked up my interest in equipment technology. Through our new partnership I hope that the educational services we are making available through Golfsmith will lead to future club fitters, designers and equipment professionals graduating from Golf Academy of America."