As is well known, the game of golf is frustrating—putts won't drop, drives won't stay in the fairway. As is equally well known, there is nothing more frustrating than having an airline lose your golf clubs or more annoying than lugging them around airports. Golfer Ken George, 39, has enough trouble with his own shots, without worrying about anybody else's, but he thinks he has come up with the perfect solution for traveling golfers who want to avoid hassles and hernias. His new outfit, Golf Rental Inc., intends to become the Hertz/ Avis/National of golf by renting "professional quality golf equipment" at major airports around the world.
Golf Rental already has offices near airports in Honolulu, Los Angeles. Palm Springs, Phoenix, Monterey, Las Vegas and San Diego, and in five Florida cities: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach. The company has almost as many slogans as locations, including "Traveling golfers can now lose 40 pounds on their next trip" and "On your next trip, leave the old bag at home."
George, who used to be vice-president of marketing services for Munsingwear, has been so busy setting things up that he has neglected his own game. "I probably have more golf clubs in my name than any man on earth who doesn't get to play golf," he says. He claims there are 16 million golfers in the U.S. and that six million golf, or golf-related, trips were made in 1975. To lure those travelers away from using their own equipment while out of town, Golf Rental has contracted for clubs with MacGregor ( Jack Nicklaus VIP's); Ben Hogan (Apex and Princess); Lynx ( U.S.A. and Tigress); Wilson (Staff and 1200); and Spalding (Centurion). They are available with both stiff and regular shafts, and there are clubs for women and lefthanders, as well. Customers may choose from five different styles of putters and from a variety of professional-size bags. The cost: $10 per day, $25 for a three-day weekend, $40 a week.
Most pro shops rent clubs, so why should a traveler switch to Golf Rental? "Because of superior selection," says George, and apparently a lot of travelers are availing themselves of the service "because we're swamped. We can hardly keep clubs in stock in Honolulu."
Golf Rental has its headquarters in Inglewood, Calif. at 9710 South La Cienega Blvd., 90301 and has a toll-free number—(800) 421-2066. California residents must call (213) 670-7000.