By Rubin E. Grant
Ron Smith loves golf and played the game while growing up, including in high school at Briarwood Christian. But he never dreamed of becoming a professional golfer.
Instead, Smith set his aspirations on owning a brick-and-mortar golf shop.
His goal became reality April 12, when Pebblehurst Golf and Putter Lab, a boutique golf shop, opened in the heart of downtown Homewood, at 2915 Linden Ave.
“It’s been a lifelong dream to have my own golf shop,” Smith said. “I wanted to do it a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t the right time. I was looking for a spot when I ran across this place. When I walked in and saw it, I knew it was the right place.”
The site was once a bridal shop.
“It’s a great area for the concept we have for our business,” Smith said. “Plus, it’s right down the road from where I live.”
Smith has been living in Homewood for two years after having lived in Inverness. His shop had an online presence for five years, and he jumped at the chance to move into a storefront when his friend Chris Reebles, with Christopher Architects, made the small, 1,200-square-foot store available.
“It is the perfect, cozy spot to call ours,” said Shelly Whitlock Smith, Smith’s wife. She works for RealtySouth Homewood and has been instrumental in making her husband’s dream a reality.
“She has been a rock star,” Smith said. “She plays a bunch of roles, but it’s mainly behind the scenes such as doing all the booking.”
Smith chose the name Pebblehurst in honor of his grandfather.
“My grandad started me playing golf as a baby, about year old,” Smith recalled fondly. “I named my son after him. His name is Jack Sullivan and my son’s name is Jackson Sullivan Smith. When we learned my granddad had Alzheimer’s, we went on a big trip to Pebble Beach (in California) for my birthday and I treated him to a trip to Pinehurst (in North Carolina). We went to together. Pebblehurst is a combination of those two names and my way of dedicating the store to my granddad.”
Pebblehurst will focus on bringing handmade, custom golf gear and accessories to Birmingham by carrying many brands and designers that are new to this golf market. It will be the only shop in the state and country to carry particular selected brands, such as the Fujimoto golf club wedges. The rare set of custom, hand-engraved wedges and irons is one of only 20 in the world.
“This is in an effort to eliminate the need for big box stores being the only source for golf gear, clubs and apparel and to also show golfers that there is so much more out there to be had than just the top name brands,” Shelly Smith said.
Along with selling retail items and creating custom putters and clubs, Pebblehurst will host golf lessons with local PGA-certified instructors.
The instructors will teach in the store’s golf simulator room. The simulator allows anyone to test out a club, take a lesson or warm up before a round or tournament, and it provides entertainment for all ages.
“It’s a one-stop shop for everything golf,” Smith said. “From clothing, to accessories, to clubs, to lessons and practice. We can do everything.”
Pebblehurst will be open Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, look for Pebblehurst on Facebook.