Elliott's Custom Golf opened its doors in March of 1988 in Harlingen Texas. Although there was major competition, I felt the community needed a golf retailer that would genuinely respect the needs of the customer. This was never about the quick buck. Instead, I was looking for the joy of customer satisfaction because of the product I put them in. Putting the customer first has paid off. Our competition has since closed and we are making new friends daily.
I was born and raised in La Feria Texas, about 5 miles west of Harlingen. When I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975, I never dreamed golf would be my livelihood. I accepted a position with FW Woolworth Co. in 1975 and they moved me around to as far north as St. Louis, MO. I jumped ship in 1981, going to work for Wal-Mart until 1987.
Golf and riding motorcycles was my passion. One evening in the fall of 1986, I was in a very serious accident while I was on my Kawasaki 1000. As I was waiting for on coming traffic to make a left turn, I was hit from behind. I was a block from home and I wasn't wearing a helmet. It wasn't good. Due to the severity of the injuries, the surgeons were going to take my leg. I had one doctor who wanted a chance to save my leg as well as my life. He performed a miracle. I am alive and I still have my leg. I truly believe there is a God and He was watching over me that day. How in the world does this get to golf???
I was always the athletic guy, played all sports but was the master of none. Tennis, golf, racquetball, and especially slow pitch soft ball. The injury took a year of my life. I was unable to drive. Walking on crutches or a brace wasn't easy. I also went through the big D (divorce). 1986/1987 was a tough year, but I made it. I figured golf would be the only sport I would be able to continue. Though I couldn't play it at the time, I knew eventually I would be able. So I read; why not, I had the time. I read Golf Digest and all the others from cover to cover. I requested catalogs from all the companies that advertised in these magazines. Not a day went by that I did not receive something in the mail golf related. I couldn't wait to get the mail to further educate myself on the game.
Jump forward nine months. I am playing golf but I can't go back to work till I am 100% per Wal-Mart. I had to make a decision, go back to Wal-Mart or do something else. Wal-Mart paid well and had very good insurance but there were the 60-90 hours a week. Decision made, I would open a small golf shop in Harlingen. I found that a local golf cart dealer in town had space to rent. I worked out a deal and opened the 400 square foot shop within the cart dealership.
My philosophy from day one was to sell the customer what he needed and not what was on my rack. Over time I have learned this was the right thing to have done. My Mom has been my bookkeeper for all but the first year. What a blessing to be able to see your Mom every day. (I mean that in a good way Mom, you are great.) Three years later 1991 I moved to a very nice garden mall (El Mercado) and doubled my size to 800 square feet. My second employee, Ron Flores, needed to take a new position to further his family. This was quite a loss and added many hours of work on my shoulders. John Compis came on board as Ron left. He was a retired gent who had made his home in our area. John was a mainstay at my business for over 10 years; if I was not there, John was taking care of business! John retired again three years ago 2004 and he and his wife Ginny have moved back to the cold country. Those 10 years were very special, John was like my Dad and I miss the old guy!! The next several years my business prospered. Its great to do something that you love and get paid for it, I cannot tell you how fortunate I am!!!!!!!
2004: Business has been good; I've gone through several golf repair techs, my friend, Ron Flores, came in and asked if I needed some part time help. Yea buddy! Nothin better than working with someone you trust and the work is good. Ron is still my main guy today. All of our production is done by Ron or myself. Production gets checked and double checked before it goes out to our customers.
Hop forward to September of 2005, rumors are flyin'; Golf Headquarters (old Nevada Bob's) is closing. I have heard those before and did not pay attention, just another rumor. Nevada Bob's had been in our city 10 years prior to our opening in 1988. I could not fathom the possibility of them closing. But it was true! The day after I received confirmation of the closing, I was drinking a cup of coffee with the gents in the suite next to mine and he asked if I was interested in taking over that suite as they were now going to office out of their home. Divine intervention??? Right time or whatever, we took it. Ron and I spent almost every night building new racks for used clubs and shoes. It took through most of October and November, but we were ready full blown by December. New paint and carpet, as well as all new fixtures, a whole lotta work!!!
I also need to let you know that I am sharing this wonderful life with my wife of five years. Bettina confirms to me that God is watching out for me. What a relationship. Five years of bliss (it will have been 5 years in June 2007, just in case she is counting) My son Christian (20) is also helping at the shop. He is on "kinda special ops" as well as helping put out fires.
If you have read this, you know a lot about me and the company that I own and operate daily. Normally I am at the shop Monday through Friday 8AM-6PM (Central Time). Saturday the shop is open but I am on the course and I try my best to be at church on Sunday.
Elliott's Golf Staff
|Ron Flores||Sales Tech/Production|
|Gene Hanvy||Club Fitting/Sales Tech/Production|
|John Hand||Sales Tech|
|Bob Limbrick||Sales Tech|
|Chris Milligan||Sales Tech|
|Morgan McClaugherty||Sales Tech|
|Mary Ellen Elliott (Mom)||In Memory, 12/19/1928-05/23/2011|
|Earl Dugan||In Memory, 09/07/1933-07/24/2009|
|Macy (Umbrella Cockatoo)||Spokes bird/TV Star|
|Tim & Bettina Elliott||Owners|