Vail Valley golf pro adjusts his game |

Vail Valley golf pro adjusts his game

CVR Golf Club Maker 1 DT 6-21-11

EDWARDS, Colorado – Joe Kamby has dedicated his professional life to golf. Staying in the business can be tough these days, but Kamby has taken a risk to keep himself in the game, and help people become better players.

Kamby is the former head pro at Cordillera, but was laid off at the end of last season. This season, Kamby’s doing some caddying at the Eagle Springs country club, and is a course ranger at the Country Club of the Rockies.

But Kamby has also decided to follow one of the sport’s recent trends, and is custom-building clubs for clients out of the Vail Valley Golf Studio in Edwards. Kamby has repaired clubs for some time, and has plenty of experience with custom-fitting clubs to players. He’s now working to parlay that experience into a profitable business.

Part of Kamby’s entrepreneurial drive is based on his family situation. As a family man, a golf pro’s life of 60-hour weeks when the kids are out of school doesn’t leave a lot of time for trips, or even attending a daughter’s softball games. He hopes being on the equipment side of the business might give him some flexibility in his summer schedule.

Then there’s the fact that golf, like fly-fishing, trap shooting or high-end cycling, is well known as a sport where some players are ever-eager to try the latest thing.

“There’s a big market for (custom gear),” Vail Valley Golf Studio owner Gary Pesso said. “I hope Joe’s business catches on.”

Kamby is a local agent for KZG golf equipment, which makes custom shafts, club heads and other gear. Kamby can match a player with the right combinations.

“The first golf pros were club builders,” Kamby said. “I like that traditional element of it.”

Kamby has built a few sets of clubs to have on hand at the studio, so he can get a better idea of just what a customer needs.

And, Kamby said, the results can be impressive – players can make the same shot with a seven-iron they’d usually hit with a bigger six-iron.

Pesso said for those who can afford it, custom clubs are the way to go these days.

“There’s so much more technology in custom fitting, and they’re not that much more in cost,” Pesso said.

Beyond just the gear, Kamby can analyze a player’s swing with a camera that shoots 1,000 frames per second – standard video is 24 frames per second. That level of slow-motion resolution can really show how a club strikes a ball, Kamby said.

Kamby knows he has a lot of work ahead of him to make a living as a club-builder in a valley with a relatively short season. But he’s going to do his best.

“Because of my family we’re really determined to stay in the valley,” he said. “It’s been difficult, but it’s why I decided to start doing my own thing.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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