Fun a driving force at family golf venture

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Ty Antonides explains the functions of a simulator he uses at GJ Golf for club fittings. The simulator analyzes swing speed, spin rates and launch angles to select shafts and club heads for golfers. Antonides and his wife, Melissa, purchased the golf shop in March (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Ty Antonides believes golf should be fun. Not just on the course, but also shopping for equipment and apparel.

It’s a conviction he brings to the operation of his family’s golf shop in Grand Junction. It’s reflected in the inventory, some of it wildly colorful, he stocks. It’s also evident in the friendly service he strives to provide customers. 

Actually, he prefers the term partners. “I want it to be a partnership with my customers.”

Antonides and his wife, Melissa, purchased GJ Golf in March, completing a process that stretched through most of 2020 in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their daughter, Brooke, also works at the family operation.

Ty Antonides

Ty Antonides said the couple always wanted to return to their native Grand Junction, but figured it might not happen until their retirement. When they discovered GJ Golf was for sale, they seized what they also deemed a business opportunity. “I saw a lot of potential.”

GJ Golf is the only operation of its kind between Denver and Salt Lake and serves a region Antonides said features an abundance of remarkable golf courses and a substantial population of avid golfers. “We have an unbelievable golf community in Western Colorado.”

Antonides brings to the venture more than 20 years of experience in the golf industry, including work as a sales representative for major brands as well as an independent rep who carried a variety of brands of equipment and apparel.

In operating GJ Golf, Antonides has changed roles to become a buyer and retailer. But he continues to carry a variety of brands of equipment and apparel. And he said he’s always open to suggestions from partners looking for additional brands.

The 2,400 square feet inside GJ Golf are filled with an assortment of shafts and club heads from major brands as well as bags and balls. There’s also a variety of apparel and footwear.

In addition to products, GJ Golf also offers services.

Those include custom club fittings. A simulator allows customers to try out different brands of clubs and analyzes the customers’ swing speeds, spin rates and launch angles. 

Antonides said he uses that information to help customers select the best clubs for their swings. Custom fittings also are available for putters.

A separate system equipped with cameras is available to analyze golf swings. Antonides said he hopes to soon bring in a PGA teaching pro to help golfers with their games.

A repair shop can shorten, lengthen and regrip clubs.

“We try to be a full-fledged facility,” Antonides said.

But also a fun facility, he said.

GJ Golf hosts special events for men and women. 

Golfers also are encouraged to hang out at the store, talk and enjoy an atmosphere Antonides said his wife compares to a barbershop. “We enjoy that people enjoy coming into the store.”

Antonides said he enjoys golf for many reasons. The game and its rules teach important life lessons, including respect and honesty. 

Plus, golf affords an opportunity to spend time in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world — and in the company of family and friends.

Golf should be enjoyable not only on the course, though, but also while shopping for equipment and apparel, Antonides said. “I think golf should be fun.”

GJ Golf is located at 625 24 1/2 Road, Suite C, in Grand Junction. For additional information, call 208-1030 or visit www.gjgolf.net.