Ross Baker didn’t make it as a golf professional, but he's maintained an interest in the game as a maker of clubs — there’s now thousands in his garage.
Ross Baker didn’t make it as a golf professional, but he's maintained an interest in the game as a maker of clubs — there’s now thousands in his garage.

This man has 4000 golf clubs in his shed

With no sense of shame or regret, Ross Baker declares: "I'm the worst businessman in history."

You see, Mr Baker spends countless hours in his shed at home making golf clubs - and he only charges a hundred dollars or so for a club.

"People say I should charge more, but I don't do any big promotions, I just want to be here at my bench," he says.

Mr Baker, 63, is probably unique in Australia - a bloke who makes and reconditions wood and iron clubs from his own home.

His Surrey Hills shed/garage is full of clubs - about 4000 of them, so he's organising a shipping container to store them in the country.

Golf was always part of Mr Baker's life, from the time he caddied for his dad and then started as a trainee golf pro at Wattle Park in 1973.

"But I never wanted to be a pro, I was always good with my hands, I liked to do things with my hands," he says.

Mr Baker said Australia had a thriving golf club manufacturing industry until the 1970s when it started dying.

"The more we lost the ability to make them here the more it spurred me on to make my own," he says.

Ross Baker makes and restores wood and iron clubs. Picture: David Caird
Ross Baker makes and restores wood and iron clubs. Picture: David Caird

A former policeman, Mr Baker's customers have ranged from a Daylesford magistrate to golf legend Jack Nicklaus, to whose charity he donated putters a few years ago after being approached by an Australian couple who went to see Nicklaus in the US.

"I hate elite golf, but Jack was my idol growing up - I got a letter from him thanking me for the clubs," he says.

Mr Baker, who loves visiting the nearby historic Maling Rd shopping village, confesses he's a rare breed.

"I'm a bit like the night pan collector of old, no one wants to do this job," he says.

"It's an important thing to keep going - a part of history - I've asked young people to learn the trade, but no one is interested."

john.masanauskas@news.com.au

@JMasanauskas

Originally published as Why Melburnian has 4000 golf clubs in his shed



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