From professional golfer to professional golf club builder.
Once his professional golf career ended, Jon Pannone took his knowledge of club-building and fitting to the next level. Behind the mentorship of Thomas Spargo, Pannone became the owner and lead-club builder of Spargo Golf, a repair shop and fitting studio in Cranston, Rhode Island, in 2019.
Spargo Golf was opened in 1988 by Spargo, an International Top 10 Clubmaker who started his career doing small repair work out of Woodlands Greens Golf Club in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Pannone, a former professional and collegiate golfer, knew Spargo since high school. Spargo passed down his knowledge of club-building and fitting to Pannone throughout the years.
“He was building my clubs, fitting me, and teaching me along the way as I was playing in school,” Pannone said. “He was always teaching me about building stuff.”
Mitchell Golf Plays an Important Role
Pannone is no stranger to Mitchell Golf products. While he was playing golf in college, one of his assistant coaches had his club certification from Mitchell Golf. Now, Pannone is certified through Mitchell Golf and uses the Tour Gauge Angle Machine frequently. “It is the ‘OG’ of our lineup,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite things to use because of the stability and sturdiness of it.” Pannone also took Mitchell Golf’s 5-Day Master Class this past May, his first experience learning from the performance studio.
“I knew I wanted to get my certification through Mitchell,” he said. “I always had it on my radar.”
Pannone’s mission is to fit golfers with higher handicaps because they can benefit more than experienced players. Over the past 12 months, the shop has seen an increase in beginner golfers coming in to get fit.
“Whether they purchase the set that we fit them into club-wise or they go find it cheaper just to get started, they’re starting with the right information,” Pannone said. “I’m hoping that it leads to better golfers right off the bat rather than golfers just getting clubs right off the shelf.”
Spargo Golf has seen its business boom in the past 18 months since the pandemic. While the shop is very busy performing four fittings a day five days a week, Pannone is most excited to see that they are retaining golfers. “I was nervous we were going to get a bunch of golfers and then once stuff opened up, they’d go back to their normal activities,” Pannone said. “It seems like a lot of them are here to stay.”