Jack of Clubs
Photograph courtesy of Bobby Jones Golf Company
Jesse Ortiz crafts golf clubs that would make any duffer drool. Ortiz, 55, is one of the sport’s top club designers after spending years in the industry—his father created Orlimar, a golf product company that became a $100 million phenomenon in the late 1990s. Ortiz worked at Orlimar until 2003, when he left to join forces with the Bobby Jones Golf Company, a longtime apparel company that hired him to create its club line.
Touring pros like John Jacobs and Dennis Watson use his clubs, and Ortiz recently collaborated with short-game guru Dave Pelz—mentor to Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson—to design a line of wedges. When he’s not crafting clubs for the pros in is Hayward studio, Ortiz makes unique clubs—measured to the individual by length, shaft flex, and loft—for PGA wannabes (recreational golfers). Drivers range from $400 to $600, hybrids and fairway woods are $200 to $250, and wedges cost around $150.
Although he’s been consumed by golf his entire life, Ortiz admits he doesn’t get to hit the greens for fun as often as he would like. “I only get to play about five or six times a year,” he says. “With my travel schedule and studio work, it’s tough to get away and spend six hours on the course.”