Meet The Kingdom’s Master of Longer and Straighter Golf
By Tim Cotroneo
For over 40 years, professional, collegiate, and amateur golfers have entrusted Jeff Hinshaw to help them hit the ball longer and straighter. Hinshaw’s cross-country journey to his current position as Master Club Builder at The Kingdom can be traced to an early talent for building clubs that brought raves from his clients.
Hinshaw started repairing and building golf clubs at his aptly titled Broken Club Golf Shop in 1983. Hinshaw’s before and after success stories spurred a word-of-mouth following that surged beyond his shop’s South Carolina borders. His reputation grew to the point he was recruited to work as a club builder and fitter by the biggest brand names in golf.
In 2017, The Kingdom at The Reynolds Lake Oconee Resort, and TaylorMade, asked Hinshaw to bring his expertise to their internationally acclaimed facility next to the Rees Jones-designed Oconee Golf Course. Today, Hinshaw is like a kid in a candy store building golf clubs utilizing the latest technology in a picture-perfect environment.
Questions and Answers with Jeff Hinshaw of The Kingdom
Q: How did you come to work at The Kingdom
I was working as a Master Club Builder in Fort Worth, TX, when The Kingdom recruited me to come on board. The Kingdom was already the “go to” spot for pro and collegiate golfers on the east coast, so I felt this would be a good move.
Q: How does the process work for someone looking to get fit or seeking golf instruction?
A golfer goes through an interview process where we talk about strengths and weaknesses. We then spec out clubs and develop a baseline for the player’s needs. During a fitting, we may also bring a teacher in and talk golf swing.
Q: What are some of the game-changing technologies and tools that you have at your disposal?
Amateurs have access to the same TaylorMade trailers that golf professionals utilize on tour. In addition to the TrackMan Launch Monitor System, we have an advanced Putter Lab. We offer thousands of golf club combinations featuring the right shaft, head, and components. We also have a full build shop on site, along with a 380-yard driving range, and a Dave Pelz-designed short game area.
Q: What’s the most exciting aspect of the technology you offer at The Kingdom?
I go back 40 years building custom clubs. Today’s technology regarding launch angle, ball speed, and swing speed sheds a light on so many parameters. Our recommendations are exact. Our proposals range from the correct shaft to adjustable heads, to wedges with prescribed yardages, and even the best golf ball for you.
Q: What are the range of front-end problems you hear from golfers as to why they arrive at The Kingdom and what they hope to accomplish through fitting and instruction?
Oh boy! The majority are chasing consistency and distance. Being able to see their ball flight outdoors here at The Kingdom is important. From a consistency standpoint a player is trying to determine proper gapping, as well as shot dispersion with every club in their bag. This is true for the tour professional and the amateur. We help recognize a player’s natural ball flight and hopefully raise the expectation of their overall game.
Q: What has been your favorite reaction to someone experiencing The Kingdom for the first time?
The biggest thing is the amazement regarding the entire Reynolds Lake Oconee property. A newcomer witnesses the lake, the beautiful homes, the Ritz Carlton, our six golf courses, and the sheer size of our club fitting and golf training facilities. Everything is maintained just like our golf courses.
Q: What’s the best or most satisfying part of your job?
Many of our customers come here for a fitting or for lessons. Over the past two years, a significant percentage of these players are new or just coming back to the game. What’s exciting is when you add back-end lessons to a player using newly fitted clubs. Right after making this purchase the player is amazed at how much further, and straighter, they are hitting the ball. That’s pretty gratifying.
Q: For someone considering getting fitted or receiving top-flight instruction, what would you like them to know about The Kingdom?
We are a world-class golf entity. Golfers receive the highest level of instruction and access to the best in fitting and club building. I’ve been in the golf business for over 40 years, and The Kingdom is as good as it gets.