We have always been told you can’t judge a book by its cover.
You can’t judge a golf shop by the building it is in or the size of the sign on the road.
ByPass Golf in Spartanburg might not have a great deal of curb appeal, but once inside golfers know they have come to a place that has almost anything they are looking for.
“This shop was started by Joe Frye 46 years ago,” said Todd Webber, who took over the business when Frye retired. “We have been at this location for about 35 years,” he noted.
With so many years of service to golfers, Webber has seen the game and golfers change.
“We used to refinish wooden clubs, now the name of the game is getting golfers fit to play their best and enjoy the game,” he said.
The shop on the 295 bypass (thus the name) has the look of a throwback to an old caddy shack, but the technology, equipment offering and especially the decades of experience of the staff makes the shop as modern as any shiny new facility.
“Golfers know that we get new equipment quicker than a lot of other shops,” Webber said.
While every major brand and plenty of lesser known manufactures’ equipment are available at the shop, the key to the longevity of ByPass Golf is that they have kept pace with the trends in the game.
“Fitting is the name of the game,” said Wes Reeves. The newest member of the By Pass staff specializing in fitting.
Reeves has he number one tool in the game to help him help golfers.
“There is no substitute for Trackman, It is so accurate and gives you so much information you can see why you will see dozens of them on the range at Tour events,” he said.
Reeves is certified by Trackman. He has also been certified by Callaway and Fujikura.
ByPass built a fitting studio behind the main shop. It contains the Trackman, fitting carts for all major brands and a practice tee.
“I want to see the ball fly along with the information produced by Trackman. We can get a good idea of ball flight using our tee and hitting into our net instead of a simulator,” said Reeves.
With the large selection of pro line brands available at ByPass, Reeves can fit golfers to their personal preference,
“If someone has been a Ping guy or always played TaylorMade or just about any brand we can use Trackman to get them fit using the best technology,” said Reeves.
The former Limestone College golfer believes every golfer can benefit from a fitting.
“Golfers don’t hit every shot great, but having your clubs fitted can make the good shots really good and the not so good shots not that bad,” he said.
ByPass offers golfers complete services that include precision repairs done quickly.
While everyone on the staff can help golfers, Chip Allen is a trusted club builder who has helped top amateurs as well as Tour professionals.
“We see Tour players, college players and really good amateurs come in to have us help them make some changes,” said Allen.
In addition to the wide selection of original manufacturers’ equipment, the shop also features a wide selection of upgrades.
“We have all kinds of shafts and grips that golfers can install to upgrade their equipment or make their clubs perform differently,” said Allen.
The repair shop behind the counter is always busy. Golfers not only have confidence the staff at ByPass can fix or improve their clubs, they also know it can be done quickly.
“We can re-grip clubs while golfers wait. If we are really busy they can go get a hamburger and by the time they get back we will have their clubs ready,” Allen said.
But even if the repair is going to take a little time, most golfers hang around the shop.
There are plenty of good golf stories, golf rumors, and golf information that is passed around between the customers and the staff.
“We have always enjoyed being a place were golfers stop in, even if they are not buying something. Golfers feel comfortable here and we love seeing them,” said Webber.
It is no secret that the golf business has been in a slump the last few years. Golf courses have been closed and in the Upstate, which once had almost a dozen golf shops, the number has been thinned considerably.
Webber believes the doom and gloom is behind the game and the future looks brighter.
“You just look around and see all the juniors playing. They are going to keep playing and that is going to grow the game,” he said.
The excess of the early 2000s that saw too many golf courses built and too many companies trying to get into the equipment business has stopped.
“I think golf has been right-sized. There were too many courses and too many outlets for equipment. Now it looks like we are reaching the right amount of both, “ said Webber.
And that may also be the key to the success of the biggest little golf shop in the Carolinas.
ByPass golf is not too small and not too big and for over 36 years ByPass Golf has been just right for Carolina golfers.
Hear from Todd Webber about By Pass Golf
Chip Allen talks about the repair service available at By Pass Golf
Wes Reeves explains the Trackman fitting studio at By Pass Golf