Owner Patrick Hansson
Golf Nut is the ultimate hands-on pro shop
It's not everywhere a customer can shop for new sporting goods by stepping outside the store to try them. But Golf Nut is both a fully stocked golf pro shop and a driving range. Testing the heft and swing of a new driver is just a step away at the driving range out back.
Patrick Hansson, who formerly worked in the pro shop at Ben Geren Regional Park's golf course, opened Golf Nut to offer top golf gear and his own expertise at outfitting players with the clubs best suited to them. He has expanded the store two times to become an authorized dealer for the best golf gear available, including Ping, Callaway, Cleveland, Taylormade, Titleist, Nike and others.
"Our prices are the same as a big-box store or national chain - or even an online store," Hansson said. Demo equipment allows customers to try out woods, irons and putters on site. "We have more demo equipment than many stores have products," he said.
On May 5, Golf Nut has its annual Demo Day, when major golf reps set up tents and let customers try out clubs and talk to experts.
Back when he worked at Ben Geren's course, Hansson noted, he had to drive to Tulsa to go to a fully stocked golf pro shop. He opened Golf Nut in Fort Smith in 1994 to change that. Now, local golfers can pick out premier clubs, shoes, apparel, golf carry bags, cart bags and travel cases, plus an outstanding selection of other accessories, including digital rangefinders.
A self-confessed "techie," Hansson also acquired the launch monitor equipment and dealer training for FlightScope, the world's first 3D Doppler Tracking Golf Radar, a state-of the-art, outdoor 3D ball-flight and club tracking device, with capabilities far beyond traditional launch monitor technology.
"It reads the air currents, tracks the ball in flight and calculates initial velocity and spin," he explained. With this data, he can recommend adjustments the golfer can have made to new clubs. Hansson has trained with all major manufacturers as an authorized "fitter," including the use of the nFlight system from Ping. He has the knowledge to assist a golfer in choosing the right equipment to fit their build and ability and to subtly adjust golf clubs to fit the individual user.
"The better golfer you are, the more that equipment fitting is important to you," Hansson explained. But as a golf enthusiast himself, he is just as helpful to beginning or basic players of any age.
Golf club bags today often are filled with all available brands, not clubs purchased as a set. Given a customer's target budget, Hansson and his staff help any player assemble the best equipment for their individual needs. Part of the store is dedicated to gently used equipment from customers who have "traded up."
Golf Nut has equipment designed specifically for children, youth and women and even for lefthanders inspired by Phil Mickelson, the lefty two-time Masters winner.
The driving range has natural and synthetic surfaces and a 300-yard range, open 9 a.m. to dark weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The Golf Nut Driving Range and Pro Shop
5121 Towson Avenue,
Fort Smith 479-646-4430