Although RedBird Sports was launched in 1985 by Steve ("Red") Cole and Jay ("Bird") Turner, the unofficial “company” began about a decade earlier...
It was in the mid-1970s that Jay first took up golf, perhaps feeling both inspired and obligated by the legacy of his father, Hans, a dominant local amateur who had represented the Seattle area seven times in the National Public Links Tournament.
Immediately, Jay became both enamored with and frustrated by the game, so much so, that he practiced and played almost every day. His home course was Jefferson Park Golf Course, a muni-run property located in his Beacon Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Jefferson was also the home course for friend, local golf prodigy, and now famous PGA Tour Pro, Fred Couples.
Jefferson Park featured a “short nine” (9-hole course) and 18-hole course, along with a driving range. And within the driving range was a small club repair shop.
As much as Jay practiced and played, “progress” (he was already shooting in the low 80’s after just a few months) by his standard was still too slow. After cracking 80 a few times, Jay expected to shoot in the 70’s consistently. Whenever that didn’t happen, his frustration would boil over and he’d begin taking it out on his clubs.
This marked the beginning of his apprenticeship in club making – repairing his own broken golf clubs in the range shop! Jay eventually became so proficient at repairing clubs (not only his own) that he began to build clubs for friends and other players – in the evenings after work, in his basement at home. By this time, Jay was a scratch golfer who enjoyed playing the game using a set of clubs he had custom fit and built for himself.
Today, RedBird remains heavily influenced by Jay’s hands-on appreciation for classic club design, high quality, and custom fitting.
Read more about "Our Approach" to golf club design and custom fitting.