As an 18-time Top 100 Golf Pro Shop in America, what can Joe & Leigh’s in Easton, MA really do for an encore?

In keeping up with current trends and technology, they have opened a state-of-the-art Golf Performance Center with a wide range of services formulated around a simple motto – Improve and Enjoy.

In the past year, Joe & Leigh’s was also named a Top 100 Club Fitter in America for the very first time by Golf Digest, and that is perhaps the key element of the Golf Performance Center to go along with its other components.

“(Owner) Leigh Bader has always been a visionary,” said Mark Petrucci, the facility manager, “and in the last three years as club fitting has become a hot topic, it was time to be cutting edge and a forerunner in it. Technology has become a huge factor in club fitting.”

“We’ve always been aggressive club fitters at Joe & Leigh’s,” added Petrucci. “Now, we have more cutting edge equipment to transition golfers from the practice tee to the golf course.”

The Golf Performance Center is a 5,000 square-foot building that is leased on the property of Golf Country Driving Range on Route 138 in Easton. It is just a short drive from Joe & Leigh’s pro shop and Pine Oaks Golf Course, both of which are owned by Bader. The building, which once housed a delicatessen and other small retail shops, was gutted and remodeled since February.

The setup features five studios, three of which are vendor-specific to Ping, Callaway, and TaylorMade. There is also a mixed-vendor studio that will be shared by Mizuno, Cobra, Cleveland, Nike, Adams, and Titleist. All of the studios will be available year-round, including heated bays during the winter months, and the back walls are retractable in order to access the adjacent driving range.

Joe & Leigh’s is looking to showcase the facility as an integrated set of components engineered to help golfers of all skill levels get the most enjoyment from the game. It is comprised of: 1. Club Fitting;  2. Instruction;  3. Practice & Play;  4. Fitness.

Club fitting – The Ping studio, one of only 13 in the country, will feature Ping Nflight fitting technology. The other vendor studios offer Gamechanger launch monitors and club fitting software.

“Using state-of-the-art launch monitor technology along with the ability to see full ball flight gives our certified fitters all the tools they need to put you into the best club head and shaft that will maximize your performance,” said Petrucci. “Making sure the golf club matches your swing will enable the golfer to hit the ball more consistent and have more fun out on the golf course.”

Instruction – Gary Cardoza, named a Top 25 Instructor in New England, is the Director of Instruction and one of five PGA professionals and one LPGA professional on staff at the Golf Performance Center. Lessons will be available from the beginner golfer to advanced player, as well as clinics and other programs. There will also be package options to access play at Pine Oaks Golf Course.

“After lessons, where does the golfer go?” said Petrucci. “Transitioning the student from the lesson tee to the golf course is the goal here. We will be having days at the golf course designed as beginner instruction rounds where, included in your fee for golf, we will have roaming instructors guiding you around the golf course offering advice and tips to make the round more enjoyable.”

Practice & Play – This will include a bucket of balls, round of golf, round of mini-golf, and a golf lesson at a discounted price. “We are going to utilize the driving range, golf course, and instruction to package everything together to allow customers to save a little money while they learn and enjoy the game,” said Petrucci.

Fitness – Each individual’s physical body mechanics have a direct, but often unidentified, effect on the way they play. The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) will be able to give an assessment to the golfer to find out where he or she is strong or weak, and tailor the golf swing around their body to overcome weaknesses or limitations. This is also information which can be passed on to personal trainers.

The Golf Performance Center is not a retail operation. It’ll sell some accessories there such as golf balls, gloves, and training aids, but its close proximity to nearby Joe & Leigh’s and Pine Oaks Golf Course, both owned by Bader, is really its only common denominator. Golf retail sales will still take place at the pro shop.

In addition to Cardoza as its Director of Instruction, the Golf Performance Center will also be manned by Petrucci and John Moynihan (managers), Jeff O’Neil and Darren McKinnon (club fitters), and Bader’s wife, Diane, an LPGA professional who will also serve as fitness coordinator. There will also be an on-site club repair room and a consultation-meeting room.

There are no annual or monthly membership fees, just club-fitting and instruction fees (ranging from private, junior, and small group). The center will open this month with business hours available five days per week from Wednesday through Sunday.

From a club fitting standpoint, Petrucci expects to see low-handicap golfers coming in who want to maximize performance, and the mid-to-high handicap player utilizing the facility to improve and make the game easier.

“We’re much more focused on growing the game,” said Petrucci. “Being able to utilize such a facility to do that is what we’re most excited about – bringing enjoyment of the game to the people. But, ultimately, it’s the consumers who are going to draw the road map for us.”

To receive information updates, visit www.joeandleighs.com/GPC, or for more questions and to set up an appointment, e-mail: talk2us@pineoaks.com or call 508-238-2320.

(Bob DiCesare is the golf writer for The Enterprise in Brockton, MA, and he is also a member of the International Network of Golf)