Everything about 3BM Golf Studio in West Homewood is unconventional, owner Brandon Mason said.
It’s fitting, though, as Mason had an unconventional journey into the golf world.
Almost two decades ago, Mason, a Birmingham native with a background in film and broadcasting, decided to make a film about golf. More specifically, he wanted to make a romantic comedy about the sport, the first of its kind since “Tin Cup.”
“The world needs a newer version of ‘Tin Cup,’” Mason said.
But as he dove headlong into the world of golf to make the movie more authentic, Mason found a new passion. His work became less about the film and more about golf as he “embedded” himself into the culture, he said.
The UAB graduate had always been intrigued by golf, in part because of his grandfather’s love for the game. As he began playing, he fell in love, too.
“When I play golf, I forget about everything,” Mason said. “You’re just out there trying to put a white ball in a hole in the least amount of strokes.”
The movie wasn’t finished, but Mason’s career in the world of golf was just beginning.
While spending time reading, researching and playing the sport, Mason entered an amateur golf event and finished last. Wanting to improve, Mason learned from a professional on the Web.com tour and went on to win a couple of amateur tournaments. He then learned to build his own golf clubs and started teaching himself more and more about the game. Living in California at the time, Mason created a shop to work on clubs in his backyard and began a YouTube channel dedicated to golf.
Mason’s family moved back to Birmingham so his children could be around their grandparents. On Jan. 1, 2022, he opened his own golf studio in West Homewood, located at 237 Oxmoor Circle, Unit 107.
Mason said he knew having a golf studio was a hard market to break into, but 3BM Golf has gained a lot of traction in the last year and is doing well. One neighbor told him he was the “best-kept secret” in the area.
The studio has what Mason called an “inviting” lobby, with chairs, merchandise and books on golf that Mason himself read. His notes are still visible on some pages, a reminder of the time he spent teaching himself the game. Clients and players then walk into the area that hosts a golf simulator, which can be rented out for parties but is also used to provide lessons and other services, Mason said. Many different courses from around the world can be played on the simulator, he said.
Services offered include lessons, club work, fittings and more. The studio includes the latest technology available to help give golfers the best feedback possible, Mason said. That includes the Quintic putting system, the only one of its kind in the state, providing feedback on putts before, during and after impact, Mason said.
“There’s really nothing I can’t do in here,” Mason said. “It’s an incubator for all things golf.”
The studio is not a retailer, as Mason builds custom clubs and is certified as a master club builder from Mitchell Club Company. It isn’t easy, he said. One client sat and watched him once, and told him he didn’t realize so much math was involved, Mason said.
“It’s all about weight,” Mason said. “If you touch one thing, it affects something else.”
But having custom-made clubs allows the player or client to know their clubs are fitted specifically for them, he said. The studio’s old motto is, “We build them custom so you can trust them,” while the new motto is, “Truth, Discover, Education,” Mason said.
The studio’s growth has been mostly due to word-of-mouth advertising, Mason said.
“Business is hard,” Mason said. “I had a business before but it was at home. Brick-and-mortar is a totally different ballgame. The minute you let up, that’s the minute it falls apart.”
Mason knows his clientele isn’t trying to go pro. They’re simply, as he says, trying to “not play trash golf.”
The studio offers Saturday morning classes, $25 for an hour, as a financially feasible way for clients to improve their game, Mason said. Private lessons are $100 an hour, and he also offers a free 20-minute consultation. Because the studio is appointment-only, clients don’t have to worry about having multiple customers pulling an employee away from their needs, he said.
All of the services offered at the studio, as well as studio tours and rentals, can be booked online at 3bmgolfstudio.com.
In the future, Mason said he would like to add three more bays to the simulator, create some type of membership and expand.