Marvelous Makeover

Lenny’s Golf and Ski Undergoes a Complete Renovation That Includes GC Quads

by Kim D. McHugh
Photography by E.J. Carr

Lenny and Nick Nosewicz

In 1985, Hubert Green won the PGA Championship at Cherry Hills, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, Back to the Future become the highest-grossing film of the year—and Supreme Ski and Lenny’s Golf opened its doors on South Parker Road in Aurora.

Aside from the absence of wood-headed drivers, if you’d walked into the iconic store just a few months ago, you’d think you were Marty McFly, traveling back nearly 40 years. The place had largely remained unchanged since proprietor Lenny Nosewicz hung the ‘OPEN’ sign decades ago. Walk in today, however, and you’d be gobsmacked by the results of a total makeover of the interior.

“There hadn’t been a lot of changes or really a need to change,” says Nick Nosewicz, Lenny’s son. “Other than installing Astroturf in the hitting bay, we really hadn’t updated the shop over the years, but knew it was time to invest in the future, especially since we just signed a five-year lease. So we decided to get more organized by making improvements to better utilize the space.”

Nick, winner of the Colorado Golf Association’s Match Play in 2015 and this year, a qualifier in multiple U.S. Mid-Amateur championships and grandson of Colorado Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Ed Nosewicz, clearly knows his way around the game and how the updates to the store would benefit customers.

“We’ve been affecting golf swings day in and day out since the early 1980s,” Nick adds. “Being smarter with our space gives us the opportunity to do a better job of fitting, which is something we take a lot of pride in. Whether you are trying to break one hundred for the first time or win your club championship, our goal is to fit you with clubs that improve the way you play the game. This project makes that easier.”

Facing a Tetris-like conundrum, where gamers are tasked with creating order out of chaos by moving, rotating and strategically placing puzzle pieces into place in a confined space, Lenny and Nick enlisted the skills of long-time customer, avid golfer and retired architect, Ken Goff, to work his magic. His assignment? Add fitting bays with leading-edge launch monitors, preserve the putting area, keep the skis, snowboards and boots retail and rental sections, and increase the size of the custom club assembly workshop, which does double duty as the ski and snowboard mounting, tuning and boot fitting area in the back of the shop, while working within the confines presented by the existing 3,000 feet of floor space.

“My dad has done such an amazing job in this place over the last 38 years just the way it was, but I told him that I wasn’t sure I could do this for the next 10 or 15 years if the shop stayed as is,” Nick adds. “It is tight in here and it’s always going to be tight. We’ve really grown the business, so I knew if we could utilize the space better, it would be more enjoyable for our customers and a better work environment for the staff.”

Along with the inherent space limitations, what made Goff’s assignment particularly challenging was finding a Yin and Yang balance between golf and snow sports, having to keep in mind that the shop does about 40 percent of its business in skis, snowboards, bindings, boots and boot fittings. After studying the store’s footprint, taking copious measurements and gathering input from Lenny, Nick and staffers, Goff came up with initial ideas on how to reorganize the space to function more efficiently for both camps. Several revisions later, a final design was determined, which basically rotated the interior clockwise about 45-degrees.

Entering through the front doors, customers now see three brand new fitting bays along the right side and the point of sale and payment register to their immediate left. That is now where gloves, tees, balls, headcovers and other incidentals are available. Corralled by a short wall, the putting area moved closer to the back of the store, while hard and soft goods (think clubs and bags during golf season; skis, boots and snowboards during winter months) occupy most of the remaining space. The left side serves as a ‘slot wall’ where seasonal merchandise is suspended by slot shelving.

Being a small, family-owned business, the shop couldn’t simply close during remodeling, so work was performed in stages by TB Custom Builders, a Castle Rock/Denver-based contractor with phase one focused on building the floor-to-ceiling fitting bays.

“The new bays have GC Quads, the $20,000 launch monitors you see when you watch ‘Live from the Masters’ on the GolfChannel,” Nick explains. “We chose them over Trackman because we think they work better indoors and align better with our space.”

Despite having what he believes are six of the best club fitters in Colorado, it pained Nosewicz to see his guys having to maneuver around the cramped and poorly laid out workshop, likening it to episodes of chef Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ where contestants were all but tripping over each other to make dinner service work without patron-angering delays and disappointments. He credits a 2022 trip to Augusta National for a much-welcomed change to that vitally important area where clubs are built and repaired, as well as where bindings are mounted on skis and snowboards, edges and bottoms of those products are sharpened and repaired, and boots are adjusted.

“I was invited to The Masters last year and was able to tour the PING trailer,” Nick says. “I took a video of how they store their grips, shafts and club heads, and was impressed at how efficiently that limited amount of space worked….”

He shared his findings with Goff and his sensei of club fitting, T. Marcus Hughes, who goes simply by the letter ‘T’. Aside from being a lifelong friend, T has been at Lenny’s Golf & Ski for going on 25 years. With many of the PING-trailer-inspired ideas incorporated into the phase-two makeover, along with custom-built workbenches, component storage cabinets and drawers, and improved lighting, the workshop is organized and measurably roomier.

“Without T there’s no Lenny’s,” Nick continues. “Not only is he one of the best golfers in Colorado, but he also has kind of a cult following as a fitter, which is a reputation he’s really earned. Some of our customers only let T work on their equipment. We are so lucky to have him.”

With as many as three, four and even five techs at a time sharing the workshop space—some working on skis and snowboards, others doing golf associated work—the retrofitted area is vastly more efficient than its predecessor.

The final phase saw the installation of entirely new flooring, display and overhead bar and track lighting, including highly illuminating LED light panels, a new coat of paint and a modification of the drop-down ceiling to create more of an open feeling throughout the store. Nosewicz and Goff took cues from Jon ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald, a 15-year veteran of the Lenny’s team and sales manager to improve the retail experience. A skilled club fitter and savvy merchandiser, he brought his expertise to the floor—literally—so now customers can more easily browse the displays, soft goods and slot wall offerings. Though the store underwent significant changes to its interior, the Nosewiczs were acutely aware of the importance of keeping its legendary, ‘old fashioned’ service level and folksy environment.

“Lenny’s is very much like ‘Cheers’ where I feel like we are more than just a place to buy clubs or skis,” Nick says. “I think of it as a barbershop where people come to hang out and talk golf and look around. There are a lot of things we have going for us that will never change like that welcoming feeling from our staff when people walk in. I didn’t want to lose the Lenny’s vibe with the renovation and hopefully after this project that energy is only going to be enhanced for customers coming through the door.”

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