About Us

3balls was started in 1998, but if you want the whole story, you’ve got to go back a ways, 20 years back to be specific. In 1981, two very good friends, Joe Ricci and Leigh Bader, arrived at a run down 9-hole golf course in South Easton, MA. The pro shop was an unimpressive 290 square feet. Determined to make their dream of golf course ownership a reality, the two pitched in their savings of $2,000 each, bought a little inventory, hung an “open” sign and with those humble beginnings, Joe & Leigh’s Discount Golf Pro Shop at the Pine Oaks Golf Course was born.

Thinking of the pro shop as a toy store and the golf course as an amusement park helped them grow the business over the years. Joe & Leigh’s 8,000 square foot pro shop won numerous national awards, including making the list of Golf Digest’s GolfWorld Business Top 100 Pro Shops in America ten times over. And Leigh was named the PGA of America National Merchandiser of the Year twice, first in 1995 and then again in 2002.

The goal of Joe & Leigh’s business was to “make a friend, not a sale”, which meant building lifelong relationships. With a strong focus on customer service, it never occurred to Joe or Leigh to do anything other than take golf club trades. One of the most highly visited areas of the shop was the space dedicated to used equipment, where customers spent countless hours looking for that “diamond in the rough”. As the Swap Shop got busier and busier, slower moving inventory was posted on eBay. Before long, the entire Swap Shop was nearly emptied. With the success of the eBay shop, we procured the finest used and like new branded golf equipment. We also started working on what was to become the 3balls.com website.

After a few years of rapid fire growth, 3balls was officially incorporated in January, 2000. Passionate about serving golf and growing the game, 3balls is committed to maintaining the highest integrity, offering outstanding values, preserving manufacturer brand experiences and above all, providing a fun experience for our customers.

We now sell in a variety of different channels including our website and Amazon.com. In addition, our enthusiasm for eBay has certainly grown considerably over the years.  We are the largest golf equipment seller on eBay with item postings in the thousands daily, and we have maintained a 99.9% positive feedback rating with over 200,000 unique transactions.  In 2007, 3balls was inducted into the eBay Hall of Fame for our commitment to excellence and service to the eBay community.

Specializing in used and like new branded golf equipment, 3balls is also responsible for pioneering industry efforts to make the secondary market in golf more efficient. In so doing, 3balls developed and created the PGA.com Value Guide in collaboration with both PGA.com and eBay®. In general, reliable golf club industry value standards are needed to make the entire infrastructure of buying, selling and trading of used golf clubs more efficient and fair for both retailers and consumers. The PGA.com Value Guide, which is The Blue Book of Golf™, fills this need by being the National Standard for Golf Club Values™. To learn more, please click here.

3balls.com is now headquartered in Raleigh, NC and managed by the golf retailer Global Value Commerce. Our staff handles all order processing, fulfillment, inventory processing, warehousing, customer service, business development, and management. Global Value Commerce is one of golf’s leading ecommerce experts and the top sales center of preowned golf clubs worldwide.

So where did 3balls get its name? In the corner of Joe & Leigh’s Swap Shop there used to be 3 glass globes hanging behind the counter. These 3 balls were the universal symbol of traditional pawn shops and the inspiration for 3balls.com. That’s the inside story!