History of Bailey & Izett, Inc. (Izett Golf)
The founders of Bailey & Izett, Inc., in 1941, were Wilfred Bailey and George M. Izett. George M. Izett learned the clubmaking trade from Ben Sayers in Gullane, Scotland. At the age of 23 he left Scotland and came to the states. He found employment as the chief assistant and clubmaker for George Sayers, the son of Ben Sayers, and the head golf pro at the Merion Cricket Club (at that time the current Merion Cricket Club and the current Merion Golf Club were a single club with the two different locations). George M. Izett became a PGA Pro and accepted the head pro position at Seaview Golf Club in New Jersey. While working at Seaview, George M. was making wooden woods for the Wholesale Golf Department of Wanamakers Department Store. The manager of this department was Wilfred Bailey. Bailey & Izett was formed as a result of the decision of Wanamakers to discontinue their Wholesale Golf department. In the 1930's the only place that one could procure golf clubs was either at one's private golf club or at the retail golf department at Wanamakers. Prior to 1940, Wanamakers also had a Wholesale Golf division in order to supply local private club pros with clubs to sell to their membership. Most club pros were expected to also be accomplished clubmakers, but this was not necessarily the case. When Wanamakers decided to discontinue their Wholesale Golf division they informed Wilfred Bailey that they were letting him go and closing the department. Wilfred Bailey contacted George M. and asked him if would be willing to continue with the clubmaking and form a company in partnership with him. George M. had a love of clubmaking and agreed to join forces with Wilfred Bailey to continue the operations under the corporate name of Bailey & Izett, Inc.
Initially the business was located on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia within blocks of the Wanamakers Department Store. However, in 1946 the ownership of the building that was being rented changed hands and the rent was doubled. George M., already living in Merion, began to look for a new location. The current 7,500 sq. ft. building at 2538 Haverford Road was put up for sale in 1946 and George promptly purchased the building as the new location of the company. The business has been at this location ever since. Wilfred Bailey passed away in 1972 and George M. Izett passed away in 1980. George G. Izett, the son of the founder, has grown up in the business, learning the trade directly from his father, and today remains an active partner. Jack Popowicz has been a faithful employee since joining the company as an apprentice in 1964. Michael Morrison joined the company as an apprentice in the summer of 1999 and much to his surprise has found this to be more of a passion than a job, continuing as an active partner in the business.
As far as I am aware, we are the oldest continuing custom clubfitting company in the country. Currently we combine a respect for the historically valid methodologies of clubfitting with today's technology that enables us to discern the correct custom fit and then precisely manufacture clubs specifically to these specifications. We are privileged to count a very diverse group of golfers as our customers.