Baltimore firm's merchandise cloaks Open officials


There will be a Baltimore presence during today's closing round (barring a playoff) at the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pa.

Jackets made by Starbus Ltd., of Baltimore, will be sported by Oakmont members of the tournament committee, professional Bob Ford's staff, and other Oakmont officials. Additionally, they are part of the U.S. Open items available in the pro shop.

Starbus actually has been a part of previous Opens, too, having provided merchandise for Pebble Beach (1991) and Baltusrol (1993). The company also has a contract with Turnberry (Scotland) Golf Links, site of next month's British Open.

"In recent years, we have gone to the higher-profile clubs -- we will be doing work for Oakland Hills CC and for next year's Ryder Cup matches -- but our customers range from country clubs to the CFL Colts, the U.S. Open tennis championships, and several major college conferences," Henry Marconi, vice president for design, reported one day last week.

"We have a lot of design capability, including crests, logos, and work on the sleeves and backs [in the case of informal wear]."

Marconi grew up in the local clothing business, as his Italian-born father was a tailor. Except for a four-year tour of duty in the Air Force during the Korean War, Marconi, 62, has lived here all his life.

At one time he did Arnold Palmer wear for Robert Bruce, but, "that's no relation to what we do now," said Marconi.

"We kind of stumbled into it," he added of the two-company structure -- the original company that makes resort wear, and another that is in the golf business.

Marconi, Tom Griffen, and Patty Mory put the company together seven years ago, basically for retail beachwear. That business evaporated around 1990, and the firm gotinto embroidery.

"We met and worked with independent golf reps, and then lucked out when we got the Pebble Beach business at a trade show shortly before the [1991] Open."

For the Open at Oakmont, in addition to doing work for the club, Starbus did some work for a Pittsburgh TV station that is on the scene. Company goods have been present at such golf events as the LPGA's Dinah Shore tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and the PGA Tour's International at Castle Rock, Colo.

There also is work at the corporate level and for such golf-oriented programs as Ronald McDonald House pro-ams.

This year's British Open was another case of "stumbling into" a situation. "We did some work for Gregor Jamison in Lake Nona, rTC Fla., and his father, Bob Jamison, is the pro at Turnberry with the rights to the logo. They wanted something to commemorate the occasion and we were glad to be of help," Marconi said.

Currently in the works is the possibility of doing similar work for next year's British Open at St. Andrew's.

Another Marconi

When Henry's wife, Joan Marconi, a 15-handicapper from Eagle's Nest, won the Elkridge Seniors women's golf tournament by shooting an 80 at the Charles Street course, she missed her best competitive round by a stroke.

Clarice Gants of Eagle's Nest gave the Towson club a sweep of the top honors as she earned the net prize with a score of 92.

Playing in the 70-and-older group for the first time, Green Spring's Mary Harper won the low gross prize. In the past she had won overall gross, overall net and low gross and low net in the 60-and-older group.


A field of 34 pros and 53 amateurs will be shooting for three available places when sectional qualifying is held tomorrow at Lowes Island Club in Sterling, Va. . . . . There are 18 entries for the Baltimore area U.S. Junior qualifying event, due Tuesday at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, and 48 for three spots in Friday's program at Montgomery CC. . . .The recent charity tournament to benefit the Baltimore-based RP Foundation raised an estimated $77,000.

This week's schedule

Today -- Baltimore Publinx, Mount Pleasant GC, 7 a.m. Tomorrow -- Senior Open qualifying, Lowes Island Club, Sterling, Va., 8 a.m.; MAPGA pro-am, Lakewood CC, 8 a.m. Tuesday -- U.S. Junior qualifying, Green Spring VHC, 8 a.m.; Women's Golf Association, Rolling Road GC, 9 a.m. Wednesday -- U.S. Publinx qualifying, Redgate GC, Rockville, 8 a.m. Friday -- MAPGA pro-am, Redgate GC, 8 a.m.

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