John Ofer, 88, creator of '3-in-1" driver dies

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John Ofer, 88, creator of '3-in-1" driver dies wazzzy 7/1/07 6:48 PM
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John Ofer, whose handmade golf clubs earned him international fame,
died Saturday. He was 88.

Ofer, a lifelong Stark County resident, began Ofer Custom Swing-fit
Golf Clubs in 1956, and finally retired from his long career in golf
in November 2006.

In 1997, Ofer was inducted into The Professional Clubmakers' Society
Hall of Fame in Louisville, Ky.

His greatest invention, for which he achieved lasting fame, is the
"Ofer 3-in-1" driver, designed to help golfers eliminate slices.

As Ofer explained at his induction into the Hall of Fame, "The average
golfer has trouble getting the clubface of his driver back square as
he hits the ball. The driver is the longest club in the bag and the
once-a-week golfer finds it difficult to handle compared to other
clubs."

So Ofer designed and built the 3-in-1 driver, which has a driver
shaft, a three-wood loft and a bit of a hook face that helps the
golfer eliminate slice.

Ken Venturi, longtime PGA pro and CBS broadcaster, saw Ofer's club and
was so impressed he bought several of them.

He gave one of the clubs to Jack Lemmon, who used it at the Pebble
Beach Pro Am golf tournament in 1995 and sent a letter to Ofer
thanking him and praising the club.

Others who used the club include Bob Hope, President Clinton and
golfers Nick Faldo, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino, Bruce Crampton, Johnny
Miller, Bobby Nichols, Donna Caponi, Isao Aoki and John Huston.

Ofer also was known as the man who helped promote golf in Stark
County, backing school charity and amateur events.

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; two sons, Frank A. and Michael J.;
four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Anna
Rocovitz; and many nieces and nephews.

Friends may call from 6-9 tonight at Rossi Funeral Home, where
services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday.