Titleist staff players at this week’s PGA Tour season-opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua are wearing gold ribbons on their hats in memory of Jamie Ramos, a maestro among club makers, who died from a heart attack while working at his home on Sunday.
Ramos, who was 58, built sticks for 35 years, breaking into the field with Cobra Golf, where he customized clubs for Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros, and Hale Irwin. When Acushnet bought Cobra in 1996, he joined the Titleist tour department, where he worked his magic on clubs for Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and Steve Stricker, among other luminaries.
Tributes poured in for the master club builder.
"I will miss him dearly. He was a pleasure to work with, and he always had an unbelievable attitude,” Bob Vokey, master wedge craftsman, said in a statement. “He was a very dedicated, knowledgeable, and hard-working gentleman, who was well respected.”
Larry Bobka, vice president of Titleist Tour Promotions, remembered Ramos as a workman with exceptional talents.
“He knew how to build, grind, change offsets, and satisfy the players' needs,” said Bobka. “He's been my right-hand man in finishing and building custom sets (from raw heads) for the most discerning players in the world. He's provided his thoughts and ideas on our iron models for years. He was a true professional in all he did.
“I just didn't lose a great co-worker, I lost a great friend,” Bobka added. “Jaime had tremendous pride in his work. He worked hard but always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. The company has lost a great employee and life has lost a great man."
Chris Tuten, Titleist Tour Promotions VP, echoed Bobka’s sentiments.
"Jaime was a fantastic associate who was liked by all and had true passion for his craft,” Tuten said. “He took pride in his job and enjoyed watching the players whom he built clubs for have success. He was a legend among club builders and will be sorely missed by the Titleist family and all those who knew him."