For nearly 40 years, Jon Sink has been helping area golfers get around, as well as outfitting water skiers and skateboarders.
Sink’s business, Jon’s Golf and Ski at 1700 Fruitvale Blvd., has sold golf cars — while they are colloquially called carts, they are officially considered cars because they are self-propelled — and water-skiing equipment since 1981. He started as a mechanic before buying the golf-cart business in 1981, expanding it to cater to water sports, with a selection of water skis, wake boards, wet suits and other gear.
A graduate of Davis High School and avid water skier, Sink, 60, and his wife, Michele, have two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren. Sink has been the business’ sole employee for the past six years.
When did you decide to become a business owner, and how did you start your business?
In 1980, I was employed by Freeth Distributing Co., an oil company of which my father-in law was half owner. Freeth brought the first golf cars into the Yakima Valley. Anchor Marine purchased the golf-car business and I went with the business as the mechanic. The marine end of the business went under and I ended up buying the golf car side in the fall of 1981. So I didn’t seek to go into business — it sought me.
What were the challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
Just out of high school everything was a challenge, but I had a lot of help from my father-in-law, not just being my banker but as a mentor for many years until he got too sick. My dad then stepped up and guided me for many more years and helped me with financing as well.
I had a fire in my warehouse in 1985 that was devastating, but very fortunately we had insurance to cover most of the loss of property. My wife, family and friends helped a lot during that time and they still are there to help whenever I need them. When I must assemble large fleets of 60-80 cars, my family and friends come together and are an incredible team.
Has social media affected how you market your business?
Not really, I have a page and have posted on Facebook, but I think the old-fashioned social media (word of mouth) has been and is still the best.
If you could go back in time and start your business over again, is there anything you would do differently?
Not anything I can remember or maybe want to remember. I do think I would not have attempted to be a tournament boat dealer in the late 1980s.
What golf course and water ski run would you most like to do?
I never really got into the game of golf or should I say it never got into me, so I put it on hold years ago.
Water skiing, on the other hand, got into me and has been a passion for many years. I have competed in slalom skiing since 1984 and am at the highest level I have ever been. Just recently I set a new Pacific area record in my age division and hope to continue participating in the sport for many more years to come.