Macs Sports History 2018-03-27T23:33:56+00:00

The History of Mac’s Sports Inc.

Macs Sports Inc History Ruth JohnsonServing Clearwater since 1938!

Mac’s Sports history is a long one.  Since 1938, Mac’s Sports, in one form or another, has been a part of Clearwater Beach history.  From its humble beginnings as a Beach Store, through its decades as one of Clearwater and Tarpon Springs leading Dive Shops, Mac’s Sports has been a constant in the Tampa Bay dive community.  With over 50 years teaching diving, it is no wonder that Mac’s Sports is known for the best Gulf SCUBA diving, as well as best dive lessons, in the area.  Whether you want to learn to dive, or you need additional dive certifications, Mac’s Sports is the place to go.  Continue reading to learn more about the history of Mac’s Sports Inc. and how we grew to become one of the leading facilities, for dive training and dive trips, in Florida.

Original The Beach Store.

Back in 1938, the original Mac’s Sports was the only place on Clearwater Beach where you could get groceries, magazines, newspapers, tobacco, beachwear, fishing tackle, snorkel gear, soft drinks, candy, almost everything!  “It was like an early 7-11”, says Ruth Johnson, “At least we were open from seven to eleven and sold most anything we thought people would want. We also rented bicycles and fishing gear!”   At that time, Mac’s Sports was simply the “Beach Store” and was located on Mandalay Avenue. It opened the same year as the hamburger stand which later became the Pelican Restaurant. Meanwhile, Ruth and Carroll Johnson, newly arrived from Birmingham, Alabama, started the business and, as Ruth reports, “worked very hard to make sure it would succeed”.  It cost a whole $500 to set up this business on the beach where the existing businesses were limited to the Pelican, the Palm Pavilion, Langford’s Service Station at the end of the causeway, a seafood market where the King Cole Motel now stands, and not much else.

Scubapro Platinum Dealer

Becoming the Mac’s of today!

After the births of their two sons, the Johnsons moved to New Mexico.  “Mac” McCarthy purchased the Beach Store and renamed it “Mac’s”.  During WWII, it was a favorite shopping place for the young people of the beach because Mac made sure that what few candy bars and Coca-Cola he could obtain were set aside to be sold only to youngsters.  Returning from New Mexico six years later, the Johnson’s went back into the grocery business and purchased the little store back from Mac McCarthy.  Their son, Jim Johnson, eventually turned it into Mac’s Dive Shop before his sports business outgrew the small building, at which point he moved the dive shop to the mainland.

And Mac’s history continues…

Finally, Brian Grindey purchased Mac’s Sport in 1998 from Jim Johnson after working and managing the store for 25 years.  At the present time, the Grindey Family are the current owners of this historical and successful dive shop.  Today Mac’s Sports has two locations.  We have a Dive Shop/Ski and Snowboard shop in Clearwater, Florida.  We also have a Dive Shop/Beach Store in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

REAL REVIEWS from our clients

We started our diving journey at Mac's on Clearwater. Its been all 👌😂 we started the class in June and became certified divers July 15th. Its been an extremely fun time. The instructor Keith really enjoys teaching diving. The entire process has been a great learning experience and gives us the opportunity to see an underwater world not many people have seen.read more
Franklyn Gutierrez
Franklyn Gutierrez
22:44 16 Jul 18
Love Mac's. Started going there over 10 years ago for ski gear and Mike was a big help with that. It is great to see employees stick around for the long term!Now that it was time for a group of friends and I to become scuba certified, Matt is an awesome instructor. He is very knowledgeable and attentive. Matt goes above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable with your purchases and setting you up with what your specific needs are. Keith and Mike are also great with helping answer questions and showing the right gear you may want. Overall, all the guys there are knowledgeable and welcoming to be around.read more
Jodie Snyder
Jodie Snyder
20:00 26 May 18
Matt, Keith and Mike as well as the rest of the staff are incredible...!!! The wealth of knowledge and professionalism is second to none. They are more about helping us be comfortable and satisfied then with selling the sale. I am thrilled to call these guys my new diving family...!!!
Michael G. Knettel Jr.
Michael G. Knettel Jr.
20:00 26 May 18
Great certification and diving experiences. Thank you Keith for instructing me well during my coursework, pool practice and open water testing. Thank you Matt for helping me develope my skills diving with awsome marine life through your guided open ocean dives.
Christine Russo
Christine Russo
22:59 21 Jan 18
We had originally went for scuba lessons with super sports and scuba. First of all, that instructor had me scared stupid about diving. When we were ready to get certified i could not get them to answer my call to schedule the dive. We were getting ready to go on a cruise and my husband and I were looking forward to diving in the Caribbean. My brother who was certified at Mac's brought us there for sidewalk sale and Keith was awesome. He was extremely knowledgeable and kind. So, when things feel through at the other place,we knew we had to go with Mac and Keith. Keith worked on his his day of and did private lessons to make sure we were ready. Now, i need to tell you we had already done dive classroom portion at other place...at Mac we did online course which was much more informative and spent way more time in the pool. Keith made sure we felt comfortable and were ready to dive. We are leaving for cruise tomorrow and we are so looking forward to diving in GrandTurk and Dominican Republic. Thanks Mac and Keith!read more
Michelle Rabbitts
Michelle Rabbitts
17:28 04 Nov 17
Mike is awesome!!! He answered all my questions was extremely helpful.. prices are right and I will continue to do business there thank you guys
Kenny Morehouse
Kenny Morehouse
17:17 27 Aug 17
Highly recommend! The hubs and I have been customers for more than 20 years. We buy our gear and get it serviced there. We've taken several classes and have been on many dive trips with them. Our daughter was certified there. The staff is knowledgable, helpful and friendly. Recently purchased some new gear and Brian was very generous. Thanks Brian! See you at the Dive Club meeting. read more
Sharon Lappe
Sharon Lappe
18:37 02 Aug 17
My wife and I went in to the Macs Clearwater location to check out some diving gear. Mike Odette greeted us at the door and helped us with every question and concern we had. The shop is one of the nicest dive shops we have ever been to. Large selection of everything. I would recommend this shop to anyone. Thanks Mike. We will see you soonread more
mike wetherington
mike wetherington
19:54 09 Apr 17
I've been coming here for years. The staff here are all extremely nice and very helpful. They take very good care of their customers and care about getting you the right gear for your level. It's also really nice that when snow season comes around that they provide the gear you need for skiing. I dive and ski, so this is perfect shop.read more
Danan Coleman
Danan Coleman
02:39 10 Jan 17

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Mac’s Sports Inc.

Mac’s Sports Inc. is a family owned and operated dive shop with over 50 years experience teaching people to SCUBA dive, as well as teaching advanced SCUBA, classes.  Whether you are looking for; beginning dive classesspecialty SCUBA classes,  an upcoming dive trip, or even SCUBA rental equipment, Mac’s Sports has you covered.

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