Asbri heads Stateside

Asbri heads Stateside

Feb 12, 2016

Golf accessory brand Asbri Golf is setting out to conquer America following the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. The South Wales based company, who were official licensees to The 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor, already export to over 25 countries worldwide and has now reached a new agreement with a US partner to target the largest golf market in the world. The Welsh company, formed in 2003, first exhibited at the show in 2005 as a joint venture with Ryder Cup Wales and Visit Wales. Now, in their 12th year at the show, the company has built up a reputation as one of the leading logo accessory brands worldwide, supplying over 1500 golf shops and resorts. Eryl Williams, managing director at Asbri Golf, commented: “The PGA Merchandise Show is by far the most important dates in our diary. It gives us the opportunity to sit down with existing global distributors and present new ranges to them as well as meeting new customers. “In past years at the show we have processed significant business across Europe but only small amounts of business in the US. “Having reached this new agreement we are extremely excited and confident that we have found the right partner to represent and distribute our brand across all states in the USA and confident their team of 23 sales reps will have good success.” Asbri Golf is proud title sponsors of the Welsh National PGA Championships which this year will be held at Tenby Golf Club, July...

Three cheers for Lee-on-the-Solent trio

Three cheers for Lee-on-the-Solent trio

Feb 11, 2016

Three cheers are in order for a trio of Lee-on-the-Solent pros who topped their respective Order of Merits last year, writes Ken Gaunt. James Ablett (Virgin Atlantic PGA South), Jon Barnes (The PGA in Hampshire) and Jack Coulbert (The PGA in Hampshire Trainees) will each be celebrated during The PGA in Hampshire’s annual dinner at Weybrook Park, Basingstoke. While Barnes and Coulbert will both be in attendance, Ablett is in America, taking part in the Scottsdale Classic Pro-Am. Ablett, who plays full-time, won the PGA Surrey Open, the PGA Kent Open and the Keith MacDonald Matchplay on his way to finishing top in the south for the second time in six years. He recorded 14 wins, eight second placed finishes and secured 11 top five slots in a successful season locally. In 71 rounds, his average score was an impressive 69.4. And he has made no secret of the fact he wants to advance to a higher level. Barnes said: “The tour school is a bit of a lottery and James fell away last year, which was a shame. It is so tough at that level. “There is no doubt he has plenty of ability as he proved by winning the South region again. He is a very good player, a talented lad.” Lee-on-the Solent boasts a former Ryder Cup player in Steven Richardson and is a special place, according to Barnes, who won the OOM for the ninth time, going back to 1996. Now 18 months into his spell as head pro, he said: “I love it here. It is a wonderful environment to play golf. That’s down to head greenkeeper Jason Diment, who does a great job. “It is such a nice course and is always in brilliant condition, no matter how bad the weather gets. That’s why it is so popular and the membership are very enthusiastic. “I enjoy all aspects of the job, the shop, coaching and playing in regional tournaments. It is always special to win the OOM and I finished in the top 20 in South Region as well, which was pleasing.” Barnes is predicting a bright future for his assistant Coulbert, who turned pro two years ago...

Hurrah for Huxley after Dan’s Dubai delight

Danny Willett, who sank a 15 foot putt at the weekend to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, is no doubt reaping the benefits of a Huxley Golf putting green installed in a purpose built practice studio at his home near Sheffield. The Yorkshireman’s new permanent indoor putting green was created using Huxley Golf Premier Putting Turf with infill on a timber base. With a three per cent slope and measuring 12ft (3.6m) x 7ft (2.1m), it gives Willett the option to practise privately at any time, day or night. The Huxley Golf tournament quality surface is specially designed to mirror natural golf greens and was specified in this case because it offers the most consistent ball roll. “The flexibility that this will give me as part of my training regime is fantastic, and the surface seems great – just like putting on natural grass tournament greens but in the privacy of my own home,” said Willett Dr Paul Hurrion, who specialises in putting analysis and advice and has been working with Willett to perfect his putting, suggested the installation. He commented: “Huxley Golf has installed a number of putting greens both for me at my own clinic and at my request for my clients. I consider the Huxley range of all-weather surfaces to be the best available and I have no hesitation recommending them for training and practice purposes.” Paul Chester, general manager at Huxley Golf which is a PGA Official Supplier, added: “Huxley Golf Premier Putting Turf is amongst a range of bespoke and modular solutions that we have designed to enable indoor and outdoor golf practice at home. “Our clients appreciate the fact that Huxley Golf surfaces are not only rubber stamped by The PGA but that they are chosen time and again by the best golfers and clubs in the industry.” Willett is part of an expanding list of the world’s legendary golfers, pros and celebrities who have chosen Huxley Golf greens for practice at home. Sir Nick Faldo MBE and the British Ladies number one Catriona Matthew MBE are amongst those who have installed private practice areas. Huxley Golf provides premier all-weather surfaces for golf around the world. Clients...

Scotcraig pro wins TGI honour

Craig Mackie, (right) head PGA Professional at Scotscraig GC took the top honour at the TGI Golf Partnership awards night when he collected the Partner of the Year title from 2014 winner Mike Bradley (Notts). The annual event, this year staged at The Belfry, brought together partners of golf’s leading retail services group and influential figures from the golf industry to celebrate those who had excelled over the last 12 months. PING took the evening’s other top award – Partner Supplier of the Year – in a hotly contested category that included both Acushnet brands Titleist and FootJoy. Mackie, who has been a partner of TGI Golf since 2005, saw off competition from fellow nominees Ryan Pudney (Mundesley), Paul Stevenson (Portadown) and Richard Lambert (Crosland Heath). The 37-year-old from Tayport attended every one of the group’s events in 2015, including travelling as first reserve for the Ashworth Cup, where he supported his team-mates from the side as they took on rivals Foremost. He said: “Thank you to all the TGI Golf Partners, the staff and our suppliers who have all been extremely supportive. All partners are worthy of this award, it’s difficult out there for everyone, and so to win is an incredible honour. “Without the support of TGI Golf and the staff, business would be a lot harder, we are all incredibly thankful for their hard work, professionalism and ‘can do attitude’.” Eddie Reid, TGI Golf’s managing director, who sat on the judging panel along with senior management and the group’s retail consultants, added: “Craig fully deserves to join this illustrious list of partners who have won this award. He embraces everything TGI Golf has to offer. “He has been a true ambassador for the group, encouraging any PGA Professionals he is connected with to join TGI Golf and make the most of the same benefits he has.” PING claimed its second Supplier of the Year crown having collected the award two years ago. It was the only double winner on the night as the PING G30 picked up a second successive Product of the Year award. Steve Carter, PING European sales director, collected the award saying: “In 1959, when PING started, the...

Cooperman cleans up at Stoneham

Cooperman cleans up at Stoneham

Sep 24, 2015

Tilgate Forest’s Lea Cooper produced the round of the day, shooting a seven-under-par 65 to win Hampshire’s biggest Pro-Am in 2015: the Stoneham Pro-Am. Cooper’s super low round earned him one of the season’s larger winner’s cheques for £1,500, thanks to the generous support of Stoneham GC and their sponsors. Having started in the morning, James Ablett (Lee-on-the-Solent) was the clubhouse leader with an impressive 66, but even though he was eventually pipped at the post, Ablett still took home a handy £900. Speaking afterwards, Cooper said: “This is one of my best rounds this year, and my biggest cheque as well, thanks to all the supporters of this Pro-Am. Shame about that double bogey at the seventh, but despite that I played the other holes really well, and my putting was pretty hot.” In a shotgun start from the 14th, Cooper made a very fast start with a birdie on his opening hole, and then deucing the 16th and making another birdie at the 17th. He maintained his charge with more birdies at the first and second, and then the fifth and sixth to reach seven-under-par, but stumbled badly with a double bogey on the short seventh. Pars followed until he got to the 12th where he made another birdie, and then followed that with one more on his final hole for his 65, snatching victory from Ablett by one shot. Starting at the second, Ablett birdied the third but bogeys at the fifth and then the eighth left him with a lot to do. Rising to the challenge and finding the gear that has delivered 12 victories in 2015, the current Virgin Atlantic PGA South Order of Merit** leader bounced straight back at the ninth with a birdie to get back to level par. A slip at the 10th put him back on one-over, but then he charged through the next eight holes with six birdies to reach five-under-par with one hole left, the first, which Ablett birdied as well for his 66 and what would eventually prove to be the runner-up...