Coinciding with a call from arguably ‘the best’ James Bond, Sir Sean Connery, that more young people should take up golf, Penfold chose this week to re-launch James Bond’s favourite golf ball.
The Penfold Heart, the golf ball favoured by 007 and made famous in the1960s, is finally back in action. Penfold Golf is relaunching its HEART™ ball on-line to commemorate the Ian Fleming Centenary 2008.
The golf ball with the heart logo was made famous by the 1967 Bond film, Goldfinger. 007 plays with a Penfold Heart ball in defeating arch-villain Auric Goldfinger. Sean Connery (playing Bond for the third time in the third Bond movie) became a keen golfer as a result of playing golf in the blockbuster film. Co-star, the Penfold Heart, also shot to stardom – orders for the British-made Penfold Heart poured in after the release of Goldfinger.
“Over the years golf has taught me much,” says Sir Sean Connery. “Its implicit codes of conduct have provided me with the nearest I have ever come to a religion. A golf player is on his honour to call a shot against himself and to be considerate to other players. Golf has greatly enhanced my life.”
Penfold, started in Birmingham in the 1920s, became world famous for exporting its one and two-piece golf balls. In the 1960s, the world’s greatest golfers signed up to play for Penfold: Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player, and Curtis Strange were joined in the 1970s by Peter Oosterhuis, Christy O‘Connor, Howard Clark and Nick Faldo.
Fleming based the fictitious game between 007 and Goldfinger at a club closely mirroring his beloved Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent. This summer, Royal St. George’s traced Penfold Golf back to its Birmingham roots to commission Penfold Hearts with the 007 logo. These were premièred in a charity golf match for The British Heart Foundation, hosted as part of the Ian Fleming Centenary events.
Making the 007 golf balls encouraged Penfold Golf to re-instate the famous Heart golf balls. A limited number of collector’s sets of Penfold Hearts are being launched in two waves. The first wave launches this week. A donation will be made to The British Heart Foundation from each of the 500 collector’s sets.
The collector’s 12-ball sets, costing £50, are only available from www.penfoldgolf.com
“Each set comes in a commemorative slipcase, with a sequentially-numbered card to validate its authenticity as a collector’s limited edition,” explains Penfold Golf director, William Baird, who has guided the manufacture of golf balls for some 30 years.
“We are anticipating demand from both golfers and Bond fans, as both Penfold and 007 have a quintessentially British appeal, which is why we are launching the collector’s sets in two phases,” adds Baird.
Penfold Hearts www.penfoldgolf.com
Sir Sean Connery quotations taken from “Being a Scot” by Sean Connery and Murray Grigor, just published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson £20.