The wind and rain may have played havoc with the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews but spectators were simply blown away by a £½m giveaway by Direct Golf.
Europe’s award-winning and leading multi-channel specialist golf retailer, not only entertained fans during the weather delays with its morph-suited team playing street golf, and its renowned ‘iron throne’, but also gave away more than 80,000 packs of tees, 1,000 golf balls and 50,000 £10-off vouchers in streets and pubs around the Old Course, ensuring that however inclement the weather spectators were always left with a warm glow.
Direct Golf PGA professionals also provided golf coaching on the beach to young children and their parents – the inspiration for which came from the legendary 1984 St Andrews Open champion, Seve Ballesteros, who learned his game on the beach near his Spanish home.
One of the biggest draws was Direct Golf’s iconic ‘iron throne’, created earlier this year out of 320 golf clubs to coincide with the launch of the fifth series of the popular TV show Game of Thrones®. Hundreds of people sat on it to have the picture taken, including Berkshire golfer Anthony Wall, who finished the Open tied 12th on nine-under par – the joint third-highest-placed Englishman.
Hundreds more had their pictures taken with the DG ‘morphs’ – a team clad head to foot in patriotic spandex – including former world number one Luke Donald, whose return to Major form continued with a finish of nine-under par, alongside compatriot Wall.
The founder and owner of Direct Golf, John Andrew, a Fellow of the PGA, said: “At the Sports Marketing Survey Industry Lunch, on the Wednesday of Open week, it was said that to encourage more young golfers to the game, we need to make the game more fun.
“And this was not the first time I’d heard this said; indeed, at the 2014 US PGA Show in Orlando, Mark King, the former CEO of TaylorMade-Adidas stood up and spoke about putting ‘F-U-N’ into the game. And that is what we were trying to do.
“It was our intention to bring some fun to the streets and bars outside of the Old Course and to add something different for the spectators – and, as it turned out, there was actually plenty of time to fill. So it was no surprise that the DG ‘morphs’, the ‘street golf’ and, particularly, our iconic ‘iron throne’ proved so popular.
“Hundreds of spectators posted their pictures with the DG ‘morphs’ on our social media pages which shows how much they embraced the Direct Golf activity.
“And, with our £½m giveaway, we were delighted to play our own small part in making a visit to the 144th Open Championship a bit special and maybe helping to add to the memories of what turned out to be a truly fabulous tournament.”
Direct Golf UK www.direct-golf.co.uk
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