STX Golf of Baltimore have signed an agreement to launch their putters in the Republic of Ireland in 2012. A G Tee Golf Ltd of Mountmellick, CountyLaois will be responsible for making STX Putters a favoured brand in pro shops at some of the most revered golf courses in the world, which just happen to be inIreland.
STX found an immediate synergy with the A G Tee Golf Owner Tony Gibbons, whose brand experience makes him an ideal partner to introduce these pioneering putters to the discerning club professionals and members of the country’s most legendary courses.
Gibbons grew up in Portmarnock and caddied as a young boy into his teens. Having decided to stay in the industry but not via the traditional route of going to PGA School, he became commercially involved with the likes of Acushnet, ProQuip and Ping – on whose behalf he played a key role in helping customers and pros address the new R&A square groove ruling in 1996 by means of custom-fitting and making equipment compliant.
As country manager for Glenmuir (venerable apparel brand supplying shirts and knitwear to European Ryder Cup teams) in 1996, Gibbons was instrumental in achieving a peak in Glenmuir merchandise sales around the K Club event that has yet to be equalled at any Ryder Cup before or since.
In 2008, he founded A G Tee Golf in order to focus on specialist golf brands – the only end of the golf equipment market to have shown any kind of resilience in a territory where there remains potential for good business despite the Celtic Tiger having rolled over and died in the summer of 2008.
“The golf industry inIrelandwas among the first to learn that ramming shelves in pro shops and sports retailers was not the way forward,” says Gibbons. “There remains a rump of committed golfers in Ireland who still prize quality, performance and service and are quite willing to pay for it. Even those whose pockets have been hard hit by tough times are more canny than ever in their golf spend; they’ll invest in reasonably-priced product as long as it performs, because they’re not sure when they’ll next be able to replace it. So a brand like STX with a proven pedigree will attract great interest.”
STX Golf had a busier time than ever at the recent PGA Merchandise Show inOrlando, thanks to a successful 2011, a bold programme to set up distribution on all five continents in 2012, and the launch of their new X-Form putters to complement the existing range of highly accomplished product.
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Photo Caption – Wayne Farrell of STX Golf and Tony Gibbons of AGTee,Ireland