Jaxx Golf is most definitely the new kid on the block, with an impressive range of value clubs for all ages – although in fact the company has a solid history in the industry. MD Phil Aitken comes from the third generation in his family to work in the golf trade – his grandfather started one of the UK’s first golf distributorships, Alf Owen Sports, in the 60s, and his father then launched Northern Golf, continuing the trend.
Jaxx was launched at the Munich Trade Show in 2002, with their introductory ranges for both beginners and juniors. Before very long, though, the Manchester-based company had extended its remit and employed two more notable names from the industry – Mike Turner, previously Hippo’s UK sales manager, and PGA pro Gary Norcott, who worked on TaylorMade’s advisory board. “Together we have decades of experience in the golf trade,” said Aitken.
In the last five years, the brand has gone from strength to strength, with an impressive junior range and a full open stock range for beginners and intermediates. As this year’s turnover approaches the £3 million mark, the company is now responsible for around 25% of the UK’s junior market, and has a new fitting centre, 23,000 foot warehouse and a showroom at its headquarters in Manchester.
“We’ve got where we are through hard graft and keeping our expenses down,” explained Aitken. “Our strategy was simple – to cover the country, visiting pro shops and high street golf retailers, offering them low entry prices for Jaxx products. We ran a promotion where we would give an iron away for each set of lessons booked with our accounts, and that worked really well – when the beginners found they got on with the club, they would invest in a full set. We also focus on service – we’d rather have a hundred good accounts, who we can service well, than five hundred who we can’t. This also enables us to protect our brands.”
Jaxx’ products cover the full range of clubs and bags, and its new 460cc Blue Ti Turbo woods incorporate much of the latest in golf technology, with a ‘hot’ super-thin beta-titanium face and low, deep weighting, for excellent rebound and trajectory, as well as a graphite shaft. Meanwhile, their JT500 series irons are made with the same attention to detail, enabling the golfer to take control of his game. And yet a driver retails for just £79 and a set for £149.
The company is now responsible for the distribution of several well-known brands, including:
IZZO – masters of the one-up dual strap, which they have been distributing in the north west since the late 90s, but nationally since December last year.
ADAMS – inventors of the upside-down fairway wood, and known for their excellent quality. Adams’ UK distribution rights were also acquired at the end of last year.
HOT BLADE, a newly-resurrected putter company first seen in the 60s, and Jaxx have been working to re-launch the brand for the last two years.
Now they have won the distribution rights to PowerBilt, a long-standing American brand, soon to launch a new range in the UK. PowerBilt is one of the oldest family-owned sports companies in the US, established in 1884 under the trading name of H&B – Hillerich and Bradsby – best known for their baseball bats. They went into golf in 1916, rebranding themselves as PowerBilt in the 30s, and their clubs have earned them eight Major winners not to mention over 100 US tour victories. Their best-known lines include Citation, Grand Slam and TPS.
“My grandfather Alf Owen first distributed PowerBilt, back in the 60s, so I’m delighted to be taking them on again now,” said Phil Aitken. “They have a full range of clubs, for adults and juniors, beginners and more experienced players, and their top ranges include all the latest technology. PowerBilt is guaranteed to offer outstanding value for money – and a new range will be launched in the UK soon.”
PowerBilt are delighted too. “It’s a perfect partnership,” said Larry Edlin, vice-president of PowerBilt. “With our heritage and proven track record, and Jaxx Golf’s distribution network coverage, we’re really excited about building the brand in the UK.”
Jaxx Golf www.jaxxgolf.co.uk