Tartan Golf International, the buying group for golf professionals, has re-branded following rapid growth in its membership. The company, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has a new corporate image and will now be known as TGI Golf.
Tartan Golf was founded in 1984 after 15 Scottish professionals clubbed together to form a buying group. By the end of 1999, membership had grown to 62. The integration of Golf Ecosse in 2001, and then Golfers Direct in 2003, swelled numbers to 220 and, since then, the company’s growing reputation has drawn in even more members.
More than 100 professionals have joined in the last year, taking total membership past 350 and boosting the group’s annual spend with accredited suppliers to more than £25m. It has made TGI Golf is one of the fastest growing and powerful new forces in the golf retail industry.
According to managing director Ian Johnston, the expansion of the business to all areas of the UK and Ireland made it necessary for the company to re-brand. “The word Tartan was perceived as old fashioned, although it has strong golf connotations and will remain the official company name,” he explains. “However, we wanted to bring the brand up to date and reflect the company’s success in the modern business world. Also, Tartan wasn‘t as relevant to our members in England and Ireland, who now outnumber our Scottish professionals.”
Part of TGI Golf’s success has been its ability to attract strong, independent retailers, many from prestige clubs and courses. Recent signings include Paul Anderson at The Berkshire GC, Simon Rayner at Royal West Norfolk GC and Andrew Jones at Littlestone GC, Kent.
“The key point of difference between TGI Golf and other buying groups – and one of the main reasons we have been successful at attracting so many new members – is that we don‘t have core lines and don‘t dictate what members should be buying,” continues Ian Johnston. “Our view is that pro shops are diverse and one size does not fit all.”
As part of the company’s expansion, TGI Golf’s central staff has moved into a new head office in Livingston, near Edinburgh.
For more information, contact Ian Johnston at TGI Golf on Tel 01506 505525 or e-mail: email@example.com