Wilson Golf, the irons manufacturer with more Major victories (61) than any other, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its presence in Scotland at the new ‘EMEA Wilson Golf Competency Centre’ in Irvine.
Opened originally as Europe’s largest golf club manufacturing plant by seven-time Major winner Sam Snead in 1962, the Irvine facility now produces more than 70,000 custom-fitted clubs every year – including irons and wedges for 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, who last week took time out from his impressive season on the European Tour to mark the centre’s golden anniversary.
The popular Aberdonian – who has returned to winning ways with his Wilson Staff FG Tour irons and wedges since re-signing with the brand in 2010 – officially named the facility as Wilson Golf’s new ‘EMEA Competency Centre’.
“I’m delighted to be associated with Wilson and its facility here in Scotland, which I first visited more than 15 years ago,” said Lawrie, whose excellent performances this year have taken him to 29 in the world rankings, his highest ever placing. “A number of brilliant clubs have come out of this centre that have helped produce eight Major titles in the last 20 years. One of the key ingredients to my performance is the Wilson Staff FG Tour irons I’m using.”
Already providing one of the most efficient turn-arounds in customised golf clubs in Europe with an average of five working days from order to shipping, Wilson Golf’s Irvine base has benefited from extensive work with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, who have helped with assembly and dispatch logistics to ensure Wilson Staff clubs are now shipped to customers on average two days ahead of schedule.
A successful start to 2012 for both Lawrie and the Irvine centre has coincided with a strong year for Wilson Golf, whose growing market share has been helped by increasing sales of its popular Ci11 and FG Tour irons. Its parent company Amer Sports also recently announced a rise of 7% in net sales for the first quarter of the year.
“We’re proud of our history of winning more Major titles than any other iron brand, but also with our current product range that continues to be popular all around the world with players of all abilities,” said Doug Wright, Business Director for Europe at Wilson Golf. “The 50th anniversary ofWilson’s involvement at Irvine commemorates a golden era that’s given so much to the industry and we’re delighted that Paul can be with us today to mark the occasion.
“Paul’s form with the Wilson Staff FG Tour irons has just got better and better since he re-signed with the brand two years ago and we wish him all the best for a big year ahead that will hopefully include a second Ryder Cup appearance in Chicago, the home of Wilson Golf R&D,” added Wright.
Wilson Golf www.wilsonstaff.com