A former college room-mate of US Ryder Cup star Hunter Mahan is the new marketing co-ordinator at Direct Golf, Europe’s award winning and leading multi-channel specialist golf retailer.
PGA professional Chris Clarke, 29, who hails from Sheffield but now lives in Rotherham, graduated in 2006, with a marketing degree from Oklahoma State University – where he roomed with both Mahan and European Tour star Alex Noren – before playing golf professionally for three years on the PGA Europro Tour, winning the PGA Leeds Cup in 2009.
He was then integral to the establishment of Waterfront Golf, a new golf facility in Rotherham, where he was an assistant pro and retail shop manager. In 2011, he moved to Direct Golf’s Huddersfield Stadium store and, within six months, was promoted to the company’s Doncaster store as professional golf advisor.
In 2012 he completed his foundation degree from the University of Birmingham to become a fully qualified PGA professional, and the following year was named Direct Golf’s ‘store salesman of the year’.
He explained: “After three successful years in retail I am excited at the new challenge which enables me to use my marketing qualification and knowledge in golf retail to help expand the Direct Golf brand to continue its success in a highly competitive market.”
Award-winning Direct Golf has 20 branches nationwide and was named ‘best mail order company’ for eight successive years in the Today’s Golfer reader awards. The company, founded by John Andrew, a Class AA, PGA professional, in 1991, has enjoyed massive growth in 23 successful years of trading.
It started with one small shop in Huddersfield, but its philosophy of cutting manufacturers’ recommended retail prices proved to be very popular with the golfing public and it quickly gained the reputation for the best prices in the UK. Backed up with fast delivery and world-class customer service, Direct Golf UK grew quickly into one of the largest specialist golf retailers in the UK and Europe.
And, earlier this year, it launched ‘golf’s #1 loyalty card’, which awards points for purchases made with 100s of major brands during everyday shopping – points which can now be redeemed in any Direct Golf store. It was another move in keeping with the company’s ‘making golf more affordable’ ethos.