US Open Golf Live: Britain’s leading golfers tee off in the US Open today chasing similar success to one Gloucester business has enjoyed on the other side of the Atlantic.Stewart Golf saw US sales of its trolleys soar to $2million in the first half of 2020 – four times the figure for the same period last year.
And part of the success of the Quedgeley-based business is down to social distancing.
With US golfers unable to share golf carts or rental trolleys, they have turned to Stewart Golf to enable them to take to the course safely without the need to shoulder a heavy bag.
To meet the demand, the company, which makes its trolleys in Gloucestershire, has grown its staff from 14 to 23.
The postponement of the tournament, the absence of the public and of qualifying make this US Open 2020 a historic competition. Golfers from all over the world will nonetheless gather in New York for this second major of the season. This year, the course takes place on the western part of Winged foot. The famous course offers an idyllic setting for an epic competition between the best golfers on the planet. Among the competitors, four French point the tip of their nose. Despite the lack of qualifications, Victor Perez, Romain Langasque, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Paul Barjon will be present this Thursday in the United States. They will play there the very first US Open of their career. In this tri-colored quartet, two owe their presence thanks to the world ranking. Indeed, Perez and Lorenzo-Vera (51st and 81st worldwide), were directly invited to the tournament as they are in the Top 100. On the other hand, Romain Langasque owes his presence to his recent success at the Wales Open. His victory at Celtic Manor saw him qualify directly for this major tournament. As for Paul Barjon, he secured his place thanks to his position in the Top 5 of the PGA Tour antechamber during qualifying. Currently eighth, the French is playing in the second American division (the Korn Ferry Tour).
The French know that the US Open is a tournament of a different size. Although the public is banned this year, the coaches, coaches, physical trainers and all volunteers bring people to the course. After spotting Winged football this Sunday, Romain Langasque expresses his fears. “The roller coaster trendy greens stood out for me. This is, in my opinion, the real difficulty of this course. It’s going to be quite a challenge, ”the Cabris native told the Team. The best French card will undoubtedly be Victor Perez. The French number one dreams of winning a major tournament one day. “It’s nice to perform well in a big tournament, to manage the pressure and the preparation well, and to be able to play to the best of my ability,” he said last month. The four French golfers will try to achieve a big US Open this Thursday.
Chief executive Mark Stewart said: “The US has been an important market for our business in recent years, but the last six months have laid bare the importance of exports to our company’s growth and resilience.
“Sales to the US have enabled us to continue expanding and we already have plans to increase our production space even further over the year ahead.”
Since establishing a base in Gloucester more a decade ago, Stewart Golf has exported trolleys to more than 40 countries.
It became a net exporter for the first time last year with 60 per cent of sales coming from outside the UK – a figure which rose to 78 per cent in June with 60 per cent of total output going to the US.
Minister for Exports Graham Stuart said: “Stewart Golf’s success is a fantastic example of British innovation in the sports sector and it is great to see their increased trade creating further employment.
“UK expertise and craftsmanship is in high demand in the US and elsewhere. This, combined with a future trade agreement, should encourage fellow businesses to look to the US market for export opportunities.”
A fourth round of trade negotiations is continuing this week with the Government looking to agree a deal with the US which will ease trade restrictions for small businesses.
Government analysis shows a free trade agreement between the nations will provide a £3.4billion boost to the UK economy as the trade deal will increase transatlantic trade flows by £15.3billion