American Golf has opened three new ‘concept stores’ in the South of England as it continues to defy gloomy economic conditions in the retail sector.

The new stores – which combine technological advancements, such as video swing analysis and virtual reality golf nets, with PGA-qualified professionals – are located in Hedge End, Stevenage and Canterbury.

American Golf plans to add 30 new stores to its pre-existing portfolio over the next three years, creating 250 jobs.

The new concept stores will also be used to trial new technological innovations, including the 3D Biomechanical K-Vest swing system in Hedge End.

“As the business was founded in the North West, our store portfolio is naturally weighted towards the North and Scotland,” said Kevin Styles, American Golf’s CEO.

“But we believe there are significant growth opportunities for us in other parts of the country and especially in the South, as there are more golfers in this area than anywhere else in the UK.”

There number of golfers in the UK is roughly four million. The British Golf Industry Association estimates these players spend up to £400m on equipment each year.

Peter O’Riordan, American Golf’s Operations Director, added: “The combination of technological advances, the widest brand offering and expert counsel from PGA Professionals ensure our customers receive the best retail golf experience in Europe.”