American Golf opens three new 'concept stores'

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

Kevin Styles American Golf

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."

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x