Woodworm signs Els

Flintoff's bat-maker signs South African to head new brand of golf clothing as Appleby wins again with Zen Oracle putter

Bob Warters's picture
Mon, 24 Apr 2006
Woodworm signs Els

Woodworm’s Test heroes Pietersen and Flintoff

The company that makes the cricket bats that Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen smash around the world in England’s Test Match cause, is set to diversify into golf clothing.

Woodworm, based in West Sussex, emerged from obscurity last year to claim 10 per-cent of the lucrative cricket bat market when signing up the England stars on the eve of the Ashes victory. It has now agreed a five-year deal for World No.5 golfer Ernie Els to endorse a new range of golf clothing.

The South African is also in the same management stable as Flintoff – International Sports Management headed by Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler – and will help design the range to wear in US and European Tour events.

He said: "In no time Woodworm has become a household brand in cricket. The challenge is to achieve similar success in the golf clothing market and I’m hugely looking forward to my partnership with Woodworm."

Woodworm bats cost between £115 and £220 for adults and the company, which has received a seven figure cash injection, is set to sell more than 30,000 bats this year doubling its profits to £2.5million by September.

Appleby with his Zen putter

Australian Stuart Appleby won his second US tour event of the season yesterday – the Shell Houston Open – using the Zen Tour blade putter which also claimed the Mercedes Championship in January.

The Zen Tour Blade putter, with its distinctive hole in the sole, is the latest innovation that also incorporates a practice aid and new technology in the face to counteract the adverse effect of the golf ball dimples.

With its ‘dimple error technology’ to improve the accuracy of putts and help them stay on line with a truer roll, the putter has proved a crucial factor in Appleby’s success.

Says Nick Middleton, the company founder: "Advances in the modern golf ball might be gaining straighter yardage on the fairway, but it’s performance gained on the green where we need to focus. Stuart is a free spirit and quickly spotted the improved accuracy our putter developed."