Lee Westwood Golf drives business in Florida

May 28th, 2013

Lee Westwood 34 red

INTERNATIONAL TRADE TO THE FORE AS LEE WESTWOOD GOLF DRIVES BUSINESS IN FLORIDA

 Lee Westwood Golf School, based in Tarporley, Cheshire, is aiming for international success with the recent opening of a new venture in Florida with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

The company is a family-run business that works in close collaboration with famous professional golfer Lee Westwood, who has won tournaments on every major continent, and has represented Europe for the last eight Ryder Cups.  In 2010 he became the world’s number one golfer, ending the reign of Tiger Woods and becoming the first British golfer since Nick Faldo to hold that position.

The ethos behind the golf school is to deliver an educational programme set within a golfing environment.  While some students aim to become professional golfers, others gain the experience and qualifications necessary to work within the golf industry on the business side.

Now the school has crossed the Atlantic with the Lee Westwood Golf School, Orlando at Errol Estate Golf & Country Club, which opened in August 2012.  The venture has already proved successful, with 8 students singed up within 6 months of opening creating over $150,000 of revenue.

Golf club memberships at the premises have also risen over 40% and the venue has received external investment as part of the facility overhaul in line with the Lee Westwood Golf brand guidelines.

Lee Westwood Golf has been working closely with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and recently completed Passport to Export, UKTI’s flagship programme for new and inexperienced exporters.  The business also made use of UKTI’s OMIS (Overseas Market Introduction Service) facility in order to research the US market and make valuable contacts.

Chris Knight, International Business Development Manager at Lee Westwood Golf School said,

“The Passport to Export programme has been fantastic and the OMIS research we commissioned through it helped us to understand the US market and to finalise an agreement with our American counterparts. Judith Kyle, our International Trade Adviser, provided great advice on the benefits available to us along with coordinating the rest of UKTI’s services.”

Judith Kyle, International Trade Adviser at UKTI North West said,

“Lee Westwood Golf is a well-known and respected brand in the UK, and clearly has the potential to expand to other markets.   Chris Knight has worked with UKTI to develop a strategy for overseas expansion, and the USA seemed a natural market to aim for given the popularity of the sport there.

“We have helped the company with research and contacts and advising on the practicalities of exporting, and are very pleased that the Orlando school is already successful.  We believe the brand has great potential and look forward to continuing to work with the Lee Westwood Golf School in future.”

The Director of Instruction Bryan Van Der Riet from the Orlando based School recently traveled to the United Kingdom to complete a weeks training with the two already established Lee Westwood Golf Schools located in Essex and Cheshire.  He said,

“It’s been an awesome trip, great to put faces to all the many names that are associated with such a world class athlete like Lee Westwood, they are such a great team.

“What makes this golf school so unique is that we have an international golfer that truly believes in the well-being and development of all the young men and women not only in the UK, but throughout the world.

“It’s an exciting time for our brand, lots of great programs offered, with many more to be launched in the near future and I have no doubt in my mind, that the Lee Westwood brand is going to grow and add another option to the international market. I’m so excited to be a part of such a great team.”

Lee Westwood has recently moved to Florida in order to take advantage of the weather, and has already had a successful start to the season with numerous top 10 finishes.

Lee said “I am extremely proud of my schools in the UK and am looking forward to seeing my first school in America at Errol Estate Golf & Country Club progress.”

Businesses can also get free help and advice on how to export successfully by calling UKTI’s North West International Trade Team on 0845 603 7053.

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