A Sutton Coldfield businessman has manufactured a new product which he believes will allow golfers to play their favourite sport in all weathers without damaging those precious greens and fairways.
Nigel Nangreave also believes that his environmentally-friendly golf tee will catch on with climate conscious players as it cuts out the use of plastic tees.
Divot-Stopper, as the new tee is called, holds the golf ball securely in place while allowing enthusiastic players to take resistance free shots without taking chunks out of the precious turf. And, as each paper Stopper costs only 2p, it is a cost-effective way of preserving the fairways as global warming leads to more and more water logged courses.
Mr Nangreave, who trades as Nangreave Green Tee Golf, said: “There are five million regular golfers in the UK and 80 per cent of them are using plastic tees which aren’t environmentally friendly.
“My new paper version is 100 per cent recyclable and surprisingly durable, while costing less than it would to repair a divot. Not only does it save damage to the fairway in winter months when courses are often too waterlogged to be playable, but it also saves players getting mud and grit flying onto their clothing and in their eyes.”
Mr Nangreave believes the Stopper will wipe out unnecessary use of plastics while, being biodegradable, it is more eco-friendly.
In an innovative move, he also thinks the paper tee has plenty of advertising potential as its size means corporate sponsors could print their logos and messages on them.
He is currently looking for businesses interested in developing this idea. Mr Nangreave’s local golf club, Aston Wood in Sutton Coldfield, was sufficiently impressed to allow golf professionals to test the product and as a result, the club has ordered 10,000 Divot-Stoppers.
After seeking the advice of Business Link West Midlands, the Lichfield entrepreneur now wants more clubs to see for themselves the benefits to fairway and player by investing just £10 for a sample pack of 400.
He has also put together a demonstration on his website a – www.divot-stopper.co.uk – and is confident that sales will take off as green keepers and players realise its benefits.
He said: “It’s estimated that, every time a player takes a chunk out of the turf on the fairway, it costs 5p to repair.
“There are 46 potentially damaging shots in every round of golf played and, with up to 200 golfers a day using a course, these costs rapidly mount up. The Divot-Stopper costs only 2p so investing in it obviously makes sense.”
Business Link Adviser and keen golfer Steve Taylor said: “I’ve used the product myself and proved it works and I think there is definitely potential for a successful business.
“Nigel’s next step is to approach as many clubs as possible at the upper end of the market, as these will be the ones who actually care about the quality of their fairways.”
“Divot-Stopper has already been endorsed by golfing professionals and, if green keepers can see the value of this new product, it should succeed,” he added.
By 2010, Business Link will have helped 70,000 businesses every year with basic information, with a further 16,000 receiving intensive support from experienced advisers.
This level of support is expected to generate a £400 million improvement to the economic performance of the West Midlands.