BANGKOK – In a further alliance of homegrown Thai-golfing enterprises, Fenix Golf has joined Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience as official apparel provider.
Golf in a Kingdom (www.golfinakingdom.com) is the private marketing cooperative whose growing membership ranks already include Thailand’s best golfing venues and hotel accommodations, in addition to the Tourist Authority of Thailand and tour operator Golfasian (www.golfasian.com). Hilton properties in Thailand officially join the consortium in August.
Bangkok-based Fenix Golf (www.fenixgolf.com) might be the fastest-growing golf apparel company in Asia. Launched in 2008, it has built a stable of more than 20 touring pros who wear Fenix; the company was recently named the official apparel provider to the Asian Tour’s Brunei Open; and its corporate clients include names like Credit Suisse Singapore, Chevron, Deutschebank Asia PAC and Standard Chartered Singapore, Brunei.
All the top golf clubs in Thailand already stock Fenix shirts, hats and specialty items, including all seven Golf in a Kingdom member courses:
- Thai Country Club in Bangkok
- Chiang Mai Highlands Country Club
- Muang Kaew Golf Club in Bangkok
- Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin
- Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin
- Siam Country Club, both the Plantation and Old courses, in Pattaya
“There’s a great deal of synergy between what we at Fenix are doing, and what Golf in a Kingdom are doing. It made eminent sense to team up formally,” said Fenix CEO Michael Moir. “We’re a Thai company that serves the Thai market, of course, but this is the top golfing destination in Asia. We’re about reaching the golfers who visit Thailand on holiday – and so is Golf in a Kingdom.”
“So many golfers from Asia, Europe and North American visit Thailand and return year after year. We want to build our brand with these golfers and have them take the Fenix name back home with them. We can better expose our product and our brand to these golfers enhancing our relationship with the golf resorts we know they’re going to be visiting.”
As Thailand continues to shake off the deleterious tourism effects of April’s political upheaval – after strong June visitorship, The Tourism Council of Thailand is expected to adjust this month the number of tourists expected during 2010 by 5-10% – Golfasian CEO Mark Siegel said that Fenix Golf is the logical apparel partner for Golf in a Kingdom.
“Not just because they are based and do business here in the Kingdom,” Siegel said, “but because Mike and his team have developed attractive, quality products – retail lines and custom orders – that people want to wear. Look at all the pros wearing Fenix today. Our clients fly in from all over the globe. When they kept asking where they could get more Fenix products, I could see Mike was really onto something.”
“The difference between Fenix and other golf apparel companies doing business here is pretty stark. Fenix will custom-manufacturer anything, for anyone who orders 100 or more shirts. They sit with the customer and let them design the shirts themselves!”
There are indeed more than 10 pros wearing Fenix, including U.S.-based Australian Scott Hend and Thai-based Brit Simon Yates, both of whom split time between the European PGA and Asian tours. The latest is Chayuda
Singhsuwan, who is also sponsored by Golfasian. Just 19 years old, “Toom”, as she is known, turned pro in late 2009 and has already made her mark on the Thai and Chinese LPGA tours. On June 13, she carded a final round 69 to finish third at the Orient Wenzhou Championship, the third tournament of the China LPGA Tour schedule.
Ninety percent of Fenix products are manufactured in Thailand, and 80 percent of the company’s sales remain the staple items of golfers everywhere: shirts and hats. However, the company’s top-selling new items include custom-crafted, oversized belt buckles, the likes of which have become the signature of pros like American Anthony Kim and Japanese Shingo Katayama.
The other is what’s known as a Boston Bag, an attractive duffel that holds a change of clothes, shoes and various toiletries. It’s what you need in Thailand, where golf is always followed by a shower in luxurious locker-room facilities and relaxing meals & drinks in the country’s opulent clubhouses.
“That’s the model here and, along with players like Toom, it’s a worthy export to the rest of the golfing world,” said Moir, a native Scot. “Thais love their golf, and they have their own organic golfing culture, their own golfing heroes, their own après golf habits, and their own standards of fashion – one that we’ve met with sophisticated, performance sports apparel.”
“There really is no better place in the world to play golf than Thailand. I lived in Singapore for 5 years prior to Bangkok and whilst there are nice courses there, you do not get the VIP treatment like you do at so many of the fantastic courses in Thailand. Those who live here may not not understand how spoilt we are! Those who visit, on the other hand, will always remember their experience in the Kingdom.”