Golfers often hit Edwin Watts before hitting the links. Edwin Watts Golf is a leading golf specialty retail chain in the US. The company operates more than 70 stores in 10 mostly southeastern states and Texas, as well as shops inside Sears stores. Edwin Watts Golf stores stock clubs, golf balls, bags, training aids, and more. The company also sells golf equipment by catalog and online, and it operates a club leasing program for novices and golfers who like to try out state-of-the-art gear. Edwin Watts Golf was founded in 1968 as a small pro shop at the municipal golf course in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, by brothers Edwin and Ronnie Watts. It is owned by an affiliate of investment firm Sun Capital Partners.
Edwin Watts Golf was one of several retailers that Sun Capital acquired in 2007, but the deal was the investment firm's first venture into sports retailing. Since then Sun Capital has worked with Edwin Watts to strengthen its brand by expanding its store presence. To this end, the company in 2010 opened a dozen Edwin Watts golf shops inside Sears department stores (located in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Texas, Utah, and Virginia). Edwin Watts also acquired and rebranded five Southern Golf Partners stores in Florida and Georgia as well as a Double Eagle Golf store in Tennessee. The company also suffered a setback in 2010, when its franchisee in Massachusetts split with Edwin Watts and rebranded the stores there under the Golfology banner.
Aside from its bricks-and-mortar operations, Edwin Watts Golf keeps its eye on its direct-selling business. The company's mail-order division ships more than 200,000 packages annually. It distributes about 14 million copies of its seasonal catalogs worldwide, and its website offers more than 1,000 products from 75 manufacturers. – less