If you love golf like I do, you watch a lot of golf tournaments, take notice of on-course fashion trends and are constantly researching Players gear. Which is exactly what I found myself doing during the 2011 Masters Tournament.
Throughout the week I started to notice all of the Exotic Leather Belts that players were wearing, and with my designs set on buying a few for myself, I began to research who made these unique belts. Well, it didn't take long before found my answer; The House of Fleming.
Located in Atlanta Georgia, the House of Fleming has established itself as one of the premier manufacturers of exotic skin products in the world, and is the #1 supplier of belts to PGA Tour Professionals.
At the time, I was working as a PGA Professional not far outside of Atlanta. So I planned a visit to the HOF the following week with my sights set on purchasing a few belts for myself.
Upon arrival, my attention was immediately drawn to a beautiful display of exotic leathers located behind the counter. After browsing through many of the leathers, I began to learn about the bespoke belt process at the HOF. Bespoke is a term for made-to-order items, which means that they make every belt custom according to your specifications; you select the leather, size, width, stitch color, etc..
I then became very excited when I found the gray & white alligator skin that I had recently seen Dustin Johnson wearing during The Masters.
I quickly finalized my belt options with the staff and inquired about the price. I was then informed that my Antique Wash Gray Alligator Belt would carry a $600 price tag. GULP! In all honesty, I had no idea that a belt could cost so much, but then again this was my first bespoke experience. Needless to say, I was certainly felt out of my element and shocked by the price. Then I began to imagine the conversation that would take place later than evening between my wife if I had I just spent $600 on a belt.
Ultimately, I couldn't go through with the purchase. So I thanked the staff for their time and went home feeling both impressed at my experience at HOF, but also disappointed that I would never actually own one of their beautiful belts.
While on my way home, I began to think that it was a problem that someone would have to spend several hundred dollars for a unique belt like ones worn by Tour Players. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the moment when the Ace of Clubs was conceived.
One the next serval months, I investigated this problem further, which led me to start sourcing my own genuine cowhide leathers that were finished to look and feel like exotic animal skins, and the rest is history...