Golf pro Harper swings into new venture

James Harper

James Harper

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Professional golfer James Harper is taking a swing at setting up his own business – to give golfers in the area a new and unique opportunity to improve their game.

James Harper Golf is up-and-running at Hub Two on the Queens Meadow Business Park in Hartlepool.

Seaton Golf club member James, 34, has invested thousands of pounds in his new business to bring the very latest equipment and technology to the North-East for the first time.

He has installed an indoor putting area, digital video cameras, high definition display, video analysis software and SAM PuttLab, the most comprehensive putting analysis technology available.

Having played golf since the age of 11, he turned professional in 2006 and is also using his engineering background and his qualification as a Golfsmith Advanced Clubmaker/Clubfitter for his new business.

“I love playing and I love helping people with their golf,” said James.

“I want to use my experience and this great technology to provide a first-class all-weather golf coaching and custom-fit facility.

“I am starting with putter fitting and analysis but plan to extend that, over the next few years, to cover all aspects of the game and set up a driving range.”

The indoor facility and equipment allows James to coach players in real time, they can see their action and posture immediately from all angles and the ultra-sound measuring system records every movement from a clip on the putter.

Clients take home a DVD of their session and James also provides independent advice on buying new equipment or can adapt existing equipment.

“I look at every aspect of someone’s game from posture to equipment and work with absolute beginners to professionals,” he said.

“With the right technique, players also protect themselves from injuries and strains.”

An initial two hour appointment with James is charged at £45, covering all aspects of putter fitting and analysis.

Other services include golf club loft and lie checks, re-grips and re-shafts along with sales of putters and training aids.

“As a professional I have played many courses and seen the best technology,” said James.

“I wanted to provide that in the North-East as, until now, golfers had to travel to Manchester or Leeds.

“I am very excited about starting my own business and Hub Two is the ideal modern environment for me with the benefit of free parking,” he added.

The SAM PuttLab analysis system is portable so James can hire out his services for corporate and charity events, tournaments and golf days.

With hundreds of golf clubs, teams and competing professionals in the region he is confident his business will do well.

Hub Two on the Queens Meadow Business Park in Hartlepool, is the recently completed extension to UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre.

Simon Hamilton, Regional Manager for UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Having an indoor putting range in our Centre is a first for us but it just demonstrates the wide range of new and expanding businesses that we are now supporting in our Centres in Tees Valley.

“We wish James every success with his new business.”

James Harper Golf is on 01429 874 501 and at www.jamesharpergolf.com.

Full details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for business is available from 01642 777 777 and at www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk.