The last 18 months have been a whirlwind for Stitch Golf founder and Raleigh resident Charlie Burgwyn. In that time, he and his partner Steve Pena have created a multi-million-dollar business, selling more than 200,000 hand-sewn leather golf club head covers to players all over the world.
The idea for the streamlined covers – all hand-cut and hand-sewn in Cary –came to Burgwyn when he spotted a hole in the golf gear market. A former PGA professional and Callaway Golf salesman, he realized that aside from hats and some shirts, there weren’t many golf accessories that cost from $35 to $50. Most golfers used the head covers that came free with their clubs, which he considered bulky and out of proportion with the smaller bags on the market.
They also didn’t have the cool factor he thought was missing. A 1958 Porsche speedster he spied, adorned with a stripe down the middle and a number, inspired the company’s first design, the Racer. Pena, a former designer for Callaway and Ashworth Golf Co., brought design skills, and Stitch Golf was born.
It didn’t take long for pro shops around the world – from Raleigh to Pebble Beach, and throughout Japan, Korea, and Europe – to stock Stitch covers. The pair have made custom covers for Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, each embroidered with the Presidential seal. For rocker Alice Cooper, they made a set featuring his name dripping in blood. Condoleeza Rice, John Madden, and Dan Marino have custom covers, too.
Burgwyn says he’s lucky in lots of ways, not least because of his hometown. He can get textiles for liners and fine leather from the furniture market in High Point and can stay close to his manufacturing, with sewers on site. “The Triangle is just a think tank of really creative people,” he says.
For more information, go to stitchgolf.com.