The Worlds Worst Golfer

How hard could it be to become a champion golfer?

When Maurice Flitcroft and his wife Jean acquired their first colour TV in 1974, he was immediately transfixed by the gentle swings of the players and the little white balls that plopped so softly onto the green.

It all looked so effortless: a painless route to fame and fortune. So, buoyed by dreams of becoming the next Jack Nicklaus, Flitcroft sent off for a mail-order set of clubs and balls. There was no time to waste. When the balls arrived a week ahead of the clubs, he turned his mother-in-law’s walking stick upside-down to practise putting into coffee cups. Then, two years later, in 1976, a brand-new ‘champion’ gatecrashed his way into the annals of British golf.

For Maurice Gerald Flitcroft  –  otherwise employed as a crane driver at Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria  –  became world renowned by clocking up the highest ever score in the 116-year history of the British Open.

Afterwards, upon being informed of this feat, his ageing mother asked: ‘Does that mean he’s won?’ A reporter gently explained that the whole point of the game is to achieve a low score. ‘Ah well, they all have to start somewhere,’ said Mrs Flitcroft.

In retrospect, Flitcroft’s score of 49 over par, or 121  –  a record that still stands  –  was not surprising. When he entered the British Open, he had never played a full round of golf. Golf club membership in Barrow-in-Furness was too expensive, so he’d practised at Sandy Gap on Walney Island  –  a wind-lashed stretch of golden sand that stretched as far as the eye could see. But this was for only two hours a day, after which the tide came galloping in and on several occasions nearly drowned him. Still, as Flitcroft’s friends remarked, it was the one place where he could be guaranteed not to accidentally hit anyone with his club.

During the winter, he could be found on the local rugby fields in wellies and a bobble hat, whacking golf balls in the snow, hail and rain. To add to his troubles, his Alsatian dog Beau insisted on catching the balls in mid-flight. No one could accuse him of not trying. And, by God, did he try.

Flitcroft looked an unlikely sporting hero. A long, narrow nose separated two bulging eyes and his mouth was so small that it was hard to detect the presence of any teeth. (Often he wouldn’t wear his dentures as he thought he ‘pretty much looked the same’ without them.) But his most striking feature were his ears, which protruded from his head like two halves of a radar dish.

Home was a tiny gun-metal grey council house in which he lived with his wife Jean  –  a sweet-natured Brenda Blethynlookalike  –  and their twin boys, who would later take turns at being his caddy. No one in the family had ever played golf before. Nor had any of Flitcroft’s friends; it was as foreign to them as ice hockey or polo. But it is only fairly recently, after Maurice Flitcroft’s death in 2007, that the full story of his incredible escapades has been told, in an entertaining new book.

Authors Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby had the help of his unpublished memoirs and the testimony of his long-suffering friends and family  –  who, despite (or, perhaps, because of) the many embarrassments they witnessed him endure, seem to have adored him.

maurice jean‘Little did I dream that such a simple act as taking up a game would have a profound effect on my life,’ he wrote in his memoirs. ‘I would become famous, headline news, hailed as a hero on one hand and ridiculed on the other.’

His march towards the headlines began in the mid-Seventies, after he started learning to play with the help of books from the local library. In one of them, he found an address for the organisers of the British Open –  and his pulse quickened. The championship was called the Open, Flitcroft concluded with impeccable logic, because it was open to anyone. But the entry form from the Royal &  Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, which runs the annual Open, stumped him. To enter as an amateur, he would have to submit a certificate showing he had a handicap of one or less. But, luckily, professional golfers didn’t have to submit anything. Nor did they have to be ‘attached’ to a club.

Soon, confirmation arrived by post that Maurice G Flitcroft, 45-year-old virgin professional golfer (unattached), had been chosen to play at Formby Golf Club, near Liverpool, in one of the five qualifying tournaments for the Open on Friday, July 2, 1976. Four months later, he arrived with minutes to spare and had to change from wellies to his tattered (plastic) golf-shoes in the car park. Red-faced under his blue fisherman’s hat, he scampered to the first tee just in time to hear his name being announced.

Another player, Jim Howard, described his first shot: ‘The club came up vertical and went down vertical  –  it was as though he was trying to murder someone.’ His ball sailed through the hazy summer sky and landed just 40 yards down the track. There followed several encounters with bushes and sand-banks, but he comforted himself that even Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros miscalculated a few shots. There were also cries of alarm when Flitcroft’s shot narrowly missed a couple of competitors.

After finally staggering off the 18th green, he did some rapid maths and worked out that to qualify for the Open, he’d have to compensate for his abysmal 121 round by shooting 13 holes-in-one the next day. It was time to go home.

Meanwhile, news of Flitcroft’s recordbreaking round had reached the man who ran the Open  –  Keith Mackenzie, secretary of the R&A and a former major of the Gurkhas. Furious to learn that an imposter had broken into his fiefdom, he immediately ordered that Flitcroft should be kept away from the press.

maurice
Too late. A phalanx of photographers was snapping the bemused new record-holder (without his false teeth  –  he’d whipped them out as they were loose). Asked to explain his score, he said: ‘I suffer from lumbago and fibrositis, but I don’t want to make excuses.’ He went on to compliment Formby Golf Club ‘for the quality of its putting surfaces, as in texture and pace they resemble my living-room carpet, which I practise on every night.’ He concluded cheerily: ‘I’ll see you next year, fellas.’

Not if the by now incandescent Mackenzie had anything to do with it . . . ‘We don’t like anyone making a monkey out of the Open Championship,’ he proclaimed. ‘He will not enter again. If he tries to play next year, we will be waiting for him.’

Three days later, Mackenzie wrote to the English Golf Union pointing out that as Flitcroft had declared himself to be professional, he was now unable to join any club as an amateur and should be debarred. It was a masterstroke. As Flitcroft could not join a club as an amateur, he would never be able to gain the handicap needed to go professional.

Flitcroft was shattered. He felt, he confessed in his memoir, that he had been made the victim of a terrible injustice, born of class prejudice. As time went by, this increasingly rankled. He hid behind a fake handlebar moustache. So he decided to hell with pompous golf officials, he’d enter again. This time, he used a pseudonym, James Vangene, on the entry form  –  only to pull out of the competition after his fibrositis started playing up. The following year, he entered as Gene Pacecki and was drawn to play in a pre-qualifying round at South Herts Golf Club.

But Flitcroft was having a bad year. His employers, less than happy to read about his triumph at the Open when he was off sick with a heavy cold, had demoted him from cranes to boiler room duties. When Flitcroft was, in his own words, ‘forced to challenge the authorities about conditions in the boiler room’ they sacked him.

Still, that meant more time to practise. Every day, he sneaked into the lush cricket field of Park View school, less than half a mile from his home, where he tore up divots and enraged the school janitor. Eventually, he moved onto the football pitch. Soon, packs of children started gathering to hurl abuse, along with boiled sweets, sticks, mud and stones, at him during their breaks.

One day, suffering another attack, Flitcroft raised his four-iron in the air and made a frenzied charge at his aggressors. But they soon crept back to goad him  –  watched by teachers sipping tea at the windows.

flitcroftThere followed weeks of pitched battles as Flitcroft, 47, desperately attempted to improve his game. He started waking up at night, sweating. The slightest noise would make him spin on his heels, half-expecting a catapulted pebble. But he made it to the 1978 Open qualifiers  –  albeit in the guise of Gene Pacecki, for which he’d grown a huge handlebar moustache. Despite looking like a low-grade pimp, he played four holes before being told that his ‘poor form’ was affecting the other competitors’ chances. Flitcroft was gratified to have his £35 entrance fee refunded.

In 1980, Pacecki was ready to compete again  –  in the final qualifying round at Gullane Golf Club, near Edinburgh. Arriving the day before with his son James, Flitcroft got lost and pitched his tent in the dark on an open stretch of land. The next morning, when he popped out in his Y-fronts to do his stretches, he was surrounded by officials with walkietalkies. He had pitched his tent on the golf course. A migraine put paid to his chances that year, but 12 months later he turned up at a qualifier at South Herts golf club.

As his strokes grew ever wilder, word spread that a madman was playing in the Open. Again, one of the blazers escorted Mr Pacecki off the course. By then, Mackenzie  –  alerted by Pacecki’s soaring scores  –  had put two and two together. To ensure that Flitcroft never entered the Open again, he sent him a telegram turning down Pacecki’s new application and followed it up with a blistering letter.

Enter the up-and- coming Swiss professional, Gerald Hoppy, who was accepted for the regional qualifier at Pleasington, near Blackburn, in 1983. On the morning of Flitcroft’s fourth Open attempt, he clamped a deerstalker on his head and glued a drooping moustache to his top lip.

Alas, Hoppy/Flitcroft’s game went from bad to worse. And it was noted that his caddy (his son Gene) was wearing ordinary shoes and carrying a shiny red golfbag  –  as well as what looked suspiciously like a handbag. When Mackenzie learned that his nemesis was yet again sullying his greens, he exploded. Another letter was quickly despatched, this time threatening legal action. Flitcroft  –  who’d by now been fined £50 in the Barrow Magistrates’ Court for playing on school property  –  refused to be cowed. He wrote back, accusing the Open set-up of being ‘too autocratic, too hide-bound by conventions, not to mention upper-class snobbery and conservatism’.

He added: ‘I am not about to throw it all away now that I am so close to succeeding. I have been insulted and abused, pelted with stones, held up to ridicule . . . in spite of this I shall continue to succeed as a professional golfer.’

And so he carried on. Growing bolder, Flitcroft started writing to car manufacturers to ask for sponsorship ‘as it takes me 40 minutes brisk walking to get to and from my place of practise’. But one after another, Ford, Rover, Volkswagen, Talbot, Renault and Peugeot all politely declined to have their brand associated with the world’s worst golfer. Also turned down was a Flitcroft challenge to the secretary of the R&A to a golf duel. In truth, though, he was getting older and his passion was starting to wane. Which is what made the letter that arrived one day in 1988 from America seem all the more like a miracle.
The organisers of a golf tournament in Grand Rapids, Michigan, had been following the Flitcroft odyssey from afar and wished to invite Maurice and his wife, Jean, as guests of honour  –  all expenses paid. Flitcroft was beside himself with excitement, though uncomfortably aware that he needed new golf clothes and a suit. The heavens smiled on him again, however, when Jean suddenly won a whopping £300 at bingo. At the age of 58, he was about to embark on his first ever aeroplane flight and his first holiday abroad. The airline managed to lose all the Flitcrofts’ luggage, but nothing else could mar their fortnight of bliss. At Grand Rapids, they were put up in a luxury suite at the Marriott hotel, given the keys to a gleaming white limo and presented with three silk ties, six crystal tumblers embossed with leaping stags and £600 donated by members of Blythefield Country Club.

Naturally, as guest of honour, Maurice Flitcroft  –  unemployed crane driver from Barrow  –  was asked to take the opening drive of the tournament. He glanced at the TV cameras and waved to the hundreds who had come to see this ‘golfing phenomenon’. Then he walked slowly to the tee.

‘It was a huge moment for him,’ recalls Terry Kirkwood, a close friend. ‘Everyone was wondering what sort of shot he’d hit off the first tee. With the cameras rolling and the crowds watching, he could have been forgiven for topping it 20 yards. But he didn’t.’ Maurice would always recall what happened next as the apogee of his golfing career.

‘I got set, swung my driver and hit a super tee shot straight down the middle of the fairway  –  approximately 225 yards,’ he wrote in his memoirs. There was a sudden hush. Had the good folk of Grand Rapids been palmed off with an imposter? Could this really be Maurice G Flitcroft, of British Open renown?

‘That first hole made some onlookers suspicious,’ Maurice admitted later. ‘But if any suspicions had been held, they were quickly dispelled when I settled down and topped a few fairway woods, thinned a few long irons and shanked one or two chips early on in the round.’

In other words, the Phantom of The Open was once again back on form.

Flitcroft passed away in 2007 where in his obituary, The Daily Telegraph commented:

“Maurice Flitcroft …was a chain-smoking shipyard crane- operator from Barrow-in-Furness whose persistent attempts to gatecrash the British Open golf championship produced a sense of humour failure among members of the golfing establishment.”

Maurice Flitcroft: Phantom of the Open is available to buy here.

Author: Corrina Honan @ The Daily Mail

Hit, Miss or Maybe: ShiteShorts.com

About:

From the creators of ShiteShirts (and as previously blogged about here) comes the perfect compliment, ShiteShorts.com.

Be you on the beach or just chillin’ in the sun, or rain for that matter, ShiteShorts will add a little spice. Just like the concept born by their elder brother, the ShiteShirt, on purchasing a pair of ShiteShorts you are entering a ShiteLottery. You won’t be able to control the make up or design of the garment but you’ll just know that it will be an amalgamation of beautifully made madness.

You can brighten up your lower half, lighten up your life and your knees won’t know how to repay you. With each pair being unique, ShiteShorts allow you the individualism at the heart of the ShiteWear philosophy. Holidays will never be the same.

Additional information:

The wonder of Anti-Fashion, the marvel of anti-Bespoke, the shiteshorts in your wadrobe will be completely random. It is simple.  A ShiteShort is a pair of shorts like other shorts, it has some pockets and a zipper. The cut is slim and long.  Like other shorts, ours are beautifully made… However, a ShiteShort is different from your average piece of attire. 

 It is made up of 8 ShitePanels (that’s what we call the different parts of the shorts):
 
(1)    Right Front Leg
(2)    Left Front Leg
(3)    Waist
(4)    Fly
(5)    Right Pocket
(6)    Left Pocket
(7)    Left Back Leg
(8)    Right Back Leg

A ShiteShort can be made out of up to 8 different fabrics and there is no control as to what fabric goes where.  You may have a shirt made out of one ludicrous piece of cloth, or you may have anywhere between One and Eight separate materials with different mad designs and colours, You will only know once you open your ShitePackage.

On buying a ShiteShort you are entering into the ShiteShort Lottery.  It is complete chance what combinations, colours, patterns and madness you will receive for your £24.50.  Good luck: Go forth and be Shite.

Verdict:

In exactly the same way that I promoted ShiteShirts previously and in the same way that I was genuinely excited by the product, and how they built the process of buying (including  the development of the “brand”), I am all for this one.

I know many of my friends who have worshipped at the alter of their new Shiteshirt since my Hit, Miss or Maybe article sung its praises and I will likely be repeating myself for this new addition to the range.

Ive been watching the ShiteShirt Facebook page grow and develop, and see the traffic searching for Shiteshirts on google and I am impressed by what these guys are doing. As a laugh or not – it seems they have genuinely stumbled upon something of interest, marketed in the right way and most importantly at the right price (only £24.50), to the student, frat, younger male generation who seek these things to be different.

What next I hear you ask? The shite app? The shite shoe (called the kicker?)? My mind is racing…

As such, once again, this little business and brand extension, for me is………………an enormous HIT! I certainly applaud the team behind it and what they have done. At some point Im sure their time will come to get more professional – but for now, I am enjoying wearing my shirt with pride and await the shorts following them through the letterbox very soon.

There may be no way to control the make-up, design, or fabric of your short. It may be slightly crazy and it may be disgusting. However, it will definately be Shite! But all we know is that there is only one way to achieve this individuality…

Hit, Miss or Maybe: MadBid.com

About:

MadBid.com launched in August 2008 in London and are now the UK’s leading pay-to-bid auction site. Described by many as the future of online shopping, its aim is to offer our customers a unique, fun and secure way to shop online. All whilst offering huge savings (on average 80%).

Well, as you’ve probably seen already, they have a great range of products available and they are selling for an average of 80% off RRP. You probably thought to yourself like many others…how is this possible?

So basically everyone who is bidding has purchased their credits and for every bid you place, between one and three bid credits be deducted from your account and the price of the auction will increase by just 1p. So there you have it…One Great Product, One Great Price!!

At MadBid.com they have over 1,600 products available for auction from top brands at up to 80% off the RRP. They also offer our ‘But it Now’ option on 25% of our product range at the moment.

What makes MadBid.com so great?

  • Average saving of 80% on RRP
  • 100,000+ closed auctions to date
  • Over 1,500 different products available
  • 100+ auctions a day
  • Fast Delivery
  • Widest range of secure payment methods
  • Risk free bidding with our ‘Buy it Now’ option
  • UK based customer service with assistance by e-mail, phone and live support
  • The UK’s most popular pay-to-bid auction site

At MadBid.com they believe in helping others which is why we are proud to support The Children’s Trust, our 2011 official charity partner. To date they have raised over £5,000 for charitable causes and hope to push on and raise another £20,000 for The Children’s Trust in 2011.

Additional information:

My comments:

I have to say it seemed like a good idea as I hastily headed online to see if I could grab myself a bargain and having run an auction style website (www.FootballAid.com) previously, I know the significant benefits in creating interesting and engaging means to interact with customers and through auctions, remove much of the administration in haggling, bargaining and generally selling and taking payment. Plus, depending upon what is being auctioned, its often creating a great PR story too.

However, I cant help think that this is like the good old American radio competitions of the 80’s – where the last person left standing after days of clutching on to a brand new car on a garage forecourt gets to drive it home! I felt a little like that while I was constantly believing I was close to winning when in the end someone else, somewhere in the world put a bid on that out bid my bid and keeps the auction going for 30 seconds longer.

In some ways, it smacks of teenage wanton desperation and in reality I think its probably a truck load of slightly outdated excess stock from Argos or another high street retailer thats been piled high in a warehouse and this online mechanic is a means of getting shot of the stuff. Although I could be wrong – I know others who have created apparently succesfull busines ventures from that very premiss – but its a bit Del Boy and Rodney for me.

Verdict:

The genesis of the idea is incredibly simple and it clearly is easy to bag yourself quite a bargain – if you like pink laptops cheap or have more time than you know what to do with to sit up half the night and make some bids for stuff that, essentially, you dont need! The site itself is fairly easy to use – helped by video tutorials. It is engaging – but only for a short time – and I cant see some of my vintage playing for too long on this before heading along to Currys or Argos and buying the thing for real.

This is a MISS for me but I know that others out there will swear by it and have the pink laptops and 60 inch plasma TVs to prove it!

Hit, Miss or Maybe: Parkrun.com

About:

parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; we welcome you all.

Using the events page, select the event you are most interested in and review all the information about the course, local news items, the photo gallery and information about volunteering. Also, take a look at the extensive results page where you will find an incredible amount of information about your past performance.

My Parkrun is an event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9am on Edinburgh promenade.

It is not a race against other runners, but a 5k timed run and it can really be whatever each runner wants it to be, whether that’s for fun or as part of a training plan.

It offers an opportunity for all the local community, male or female, young or old, to come together on a regular basis to enjoy this beautiful park and get physically active into the bargain. We want to encourage people to jog or run together irrespective of their ability – this event is truly open to all and best of all it really is FREE!

Taking part is easy – just register in advance by 6pm on the Friday before your first ever parkrun here. The great thing is that you only ever need to do this once! Then just set your alarm for Saturday morning and get yourself there!

After the run, if you don’t have to get off straight away, there will be the chance to socialise with everyone at the Café to maybe swap stories about your run that day, chat to other runners over a cup of tea or coffee and just be an important part of this new running community.

So whether you are a complete novice looking to get yourself started on your own “running journey” or a seasoned athlete wanting to use this as a part of your training schedule, you’re welcome to come along and join us.

Additional information:

If you fancy coming along for the first time – make sure you have registered and also read the course description.

If you take part in a race, check out the results page and news page which includes race reports – parkrun normally update these within a day of the event. Theres even event photos so make sure that you look at how great you look! Lastly, there are interesting stats by Country and by each Parkrun event on athletes, best timings, distance run, total time – just to make it interesting!

My comments:

Im going to do this for the first time this weekend – I’ve signed up, Ive printed my registration pass and while I am pretty unfit (Ive ran 3 miles three times since February!) this might just be the spur on that I need – provided it doesnt get in the way of my golf!

I would however, like to take my dog!

I think this seems to add a lot of fun for potential irregular and unfit runners and assist them to take fitness and running slightly more seriously and in the company of other like minded people.

Parkrun is unique: it is run with the financial support of sponsors including Nike, Lucozade and Sweatshop – so successful has Parkrun been, that sponsors’ representatives can often be found taking part in a parkrun. That way Nike, Sweatshop and Lucozade Sport interact with the parkrunner is testament to their passion for and knowledge of what it is we do.

parkrun aims to have an event in every community that wants one and is seeking volunteers to bolster the organised runs in more locations across the UK and into Europe.

I think that the Parkrun idea is an incredibly simple one. Its driven by sponsors, its free for participants and therefore there are no barriers to entry. We should all be undertaking some form of moderate exercise and this is perhaps just one way that is more cost effective than joining a gym to do something small, fun and engaging every week.

As for the business side of things – something are often more important than just making money!

Verdict:

The genesis of the idea is incredibly simple. The site itself is fairly easy to use – and promises that the only difficult bit (printing the registration card!) is a one off thing! Its engaging for all abilities, all ages and backgrounds.

Without question for me – this is a huge HIT! (But Ill let you know how my legs feel on Saturday!)

Hit, Miss or Maybe: ShiteShirts.com

Shiteshirts.comAbout:

ShiteShirts are born for the lottery-loving idiot. The wonder of Anti-Fashion, the marvel of Anti-Bespoke, a shiteshirt in your wadrobe will be completely random.

There is no way to control the make-up, design, or fabric of your shirt. It might be slightly crazy. It may be disgusting. It will be Shite!

There is only one way to achieve this individuality.

Frat Parties, stag nights, random parties, festivals, or holidays, for any use really. ShiteShirts add spice, and spice is nice. How about giving one to your dad?

Play the ShiteShirt Lottery now and show them your look.

Additional information:

This is no joke and it really is simple.  A ShiteShirt is a collared shirt like other shirts, it has some buttons and even a pocket.

The cut is the standard cut of a casual dress shirt, buttoning up on the front and at the cuffs.  Like other shirts, ours are beautifully made… However, a ShiteShirt is different from your average piece of attire.

It is made up of 10 ShitePanels (that’s what we call the different parts of the shirt):

(1)    Right Cuff
(2)    Right Arm
(3)    Right Front
(4)    Left Front
(5)    Left Arm
(6)    Left Cuff
(7)    Collar
(8)    Breast Pocket
(9)    Shoulders
(10)  Back

A ShiteShirt can be made out of up to Eleven different fabrics and there is no control as to what fabric goes where on the shirt.  You may have a shirt made out of one ludicrous piece of cloth, or you may have anywhere between One and Eleven separate materials with different mad designs and colours, You will only know once you open your ShitePackage.

On buying a ShiteShirt you are entering into the ShiteShirt Lottery.  It is complete chance what combinations, colours, patterns and madness you will receive.  Good luck: Go forth and be Shite.

Verdict:

After a woeful weekend for sport including United on the cusp of overhauling Liverpool FCs 18 Premier League Titles, the tragic death of cyclist Wouter Weylandt and the inevitable passing of Seve Ballesteros – Ill take a short break from all things too serious (Carpe Diem and all that!) to introduce this to you. I hope that, as it did to me; it brightens up your day – and likely quite literally at that!

I have to say, regardless of how succesfull and what people actually think of the name (which will put some people off), I think the idea for creating truly unique (novel/one off) shirts at a ridiculously affordable price is a great idea – they are only £30! They have their target market licked – stags and novelty parties, they have appropriate images in the picture section and they have a catchy relevant name and logo for much of their market. So far so good.

Im sure they probably need some extra promotion (and Im happy to oblige if I can) and I cant wait for my Shiteshirt to drop through my letterbox (I do have some stag parties to attend in the coming months so it wont go to waste!).

And whatever the content of the package that drops through my door – I know Im a ShiteShirt lottery winner! (They have even made the process of buying it sound like fun!)

It may not be entirely professional or sophisticated, perhaps not relevant to Fettes Management Limited, but its fun, its unique, its a someones entrepreneurial idea and whoever is behind it, we should applaud them for taking the time, for making the effort and taking their crazy idea to the market!

As such, this little business venture, for me, is a big big big HIT! Its certainly a big, big, big laugh! Well done to the team behind it. Go and add some colour to your life – have a giggle – and do it in a ShiteShirt.

What do you think?

Hit, Miss or Maybe: INAA.com

About:

At I need an appointment the passion for excellence in digital marketing, complements their passion for all elements of the beauty sector. Born out of a desire to make the complicated easy, INAA has a single ambition — to bring the beauty of selecting services online to its customers.

Customers visiting the site are inside the UK’s first booking portal dedicated to the hair, beauty and spa sector. For salons they give the opportunity to fill appointment diaries, and for customers, provides the facility to book all their treatments online.

30 million people now shop online in the UK.

It is simple to use and intuitive. And to ensure its meet customers continuing needs and expectations, INAA.com have our own technical support, customer services hub and software development teams in the UK.

INAA.com opens up a new experience for customers — who can check out timings, pricing, services and products in their local area and receive confirmation of what interests its customers via SMS text and email.

Additional information:

3 clicks and you are booked! They could not make it easier!

Blog pages detail really good articles of relevance to the audience but it seems largely directed at a female audience.

My comments:

INAA.com is a really good looking site. It is simple to use and it is very in keeping with its largely female audience. The blogs are relevent and the process to secure an appointment probably could not be simpler – and unlike Groupon (which seems like a desperate act for its users) this appears a high class way of working on behalf of salons, spas and beauticians as a new sales platform but critically driven for the benefit of the customers who use the site.

Good social networking links as well to ensure that you never forget INAA.com and will always be kept up to date with their offers.

This is another fine example of an SME enterprise truly considering the opportunity that it has created and delivering it to the best of its abaility. I would probably like to also see a “blue” version of men – as I also think that this would be a goer….

Verdict:

The site is brilliant. Its easy to use, its classy and its funky and its fun – exactly as it should be. As above – I would like to see a male slanted version but ultimately this is a cracking offering for the large female audience that it has been built for.

I also think that there would be scope for mobile/iPhone versions of this – with vouchers and bookings confirmed in this way via an application.

A big big HIT!