They spent their teenage years working as caddies at golf courses in the Lothians – and now they are set to return with their own clothing brand for the Open Championships.
Royal and Awesome is the latest offering from the team that created the world’s most popular fancy dress brand, Morphsuits.
The brand is the brainchild of brothers Fraser, Ali and Graeme Smeaton and school friend Graeme Menzies, from Gullane.
They will return to the village when the 2013 Open Championships get under way in East Lothian next month.
Ali, 32, said the story of their success began when they started working as caddies at Muirfield and Gullane Golf Club during school and university holidays and volunteering as “score-boarders”. He said: “We all started caddying around the Gullane courses and then Muirfield when we were about 13 years old.
“We would go round the 18 holes imparting our local knowledge that we had from growing up there and we got to know some pretty successful and interesting people. We couldn’t really have had a better experience.”
Described as taking the history and heritage of golf in Scotland and adding fun and colour, Royal & Awesome has a lot to celebrate.
Impressive first-year sales are set to double this year and the firm has a growing Facebook following of more than 65,000 golfers.
Ali said: “The idea for the golf brand, with the patterns and colours, is that in the same way as the Morphsuits, they really stand out from the crowd.
“Golf is a sport that is steeped in rules and tradition but within that people really want to have fun.”
The brand’s clothing has regularly increased its range over the last year and now has collections for men and women, which include trousers, shorts, skirts, plus twos, shirts and accessories.
The team has already achieved global success after unveiling the Morphsuit through parent company AFG Media, selling 500,000 outfits each year and generating annual revenues of more than £10 million.
The entrepreneurs will be donning their dazzling clothing at the Open and marking the occasion with a series of events, giveaways and competitions.
Anyone wearing Royal & Awesome clothing will received discounted taxis and free drinks at three pubs after each day’s play – The Old Club House in Gullane, The Nether Abbey in North Berwick and Ducks in Aberlady – a nod to the brand’s strapline of “for the pars and the bars”.
Fraser, the chief executive of AFG Media, said: “Having attended primary school in Gullane and then North Berwick High School, we really are the local lads.
“We are now proud to be heading back home as a team of successful golf entrepreneurs and looking forward to having some fun.”