If you’ve ever wondered where PGA Tour players get their timeless belts, we found the spot — and it’s epic. House of Fleming in Atlanta, Georgia, makes alligator belts and exotic skin accessories.
Robert Fleming Childs, known also as Gator Bob and Bobby Belts, didn’t start this business with golfers in mind, and it wasn’t until teaching professional Butch Harmon asked for a couple of belts for a student of his in 1996. That student was Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods was the first golfer to sport House of Fleming belts and now these magnificent, handcrafted belts can be seen on players like Ian Poulter, Justin Thomas, Harold Varner III, Dustin Thomas, Shane Lowry, Phil Mickelson and in every major championship.
Justin Thomas hits his tee shot on the seventh hole during the final round of the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational golf tournament at TPC Southwind in a pink belt. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Childs didn’t come from an affluent background. It took maxing out a credit card in 1982 shopping for skins in France and a lot of hope to produce one of these belts. Childs had a vision of what his belts could be, but he never imagined they’d be worn by some of the best players in the world.
House of Fleming gets their materials imported from Italy in about every shade and finish under the sun. When you walk into the building you see exotic skins of all colors laid out and boxes of remaining skin pieces from previous projects. In addition to belts, he makes yardage books, shoes, purses, wallets, and coasters — and doesn’t say no to requests often.
Childs doesn’t spend money on marketing or trying to get his belts into top retailers across the company. His success comes from word of mouth. One of Bob’s favorite projects was when some of the 2020 Ryder Cup Team asked him to make specific Ryder Cup-themed belts as gifts for everyone.
Find out more about House of Fleming here.