NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
James Ledford, President
Brandon Sowell, Director of Sales and Marketing
Steve Davis, Chief Technology Officer
Adam Rowen, Director of Global Operations
Gary Diaz, Director of Global Finance and Accounting
Golf Pride is the world’s largest manufacturer of golf grips, with sales and distribution facilities on six continents. Golf Pride is consistently identified as the number one choice of golf grips among recreational golfers, Tour players, and club manufacturers alike. Top 100 companies such as Callaway, PING, TaylorMade, and Titleist all opt to use Golf Pride in their standard offerings.
For more than seven decades, Golf Pride has been a global leader in golf grip evolution and technology, from the invention of the slip-on grip, groundbreaking advancements in cord grips, and most recently its ALIGN technology that encourages consistent hand placement and its new CP2 line with Control Core technology.
A division of power management company Eaton, Golf Pride has had a renewed focus on continuing to innovate in the grip category. In fact, the company has introduced more new product innovations in the last five years than it did in the preceding 20 years combined. Approximately 50 percent of the company’s overall sales are coming from products introduced since 2014, speaking to innovation as a catalyst for Golf Pride’s recent growth.
Golf Pride enjoyed another banner year in 2019, with 13 times as many PGA TOUR victories as its nearest competitor and wins at all four majors. At the season-ending Tour Championship, Rory McIlroy won the event as well as the FedEx Cup title using Golf Pride’s swing grips and putter grips.
“We continued our run of success in the game’s biggest events with some of our most trusted grips, and we saw several of our newest and most innovative technologies gain traction on TOUR garnering marquee wins,” said Brandon Sowell, global sales and marketing director for Golf Pride.
The company, which recently relocated its corporate headquarters to Pinehurst, North Carolina, lays claim to more major wins than any other grip in history.
The new facility in Pinehurst, right next to the resort’s No. 8 course, has a unique space to accelerate product development and manage the global fulfillment of product around the world, featuring an R&D lab with rapid prototyping capabilities, as well as a new consumer grip fitting studio.
Golf Pride was founded by Thomas Fawick, who revolutionized the golf grip category in the 1950s and 1960s by showing how molded rubber provides the most playable and highest-performing grip surface available.
More than 80 percent of Tour professionals choose to play the company’s grips without being paid to do so – that in itself is a strong endorsement in an age of multi-million dollar sponsorship deals.
A brand with a rich history in golf dating back 70 years, Golf Pride was an innovator with its slip-on rubber grip. Before that, grips were molded directly on to the shaft, making it almost impossible to swap them out. The innovation opened the door for efficient equipment assembly as well as a full-fledged grip replacement business in pro shops.