NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
TaylorMade Golf has been one of golf’s leading manufacturers of high performance equipment for almost four decades. The Carlsbad, California-based company was instrumental in ushering in metalwoods and, in turn, the modern era of clubs.
Today, TaylorMade continues to incorporate industry-moving innovations in its latest lines of metalwoods, irons and golf balls. TaylorMade is also a major force on the PGA TOUR with one of the strongest athlete portfolios in golf, including world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm. Paula Creamer is among the brand’s endorsers on the LPGA Tour.
“We continue to see advanced technology help golfers improve their performance, which is priority No. 1 for a business like ours,” says TaylorMade CEO David Abeles.
In the spring of 1979, a golf equipment salesman named Gary Adams took out a $24,000 loan on his home and founded the TaylorMade Golf Company. The son of a golf professional, Adams rented a 6,000 square-foot building that at one time housed a television assembly plant. There were three employees and a single, innovative product: a 12-degree driver cast of stainless steel that transformed the game, replacing persimmon as the primary composition material for drivers.
The metalwood not only looked and sounded different, it performed differently. The clubhead’s perimeter weighting offered more forgiveness on miss-hits while a lower center of gravity made it easier for golfers to get the ball in the air.
TaylorMade also gained notoriety with its Burner line, including the popular Burner Bubble that helped the company grow into the second-largest U.S. golf manufacturer in the 1990’s. In 1994, a Burner Bubble prototype used by Jose Maria Olazabal became the first metalwood to win at the Masters Tournament.
TaylorMade was purchased by Adidas-Salomon in 1997 and in 2006 became the second brand in industry history to reach $1 billion in revenues. The second-largest sportswear group in the world, adidas recently sold its golf brands – TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth – with New York-based equity firm KPS Capital Partners purchasing TaylorMade in May 2017. TaylorMade continued to make news in the golf world during 2017 with the signing of Woods and McIlroy and the continued success of Johnson.
Since it was founded, TaylorMade has maintained a relentless focus on innovation, and that has continued into their current 2018 product lineup. The recently launched M3 and M4 drivers feature what the company calls “a radical departure from traditional driver-face design” with Twist Face technology. After researching data from hundreds of thousands of real-player swings, TaylorMade’s R&D team uncovered a common trend in mis-hit locations and (negative) results which Twist Face is designed to correct. Utilizing a modified face contour, this latest innovation has once again evolved driver engineering to improve the performance of all golfers, from the seasoned Tour veteran to the weekend amateur golfer.
TaylorMade has firmly established itself as one of the most well-known and popular golf businesses in the world.
Driven by a focus on research and development as well as an aggressive marketing approach, TaylorMade over the years has been an influential innovator in the equipment space. In addition to the metalwood created by Adams – a modernization that became an industry standard – drivers like the Burner Bubble and R7, with its adjustable weights, continued to change the landscape of the club manufacturing market.
Adjustability, from weighting to loft to face angle, has become an industry norm and TaylorMade remains at the forefront of not only the equipment market, but has established itself as one of the most influential and innovative companies in the sport today.