NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Dr. Ben Huang, President and CEO
Mike Coelho, National Sales Manager
Jeff Shepherd, Marketing Manager
Don Bumer, Sales Manager
Winn is the first manufacturer to bring premium polymer golf grips to golf, mirroring its efforts in pioneering grips for fishing rods, tennis rackets and bicycles.
Winn’s polymer grip technology provides grips that are tackier and more comfortable than traditional rubber. Each polymer is uniquely formulated to achieve a different firmness, texture and weight to satisfy the individual needs of the sports participants it serves. By creating extremely comfortable, slip-resistant grips, the end result for golfers is increased sensitivity, reduced fatigue and heightened swing accuracy.
Winn Grips were developed by Dr. Ben Huang, who assisted Dr. Wernher von Braun at NASA in the design of the Saturn V Rocket which eventually took man to the moon in 1969. In 1973, he left teaching at Georgia Tech to develop Winn tennis balls and synthetic racket strings before developing synthetic polymer tennis grips in 1980. The first golf grips were developed in 1996, motivated by Dr. Huang’s bad experience with slippery golf grips during a golf academy trip to Northern California.
“My grips were so slippery that I had to strangle the club to control it,” Dr. Huang said. “The tension in my arms and hands made a smooth swing impossible. I knew immediately that I could design a better grip for golfers.”
By 2000, noted instructor Butch Harmon became the company spokesperson and Natalie Gulbis became a Winn LPGA Player Adviser in 2006. By 2002, Winn putter grips were used by 23 PGA TOUR winners, including three major champions.
Winn’s success has necessitated growth within the company, as Winn opened a third factory to include state-of-the-art material production, quality control and R & D facilities in 2001. The first company to create a polymer/rubber hybrid grip, Winn combined the durability and responsiveness of rubber with the tackiness and comfort of polymer.
The company’s success has also led to the development of custom grips used to raise money for medical research, military support and other charitable causes, including a partnership with the American Junior Golf Association.