|By: James E Obrien|
That Changed the Face of Golfing
Taylor Made, like many golf manufacturing companies was started by a golfing fanatic. Gary Adams was an entrepreneur who spent as much time on the golf course as humanly possible.
His singular claim to fame was the development of the metal wood that literally changed the face of golf forever.
In 1979, Adams's patented, stainless steel Taylor Made Metal wood clubs made their first appearance at the PGA Merchandise. The odd looking clubs did not exactly take the golfing world by storm. The average golfer was not exactly ready to spend his or her hard earned money on a strange looking golf club made by an unknown company.
Gary Adams knew that unless he could convince professional golfers to use and recommend his golf clubs, the average golfer would never even consider buying them. It was a herculean task, but somehow Adams convinced 47 professional golfers playing in the 1979 PGA tournament to use his Taylor Made Metal woods. Fueled by this exposure, skeptics turned into buyers and sales began to rise. By 1983 Taylor Made Metal woods were prominent on the PGA tour and soon metal became the preferred material used in the golf club manufacturing process. Adams' aggressive pioneering had borne great rewards.
However, the what have you done for me lately syndrome ran head first into Taylor Made. For the rest of the 1980s, while other golf club manufactures were making great strides, nothing new came out of the Taylor Made factories. In fact, it wasn't until the mid nineties that Taylor Made introduced its new Burner Bubble driver. The driver's innovative shaft, that helped golfers swing faster without exerting extra effort, became a success after a prototype Burner Bubble driver became the first Metal wood to win at the Masters. However, the metal wood concept was so popular that Taylor Made continued to grow and prosper.
During that static period, Taylor Made, like many companies that start with a great idea but can't follow through, knew that the entrepreneurial vision needed to be replaced with a corporate structure. In 1984 Taylor Made was acquired by French Ski equipment manufacturer Salomon S.A. It was a good merger for both entities. Salomon received a strong entry into the rapidly growing golf market and Taylor Made got financial stability and a more organized management structure.
The corporate stage of Taylor Made's growth was led by George Montgomery. He led Taylor Made from the sixth largest golf manufacturer in the United States to second, only behind Callaway Golf. Taylor Made also produces a line of golf bags and stands.
In 1997, Taylor Made was acquired by Adidas, AG and became part of the worldwide Adidas sporting family. The company has continued to grow and prosper and is still one of the most respected names in golf.
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