40 years of innovation, performance and community impact

(Business Spotlight: TaylorMade Golf)

Innovation is at the soul of
TaylorMade Golf. With the launch of the Original One in 1979, founder Gary Adams introduced metalwoods into a golfing world previously dominated by persimmon drivers. That lineage of challenging the norm has propelled TaylorMade to the pinnacle of the game, landing them among the leading performance brands in golf.

The company’s 43 years of existence, the majority of which has been spent in Carlsbad, includes a long history of technological first and innovations: 

• 1979 – First metalwood, The Original One

• 1987 –First hollow foam iron, Tour
Preferred TD

• 1995 –First Bubble Graphite Shaft, Burner Bubble Driver

• 2000 –Emergence of custom fitting with the 300 Series Drivers

• 2002 – Introduction of the Rescue club

• 2004 –Introduction of Movable Weight Technology, R7 Quad

• 2006 –Creation of Pure Roll Insert for putters

• 2008 – First Spider Putter introduced

• 2009 –Introduction of the Loft Sleeve
for advanced club fitting, R9

• 2010 –Golf’s first 5-layer Tour ball and predecessor to TP5/TP5x, Penta TP Golf Ball

• 2011 –Introduction of the white driver, R11

• 2012 –Speed Pocket takes off, Rocketballz Fairway Wood

• 2017 –The elevation of multi-material construction drivers, M1

• 2017 –Creating a new irons category with P·790, the Player’s Distance Iron

• 2022 –Ushering in the Carbonwood Age with golf’s premier carbon-face driver, Stealth

These innovations have changed the arch of TaylorMade’s business and the entire industry. The company’s propensity for multi-material designs, contrasting colors and adjustability have permanently alerted the standards for excellence in golf equipment design. 

“Being an industry leader requires you ride the winds of change and embrace a journey into the unknown,” said TaylorMade President & CEO David Abeles. “We have a history of fearlessly pursuing technology to help golfers play their best. At our core, innovation is what we do, and golfers are who we are. People, products and purpose. That’s what it means to be Team TaylorMade.”

As Abeles alludes, much of what makes TaylorMade one of the most sought-after golf brands, in addition to high-performance equipment, is the intentional effort to connect with golfers at every level. Brand pillars such as originality, relatability, competitiveness and golftimism (defined as having the mentality of “I play as often as I can, and I can’t wait to play again”), shape every decision brand leadership makes. From signing marquee athletes like Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Nelly Korda and Collin Morikawa to creating engaging content to distribute to an audience of more than 3.9 million golfers, TaylorMade blends modern marketing with an authentic love for the game to connect with all golfers.

In addition, the brand has expanded its social responsibility efforts through its imaginative 1PUTT team. The in-house Purpose & Unity Think Tank helps guide the brand’s direction in this space by orchestrating key strategic partnerships and initiatives, such as the relationship with Youth on Course – a non-profit aimed at breaking down barriers to entering the game by subsidizing rounds, allowing 140,000 kids around the country to play for $5 or less.

TaylorMade teamed with Youth on Course to create a special subset of the membership called DRIVE Club…Diversity. Respect. Inclusion. Voice. Equity. The inaugural class (2021) included individuals representing more than a dozen cultures/ethnicities. This special group of youngsters played golf for $1 and had the opportunity to earn TaylorMade gear simply by playing the game they love. In 2022-23, the program expanded to include Community Hubs – select sites where DRIVE Club members can invite friends from their community to experience golf for free. Juniors may apply for DRIVE Club membership through an annual application process.

“We’re proud of our ongoing work within 1PUTT and in partnership with Youth on Course. We recognize and embrace our responsibilities to the game, its future and the communities in which we live and work,” says CFO Rick Paschal, who also serves on the board of Youth on Course. “Yes, creating performance golf equipment is our No. 1 priority. However, our position as an industry leader goes well beyond the products we create. It extends to how we interact with people and the actions we take for the betterment of our game and our communities.”

The values reflective of the TaylorMade brand permeate the hallways of the company’s Carlsbad headquarters, energizing employees each day. In short, working at TaylorMade is a vibe. That was proven when the company was named to Newsweek’s list of Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces in America. 

The results were determined after surveying more than 1.4 million employees from businesses with workforces varying in size from 50 to more than 10,000. The list recognizes companies that put respect, caring, and appreciation for their employees at the center of their business model and, in doing so, have earned the loyalty and respect of the people who work for them.

As the game and industry evolve, TaylorMade keeps an eye on the future. Earlier this year, the brand invested significantly in PopStroke, joining an ownership team that includes Tiger Woods. The cutting-edge putting and dining facilities blend fun, technology and golf into a casual and inviting environment, embracing the trend of welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds to experience golf in new ways. PopStroke represents the next level of innovation within the TaylorMade business and mindset.

“We will never stop innovating in everything we do,” adds Abeles. “From our products to our partners to the way in which we interact with golfers. Innovation is in our DNA, and we’ll continue to push the limits of what’s possible in golf.”