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Swing Through Time and Uncover the Fascinating History of TaylorMade Golf

Over the years, TaylorMade has earned a reputation for being one of the most innovative companies utilising technology and design ahead of its competition. Its equipment is used by some...

Over the years, TaylorMade has earned a reputation for being one of the most innovative companies utilising technology and design ahead of its competition.

Its equipment is used by some of the biggest stars in golf and has captured its fair share of major and global successes.

Like any other company, TaylorMade started from small beginnings before becoming the globally recognised brand it is today.

Join us as we celebrate all things related to TaylorMade and uncover:

  • The Origins of TaylorMade
  • Nine Key Innovations Introduced by TaylorMade
  • TaylorMade's Professional Staff
  • TaylorMade at Nine by Nine Golf

The Origins of TaylorMade

TaylorMade was founded in 1979 after its founder, Gary Adams, secured a $24,000 loan on his house to get things started.

With financing in place, the next step was to rent space to build an assembly line, which Adams achieved. With a total of three employees (Adams included) set about designing and building their first product - the 1Metal/Pittsburgh Persimmon, which we'll take a closer look at shortly.

TaylorMade's success was initially linked to the metal woods they produced, with the follow-up to the 1Metal/Pittsburgh Persimmon being the iconic Burner series of metal woods launched in the mid-80s.

In 1997, TaylorMade was bought by Adidas, which helped take TaylorMade to the next level of product development while bolstering the business's infrastructure. Under Adidas' tenure, clothing company Ashworth and Adams Golf was purchased, expanding Adidas' portfolio in golf further.

In 2017, Adidas sold TaylorMade to private equity firm KPS Partners in a deal worth $425 million. The change in ownership hasn't affected TaylorMade's ability to innovate the golf club industry.

We can pick out many iconic clubs, balls and technology from TaylorMade's current range and back catalogue to demonstrate how the company has changed the club and ball market.

But none of that would have been possible if it wasn't for the first product, which was destined to change the driver market forever and help instigate the end of persimmon-made drivers - the 1Metal/Pittsburgh Persimmon.

Tiger Woods TaylorMade Stealth 2 Golf Driver

Nine Key Innovations Introduced by TaylorMade

We've picked out the following nine key breakthroughs and industry-defining technologies TaylorMade has been responsible for which are:

  1. 1 Metal/Pittsburgh Persimmon Driver, 1979
  2. R7 Quad Driver, 2004
  3. Rescue Club, 2003
  4. Spider Putter, 2008
  5. M1/M2 Drivers, 2016
  6. P790 Irons, 2017
  7. Speed Injected Twist Face Technology, 2019
  8. Carbon Face - Stealth Driver, 2022
  9. TP5/TP5X Golf Balls

1. Metal/Pittsburgh Persimmon Driver, 1979

Launching a new golf club company is a highly risky business, but establishing a new one and making your first product a real challenger to the status quo is potentially even more risky if not courageous.

When TaylorMade was founded in 1979, persimmon dominated driver and fairway wood construction.

When TaylorMade launched its first product within the first year of its existence, it was sending a clear message that this company was founded on innovation and taking golf into a new era.

TaylorMade's first product raised eyebrows at launch not just because it was a new driver in the market from a new company but also because the driver featured a stainless steel head - the 1Metal.

Stainless steel was lighter than persimmon, which meant that the club head could be bigger without adding weight and helped increase forgiveness and club head speed.

The launch of this driver spearheaded the move for professionals from persimmon to metal. The first victory on the PGA Tour was chalked up in 1981 by Ron Streck using the updated version of the 1Metal - the Pittsburgh Persimmon.

The name Pittsburgh Persimmon was derived from Pittsburgh being at the heart of America's steel-producing industry and persimmon, denoting that this club was a driver equal to the persimmon-made clubs of the day.

2. R7 Quad Driver, 2004

TaylorMade moved the driver market to a new level with the launch of its new R7 Quad driver in 2004.

The main talking point was the introduction of moveable weights in the club's sole. One weight port was positioned in the heel with another in the toe, and two weight ports were placed in the rear. The weight ports were filled with screws of different weights, which were interchangeable.

The idea behind what TaylorMade christened "Moveable Weight Technology", was to alter the mass of the driver by moving the weighted screws into the most appropriate ports.

If you wanted to draw the ball, the heavier weights were positioned in the heel and rear heel ports, allowing the toe to close faster through impact and create a draw-spin.

If you wanted to create a higher ball flight, you could position the heaviest screws in the two backports. Alternatively, if you prefer a lower, more penetrating ball flight, move the heaviest screws to the heel and toe weight ports.

What we witnessed for the first time was a driver head that could be customised to straighten a golfer's bad misses and alter the shot's trajectory.

3. Rescue Club, 2003

Professionals were looking for something different that could offer a higher trajectory and give more stopping power than their long irons.

The answer came in the form of the Rescue Club, which debuted in 2003.

Similarly lofted to the equivalent long iron and looking like a cross between a long iron and a fairway wood, TaylorMade created a club that looked easy to hit. With a small, extended area behind the club face, the centre of gravity could be pulled further and deeper away from the face to increase forgiveness and create that ideal higher-flying shot.

The Rescue grew in popularity with both professionals and amateur golfers offering a much more attractive alternative to the difficult-to-hit long iron and appealed to golfers who didn't get with the looks of more lofted fairway woods.

The Rescue club also provided a viable option for hitting out of the rough, as the wider sole could move through the longer grass without digging into it.

The Rescue club and hybrids produced by other manufacturers have effectively killed off the need for a two or three-iron to be carried by most amateurs and professionals.

4. Spider Putter, 2008

Hard to believe, but the original concept that led to the current Spider range of putters was launched in 2008 as the Monza Spider. The idea was to prevent the face from twisting offline through the stroke by stretching the centre of gravity as far back from the face as possible and creating two weight ports in the heel and toe.

The weight ports created a high Moment of Inertia, allowing golfers to start the ball on its intended line with a square face.

The Spider ranges we see now from TaylorMade have stayed close to the original 2008 release.

TaylorMade Spider Putters

5. M1/M2 Drivers, 2016

A new era for driver technology was introduced when TaylorMade launched the M1/M2 drivers in 2016. What made the M1/M2 drivers stand out was the successful mating of a carbon fibre crown to the traditional titanium face.

The drivers also featured a distinctive look, with part of the crown area near the face in white and the carbon fibre section of the crown in black, ensuring this was another TaylorMade driver that would really stand out in the crowd.

The M1 differed from the M2 in that it featured two moveable weight tracks formed as a "T" pattern on the sole of the club that could alter the driver's mass from front to back to create a low-spinning bomber with the weight forward or a more stable higher-launching driver.

The second weight track could move mass from the toe to create more fade bias or move the weight to the heel to favour a draw shape.

The M2 didn't have moveable weights in the sole but featured TaylorMade's "Speed Pocket" placed in the sole just behind the face to help increase ball speeds by removing weight from this area and increasing the club face's flexibility.

6. P790 Irons, 2017

TaylorMade's iron offerings over the years have been strong, mixing a fine selection of blades, player's cavity backs, and maximum forgiveness irons for higher handicap golfers.

But, in 2017, TaylorMade created a new category in the iron market with the launch of the P790. Looking similar to a blade at address and in looks, the P790 featured a hollow construction between the face and the back of the iron filled with SpeedFoam to help increase ball speeds and feel.

Tungsten weighting was also used to help optimise the head's centre of gravity to increase forgiveness across the face, featuring a thinner construction to further improve ball speeds at impact.

TaylorMade P790's

7. Speed Injected Twist Face Technology, 2019

2019 saw the launch of what proved to be the last of the "M" series drivers with the introduction of the M5 and M6.

A closer inspection of the faces revealed two small coloured ports on the face. These ports were where resin had been injected into the face to bring the drivers back to the legal limits while allowing consistently fast ball speeds across all parts of the face.

Twist Face was introduced with the launch of the M3/M4 drivers and was designed to help straighten out shots that were hit from the heel or toe of the face by contouring the face.

8. Carbon Face - Stealth Driver, 2022

The benefits of using carbon in driver construction helped lower weight for increased club head speed while giving more options for weight displacement, and along with TaylorMade, other manufacturers were incorporating carbon into their designs.

TaylorMade upped the ante with the launch of their first carbon-faced driver in 2022 - the Stealth driver series.

TaylorMade created the new face by blending sixty layers of carbon to make a face stronger than titanium but also 44% lighter, creating a more significant spring effect and delivering higher ball speeds at impact.

TaylorMade Stealth Driver

9. TP5/TP5X Golf Balls

The only five-piece constructed golf ball on the market features three core layers that get progressively stiffer to improve compression at impact.

High-Flex Material (HFM) forms the fourth layer, helping to create more speed off the club face, with the fifth layer being a soft, polyurethane cover delivering the feel and spin for control with the shorter clubs and putter.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls

TaylorMade's Professional Staff

TaylorMade's professional staff roster is one to envy. They currently have world number one, Scottie Scheffler, plus world number three, Rory McIlroy, along with strong representation in the women's game. Current world numbers five and eight, Nelly Korda and Charley Hull, are also TaylorMade staffers.

Other notable players in TaylorMade's lineup include Tommy Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa, and Tiger Woods.

TaylorMade staff players have faired well in the majors, especially at The Masters, where three out of the last five winners were TaylorMade staff players - Tiger Woods, 2019; Dustin Johnson, 2020; Scottie Scheffler, 2022.

Tommy Fleetwood TaylorMade Golf

TaylorMade at Nine by Nine Golf

We are proud to stock the full 2023 lineup of TaylorMade's products, which can all be custom-fitted to your exact requirements.

If you want to come in to try anything from the Stealth 2 driver to the MG4 wedges, don't hesitate to contact us to arrange a fitting session.

Alternatively, if you know exactly what you are looking for and want to build your own custom club or clubs, our website features all TaylorMade's products with extensive custom options for shafts and grips.

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