Phillip W. "Skipper" Young
Phillip W. "Skipper" Young, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded the rubber company in 1910 with two friends. The company, called Peabody, Young & Weeks was located in Acushnet, Mass. before moving to New Bedford, Mass. By the early 1920s, prices for rubber plummeted, forcing the company to shift its focus.
According to company legend, Young was a frustrated golfer, who decided one day to x-ray golf balls to find out why they did not go straight. What he found was that many of them were off center, so he decided to create a better golf ball, thus turning the company's focus to golf. By the early 1930s, the company was making golf balls with a machine that spun rubber around a core, leading to the "dead center" Titleist golf ball. The company sold its golf ball to only pro shops, creating a demand for the ball.
During World War II, the company concentrated its efforts on making equipment for the troops. Following the war, the sport of golf experienced a boom that helped establish Titleist as a leading brand in golf. In 1948, the company began selling a ball that contained the "dynamite thread" to boost yardage. In 1949, the ball was the most played during the U.S. Open tournament.
In 1962, the Acushnet Company started developing and marketing golf clubs, when it purchased John Reuter Jr., Inc., the company that was making the Bulls Eye putter. Seven years later, the company purchased Golfcraft Inc., a maker of golf clubs and bags. 1975 saw the company purchase Shelford Group of England, a golf cart business. One year later, Acuchnet was purchased by American Brands, Inc., a maker of consumer products such as Sunshine Biscuits and James Beam. In 1985, Foot-Joy was added to the family of brands Acushnet was making for the golf industry and by 2002 Titleist experienced over $1 billion in revenues. In 2010, Fila purchased Acushnet Company increasing the global reach of Titleist.