History of TaylorMade Drivers

By Matt Manco

Gary Adams started TaylorMade in the late 1970s out of his home in Illinois with an idea that the two-piece golf ball wasn't a fad. Adams recognized the way irons interacted with the new balls and believed steel drivers would outperform the persimmon drivers of the day.
 

Founding

Gary Adams approached PGA touring pro Ron Streck in 1978 with three metal woods. Adams' metal woods out-drove some of the longest hitters on tour, and at that year's PGA Merchandise Show he received close to $50,000 in orders.

Pittsburgh Persimmon

The company's drivers earned the nickname "Pittsburgh Persimmon" as TaylorMade used steel rather than persimmon to construct their drivers. Adams and Streck started stamping it on the toe of all their drivers, and it developed into one of their strongest lines throughout the 1980s. In the process, golf adapted to the the popular "metalwoods" seen today. 

Burner

In 1983, the Burner and Tour Burner were introduced and the company boasted 147 tour pros as product ambassadors. By 1986, the Burner became the No. 1 driver in both categories.

Major Breakthroughs

Curtis Strange won the 1988 U.S. Open with a Burner driver, giving TaylorMade its first major championship. The company claimed its first Master's in 1994 with a prototype of the Bubble Shaft.

300 and 500 Series

In 2000, the 300 series became the number one driver on tour--the 300, 320 and 360 were developed for the three most prevalent swing types. The R500 series was introduced in 2002, featuring the inverted cone technology.

The r Series

In 2004, r7 quad came along with its movable-weight technology and won 24 of 48 tour events. The following year the r5 was is introduced and became the second-most used driver on tour, behind the r7. TaylorMade continued to develop the r7 by introducing draw models, 460cc models and introduced the Burner series with a bullet shaped head for increased swing speeds.

 

About The Author

Matt Manco is a freelance writer based in New England. A member of the award-winning Maroon student newspaper at Loyola University, his work has appeared across the Beacon Communications newspaper and magazine group as a local government reporter and photojournalist.

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