Corporate Headquarters: Covington, Georgia
Chairman – Shigeru Nakayama
Dan Murphy – President and CEO
Elliott Mellow – Golf Ball Marketing Manager
Bridgestone Golf is an industry leader in premium golf balls, clubs and accessories under the brand names Bridgestone and Precept. The company has its roots as the world’s largest tire manufacturer and with the aid of around 900 engineers, Bridgestone has been on the cutting edge when it comes to polymer science.
The company has more than 800 golf ball patents and a roster of endorsers that includes Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples and Lexi Thompson.
Bridgestone Golf Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Bridgestone was founded by golf enthusiast Shojiro Ishibashi and in 1935 the company began the production of golf balls. Bridgestone’s engineering capabilities in the tire industry also led to a breakthrough in golf ball technology, leading to Bridgestone becoming the No. 1 golf ball in the Japanese market.
Bridgestone’s manufacturing of urethane golf balls uses an injection molding process rather than a traditional casting process, producing a seamless golf ball that is unique to the industry.
After finding many years of success in the golf ball market the company began to design and develop golf clubs in 1972. But it’s the golf ball side of the business that has helped delineate the Covington, Georgia-based manufacturer.
In 2006, Bridgestone revolutionized golf ball selection through the introduction of its custom ball-fitting program. The program identifies a golfer’s ideal golf ball based on their personal swing characteristics. Today the company is the No. 1 ball-fitter in golf and has conducted over 3 million personal fittings through a combination of live fittings, online selection, and its V-FIT video ball fitting. At the 2022 PGA Show Demo and Fitting Day Bridgestone debuted OTTO, an autonomous ball fitting cart. This innovation offers yet another way for golfers to find the perfect ball for their swing and will continue to be available at Bridgestone events and golf course partners.
Tiger Woods joined Bridgestone as a brand ambassador in 2016 and offers design input in addition to playing and promoting the company’s golf balls.
The company posted its most successful two quarters in company history immediately after signing the 14-time major champion and continues to see sales increases at several of the nation’s largest retailers.
Bridgestone’s major entry into the U.S. market occurred when Couples used the original B330 to beat Tiger Woods during a playoff in a 2004 Skins game.
The company, however, had already had a long history in the sport. Major technological advances in the 1990s included the first four-piece ball as well as the first three-piece urethane covered ball under the Precept brand. Bridgestone also introduced Seamless Cover Technology in 2001 to help with a more consistent ball flight.
Beyond the visibility of Woods, other factors that have bolstered Bridgestone’s growth include a hyper-targeted digital marketing campaign to raise brand awareness, and embracing ball-fitting systems and technologies to that allow golfers to find the right ball tailored to their game.
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