TaylorMade CEO David Abeles on skipping the PGA Show, and the clubmaker’s recent resurgence
It is not unusual for a major manufacturer to decide to skip the PGA Merchandise Show. It has happened before, and likely will happen again. But the industry’s annual celebration of the game’s best new products and the rocket-ship jump start to the golf season is still attended by tens of thousands of golf’s leading influencers, from PGA professionals to business leaders and worldwide media.
So when TaylorMade made the decision last fall that it would not be attending the Show, many were curious whether it was a cost-cutting decision or, perhaps more tellingly, where the future of one of golf’s iconic brands might be headed. In an hour-long conversation, TaylorMade CEO and president David Abeles was relentlessly ebullient about the strength and resurgence of his brand, eager to redefine the relationship between golf companies and their customers and frank about why his company is spending PGA Show week 2,500 miles away from Orlando back at the home office in Carlsbad, Calif.
Here are some highlights of that conversation: