Gary Adams, founder of TaylorMade, faced rejection when metal woods were first introduced back in 1979. Legends such as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson were among the golfers to turn their nose up at the idea.
Ron Streck, who had decided to put them in play, carded opening rounds of 68-68-62 and held a three-shot lead going into the final day of the 1981 Houston Open.
But torrential rain in Texas’ largest city meant Sunday was a complete washout. The tournament was cut to 54 holes and Streck was announced champion before he’d even got out of bed.
With it, Streck became the first ever PGA Tour winner using the revolutionary sticks from TaylorMade.
The win was the first of many for TaylorMade with metal woods and they have gone on to have some of the best players in the world use their clubs and win on a consistent basis.
Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are brand ambassadors, while the company also recently snared Tiger Woods after Nike pulled out of the equipment market – though since joining TaylorMade the 14-time major champion has only played 54 holes, having missed the cut at Torrey Pines and pulled out after the first round in Dubai.
Streck, though, would never win on the PGA Tour again after making history. He came closest just four years later at the San Diego Open but was defeated in a play-off by Woody Blackburn.
The now 62-year-old plys his trade on the Champions Tour where he has been victorious once.