Tom Olsavsky is the VP of R&D at Cobra-Puma Golf but has also worked for Titleist and TaylorMade.

When he’s not helping Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau getting fitted into new Cobra product, he’s working on the next equipment innovation at Cobra’s Carlsbad HQ.

We’ve met a few times to talk about product but at the 2017 PGA Show we got to know the man himself a little better…

Tom Olsavsky

Where did you grow up?
Youngstown, Ohio, in the Midwest. A steel town, at the time. I went to school in Ohio and got a mechanical engineering degree.

When did you get into golf and why?
In 1990. I was always a golfer, I’ve played since I was very young. My dad and I used to build clubs, repair clubs and refinish clubs in our basement.

I always had a hankering for the equipment – going to golf shops, looking at golf clubs.

What was your first job in golf?
When I got out of school I got into the automotive industry. It was OK, but a little bit boring, and I saw an ad for an engineer job with a golf company, so I thought I’d give that a try.

The company turned out to be Titleist , so I went and designed golf clubs for Titleist .

What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?

Tom Olsavsky Justin Rose

The best decision for me was coming to Cobra-Puma Golf. I did that about three and a half years ago.

I was at TaylorMade prior to that, and Titleist before that. Three very different companies, but I’m having a lot of fun now.

I left TaylorMade at a good time. It was doing well, but the opportunity to come here was right. It was a good challenge, a good opportunity, and for me it was a lot of growth in my career.

And the worst decision you’ve ever made?
There are some product innovations you attempt every now and then that you think they are going to be the next big thing but it doesn’t really happen that way.

It hasn’t happened in my time at Cobra-Puma, but certainly at the other companies…
Not naming any names?

If you could give one piece of advice what would it be?
Have fun. This is a game. Don’t take it too seriously. It’s a game you can play for a long time in your life.

If you’re having fun and less stressed when you’re playing golf, then you’re going to play better.

If you didn’t work in golf, what would you be doing?
I would be in the automotive industry, probably in a design capacity. I really enjoy both the technical challenge and the industrial design and marketing side of things.

Some quick-fire questions: What’s your handicap?

Have you ever had a hole-in-one?

Tiger or Jack?

Jack Nicklaus

What can’t Tom Olsavsky live without?

And finally, what’s the best equipment innovation in your lifetime?
The Cobra King LTD driver. Great technology. It still hasn’t been beaten.

Cobra King LTD blackout

For more information visit the Cobra website.