You’ll have to pardon the big grin on Chip Brewer’s face. The president of Adams Golf is a like a kid with a new toy. But instead of an iPod, the item is YES! Golf, the putter company Adams Golf recently bought at a bankruptcy auction for $1.5 million.
“We’d been wanting to get in the putter in the category in a significant way for 10 years,’’ Brewer told me at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. “We’d been looking at acquisitions and internal projects but never really found anything that fit. We negotiated for several acquisitions but nothing ever got consummated. ‘’
All through that time, Brewer said, he had his eye on YES! Golf, best known for its C-Groove technology.
“We liked the name and the technology. There is clearly something there because it’s still in play on Tour,’’ Brewer said. “Guys are winning events with it. There were three Ryder Cup players who played YES! Putters last year (including Jim Furyk). So you had a good brand name and good technology but the brand was struggling financially.’’
Brewer said Adams Golf’s plan is to keep the new product branded as YES putters but isn’t sure whether or not it will keep Yes! Golf’s tradition of giving the putters female names, such as Sophia (played by Furyk), Valarie, Marilyn and Sandy.
“That will come,’’ Brewer said. “Right now it’s obviously all female names and that’s worked well for them. We’ll figure that part out. But YES! Is going to stay independent, although from an operations standpoint, we add a lot of value to it. We have distribution, R&D, technical resources and operations.’’
Interestingly, Brewer said, YES! Golf has some “very good’’ international distribution.
“They were much stronger as brand internationally,’’ Brewer said. “Something like 70 to 80 percent of their sales was international. So I think we’ll get a little bit of synergy from that since we’re 80 percent U.S. sales. We’re strong in the U.S., we just didn’t have a putter category.’’
Adams Golf has one now, though. You can tell by the smile on Brewer’s face.