What’s a Masters win worth to an equipment manufacturer?

taylormade scottie scheffler masters

Scottie Scheffler ensured TaylorMade had a successful week at the Masters.

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By the time Scottie Scheffler stepped foot on the 18th green on Sunday afternoon, the 2024 Masters was already a foregone conclusion. All that remained was a short 2-footer to make things official: the green jacket was headed back to Texas.

As Scheffler sized up the final putt, David Abeles, TaylorMade Golf’s president and CEO, and his three sons watched in anticipation from the couch at their home in Southern California. After five-plus hours of consuming content on tablets and multiple screens, Abeles was about to witness Scheffler win again at Augusta National for the second time — both as a TaylorMade staffer — in three years.

“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say [watching the Masters is] nerve-wracking,” Abeles told GOLF.com. “There’s a range of emotions we’re all dealing with, not just me. It’s the whole organization. We’re pulling so hard for our athletes because it’s personal for us. We care so deeply about their success and performance. We want to celebrate those wins — whether they’re majors wins, PGA Tour wins or amateur wins. Any win ultimately leads us towards a better place.”

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TaylorMade enjoyed a dream scenario at this year’s Masters that saw two of its top staffers, Scheffler and Collin Morikawa, earn a spot in the final pairing on Sunday. With a global audience watching on, TaylorMade was able to capitalize on the opportunity with free advertising as Scheffler and Morikawa showcased the brand’s equipment, apparel and Masters staff bags on arguably the most important weekend on the professional golf calendar.

More eyeballs on the equipment generally translates to an increase in interest, transactions and revenue. It’s a simple formula that can lead to momentum and an edge over the competition during a critical stretch of the year for club manufacturers. No surprise, Scheffler’s victory left Abeles feeling bullish about the company’s outlook.

“As we turn the corner into the key selling months of the golf season — which is really the second quarter for us (April, May, June) — we came out of Augusta with a sense of optimism that the markets are going to be stable and growing this year. That would a great thing for our business, and the industry as a whole.”

Trying to calculate the value of a major win for an equipment brand can be difficult, mostly because the sales component is usually a lagging indicator of the energy created during the week. Even with a team that closely monitors social media and web traffic, Abeles prefers to gauge post-major interest the old-school way by making a trip down the hall to TaylorMade’s call center in Carlsbad, California, to observe the call frequency coming into the building from golfers.

“This is something I’ll do after majors, especially if we win,” Abeles said. “I’ll track the call frequency and call logs. “What we typically see [after a major win] is two times the phone load of incoming calls with inquiries and requests around, in this case, what Scottie was playing. It’s not a perfect science, but we’ve picked up on trends over the years that have stuck.”

One of those trends comes from monitoring the conversion rate (how often people transact) against the incoming traffic itself. On a non-major weekend, a 2 percent conversation rate on traffic is standard for TaylorMade. According to Abeles, that number can double to 4 percent during the weekend of the Masters when staffers are in contention.

scottie scheffler's taylormade spider tour x mallet putter seen at pro golf event
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“We typically see a material lift after a major championship, given the audience watching the win,” he said. “Scottie’s Masters win was extraordinary for TaylorMade because, again, a lot of it has to do with the seasonal curve and timing. The world is waking up in April and getting excited to see the sun come out, the warmth of Augusta National and getting ready to play. There’s a seasonal curve not only in terms of what we sell, but in terms of the engagement with our brand and the total audience that develops throughout the season.”

Having the best golfer on the planet leading the charge is also a great way to keep TaylorMade equipment front of mind with the weekend golf crowd during the Tour season. Even with custom fittings on the rise, pitchmen like Scheffler can help sell clubs, even outside the major weeks.

The week Scheffler put TaylorMade Spider Tour X in play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, TaylorMade saw call volume and web interest in the mallet spike. By the time Scheffler left Bay Hill with trophy in hand on Sunday evening, the company was struggling to keep up with the rampant demand.

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“We saw our conversions triple and orders flow into the building because Scottie started to putt extremely well with it,” Abeles said. “There was a 5x return on Spider X through TaylorMadeGolf.com the weekend after he put it in play, which is a pretty meaningful conversion. I’d love to think we get 5x conversion on everything, but we don’t. But we typically see anything from a 1.5x to 3x conversion in a given weekend in the form of audience development, social media and web traffic. And in some cases, sales.”

Sales remain the most important indicator for success, but as Abeles has found out since he took over the helm at TaylorMade Golf in 2015, you first have to convince golfers that your product is better than anything else in the marketplace. Having someone with Scheffler’s pedigree wielding the clubs and slipping on the green jacket certainly helps, too.

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Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.