Ashworth Golf is proof positive that you can go home again. The brand that changed the golf apparel industry in the late 1980s and ‘90s basically had been dormant since 2016 after Adidas sold its then-parent TaylorMade Golf to KPS Capital Partners.
Newtimes Group, which owns apparel brands such as Coldwater Creek and Bike Athletic, acquired Ashworth in 2019 and, after waiting out the Covid pandemic, officially re-launched the brand in 2022.
With golf apparel veteran Eddie Fadel as president, Ashworth Golf made its return to the PGA Show in Orlando this past January. Fadel is no stranger to the brand, having served as company president in 2007-08 and Adidas Golf and Ashworth vice president from 2008-2010 after TaylorMade-Adidas Golf acquired its Carlsbad, CA., neighbor for $72.8 million.
“I didn’t like the way the story ended with TaylorMade-Adidas,’’ Fadel said. “I felt like this brand deserved better.’’
Newtimes Group, a $2.5 billion family-owned company, and Fadel each are aiming for the “better.’’ For example, when he became president in 2022, one of Fadel’s first things was re-sign legendary PGA Tour star Fred Couples. In the ‘90s, Couples’ “King of Cool,’’ good looks and personna helped promote an almost a cult-like popularity in the Ashworth brand. It’s not unusual to still find golf professionals and players in the 45-and-over age range who sport tattoos of Ashworth’s iconic “Golfman’’ logo.
Couples and recently-signed Tom Hoge each will be sporting Ashworth apparel when competing on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, as well as other professional events around the world.
“I love this business,’’ said Fadel, whose ties to Ashworth go as far back as 2001. “But I was only going to do if I could do it right.’’
So with that in mind, Ashworth’s Fall 2023 line features several new polos and tees featuring “next-generation’’ innovation fabric, including Soft-Tech, Natural Soft-Tech, Pebble Tech, and Dry Release. Each model, Fadel said, is designed to feel super soft and incorporate strong performance attributes with an elevated style and appearance that is synonymous with his design expertise.
“Having the Newtimes Group engine behind us is our point of differentiation. I feel like a kid in a candy store while tinkering with a mix of fabrics, fibers, and yarns to create the new look Ashworth,” Fadel said. “As Ashworth re-emerges in the U.S. market, we are all about making clothes that look better and feel better for golfers.
“We are a golf apparel brand. We’re all about golf, and we are going to embrace our roots.’’
Nobody knows more about those roots than Eddie Fadel.
For more information about Ashworth Golf, visit ashworthgolf.com
For more from Steve Spike, visit Spike’s Golf & Travel
Feature Photo Courtesy of Ashworth Golf