Bridgestone Golf Feature Video
Inside Golf Magazine takes you behind the scenes to hear how this Japanese tire company became the fastest growing American golf company, Bridgestone Golf. See Bridgestone's new ball technology is bringing municipal golfer into tour caliber equipment.
Male1: As custom fitting is becoming common place, Bridgestone Golf took the concept of fitting the proper golf ball out to average golfers with great success. We wanted to learn more about how a tire company has become such a leader in the golf business. Here’s golf magazine Jessica Marksbury.
Jessica: I’m here with Dan Murphy from Bridgestone Golf. Dan tell me how is it that a company can go for making premium tires to premium golf balls, how that does work?
Dan: Well yeah we’ve had great success in last five years but it really started way, way back in the 1930’s in Japan. The founder of our company is name is Ishi Bashi, Ishi Bashi in English means stone bridge. When he founded the company he changed his name to English and he called it Bridgestone, that’s the beginning and Ishi Bashi was a polymer scientist. He really understood materials and rubber technology and so he really applied that to the tire business very, very successfully but he had a great passion for golf.
The polymer science that’s required to make a tire that interacts with road surface, you know in effective way, rain and snow and in different conditions, you know it’s a very violent interaction. There’s a lot of stress on the materials. Now if you take that and you applied to golf, when a driver impacts a golf ball the material impact there is very, very similar. Right so they’re both very violent interactions and so the polymer science required to really perform under that kind of pressure, there’s a strong, strong parallel.
Jessica: That interaction can be a bit more violent for some or another element?
Dan: You’ve seen me play.
Jessica: So a lot of guys on tour really have Ishi Bashi to thank for the great balls they’re using now?
Dan: With out a doubt, with out a doubt. We have a, we’re very thankful that Ishi Bashi as well. In the last five years we launch Bridgestone Golf here in the US and it’s been very, very successful for us. Acceptance from the US consumer has been great with our tour team and also with the program that we called Bridgestone Challenge Ball Fitting Program, it’s been very, very successful for us.
Jessica: Your roster guy of staff is really cool and impressive, you got Freddie Couples, Charles Hollow III, France Neticre. But I heard you actually have a new guy coming on, can you tell us about that?
Dan: We got a new old guy coming on, I can tell you the story. I got a phone call 3-4 weeks ago and this fellow was very enthusiastic, it was a familiar voice but I couldn’t quite place it and he said,” hey I found a golf ball on a golf course and I hit it and I have ten yards longer. This is amazing, I really love it.” Now I said, “Hello, who is this?” “This is Lee Trevino”, he said. So Lee Travino called us about our B330RX golf ball.
Lee: The first one I hit, I couldn’t believe it, How well it felt then how far it went and I couldn’t believe it then I found it Nick came down and monitored my swing speed and I found out that I was swinging about a hundred mile an hour. So I qualified for the RX baby right here.
Dan: That’s the ball we made for slower swing speed but a tour caliber ball for slower swing speed. So it’s a softer compression ball, so it will go a little bit further of the driver for you. You’ll be able to compress it, but it’s got the urethane cover so it feels great around the green.
Lee: I wanted to do this simply because for the first time a company has come along to try to help a guy with a slower swing speed and that’s the secret. If you could compress a golf ball with a slower swing speed, your not only get maximum distance, you’re going to get maximum height on the ball and you’re going to get maximum spin. This is what you’re looking for. There’s no reason not to hear golf ball that feels good and you get maximum distance even though you’re up an age and your swing speed is between 70 and 90, 100 miles an hour.
Dan: So Lee called us and he said, “I got a Boy Scout outing in Dallas, Texas can you help me with some balls?” I said, “of course you’re Lee Travino, we’ll send you some balls”. And from that we kind of grew our relationship and his now on staff with us, appearing in a new commercial with Freddie Couples that a lot of viewers may be able to see on TV on the next couple of weeks.
Jessica: Well I’ve always been entertained by Bridgestone commercials, you guys are great job with that so.
Dan: Well again we don’t believe in being the same old, same old. We need to be creative in everything we do because we’re a challenger brand. We really have an interesting identity in this market because we’re back by this huge, huge multi national company. I mean Bridgestone Corporate is a 30 billion dollar company, it bigger than Michelin, it bigger than Good Year.
Female1: No wonder it’s the top selling ladies ball.
Female2: No wonder I won so many times.
Female1: We won so many times.
I think someone needs a hug.
Dan: But they were also very small in that we can be creative, we can be entertaining and hopefully in our commercial. That’s resulted in a lot of cool spot currently we’ve got a serious of spots called Fan Mail.
Freddie: Welcome back to Bridgestone Fan Mail.
Female3: Here’s one from Dallas.
Freddie: Dear Bridgestone.
Lee: Last week a buddy man got me to try your RX balls, and let me tell you I was blown away. Thanks for a great ball, Lee Travino.
Female3: I think he was the bull fighter.
Freddie: Oh yeah.
Jessica: I actually participated in one of the Bridgestone ball fitting and the B330RX was the ball selected for me. What do you think it is about the Bridgestone ball that Lee Trevino love so much?
Dan: I think what most consumers love about the ball is it’s longer from. He experienced that kind of, by accident by finding the ball in the golf course thing it up and playing it for few balls. He recognized that that ball because of the design really fit his swing speed and we went down there just like you were measured on our launch monitor. We measure Lee on the launch monitor, he had a 98 mile an hour swing speed, which is right there in the wheel house for the RX. and what’s that going to do with the 98 mile an hour swing speed is he’s going to be able to compress that ball because he got that softer compression and because he can compress it its going to be a little bit longer for him off the tee. His experience is ten yards, that’s what’s he loved about it and anybody, I don’t think any body doesn’t want that ten more yards, it’s a club less on any green.
Lee: And tell him look for the box in the red, Sandy red. I’m the one that started that not Tiger and not Curt String, 1968 baby, US open, Jack Nicholas bit the dust.
Jessica: Well Dan it sounds like you’re really working hard to help players improve their game and thanks so much for having us out here.
Dan: Thank you for coming, can you say Ishi Bashi?
Jessica: Ishi Bashi.
Dan: Can you say it three times fast?
Jessica: Ishi Bashi, Ishi Bashi, Ishi Bashi.
Male3: That’s going on You Tube, you just said You Tube.
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