Golf Pride® was founded in 1949 by the resourceful Thomas L. Fawick, an industrialist and inventor from Cleveland, Ohio, who also happened to be a golf enthusiast. Fawick, inventor of the pneumatic clutch and brake, came upon the notion — quite by coincidence — that rubber might be a superior alternative to leather for golf grips, by providing a more secure and durable gripping surface. Eager to get his new concept moving, Fawick immediately entered into a manufacturing agreement with the Akron, Ohio—based Westgate Rubber Company, which was owned by two men of uncommon talent and foresight, Bill Junker and Jim Karns. Early on the trade name “Golf Pride” was chosen, inspired by the name of a popular motor oil of the time, “Gulf Pride.” In the early years popularity of Golf Pride grips grew steadily. Not only did the new rubber grip provide improved feel and durability, but also offered other helpful benefits. It was lighter in weight than traditional leather grips, absorbed shock more effectively, and provided a more positive, high-traction gripping surface.
The big breakthrough came in 1953, with the introduction of the first “slip-on” grip. And while the technology seems simple today, it was a major development at the time. The impact of the slip-on grip on Golf Pride was significant and lasting, but it was no less profound on golf club manufacturers. Convenience of the new slip-on grip immediately changed the lead-time and economics in manufacturing golf clubs.
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