By Margaret Jackson | May 15, 2023
Denver, Colorado / Liberty Hill, Texas
Doug Coors' passion for golf and desire to help people improve their scores led him to buy Edel Golf just before the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Like the rest of the world, Coors had to contend with supply chain issues in addition to city, state, and county-imposed rules aimed at keeping people safe from the potentially deadly virus. "Getting stuff moved around and fitting people with clubs was challenging," he says.
Coors' relationship with Edel Golf began when he was asked to be a manufacturing consultant. He became familiar with the company, its products and fitting processes. A former CoorsTek executive, Coors has a background in engineering physics and manufacturing processes.
Coors says he learned so much from his own putter and wedge fittings that he wanted to share everything he could. Acquiring Edel Golf gave him the platform to do it.
But what stands out about Coors is his passion for golf, knowledge of the biomechanics behind the golf swing, and a keen sense of the club fitting process. "What you perceive as square to target could be left or right of target, and you would never know," he says. "Edel created a line of putters to fit somebody's aim. There are putters I aim very well, and there are others I do not."
Edel, which started out as a putter manufacturer, launched a line of irons in summer 2022. "It's a great new product for us," he says.
In December 2022, Coors moved the company's headquarters to about 5,000 square feet just north of downtown Denver. Most of the company's executives live and work in Denver, which also includes a fitting studio and is where the golf clubs are assembled. The company maintains its 2,600-square foot machine shop and a fitting studio near Austin in Liberty Hill, Texas. About a quarter of the company's 22 employees are based in Texas.
Edel Golf sells its clubs worldwide through partnerships with golf-fitting businesses as well as independent shops that fit people for clubs. The company has about 350 accounts globally. "We're focused on that arena in terms of who our clients are," Coors says. "We work through GolfTEC and Club Champion, and now we're available at Scheels in Colorado."
Coors bought Edel Golf at a time when the sport is on the rise and sales of golf clubs are increasing.
More than 41 million Americans played golf in 2022, according to the National Golf Foundation. The record-setting total includes 25.4 million people who played on a golf course and another 15.5 million who participated in golf off the course at places like driving ranges, indoor golf simulators or golf entertainment venues like Topgolf and Drive Shack.
The global golf club market size was valued at $3.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $4.7 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8 percent from 2022 to 2030, according to Straits Research. North America will have the leading market position, expanding at a CAGR of 2.7 percent during that time frame.
While the industry is growing, Coors' reasons for buying the company go beyond dollars and cents. "I just have a passion for helping people," he says. "I know it's a game of golf, but if I can help somebody improve their score, there's nothing more satisfying than having a way to do that."
Challenges: Boosting brand awareness and educating potential customers about how its technology can help them improve their golf games is the biggest challenge for Edel Golf.
Opportunities: Consumers are starting to realize that it's not just lessons that can improve their skills -- equipment can help their games, too. Golf clubs have seen significant improvements as technology has improved. "That story is becoming more prevalent and will create a change in the way people look at golf and golf clubs and how they play the game," Coors says.
Needs: Creating awareness of the Edel brand, what it offers and how the company's products can help players improve their golf games is not only a challenge for the business but also what it needs to succeed. "We need to tell our story a little better and more clearly," Coors says.