It’s not every day that your career crosses paths with one of your passions, but a couple months ago, that’s exactly what happened to me. I found out that Tempco custom designed and manufactured a product for a prominent professional golf company. And that’s how I was introduced to some great folks over at TaylorMade Golf.
Back in January 2018, I happened to overhear one of my colleagues on the phone, which isn’t out of the ordinary. But when I heard him say something to the effect of “Blah, blah, blah…that TaylorMade project…” my ears perked up. I had been with the company for about 7 months and I had no idea that the TaylorMade Golf Company was one of our customers. I instantly had to know the details about the project.
Apparently, our engineers were working on two very custom control panels for a “special truck” that would be traveling with the PGA Tour. The UL508A, 2-zone control panel was designed with our TEC-9100 temperature controllers, Type J thermocouples, electronic timers, and wall or bench mounting options. Aside from that, we knew nothing about this project. The control panels were built, packed up and shipped out the door and we still had no clue as to how they would be used.
I knew there was a great marketing opportunity here, but I had no way of knowing which way to go because we had very little information. All we knew was that this “special truck” was going to be on the PGA Tour. After doing a quick search, we discovered that the PGA Tour would be making a stop at Medinah Country Club for the BMW Championship. Medinah Country Club is practically in our backyard, about 10 minutes away from our corporate headquarters in Wood Dale, Illinois. This was exciting news!
But I was left without answers as everything on the project was kept extremely hush-hush. Towards the end of March, we finally learned for certain where our custom control panels ended up…on board the $1.3 million ultra-swanky, state-of-the-art TaylorMade Tour Trailer. We were blown away when we saw the announcement video on YouTube (check out TaylorMade's video for yourself here: https://youtu.be/NgEQM-IYmUw). This trailer is part players’ lounge and part workshop. It has everything: wall mounted TV’s, a coffee station, dining area, internet access, gear storage, an entire expandable second floor with lounge chairs, video games, you name it - everything a TaylorMade pro golfer needs while on tour. The other part of the trailer is the workshop. This is where some of the world’s best golfers come to get their golf clubs built and adjusted before each tournament such as: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Jon Rahm to name a few.
Five months later, the BMW Championship was in town. After several attempts of trying to get in touch with the TaylorMade team via email and social media, we decided to take a chance and go to the tournament even though we weren’t exactly invited. Our only obstacle was an unsuspecting security guard. I worked my people skills magic and Brian (my coworker) used The Force and somehow, the security guard let us in to the “secured” area where all of the golf brand buses and trailers were located. We made our way over to the TaylorMade Tour Trailer and were greeted by Wade Liles - probably the nicest, coolest guy in the golf industry. He gave us the tour of the truck and showed us how the clubs are made, where they store parts and, most importantly, how our control panel was used.
Our control panel was being used to control the amount of heat being transferred to TaylorMade’s patented curing cells which allow them to build a golf club in 5 minutes. Apparently, no other golf manufacturer can build a hittable club that fast. After talking shop and talking golf for almost an hour, we were on our way. After enjoying a REALLY expensive hotdog, we were still beaming from having accomplished our mission. We took in a little bit of golf as we followed Matt Kuchar and Jordan Speith for a few holes.
I can’t say that when I was a young boy I always dreamt of being a marketing professional in the electric heater industry. But, as an adult, I found a true love for the game of golf. I was extremely thankful for the opportunity and the experience I had on the day that my career and passion crossed paths.