Ram Golf Corporation is one of the oldest golf equipment manufacturers in the US. Based in the suburbs of Chicago, the company started the production of its golf equipment in the 1940s.
Since its inception, Ram has been providing high-quality golf equipment to countless professional tour operators and some clubs. However, the brand’s production of clubs took a downturn after a few acquisitions took place in the early 1990s.
These days, the company is no longer a part of the PGA tour professional clubs. However, Ram Golf is highly regarded for its production of one of the most popular clubs in the market.
The company designs these clubs for recreational players and allows them to benefit from beginners and high handicap golfers. In this article, we’ll discuss the origins of Ram and what gives the company’s golf equipment an edge over other brands.
The Origins of Ram Golf
Ram Golf initially began as Sportman’s Golf after the end of World War II. The Hansberger brothers, Al, Bob, Lyle, and Jim, converted a tool and die shop into a golf equipment production unit on the west side of Chicago.
In the beginning, Sportsman’s Golf was not making club components for themselves but for another company called George MacGregor Golf. However, in 1947, MacGregor sold his company to the Hansbergers. As Sportsman’s Golf, the company kept producing clubs under the brand names Bristol and Kroydon. It took nearly twenty years for the company to rebrand itself as Ram Golf. The change reflected a shift in strategy that sought a bolder yet simpler approach for marketing golf bags and club heads.
Before its transition to Ram Golf, Sportsman’s Golf manufactured a variety of high quality clubs. One of its signature line clubs was the Bristol 600 Wizard putters, which were extremely popular among golf professionals and amateurs during the 1950s and ’60s.
These amazing signature clubs were the reason many top-notch players started using the brand. Jack Nicklaus, a legendary golfer, used these clubs in the prime of his career through the 1960s.
Line of Endorsements
Ram Golf’s popularity only grew after that. Soon, Tom Watson, the winner of multiple grand slam titles, emerged as one of Ram Golf’s mightiest ambassadors. The company had a close relationship with one of the game’s greats and continued providing him with exceptional equipment.
Despite being a relatively small company, Ram impressed golfers with its excellent quality products. It did not take much time for the company to develop the reputation of being a small company providing big service.
The company also initiated an association with former PGA golfer and legendary putting guru George Low. This particular union led to the design and development of the aforementioned Wizard 600. Even today, the club is a valuable golf collectible and original putters were valued as much as $25,000 in 2006.
In 1968, Ram unveiled yet another classic, known as the Ram 3D. The set’s components included the first cut-proof Surlyn-covered golf ball. Thereafter, Ram continued to be one of the leading innovators in golf and designed some of the first forged cavity-back irons. Moreover, the company produced some of the earliest applications of frequency shaft fitting, Accubar weighting, and lithium balls.
Sponsorships and Endorsements
The success and achievements of Ram Golf garnered the attention of the world’s leading corporations. In 1974, Colgate-Palmolive Company acquired Ram Golf from the Hansberger’s at a price of $18 million.
After taking over Ram Golf, Colgate-Palmolive went on to expand the brand’s influence among professional players. It signed up to 50 professionals to the endorsement roster, including Tom Watson, Ray Floyd, Gary Player, and Nancy Lopez.
Surprisingly, in 1980, the Hansberger’s bought Ram Golf back and dumped all endorsement contracts aside from Watson’s. However, they re-continued endorsements in the midst of the 1980s and 1990s and managed to rope in PGA golfers like Nick Price and Calvin Peete.
Although Ram Golf continued to operate through its various highs and lows, the cracks began to show in the early 1990s. The company split into two entities, branded as the Ram Golf Club Company and Ram Tour Balls.
While the manufacturing of golf equipment still exists in the Chicago suburb to this day, the club unit was sold to Tommy Armour. On the other hand, TaylorMade scooped in to purchase Ram Tour Balls.
After the acquisition, the Hansberger’s retired. However, Al’s son Gary still managed to lay the foundation for Vulcan Golf in Chicago. Regardless, Tommy Armour owns the Ram Golf Clubs Company and is responsible for producing its products. Other parts of the company are now branded as a subsidiary of other corporations as well.
Being section level clubs, RAM golf clubs focus on the concept of simplicity. For instance, RAM’s signature Sergeras irons have outclassed most other brands in terms of innovation and have one of the biggest sweet spots in the market. The Sergeras has an incredible border weighted, depression back iron with a low focal center of gravity.
These clubs are one of the best in business and they make golf easier for beginners. They allow the player to hit a high golf shot and strike the ball a long distance.
RAM follows the basic golf club principle and focuses on manufacturing usable golf clubs. However, this limits the club’s application and makes it unusable for low-handicap players.
In a nutshell, Ram golf clubs are suitable for golf players at all levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, these clubs can help take your game to the next level.
However, they are not a favorable option for players who have adequate skills in the game.
RAM Golf SGS Golf Clubs Starter Set
Regardless of the limitations for professional players, Ram golf clubs provide the ultimate experience to novice players. One of the best examples of this is the RAM Golf SGS Right Hand Golf Clubs Starter Set.
The set includes premium clubs, such as 3-layered wood, four different irons, and a putter to finish the job. It also has a stand-up bag, which comes in handy for most players, especially beginners. The bag has dual shoulder straps, plenty of pockets along with a rain hood in case the weather turns sour.
The SGS set does its best to provide beginners a strong foundation of the basics of the game. Therefore, each golf club can help you improve some aspect of your game. For instance, the 3- fairway wood is smaller than the driver, yet it allows players to ‘hunt eagles’ by taking a long approach. Since the set also includes a steel shaft, along with a head-cover, it makes golf that much easier.
However, the irons are without a doubt the crown jewels of the entire set. The four irons (5, 7, 9, SW) are all equipped with a deep cavity back design, which is essential for allowing excellent forgiveness on off-center strikes. The extra steel shaft ensures that players take precise strikes. Lastly, the 34” inch putter completes the job by giving players a reliable and solid roll.
It is safe to say Ram Golf ruled the golfing equipment industry in its heyday. But, the company’s popularity is still intact today, despite the dissolution of the original brand.