For the past 24 years, David Edel has been revolutionizing golf club design and the fitting process for everyone from the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, to club golfers the world wide.
In this first installation, we sit down with the company’s founder, David Edel at his shop in Austin, Texas to learn more about the man, myth and legend.
David grew up in Reedsport, Oregon and came to golf later in life than a lot of good players. Growing up he played the traditional masculine sports of track, basketball and football. Until he was 15, he played golf casually with his father, but never took the game too seriously. That summer, he went to visit his grandparents in Carmel, California. Curiosity got the best of him and started hitting 3-woods in their backyard, which happened to be a long par 3. From that moment on, he said “wow, I want to play golf.”
Once he and his dad joined the local course back home in Reedsport, he said “I couldn’t do anything else.”
He went to college at the University of Oregon but couldn't afford to play on the team. To pay his way through school, he worked three jobs at local golf shops and courses.
When we asked David why he loved golf so much, he said, ”If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life… What I really enjoyed most was teaching.” After college David pursued that passion and worked side-by-side with greats like Ben Doyle, Mike Adams, and Randy Henry. He was inspired by how much these teachers gave to their students and was determined to do the same.
Having always enjoyed working with his hands, David started making golf clubs on the side. He’s quick to point out that “not many club designers were teachers.” He believes this background gave him insight that not many people had. With that in mind, he was on a mission to fully integrate the club designing and fitting process.
The first clubs he brought to market were putters, back in 1996. It went further than making putters for people to buy though. Wanting to help golfers improve their game, David revolutionized “the greatest fitting system ever put together.” At the time, there was a need for a process to become a better putter and David was primed to take full advantage.
After some collaboration with Henry Griffits, David set out on his own and put his putter fitting system into motion. It didn’t take long for the system to “become a benchmark in the industry.”
Fast forward all the way to 2006 and David was invited to take part in the Better Golf Through Technology Summit hosted by MIT. After taking part in a laborious study about his fitting system, he was admittedly burned out. But MIT came back and asked him to partake in a follow up study per “protocol.” After the results of the second study came back, “there was a 38% reduction in deviation in 19 of the 21 metrics studied.” These findings were the proof that David needed to validate that his fitting system worked.
As the conversation continues, David makes the point that he “never went after trying to be the most aesthetically pleasing pretty putter.” Instead, he “went into making the most functional putters out there, configured in the right way.”
In addition to putters, Adel golf has become a leading manufacturer of wedges and single length irons. Not many people realize that “Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam with single length irons.”
His ideas, club designs and fitting methods truly work, and have for a long time. David’s been making clubs for Bryson DeChambeau since the young stalwart was 11 years old. The relationship continues to this day.
He’s quick to acknowledge that the road to success has been and remains difficult. It’s tough to compete in a market dominated by bigger players with more money and marketing capabilities. He’s not about to give up, though. “If I die tomorrow… I did it my way, I did it the right way.” It’s that legacy that David and everyone at Edel Golf lives out everyday and, it doesn’t appear they’re going to stop any time soon.
To learn more about Edel Golf and its founder, David Edel, tune into the podcast above. And be on the outlook for installments two and three as we answer questions from real golfers, just like you, and take a deeper dive into what Edel Golf is all about.