Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein is ready to retire. The long-time head man of the parent company of the likes of Titleist, FootJoy and Pinnacle is walking away from his job effective Dec. 31, 2017.
Uihlein began his career with the Titleist parent company in 1976 and has been in this role since 1995. He’ll remain on the company’s Board of Directors and will be an advisor to the board chair.
“We thank Wally Uihlein for his forty-plus years with Acushnet and the terrific leadership he has provided during this time,” said Acushnet Chairman Gene Yoon in a release. “I am very happy that Wally will remain on the Board and also serve as Advisor to the Chairman. Acushnet will continue to benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience in areas such as strategic planning, acquisitions, player promotion and golf equipment regulatory matters.”
Uihlein’s successor is Acusnet’s current Chief Operating Officer, David Maher, who has been in that capacity since 2016 and been with Acushnet since 1991.
Maher takes over a company in relatively good shape. Titleist remains with a strange-hold on the golf ball market, particularly with the Pro V1 line. However, challenges are presenting themselves in the way of club sales and increased golf ball competition from both ends of the price and quality spectra. Titleist faces price pressures from Tour-quality balls from Callaway, Snell, TaylorMade, Srixon, Bridgestone and more. They face innovation challenges from those companies, too, at least in terms of perception on Tour-quality lower-compression balls. And they face a market disruption seeing more customers turn to online shopping channels to get golf gear instead of buying from a green-grass shop pro, which has been the company’s staple and foundation.
The company’s stock price remains about the same spot it was a year ago, meaning shareholders haven’t abandoned the company as the golf market goes through a general resettling.