Jim “Mr. 58” Furyk And His Marketability
During the fourth and final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, Jim Furyk shot a 58 setting the new low score for a round of golf in PGA Tour history. Yes, that is a 58…for 18 holes. This feat comes three years after he became just the sixth player in Tour history to shoot a 59 in competition at the 2013 BMW Championship.
The record breaking round came after Furyk shot a third round 72, and called the only swing instructor he has ever worked with – his father, Mike.
Andrew Witlieb of The Legacy Agency (Furyk’s agent for his entire 23-year professional career) received a five word text message shortly after that round: “Wow! Wow! Wow! Very cool!” This brief, albeit excited, text came from Callaway Golf CEO Chip Brewer, as Furyk had just shot the lowest round in Tour history with a set of Callaway clubs. Capitalizing on the excitement of this record breaking feat, Callaway quickly produced ads featuring Furyk and “Mr. 58” in multiple golf publications.
“In the short term, we are running advertising in endemic digital and on social media channels,” said Scott Goryl, Callaway’s director of communications. “At retail, we’ve just solidified a national promotion for $58 off the Great Big Bertha Driver, which Furyk used in his historic round.”
In addition to Callaway’s ads, Witlieb is looking for other ways to market and capitalize on this feat. His other sponsors include Constellation Energy, Royal Bank of Canada, Web.com and NetJets. He has previously done speaking engagements and Witlieb believes requests to speak will increase now.
The 2003 U.S. Open winner (his only major) is the fourth all-time PGA Tour money earner amassing more than $66 million in his career. To put in perspective how difficult it is to shoot a 58, Goryl noted that Furyk was the only one to do it in 1.5 million rounds of golf played on the PGA Tour. It looks like this could not have happened to a better person, as Furyk won the 2015 ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award presented by the Golf Writers Association of America for his cooperation with the media and last week was named 2016’s Payne Stewart Award recipient given annually to a pro golfer who best exemplifies Stewart’s values of character, charity and sportsmanship.