President & CEO
Bob Lamkin is the President and CEO of the Lamkin Corporation, the world’s original manufacturer of premium golf grips. For more than 15 years, Mr. Lamkin has maintained the central leadership position of the family-owned company. His vast knowledge of the grip category, sharp foresight and customer-focused business model have firmly established Lamkin as the leading supplier of golf grips to the world’s most respected club manufacturers, the fastest growing grip brand on the PGA and European Tours and one of the most trusted names in the golf industry.
Throughout his career, Mr. Lamkin has had the privilege of playing and visiting the world’s most illustrious golf clubs and courses. With this playing experience and a lifetime of familial exposure to the golf industry, Mr. Lamkin is arguably the world’s most well-known and respected golf grip expert. His passion for helping golfers play more confidently and consistently provide a seemingly endless source of inspiration as he continues to work directly on nearly all aspects of the 92-year old company.
THE LAMKIN STORY —
The Lamkin brand spans three generations so I have spent my entire life in the golf industry. Lamkin Leather was founded by my grandfather, Elver B. Lamkin, in 1925. He began manufacturing golf’s first leather grips and built a successful and thriving business over the years.
My father took over the business in the 1960’s and under his leadership the company continued to grow. As a young adult, I actually tried to get out of the golf industry and pursued a career in law enforcement but my Dad had other plans for me. He persuaded me to ‘help out’ with the family business, so I took a part time sales position with the company.
Once I started, there was no turning back. I quickly took on more responsibility within the organization and was eventually promoted to President in 1998. Today, Lamkin delivers the industry’s widest assortment of performance-enhancing golf grips that continue to earn loyal customers worldwide. I take great pride in having the Lamkin name on millions of grips around the world and am passionate in my pursuit to help golfers play more confidently and consistently.
MATT WARD: You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving force?
BOB LAMKIN: Finding ways to be better, to design more innovative products, to manufacture more efficiently, to deliver more value to our customers. My mind is always thinking about continuous improvement for our organization.
MW: Why is it that the importance of quality golf grips is not focused upon more so by players and those on the media side of things?
BL: There’s a stigma associated with grips that’s incredibly hard to shake. The media, and most golfers, think that the grip isn’t as important as the head or the shaft. We’re always working against that perception. What’s interesting is that Tour players don’t feel that way at all, they recognize the importance of the grip and pay a great deal of attention to that part of their equipment.
MW: How does Lamkin separate itself from your competitors?
BL: The constant pursuit of innovation and bringing truly revolutionary new products into the grip market.
MW: Talk about the latest innovation Lamkin is bringing to the marketplace.
BL: We’re currently working on some very exciting new materials, not necessarily created for the grip market, but ideal for our category. The next big revolution in golf grips will absolutely come from the use of completely unexpected new material formulations.
MW: What would you estimate of the total golf population is using the wrong type of grips for their daily golf usage?
BL: At least 50% of golfers are either using an improperly sized grip, a grip that’s too soft or firm, or a grip that’s worn out. And, that’s a conservative estimate. It’s probably much higher.
MW: Companies today spend plenty of time talking about customer service. Define the term and the approach taken by Lamkin?
BL: It’s one of our most important brand values and one that our employees take great pride in: Treat every customer, whether they buy a single grip or a million grips, as a fundamental contributor to our success. Exceeding their expectations will always be our top priority.
MW: How important is having a connection with the major professional tours in terms of product acceptance and validity?
BL: For specific products (high performance, putter grips), Tour acceptance is extremely important. But, for products designed to offer more game-improvement characteristics or a higher level of playing comfort, Tour validation isn’t necessarily required. Some of the most popular grip styles on Tour aren’t widely accepted by consumers. Conversely, some of the most popular grips in the retail market, aren’t used by any Tour players.
MW: Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
BL: From Arnold Palmer: When you get knocked down, dust yourself off, get up and get back to work — it’s the only way you’ll ever be successful.
MW: Your biggest pet peeve is?
MW: If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
BL: A round of golf should never take more than four hours. I have other things to do!
For more information — Visit www.lamkingrips.com/