Bridgestone Golf recently named Dan Murphy their new President and CEO. Murphy knows Bridgestone well, he was with the company from 2004 to 2015. We spoke with Murphy about his new gig.
Dan Murphy’s a friendly guy. He seems to genuinely love Bridgestone Golf and believe in the products they’re making. He wanted us to make it clear that he was joking when he took a friendly jab at Titleist.
Q: Dan, you’re standing on the tee box of the last hole. You’ve played horrible and you’re down to your last Bridgestone. You put it in the drink and you’re out of balls. On your walk back to the cart you spot a golf ball near the tee box. You pick it up, it’s a Titleist. What do you do?
A: I play 18 with the Titleist because I have to finish the round, but I lower my expectations of the golf ball.
We tried to spark a Bridgestone Golf and Titleist beef, but Murphy has nothing but good things to say about his competition. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want Bridgestone to become the “#1 ball in golf,” because he does.
“We’re working hard to make premium golf balls and speak to better golfers. Low handicap golfers use the most golf balls and it’s a pyramid of influence. If the better players move to Bridgestone Golf, others will follow,” Murphy tells WBGD.
At the top of Bridgestone Golf’s pyramid in 2018 is Tiger Woods, but the Atlanta-based company started with the silky smooth golf swing of Fred Couples.
“I’ve had a professional relationship and a personal friendship with Fred for many years. In golf, few move the needle like he does. We built the Bridgestone brand on him,” he adds.
Murphy was Bridgestone Golf VP of Marketing in 2013 and coordinated spoof interviews with the super-confusing “Mr. Doubletalk.” Viral videos were taking off at the time and Bridgestone wanted in on the fun. One by one, Mr. Doubletalk took down Brandt Snedeker, Lee Trevino, Nick Price and Couples. Some Bridgestone executives were concerned about how Couples would respond to the prank. Murphy laughs as he remembers Couples sharing a few expletives after realizing it was a joke, but “he [Couples] was a good sport.”
Bridgestone and Murphy have a lot in common — it’s a good fit.
“We [Bridgestone] want to make great products and have some fun.”
Watch the Mr. Doubletalk interviews here.