Players on the stories behind their logos
July 11, 2017
By Mark Williams, PGATOUR.COM
- Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have two of the most recognizable logos, and faces, of the game. (Scott Halleran, Getty Images)
Perhaps the most iconic player logo in golf is the simple, four-color, open umbrella logo that identifies Arnold Palmer Enterprises, Inc.
The story goes that Palmer and a group of business associates were sitting around a table attempting to brainstorm a logo for business purposes. With nothing jumping out at him, a frustrated Palmer went to take a walk, but it was raining outside. He spotted a woman with a bright, multi-colored umbrella. He dashed back into the meeting with an idea. A few weeks later, Arnie had his new logo – an open golf umbrella done in four colors: red, yellow, white and green.
The Golden Bear logo established by Jack Nicklaus speaks for itself, Gary Player is easily identified as the Black Knight, Lee Trevino, the Merry Mex as he is known, never goes unnoticed, Greg Norman has the perfect fit with the Great White Shark and Tiger Woods’ famous TW has been replaced by TGR, which incorporates his business ventures in one place.
But what about other players on TOUR? Who has their own logo and how did they establish them?
Here are a few who tell you in their own words.
“I reckon I’ve had it over 20 years now. I used to have it on my golf balls and I’d throw balls to kids in the gallery. A fan came up to me today and said ‘20 years ago you threw me a ball at the U.S. Open’, the one Ernie (Els) won at Congressional. He remembered the apple and the bee, and I get that all the time. The kids that got them – the parents would look at the ball and say, ‘what’s the apple and the bee for?’ – and the kids would tell them, ‘Dad, it’s Appleby, get it?’ The kids loved the golf balls they would get. It was my initiative to start the logo really. I’d see my name often enough and thought we could link the two and incorporate them in different designs.
"Getting the size right was important because you need to fit it on the ball. I have it on the letters I write to tournament sponsors, so it’s not hard for a sponsor to work out who wrote the letter. The little swoosh part where the bee laps around the apple was the input from a design company but the rest was pretty much my idea.”
“It was around 2002 when I started mine. Originally it was Badds.com and we included the Southern Cross with the Badds.com logo but we wanted to make it a little more sleek-looking so we went with Badds on its own. Back in the day I was one of the first guys to have a website. It was right around when I turned pro and it was a great way to have information about yourself. Times have changed a little. We just wanted a logo that was easy to read and looked nice. A lot of people know me more as Badds than my actual name so I think it’s gained recognition. My cousin was involved with a tech company that helped with the design of the logo and the website.”
“It’s been at least 10 years since we established the logo. I was with IMG at the time and they helped with the design. I wanted to incorporate the British flag into it. The ‘D’ in the logo is a little bit like my signature which features a big ‘D’. I was an art major in college so I was pretty involved in the process and I enjoyed the design element. It was fun to create something a little unique to me. I think it was more to promote the brand and have on letterheads and business cards so that people would recognize me. People are always interested in my visor more than anything. They seem to like collecting them, the ones with the logo. I haven’t really pushed the logo anywhere but it is prominent on my visor.”
“I’ve had my logo since my rookie year, so just over three years now. My main reason for establishing it was to create a logo for my foundation and then I just decided to bring it on TOUR with me because I thought it was pretty cool and it would allow people to associate me with my logo. What people don’t typically see in the ‘TF’ logo is the ‘V’ at the bottom. My mom passed away in 2011. Her name is Vena so I wanted to incorporate something in there to always remember her. She offered huge support growing up and I’m everything my mother was to me so I added that at the bottom to honor her. I draw the same logo on my ball for each round too.
"A couple of guys back home in Utah helped put together something that I liked and there were a few different drafts and finally we settled on this stylized ‘TF’. Wasserman, my management team, helped to finalize a few different aspects of the design. I was pretty involved in the process and I really like the final product.”
“I did it with a company in New York called Future Brands, probably around 2005. We wanted to do something that combined the ‘S’ and the ‘G’ all together. I like it. It looks good. It has some flair and it looks clean and sharp. With both the gold and red colors it shows strength and power. It was something I wanted to have for myself and use for my foundation to help connect with fans and build my brand. The logo is on the golf bag, my hat and on my ball. It goes on tee shirts that I use for my foundation and academy. I was very involved in the process and as soon as I saw this logo I really liked it. I thought it fit nicely with my personality and it went from there.”
“About four years ago I was upgrading my website and I was searching for an appropriate logo and somebody told me about a website called 99 designs (www.99designs.com). They provide access to all these different graphic designers and you literally send your information in and say, ‘Hey, I’m a professional golfer, I’m looking for something with my initials’ and then hundreds of designers start working on a logo for you. You then pick 10 out of hundreds of designs that you’ve seen and once you narrow them down you can help manipulate the designs you like and whittle it down to the one you want. It only cost a few hundred dollars and it was a pretty cool way to figure it out. I have it on my bag and I plan to use it on the back of my hat when I get the next batch made.”
“I’ve had my logo a couple of years now. A friend of a friend in Dallas designed it for me. It’s kind of simple and unique. I’ve had a lot of people like it. Being from Texas, people ask me if it’s the logo of somebody’s ranch. They’re not sure what it is at first. It’s nice to have something you can call your own. I’ve been on TOUR for 17 years now and the cool thing about this is it will stay with me if I get involved in different endeavors when I cease playing. I think that’s more important to me from a business aspect or charitable involvement.
"Whether I use it as a letterhead or on a business card, it’s cool to have the logo and typically I include my name under it. I get a lot of feedback on the logo and that has surprised me. Just in the last month I ordered a few hundred hats with the logo on the front to give away to friends and family and fans.”
“We’ve been working on this personal logo since late last year. My manager offered the services of her daughter’s company, Brooke Emory LLC. We’ve been going back and forth for a while to find one I liked. Everyone seems to use their initials but everyone knows me as Billy Ho out here and it’s something I’ve been called since I was 12 years old. We were trying to get the ‘B’ and the ‘Ho’ in there to work together. It was a little bit of a process but it turned out the way I like it. When it comes to my stuff I have a lot of input into it. Brooke gave me some samples initially and nothing really piqued my interest so I drew a couple and gave her a rough idea of what I was thinking about or what I was looking for.
"I think most players would like to have their own brand and own logo so fans can associate that logo with the person. I have my inaugural AJGA event in Jacksonville in October and there’s more activities coming where we can use the logo. I like to be ‘hands on’ with my own personal stuff and make sure it’s done the right way.”
Billy Hurley III
“We made it in 2011 just because I thought it would be cool to have. I was on the Web.com Tour at the time and my caddie, Clay Duerson, who is a graphic designer, was working on some things and I said to him, “When are you going to make a logo for me?” I was kind of ribbing him a little bit, then a week later he showed up with this file and I was like, “That’s it!” This (BH3 logo) was the first draft and we changed the colors a little but this is it. I remember early in my career seeing Hunter Mahan’s logo with the ‘HM’ together and I wanted to figure out how to do that for myself and incorporate the ‘BH3’. It’s on my bag and we have it on hats, which we use for giveaways in competitions for fans.
"It’s on my website and my business card and I’m just trying to use it for branding. We are all individual brands, and sometimes I think there is a sense of why should I do this now instead of when I get to another level, whatever that level is. You’ve got to start somewhere and allow it to gain traction when you do play well.”
“I basically designed it in collaboration with my team a while back. I wanted something that formed the ‘D’ and the ‘J’ in a creative way. We are currently considering revising the logo to modernize it a little. We’ve seen a few different versions and are very pleased with what the design team has presented. It’s a good way to connect with fans, especially those who most closely support you. We’ve tied it into a couple of business relationships, with New Era on the headwear side and a few adidas apparel pieces, which has worked out great. My family and friends enjoy wearing the logo and are always asking about new hat designs.
"I’ve had the good fortune of traveling all over the world and it’s cool to be in China or Abu Dhabi and see someone wearing a ‘DJ’ hat. You know they’re a true fan when you see them.”
“We established the logo two years ago with the ‘B’ and the ‘K’ together and you can get the ‘K’ out of the ‘B’ when you look at it. I think it looks good. A friend named Joey Thomas helped create it and we’ve used it ever since. It’s my brand, but I have something bigger in mind as my career builds. I can use it for my foundation and other purposes and let the brand grow. It will grow but obviously playing better will help that.”
“I had a previous logo which I designed while on a commercial flight with one of my best buddies on our way to Spain. We were sketching logos and the one we came up with had a big loopy ‘G’ and the ‘MAC’ was more modern font. When we redid my website (about four years ago) we decided to modernize the logo and came up with this current one. The big loopy ‘G’ went away. We use it for our foundation. The ‘G-MAC’ has worked really well. I wear it on the back of my hat and on my sleeve. It’s one of those things where you build a website and establish a logo and hope that you can slot a couple of majors onto your resume and create a brand.
"I’ve rolled it into my apparel company and we’ve had some fun with it. You want to establish the brand before you become the player you want to be. I always had ‘G-MAC’ on the back of my hat, but this logo came after my U.S. Open win. Some guys just like to keep it simple. They just want to play the game, and I get that. I enjoy that side of things. It’s fun.”
“Four or five years ago I was drawing on a napkin in a restaurant and came up with a form of what you see now. It was more for fun than anything. I wasn’t trying to be too cliché around the Rose either. They are stylized initials as my signature is derived from a lower-case ‘j’ and the upper-case ‘R’ so I used my autograph as inspiration I guess. TaylorMade and adidas have been really good with it. adidas have put it on some of my shoes and on the back of my hat. It’s not something I’ve really pushed. It’s just been a bit of fun. I’ve got this #TeamRose thing going on with my social media and Instagram and some of my friends at the Masters were wearing #TeamRose hats and a lot of patrons were asking about them.
"On my social media feeds a lot of people ask where they can get one of those ‘jR’ hats so I guess people are noticing. We don’t really brand anything else. It’s just more for fun and identification.”
“Having aspired to Greg Norman and what he did, that was the reason for coming up with my logo. I started it in 2007 when we had a couple of opportunities for branding exercises. A graphic designer on the Gold Coast came up with the design. He presented it to me and I approved what you see now. I thought it was a really good design and I’ve stuck with it. I’ve put it on the back of my shirt and it’s not on anything else. It’s potentially something I can use down the line. It’s funny how everything evolves. You look at the way golf has changed. I came along in the era when guys were very busy away from the golf course doing a lot of business ventures and things of that nature. Now, with the way prize money has increased, I would say most golfers make their money on the golf course.
"Their time is more wisely spent practicing and improving. A lot of other players have done similar initial-type logos since. Tiger Woods was probably the first to go with the initials. If you go way back, he had something that wasn’t his initials and then he had the very square TW logo. I thought mine was a different look with the ‘a’ and the ‘s’. Some people don’t see the ‘a’ and the ‘s’. Everyone is seemingly using their initials now. Roger Federer did a nice one with his initials. Maybe it’s just a trend.”