In 1987, John Ashworth and Gerald Montiel founded a company named Charter Golf, Inc, in Los Angeles. Ashworth was a keen golfer and Montiel ran a sporting goods store. Montiel had hired Ashworth as a buyer for the golf department of the shop in 1985. Together, they watched golf fashioning and decided golf in the 80s could use more style.
After the shop went out of business, John Ashworth began designing the clothes while Montiel started to raise money for their new venture. By 1988, he had raised $685,000 and the company was launched as Charter Golf, Inc.
Sales of the company began modestly but grew quickly, reaching $2.14M in 1989. A year later, Montiel took the company public under the symbol CGOL. Using stock grants as an incentive, they signed golfing endorsers such as Fred Couples, John Cook, Scott Verplank, Mark Wiebe, Ernie Els, Dave Stockton, and CBS announcer Jim Nantz. Couples later signed a lifetime endorsement agreement, in exchange for incentive stock, in 1994.
A second public offering took place in 1992 that raised $10.9M, and kick started expansion. In 1994 the company formally changed the name to Ashworth, Inc.
Since then Ashworth has created what became known as “the new look of golf,” which not only changed how golfers dressed, it changed how they thought about what they wore. From that arose a generation of style-conscious loyalists who favored the fit, feel and style of Ashworth off the course as well as on it.
Ashworth have attempted to enhance golf’s image by changing its dress from loud and garish to cool and stylish, and by giving golfers apparel they could wear off the course with confidence. Whilst some brands focus on performance-oriented products, an opportunity exists for an exciting authentic brand to fill the lifestyle void. That calls for new and fresh spot-on products that resonate with the true golfer, a challenge Ashworth believe they are qualified to meet.
Today Ashworth sponsor players such as Fred Couples, Justin Rose, Sean O'Hair, Justin Leonard, Ryan Palmer, Rory Sabbatini, and Johnson Wagner.