Yonex began life in 1946 as the Yoneyama Company, a producer of wooden floats for fishing nets. When the advent of plastic floats forced the company out of that market its founder, Minoru Yoneyama, vowed that his company would never again be left behind by technological advances.
The results of that vow can still be seen today in the development of Yonex golf clubs. By the early 1960’s the Yoneyama company introduced its first self branded badminton racquet and today enjoys an 80% market share among top badminton players.
As its international profile grew the company continued to modernise and officially adopted the Yonex name in 1974. It was not until 1980 that Yonex golf clubs first appeared. Inspired by the success of their new range of tennis racquets, the Yonex R-7 was the first racquet to win both Wimbledon and the French Open, the company decided to diversify into golf.
Having enjoyed success with the use of lightweight materials in badminton and tennis equipment Yonex brought the same principles to the golf world. The company immediately made an impact with the launch of Yonex drivers and the Carbonex II was the world’s first all-graphite head driver. This was quickly followed by all-graphite Yonex irons called the Carboniron.
Throughout the 1980’s Yonex golf continued to grow and develop its reputation as a pioneer of new technology and, towards the end of the decade, the company introduced the ADX Widebody golf club range becoming the first manufacturer to feature widebody club heads. Within a year an ADX driver had entered the Guiness Book of Records by hitting the longest driver ever recorded at professional tournament.
In 1996 Yonex launched the Super ADX Titanium driver and, when Yonex hybrids followed shortly later, it meant that the company now offered a complete set of woods and irons that could be used by golfers of all levels.
The following year Yonex celebrated the launch of the Pendulum Power System featuring fairway woods and irons with 30% lighter shafts by watching Yonex golf staff player Scott Hoch play in the Ryder Cup in Spain.
As the new millennium approached Yonex showed its continued commitment to golf by sponsoring the Yonex Ladies Open on the Japanese ladies professional tour. In 2001 the Yonex V-Mass 350 driver was ranked as the “Best of the Best Drivers” and powered Scott Hoch to two PGA Tour wins and a Ryder Cup spot.
In the Ryder Cup, Hoch lost out in the singles to European talisman Colin Montgomerie who today is one of the most high profile Yonex players in Europe. He has been joined in the Yonex stable by Ryo Ishikawa the young Japanese star who has had such a stunning impact in his short career so far.
In the last 60 years Yonex has evolved into one of golf’s leading manufacturers thanks to a commitment to use the very latest technology to provide the best possible performance. Today Yonex drivers, Yonex fairway woods, Yonex hybrids and Yonex irons are firm favourites with golfers across the globe.