Michelle Penney designs clubs for TaylorMade’s finest (and has a blast)
Courtesy of TaylorMade
If you’ve set foot on a golf course in the last couple of years, you’ve probably noticed the obvious: the game is booming. This also includes women, but momentum is apparent in another area: leadership roles. As you’ll see in this dossier – in which we’ll feature eight women in the game – many high-profile jobs in sport are now held by women. From hosting top-tier national concerts to excelling behind the scenes at the biggest golf equipment companies, women are making their mark in fields traditionally dominated by men. At GOLF, we celebrate the essential role these women play in making the game better and more inclusive for all of us.
ICYMI: Amanda Renner, CBS sports host
Off the Tee: Michelle Penney, Expert Engineer, Product Development, Metalwoods, TaylorMade Golf
Golf was far from Michelle Penney’s mind when she majored in mechanical engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Instead, Penney intended to spend his career in automotive design, and his resume includes stints at Acura, Nissan, and American Specialty Cars. When she posted her resume hoping to return to her hometown of San Diego, she was quickly found by TaylorMade Golf. It was 14 years ago, and she hasn’t looked back.
“It’s such a fun job. It’s such a challenging job,” Penney says of her role at TaylorMade. “I can do all the things I love. I do CAD design. I can break stuff! I’ve always thought cars were the perfect marriage between design and engineering, but a bullet in the he impact experiences many thousands of times the g-force of a car crash, and for us to deem a product worth producing, that impact must occur many thousands of times.
Penney’s passion for his craft is palpable. And she has much to be proud of. She was the product development engineer responsible for TaylorMade’s Stealth line of loudspeakers and is pleased to note that four of the engineers on the team were women.
“For me, coming into this industry, making a product resonate with our customers in terms of look, sound, feel, and then also outperforming all of our competitors, that’s where I feel joy,” says -she.
Another joy for Penney? The circular nature of business. Right after being hired by TaylorMade in 2008, she watched Tiger Woods win the US Open at Torrey Pines – a moment she says made her fall in love with golf. Now? She designs clubs for him.