Bridgestone has been the major player in Japanese golf for nearly sixty years. They first began producing golf balls in 1935.
But it never gained a foothold in the US until Alabama Amateur Sam Farlow started winning state titles with The Lady, a low compression ball produced by a division of Bridgestone called Precept. The Lady became the best selling golf ball of 2001, unseating a Titleist offering.
Fast forward four years. In 2005, Bridgestone introduced the B330 line of premium golf balls and has since moved to position itself as a full line golf manufacturer, just like it is in Japan. (Bridgestone will be quick to point out that they also produce a wide range of other products, from textiles to industrial equipment to tires). (You can read reviews of the Bridgestone B330 and the Bridgestone E6 on this site).
Bridgestone also owns Firestone, which it bought in 1988. So its only natural that a company with its eyes set on conquering the golf world in the US would sponsor the upcoming World Golf Championship, to be played at Firestone Golf Club in Akron Ohio. Now that’s synergy: A golf tournament at Firestone, which is owned by Bridgestone in the tire capital of the US.
There’s a fascinating story about Bridgestone Golf with more details in the Akron Beacon Journal.