A Quick Nine with David Schnider
23 Jun 2024
by Justin Golba of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Dave Schnider Rankings

David Schnider
David Schnider

David Schnider lives a busy life. He is the president and CEO of Fujikura, a dedicated family man, and a competitive amateur golfer. Recently, he qualified for the U.S. Senior Open at Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I., from June 27 to June 30 as an amateur. Recently, Schnider was generous enough to take some time and discuss his career, golfing, and professional.  

Here is a quick nine with Fujikura CEO and President David Schnider:

What was your introduction to golf?

I was very fortunate to grow up two blocks from Glendora Country Club, and my parents decided that instead of going on family vacations, we would invest in joining this club. So, I kind of grew up at the golf course. I started as a swimmer, and then tennis and golf. That was my introduction to the game, and I just fell in love with it.

When did you realize golf was something you wanted for a career?

It was when I was 16, and I saw the 1986 Masters. That hooked me. I watched it with my dad, and I got really serious that day. I was already a. good junior player, but that was when it took a turn for me, and I really dedicated myself, and then I ended up playing in college at San Diego State. At the end of that, I realized from the kind of tracing and playing and how difficult it was that I just decided pro golf wasn’t something I wanted to do every day. I was a business major, and I wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps and become a business executive. I was a marketing major, but I kind of saw myself somewhere in business and had aspirations of being a leader in business.

What made you want to go into the business side of golf?

The reason I got into the golf business was coincidence. My roommate was someone I went to school with, and he got a job with a brand new putter company called Odyssey Golf back in the early 90s. I was working as a marketing assistant with the San Diego County Credit Union in the marketing department. He was doing customer service inside sales for Odyssey. I would come home late afternoon, and he would already have worked a full day and played nine holes. I started getting jealous, so he kind of inspired me to send my resume to every golf company. I got a job at Grafalloy Shaft Company in San Diego doing testing and later leading into sales and my career started from there. I was lucky to get the opportunity to work with the Shaft company's R&D, do testing, and work with the club companies. This was a unique opportunity to meet many people in the golf industry and make many connections. 

How did you get to Fujikura?

The Vice President was someone I knew, and I reached out to him. At the time, Fujikura did not have a brand in the U.S. He told me the game plan was to bring Fujikura shafts and technology from Japan to the U.S. and build a brand in the US and they needed to build a team, and I was on his list to call in the next few weeks. So, I signed up on the spot, and I was able to work with the team from the ground up. I was mainly in charge of what products we were bringing into the U.S. market and then worked with R and D to develop new products for the U.S. market.

What has it been like to grow with this company from basically the ground up?

It has been a huge reward personally for me, and it's why I have been here for 25 years. I was able to be a part of something from almost scratch in the U.S. and build a brand. We have been able to build the culture of our team, and from 2008 to today, it is a culture of passionate golf people, and even if they aren’t golfing, they are all passionate sports people. We generally have a very competitive sports culture and a lot of golfers. You can be really good at business, but if you aren’t in the minds and hearts of the core golfers, that is difficult to figure out how to produce product and sell products and reach those consumers. You have to be in their shoes. I think that is why we are successful because of the culture we have.

How do you juggle being the president of the company and also playing golf at a high level?

We have a great culture and a great team, so I don’t have to be involved in everything and empower them to do a great job. I don’t schedule many lunch meetings, so I spend that time going to the golf course and hitting balls. It is great to be in the sun and therapeutic to take my mind off work.

What role has family played in your golf career?

My son just finished his sophomore year and became the COVID golf kid, and then when high school hit, he was all in. He has become a really good player so every weekend we are on the golf course, so it is pretty cool. When you have teenagers, they don’t necessarily want to hang out with their parents, but I am a good player and have accomplished some things, and he likes to play with me because it challenges him. We are golf buddies, and he has gotten me to play a lot more, and that has helped me get back into competitive mode.

How does having access to the best shafts in golf help your golf game?

Selfishly on our side, we love the idea of custom fitting and see the benefit, and historically, it has been a hard story for us to tell what the cost vs benefit is in the past. The technology will ball flight monitors and custom fitters. The messaging with social media, people have now really noticed they should do it because everyone Is doing it. There is more information about how it is changing, and guys at the professional level talk about those changes. What has been beneficial for me is I have a team that is helping the best players in the world, and then they are also helping me. It’s like I am part of a test, a panel, and a guinea pig for the company. I have a good enough swing speed and am good enough to wear. I am a good in-house sounding board. 

What are the benefits of custom fitting?

We have been able to continue to get better materials and have a shaft kick faster at impact or add to the ball speed, but everything works together. Ball, head, shaft, player, and that is why custom fitting is so important, and there are a lot more people doing it and seeing the benefits. You have a guy gain 20 yards and didn’t think it was possible, and it's because they are optimally fit with the right loft, the right head, with the right center of gravity, and the right shaft, and the right ball.

Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Instagram X Facebook YouTube