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"Father of the Metal Wood", Gary Adams, dies

Gary Adams, the golf club innovator widely known as "the father of the metal wood," died at his home after a long illness. He was 56.

Adams, who battled cancer for three years in the early 90s, died late Sunday, Jan. 2.

Adams founded the Taylor Made Golf Co., in 1979, and used his pioneering metal woods to lead the company to prominence. He also started the Founders Club Golf Co. and McHenry Metals, named for his hometown of McHenry, Ill.

"Were in a little bit of shock," said Brad Wilhite, the president of McHenry Metals, where Adams was the chairman and chief executive officer. "But as we mourn his death, were at the same time celebrating his life and all the people he touched. He was a remarkable man."

The PGA of America honored Adams for his lifelong impact on the golf industry with the 1995 Ernie Sabayrac Award. In 1984, he was elected to the Illinois PGA Hall of Fame and honored as "Man of the Year" by the National Golf Foundation.

"Gary Adams creativity in golf equipment set him apart from his peers in the industry," PGA of America CEO Jim Awtrey said. "Gary's keen foresight and business sense impacted thousands of PGA professionals and countless amateur golfers who experienced enjoyment in the game. We will deeply miss him."

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8 in McHenry.

Adams is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Bradley; daughters, Becky and Katie; and grandson, Josh.