DESIGNER, PLAYER, ARTIST, ENGINEER
Clay Long is one of the most experienced and well respected designers in the golf industry. During his 33 plus year career, he has served as Vice president of Research and Development of Macgregor Golf Co., chief designer to Progroup and The Arnold Palmer Co., Vice President of Research and Development of Cobra Golf Co., Vice President of Golf Club Development for the Acushnet Co. and as owner of Plus 2 International, Inc. was responsible for Nicklaus Golf Equipment and Jack Nicklaus’s golf club designs for over 10 years until 2011.
Clay attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) on a golf scholarship and finished his formal education with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1975. He began his career in the golf business with Macgregor Golf Co. in 1980 as a manufacturing engineer and moved into product development in 1983. His 33 year career has spanned a variety of product innovations and technologies ranging from hand made master models for persimmon drivers and forged irons, to today’s computer designed titanium metal woods, cavity back investment cast irons and precision CNC made high performance putters.
As Vice President of R&D for Macgregor Golf Co., Clay designed clubs for golf’s greatest player, Jack Nicklaus. Some of Clay’s designs have been history makers like the Response Putter that ushered in the era of oversize, and was used by Jack Nicklaus to capture the 1986 Masters Tournament. Clay also designed the Macgregor Smoothie putter that Kenny Knox used to captured the PGA Tour Tournament Putting Record in 1989, a record that stood for 16 years until 2005.
Long’s designs such as the Macgregor Muirfeild metal wood would be the first metal woods Jack Nicklaus would use in competition and they would help Curtis Strange capture his second U.S Open in a row. The Macgregor T920 titanium wood would be the first major offering of a cast Titanium Driver by a U.S. manufacturer and one of the first club designs to utilize a supercomputer for analysis.
After forming Plus 2 International, Inc. in 1992 and acting as chief designer for Progroup and Arnold Palmer, Clay developed such innovations as the PHD hosel weighted iron. This design was used by Arnold Palmer, Steve Stricker, and Tom Wargo. Tom used the PHD to become the first player on the Senior Tour to win one million dollars in a single season. The hosel weighed design was later licensed and used by Cobra Golf Co. in the King Cobra II irons and woods.
Joining Cobra Golf in 1997 as Vice President of R&D, Clay helped design the Gravity Back series of woods and irons along with a number of other products. He later served as Vice president of Golf Club Development in the Acushnet organization working on titanium wood design until leaving in 2000 to restart Plus 2 International as an independent design house.
Today Clay Long owns and operates Plus 2 International, Inc. a design firm specializing in all types of golf club design and product development in Carlsbad, California. Clay and Plus 2 have served as lead designer to the Nicklaus Golf Equipment Co. and Jack Nicklaus as well as supplying design services to many other companies.
Clay Long currently has 36 golf related patents and has served as a charter member of Golf Digest’s Technical Advisory Panel.
Being true golfer at heart, Clay stills maintains a + 2 handicap and a limited competitive schedule. He has played in three (3) US Amateurs, nine (9) US Mid-Amateurs, and one (1)British Amateur.
Plus 2 uses state of the art tools and technology such as Computer Parametric Modeling as well as other time proven techniques to produce artistic, high performance products for the Nicklaus Co. and their other customers.