From his office in the Los Angeles garment district, John Ashworth & Gerald Montiel founded the company as Charter Golf, Inc. in 1987. Montiel operated a sporting goods store while Ashworth was a golf aficionado. In 1985, Montiel appointed Ashworth as the golf department’s buyer.
Montiel and Ashworth noted that the 1980’s golf fashions could do with more style. Once the sporting goods store closed shop, Ashworth then started to design the clothes and Montiel raised funds for his idea. By early 1988 he had managed to raise $685,000, and the company was then launched as Charter Golf, Inc.
The company experienced modest growth of sales achieving $374, 000 in that first year but the growth was rapid and quickly reached $2.14 Million in 1989. In 1990, Montiel took the company public and CGOL was the symbol it traded under. They signed up celebrities to endorse the company using stock grants as motivation. They started with the golf tournament pros then including Fred Couples then later Scott Verplank, Dave Stockton, Ernie Els, Mark Weibe, John Cook, Dave Stockton, and CBS announcer Jim Nantz. In 1994, in exchange for incentive stock, Fred Couples signed a lifetime endorsement agreement.
In 1992, a secondary offering that raised $10.9 Million facilitated continued growth thus facilitating expansion. This transaction saw the company valued at $44 Million with $28.8 Million in revenues. The company formally changed its name to Ashworth, Inc. in 1994. The company experienced healthy growth until when it started to experience growth pains in 1995 because of unforeseen difficulties making the transition to a new Management information System (MIS). In early 1995, Montiel had promoted Rick Werschkul from COO. In early 1996, he resigned possibly due to MIS implementation problems that caused problems in meeting orders. Montiel then took over the management until late 1996 when he hired Quicksilver, Inc.’s Randy Herrel.
Randy rejuvenated the operations of the company as well as the product line and got it back on a growth curve. By 1995 they reached $74.5 Million from $2.1 Million in 1989, stalling a bit in 1995 and 1996 then growing further to $89 Million in 1998.