A month after its acquisition of lifestyle golf company Ashworth Inc, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf is downsizing the combined workforce of the two companies.

Around 170 Ashworth workers are to lose their jobs - or 8% of the 2,000 people employed by the joint firm - over the next 12 months through cuts and attrition.

TaylorMade spokesman Scott Leightman told just-style the move will help the company bring Ashworth back to prominence.

"We're confident we can return it to that level," he said, but "we can't operate it at a status quo." 

Leightman added that while the Adidas Golf and Ashworth brand characteristics are clearly distinct, "integrating the business functions of the two brands puts us in the best position to achieve success and to best serve our customers and consumers.

"The business synergies we can take advantage of through our Adidas Group will allow us to achieve success with the Ashworth brand in a way they were unable to in recent years."

In September, Ashworth nearly doubled its third quarter losses to $9.6m on falling revenues and dwindling margins and hired an financial firm to advise on a possible sell-off.

TaylorMade-Adidas bought Ashworth in November for $28.1m in cash and the assumption of $46.3m in debt, in a deal that makes it one of the world's leading golf apparel companies.

The subsidiary of sporting goods giant Adidas Group said the acquisition would enable it to widen its product range, strengthen its distribution platform and give it an opportunity to extend its marketing presence.

Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf sells golf clubs and balls under the TaylorMade brand and Adidas Golf footwear and apparel.

The unit posted sales of EUR804m (US$1,085m) in 2007 and has seen first-half sales rise 11% in the current fiscal year.