Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf continues to revolutionize the way we play
It’s no surprise that Callaway Golf is always front and center as one of the companies making waves in the industry year after year. What else would you expect from the brand that introduced us to the Big Bertha nearly three decades ago and forever changed the way golf equipment is made?
The last half of 2020 saw Callaway release the Big Bertha B21 drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons, as well as the Big Bertha REVA line of metals, hybrids and irons for women – with REVA complete sets coming early this year.
Lower handicappers were also presented with the company’s Apex muscleback and forged cavity-back and utility irons. To say the offerings were well received would be an understatement, and excitement among Callaway loyalists remains high with new products hitting retail early this year.
Phil Mickelson has a few "tough" questions for the newest member of the Callaway family, Jon Rahm.
That excitement was ramped up in early January as Callaway announced the newest addition to its team of Tour pros with the signing of Jon Rahm, the No. 2-ranked player in the world. Rahm joined high-profile players such as Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele, Henrik Stenson, Tom Watson, Retief Goosen, Morgan Pressel and Sandra Gal, among many others.
“Demand for Callaway equipment was exceptional over the second half of last year and therefore it is safe to say that Big Bertha B21 was a huge success,” said Nick McInally, Vice President of Marketing for Callaway Golf. “The success of the REVA line of women’s clubs was a surprise to some, but not to those who had been involved from the outset.”
Perhaps the most anticipated drop will be the new Epic drivers coming in February. McInally described them as revolutionary, building off the Jailbreak technology in the original Epic offerings four years ago and improving both vertical and horizontal stability through speedframe technology, increasing ball speed all across the face.
Callaway’s forthcoming Apex, Apex Pro and Apex Deep Cavity Back irons are true players distance irons, and better players will also relish the opportunity to put the Apex and Apex Pro hybrids in play.
“The way we looked at it was ‘How do you take forged clubs and truly improve on them?’ And not only seeing 2 or 3 handicappers getting benefits out of forged clubs, but 10-20 handicappers also experiencing those gains,” McInally said. “I think we’re most excited about the DCB line, because you’ve got a big footprint but it still looks beautiful, and we’re seeing players who would have previously gone for super game improvement clubs like Big Bertha getting benefits out of these.”
Golfers looking to improve their putting will now have some outstanding options with the Odyssey White Hot OG line set to release in late January. McInally said the company’s decision-making on their 2021 putters was significantly influenced by input from the world’s best players.
“Every time we’ve come out with different insert technology, ultimately tour players would come to us and say ‘That’s great, but can you put the White Hot insert back into it?’” he said with a laugh. “We hadn’t actually offered it at retail for about five years, and we wanted to make sure the products that were being used on tour were the same as those available at stores.”
A number of different putter shapes will be offered, and the White Hot insert will be surrounded with a milled face that is sure to be appealing from aesthetic and performance standpoints.
An artist rendering of the Topgolf that would be built at The Lakes at El Segundo along PCH.
Of course, no discussion about Callaway these days would be complete without mention of its recent agreement to merge with Topgolf.
While the deal is still being finalized, it seems a perfect marriage of one of the industry’s most progressive equipment manufacturers and an entertainment brand that has introduced millions to the game of golf in a fun and accessible fashion. In fact, nearly eight years since it was initially proposed, city officials in El Segundo remain hopeful that the first Topgolf facility planned in Southern California will become a reality.
“There is huge excitement around this,” McInally said. “It makes perfect sense. The statistics show that of the people who go to Topgolf facilities, 51 percent have never played golf, and after they have been, 75 percent are interested in taking up the game. There’s a huge opportunity to grow the game and we’re excited to be part of that.”
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