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Callaway Hires Adams CEO Chip Brewer as President & CEO

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CARLSBAD —- Callaway Golf Co. said Monday its board of directors has appointed Chip Brewer as president and CEO. Brewer, the former CEO of Adams Golf, takes over on March 5.

Brewer replaces Tony Thornley, who has served as interim president and CEO since June 2011. Thornley will continue to serve on Callaway’s board of directors, the company said in a press release.

Brewer is “one of the most qualified candidates to run Callaway, and enhances what we believe is a budding turnaround story,” wrote golf industry analyst Casey Alexander in an email to clients.

“In Chip’s tenure at Adams, Adams was able to consistently build market share,” Alexander wrote. “We believe this is the primary task at Callaway as well. We believe this hire should be very well received by the market.”

Brewer has been with Plano, Texas-based Adams Golf since 1998, serving as president and CEO since 2002. He and his family will move to the San Diego area, Callaway said.

“After a very thorough search, we believe that we have selected the ideal candidate to lead us through the next chapter at Callaway,” said board chairman Ronald S. Beard in the Callaway news release. “Chip has extensive knowledge of all facets of the golf business, particularly in the sales and marketing area, and has a real passion for the game of golf.”

Search for a leader

Callaway has come up short in its quest for a long-term leader ever since the departure of its eponymous founder, Ely Reeves Callaway. Callaway resigned in 2001 shortly before his death that July at age 82. A Georgia native, Callaway was known in three industries as an exceptionally skilled businessman with a flair for marketing.

Callaway made his mark as president of Greensboro, N.C.-based textile maker Burlington Industries. In the late 1960s, he moved to the Temecula area, founding Callaway Vineyard and Winery. He sold the winery to Hiram Walker in 1981, then bought a golf company named Hickory Sticks. That company became Callaway Golf.

Under Callaway’s direction, Callaway Golf grew from a four-man company into a multibillion-dollar corporation that generated $840 million in sales in 2000, and approached a cumulative $6 billion in sales of golf clubs.

Ron Drapeau took over from Callaway as chairman and CEO in May 2001. Drapeau served until August 2004, as the company battled slumping sales and market share. Patrice Hutin, president and chief operating officer, resigned in November 2004.

Board member William C. Baker served as interim chairman and CEO until Fellows was hired in August 2005 as president and CEO.

Fellows left Callaway in June 2011.

Shares of Callaway traded late Tuesday morning at $6.73 each, up 22 cents for the day.

Click here to read the discussion in the forums… http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/602921-callaway-hires-adams-ceo-chip-brewer-as-president-ceo/

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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SPOTTED: Three new PXG drivers appear on the USGA conforming list

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Following up its original 0811 driver launch, PXG came out with 0811X drivers earlier in 2017. Now, as of December 18, there are three new PXG drivers that have popped up on the USGA Conforming Driver Heads list. The new heads include all 9-degree models; PXG ZZ, PXG XXF and PXG XX. Based on the placement of its signature screw-like weights, it appears there is a fade-biased head, a draw-biased head and a neutral head.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new PXG driver heads

PXG ZZ (Neutral)

The PXG ZZ head appears to have a slightly more compact shape than the XXF and XX models, and it also has only six weights in the sole that are placed in the rear of the head on the toe and heel. The placement of these weights suggest both high MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) and a neutral trajectory bias.

PXG XXF (Fade-biased?)

The PXG XXF head has nine weights in the sole, with three weights placed out on the toe; this weight placement suggests a fade-bias. And with three weights closer to the face, this suggests a CG (center of gravity) that’s more forward than the ZZ model, possibly to lower spin.

PXG XX (Draw-biased?)

Like the XXF head, the PXG XX head has nine weights in the sole, with three weights forward in the head. The difference is that the XX model has three weights in the heel, suggesting a draw-bias.

What do you think about the new PXG drivers that appear on the USGA conforming list?

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new PXG driver heads

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Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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