Callaway is not the same company as it was last year.
We’ve been covering the PGA Merchandise Show for more than eight years, and we have never seen Callaway have the buzz it had this year. Was it the new X Hot woods and irons? Was it the new Versa Putter line? Or was it the 40-foot tall “Social Wall” that showcased all the social media praise surrounding the new recent launches?
The answer is all of it.
That’s why we gave Callaway a “Best in Show” award this year. The company has always had one of the deepest engineering teams in golf, but their their recent product lines haven’t been up to par with the other brands. This year, the team came to play with the big boys, armed with drivers, fairway woods, irons and putters that have golfers talking again.
With CEO Chip Brewer at the helm, Callaway has become infected with the passion and creativity that they’ll need if the hope to take back the market share they lost to the other major Original Equipment Manufacturers.
The Social Wall
Let’s try to put Callaway’s 2013 PGA Merchandise Show booth perspective — Callaway went on the net and pulled comments and reviews from average Joes who have been talking about the company’s new products and image. Then its staff took all those comments and created a banner that spanned from ceiling to floor and was as wide as its huge booth. Who does that?
Can you imagine the team it took to gather all those quotes? The fact that Callaway has received so much early release buzz from everyone is a testament to the great strides the company is making to turn around its image. On another note, we’re so pleased that all the great communities the quotes were gathered from actually exist, and proud to say most of the comments were from GolfWRX.
Behind the social wall, there were sitting areas so golfers could take in the new Callaway, as well as hitting bays that allowed visitors to test the new product on launch monitors to validate performance. Really cool stuff. Click here to see all the photos in the gallery.
Versa Putter Line
In addition to the Social Wall, we felt the new Versa putter line alone had merit enough to Best in Show. The technology is simple — alternating black and white paint sections that are perpendicular to the line of the putt to help golfers to line up better. The buzz has been huge, especially on the PGA Tour, where non-Callaway staffer Charles Howell III has already used a Versa to claim a T3 finish at the Sony Open.
Click here to see all the photos in the gallery, and check out the video below with Odysset Principal Designer Austie Rollinson about the new Versa putter line:
Callaway X-Hot Woods and Irons
Callaway’s new woods and irons are long and hot, and they look modern and sexy. The feel of the clubs made us say, “Wow,” and the distances the clubs were flying let us know that there was some serious engineering involved.That’s why there’s so much buzz about Callaway’s new 2013 Razr Fit Xtreme driver, X Hot fairway woods, hybrids and irons.
The show marked the first time most golfers were able to hit the “new Callaway,” and very few left disappointed.
and the irons…
Dr. Alan Hocknell, vice president of R&D for Callaway, talks about Callaway’s drivers for 2013 — the RAZR Fit Xtreme, X Hot and X Hot Pro — with Zak Kozuchowski of GolfWRX in the video below.
Here you can watch a video about all the new irons — the X-Forged and the X Hot line. Luke Williams, senior director of woods and irons for Callaway, discusses the differences between Callaway’s three new iron offerings for 2013 with Zak Kozuchowski.