What are Callaway Golf Clubs?
Callaway Gold Clubs seem to be so ubiquitous these days that it's hard to get one's head round the fact that they came into being only 20 or so years ago. For it was in 1982 when Ely Callaway bought a small company called Hickory Stick USA which had previously made wedges and putters and embarked on his stratagem to manufacture a different type of golf club.
Callaway wanted the game to be enjoyable for all of those who played it. This included old people, young people, women, men, amateurs and the professionals. The product that he produced to achieve this was called DSPD or Demonstrably Superior & Pleasingly different golf clubs.
Ely Callaway worked in business for over 50 years. He worked first in the textile industry, then moved into wines before becoming a club maker. If you can build a better product then it is a lot easier to tell the truth about it, said Callaway, and so he put his passion for the game into building the DSPD clubs.
In the very early days, Callaway would put the clubs that he made in the back of his Cadillac and deliver them personally to customers. He made the sales calls himself, talking to everyone from the average golfer up to the pros.
When they became too big for their original home Callaway moved the company to Carlsbad on the Californian coast, where there could be found a very talented bunch of employees who had worked in the nearby aerospace industry, where precision is just as important as in Golf. He also lured Richard Helmstetter away from Japan to become his head of new products, and it was Helmstetter who invented the Big Bertha driver.
It was the Big Bertha driver that turned one of the world's smallest golf club manufacturers into its biggest. The Callaway golf company continued to innovate and develop their forgiving stainless steel drivers, managing to make the driver one of the most loved clubs in the bag, having been one of the most feared. To DSPD was added the maxim S2H2 - which stands for Short Straight, Hollow Hosel.
The upshot of this all was that professionals used Callaway golf clubs and club golfers used them too. Even celebrities ranging from Alice Cooper, Kenny G, Bill Gates and Celine Dion wanted to get the friendly and forgiving clubs in their hands.
In 1992, Callaway went public on the NYSE. They bought Odyssey Putters in 1997, bringing the famous white hot line and the 2 ball putter onto the market. In 2000 they entered the golf ball market., and their ball quickly became the number two ball on the PGA tour. Ely Callaway died two months after that, but his company lives on.