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Archive: June 2011

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June 29, 2011

Callaway CEO George Fellows resigns

Posted at 8:28 PM by Golf.com

Amid bad financial news for Callaway on Wednesday, CEO George Fellows resigned and was replaced on an interim basis by Anthony S. Thornley, who has been on Callaway's board since 2004. 

The company announced a second quarter loss of $55 million and said it would "reduce headcount at all levels of the organization." The complete press release is below:

CARLSBAD, Calif., June 29, 2011

Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) today announced the appointment of Anthony S. "Tony" Thornley as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, filling a vacancy created by George Fellows, who resigned for personal reasons. The Company also announced preliminary results for the second quarter of 2011, as well as organizational changes that are expected to improve operational effectiveness and reduce costs.

Mr. Thornley, 65, who joined the Board of Callaway Golf in 2004, served from 2002 to 2005 as President and Chief Operating Officer of Qualcomm Inc., the global leader in wireless technology. He served as Qualcomm's Chief Financial Officer from 1994 to 2002. Until his appointment today, he served as chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Callaway Golf and was the designated "financial expert."

Mr. Fellows, 68, served as President and CEO since August 2005 and led initiatives that included the Company's international expansion, product cost reduction and efforts to return golf to the Olympics. Mr. Fellows led the Company to record sales and earnings prior to the economic downturn.

"Tony Thornley has a deep knowledge of Callaway's business and the steps we must take to improve results going forward. He brings decades of experience, including the financial and managerial skills and discipline to execute on our immediate priorities and to lead a transition to new leadership as the company charts a path for the future," said Ron Beard, Chairman of the Board. "As an avid golfer with a low single-digit handicap, he also brings passion for what we do. We appreciate George Fellows' efforts, accomplishments and wish him the best in the future. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our customers and partners as we take our next steps."

"It's been my privilege to serve Callaway these past 6 years and I'm proud of much of what we've done," said Mr. Fellows. "However the personal demands of cross country commuting and other demands on my personal life and family have led me to conclude now is the right time for me to make this change."

Preliminary Results for Second Quarter 2011

Callaway Golf announced that, for the second quarter of 2011, it expects revenues to be approximately $270 million.

The Company expects a net loss of approximately $55 million for the second quarter, including $48 million of noncash charges. These noncash charges include a valuation allowance of approximately $46 million related to the Company's U.S. deferred tax assets. The Company's U.S. business, which has been adversely affected by the recent economic downturn and continued investment in the final phase of the Company's global operations strategy, has not yet returned to profitability. As a result, U.S. accounting rules require that the Company establish the valuation allowance. The Company expects to be able to reverse the allowance in future periods as the Company's U.S. business returns to profitability. The net loss for the quarter also includes charges of approximately $8 million related to the organizational changes and approximately $4 million related to the Company's global operations strategy.

Organizational Changes

As part of its reorganization, the Company expects to reduce headcount at all levels of the organization. The Company said it expects its organizational changes and reevaluation of business processes and priorities to deliver annualized pre-tax savings of approximately $50 million, a portion of which will benefit 2011. Pre-tax charges associated with these actions, including severance expenses, are currently estimated to be approximately $20 million for 2011, including the $8 million recognized in the second quarter.

"While it is clear that it was the global economic recession that derailed our record sales and earnings pace, it is also clear that our business is not keeping pace with the industry recovery," said Mr. Thornley. "It is therefore necessary for the company to take immediate and aggressive actions to reduce costs in order to return the Company to profitability as quickly as possible. We will also focus our efforts on strengthening our Brands by reinvesting a portion of the cost savings in key marketing initiatives. While we have the best performing products in the industry, that message has sometimes been overshadowed by the sheer volume of competitive marketing. In addition, the actions we are announcing today will also result in a leaner organization that is better able to respond to changing market conditions. We will provide more details about the reorganization during our earnings call in late July."

Conference Call and Webcast

The Company will be holding a conference call to introduce Mr. Thornley at 6:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, June 30. The call will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed at www.callawaygolf.com. To listen to the call, please go to the website at least 15 minutes before the call to register and for instructions on how to access the broadcast.

A replay of the conference call will be available approximately three hours after the call ends, and will remain available through 9:00 p.m. PDT on Thursday, July 14, 2011. The replay may be accessed through the Internet at www.callawaygolf.com or by telephone by calling (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291 (for international). The replay pass code is 80473414.

Date Set for Release of Second Quarter Financial Results

The Company plans to announce financial results for the second quarter on July 26, 2011 and will hold a conference call on that day to update investors on the company's operations and expectations for the remainder of the year.

June 27, 2011

Titleist's 712 Series irons arrive on the PGA Tour

Posted at 9:57 PM by Golf.com

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – You'll have to wait about four months to try Titleist's new 712 Series irons, but pros at the AT&T National are getting their first chance to hit the new AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons this week. (Photos below; Titleist uses 700 numbers for irons, and the 12 indicates the model year.)

While the heads of the new AP1 irons are the same size as their predecessors, their most significant new feature is a progressive blade length.

TitleistAP1Irons_600x450

"The long irons are about the same size," said Chris McGinley, Titleist's vice president of golf club marketing. "But as you go through the set, we brought the blade size down. That lets us make the long irons more forgiving and the short irons more traditional."

When it comes to the AP2 irons, which are designed for low handicappers, McGinley says Titleist has significantly increased the club's moment of inertia (MOI) by re-positioning tungsten weight within the heads.

TitleistAP2Irons_600x450

"The overall goal was to better apply the different materials we use in the design," McGinley said. "To make both [the AP1 and AP2], in essence, more forgiving. But when you are talking about the AP2 player, he's not really looking for forgiveness. For him, iron play is all about distance control. When we can make an iron more forgiving, we're really giving the AP2 player more consistent ball speed over a larger area of the face."

McGinley said that a player who owns 710 CB or MB irons won't feel much difference if he tries the new 712 CB or MBs, and that’s by design. The pros who use the clubs—like Rory McIlroy, Geoff Ogilvy and Rickie Fowler—give the company lots of good feedback on them, so Titleist doesn't want to tweak these classic forged blades too much, McGinley said.

Titleist712CB-Irons_600x450

"We've updated the cosmetics with a new satin chrome finish," McGinley said. "We've also updated the sole design of the MB, taking a little bit off the trailing edge because the guy playing that club—a small blade, pure muscleback—is looking for crisp turf contact."

Titleist712MB-Irons_600x450

Titleist decided not to release a combo set, blending CB long irons with MB short irons.

"If you do that, you're assuming what the player needs, and we don't want to do that," he said. "The fact that we can make those custom means that we don't have to make a pre-packaged set. Everyday golfers can go get fit for Titleist irons and order a mixed set if they want."

Golf.com will give you more information on Titleist's new 712 iron series in the weeks to come, including the exact date when the clubs will be available and prices.

Click the images below to see high-resolution close-ups of the new models.

-- By David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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June 26, 2011

Winner's Bag: Fredrik Jacobson at the Travelers Championship

Posted at 8:08 PM by David Dusek

FredrikJacobson-Callaway-Hartford_600x600

DRIVER: Callaway Diablo Octane (8.5°) with a Fujikura Blur shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway Diablo Octane (13°) Diablo Octane Tour (18°) with Miyazaki Kusala 83 shafts
IRONS: Callaway Diablo Forged (3-9) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Lite S-400 shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Forged (48°, 52°, 58°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Lite S-400 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey Black Series i #1
BALL: Callaway Tour i(z)

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by David Dusek)


June 24, 2011

Ping goes back to basics with new Anser putters

Posted at 2:18 PM by David Dusek

PingAnser0Putter-Back_600x450 Today’s putters come in a myriad of shapes, sizes and colors, with inserts, faces with grooves or sophisticated alignment aids.

Ping's newest line of putters, the Anser series, strips away nearly all of those elements and takes things back to basics.

The putters—which are all machine milled from 303 stainless steel—don't have names. They are identified by numbers running from one to five. The sixth putter, originally to be called the Anser 0 (above), is basically a modern remake of the original Anser putter made by Karsten Solheim in 1966, complete with a narrow cut running along the sole that improves the sound of impact. Brad Schweigert, Ping Golf's director of engineering, said that this sixth club will simply be labeled Anser when it arrives in pro shops in August.

You won't find a mallet or High MOI (moment of inertia) putter in the Anser series; each of the six blades is a familiar, heel-toe weighted design. The Answer putters produce different balances through their different neck and hosel configurations.

PingAnserPutters_450x600 During a Ping event at the U.S. Open, Schweigert said, "We are going to start classifying all the putters we sell into three stroke categories—Straight, Slight Arc and Strong Arc." Ping's new iPING app for iPhone and iPod will help you determine which of these groups matches your putting stoke in just five putts.

The Anser putters will be the first from Ping to feature color-coded shaft bands that indicate which type of putting stroke the club is designed to enhance (below).

Putters with a blue band are face-balanced and well suited for straight-stroke players. Red-banded putters should work well for golfers with a strong arc, and putters with a green shaft band are ideal for golfers who make a slight arc.

The final retail price of the Anser putters has not been finalized.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping gear and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

June 22, 2011

TaylorMade releases two Ghost Spider putters

Posted at 4:43 PM by David Dusek

Spider-Ghost-Putter_600x450 It's been three years since TaylorMade brought the Spider line of putters to the Tour. With adjustable weights in the back corners of the head, it resists twisting on impact, and even miss-hits roll nearly as far as those hit in the sweet spot.

Last season the company released a line of white Ghost putters, touting them as easier to aim than black, chrome or metallic putters.

So this year it should come as no surprise that TaylorMade is bringing those two putter families together—combining the forgiveness of the Spider with the ease of alignment of the Ghost.

There are two versions of TaylorMade's new Ghost Spider putter, one with a single-bend shaft and the other with a straight shaft that goes directly into the center of the face.

Like other Spider putters, the Ghost Spider's steel-framed head is designed with more weight in the back to increase the moment of inertia (MOI). You can make the head heavier or lighter by changing the weights as well.

The white head of the Ghost Spider contrasts sharply with green putting surfaces, which should help you square the face more easily at address. To further help alignment, there are two golf ball-size ovals on the crown, as well as an alignment line extending from the face to the back of the putter.

The face itself includes TaylorMade's new Pure Roll surlyn insert, which the company claims will promote forward spin, improved sound and enhanced feel.

Jason Day and Retief Goosen have been using prototypes of the Ghost Spider for several months, and you'll find them in pro shops starting July 15th for $179. Belly-putter versions are also available for $199.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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New Callaway Performance Center opens in South Carolina

Posted at 2:45 PM by David Dusek

Vacationers and residents of the Low Country can now have access to a new, state-of-the-art fitting facility at the Barefoot Resort & Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. A new Callaway Performance Center just opened there, allowing golfers in the area to get fit for woods, irons, wedges and putters using the same technology available to the pros.

Here are some of the details, made available in a release:

Callaway Performance Centers utilize the patented "Callaway Performance Analysis System" (CPAS), which is used to custom fit the very best players in the game including major championship winners Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. The CPAS System employs two high-speed cameras and ball-flight simulators, while a computer monitor displays an analysis of each golfer's launch conditions-ball speed, launch angle and spin rates. In addition, the system measures the path angle and the golfer'S angle of attack to the ball, utilizing 3D imagery and precision software designed by Callaway's world renowned Research & Development department.

Callaway's proprietary OptiFit® System allows golfers to test the manufacturer's equipment in a myriad of shaft and clubhead combinations quickly and efficiently. Never before have everyday golfers been able to employ such high-tech equipment to improve their performance and enjoyment on the golf course. Regardless of skill level, every golfer will benefit from a fitting at the Callaway Performance Center (CPC), where swings can be evaluated with the exact same cutting edge technology used on Callaway Tour Staff Professionals

In addition to the custom fitting experience, the new Callaway Performance Center, Myrtle Beach will offer a number of Callaway's newest products at retail, as well as Odyssey putters and TopFlite golf balls. Visitors to the CPC will be able to shop for clubs, golf balls, apparel, footwear, headwear, bags, gloves, rangefinders, GPS devices and a variety of accessories for men, women and junior golfers.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

June 21, 2011

Inside look at Rory McIlroy's U.S. Open putter

Posted at 12:13 PM by David Dusek

RoryMcIlroyPutter-1 Gear heads probably recognized the putter Rory McIlroy used during the U.S. Open as a Scotty Cameron for Titleist Studio Select Newport, but the new champ's flatstick has a few special features that make it unique.

The obvious feature is the finish. While the Studio Select putters available in stores are finished in a brushed chrome, McIlroy's prototype has a darker, chromatic bronze finish with black paint fill in the back instead of the standard red.

The "CAMICO" stamped into the heel portion of the flange stands for "Cameron & Company." The "GSS" on the toe stands for German Stainless Steel. 

The standard Studio Select putters are made from 303 stainless steel. According to Cameron, German stainless steel is one of the best materials to use for making putters because it has such good feel, but it's too expensive to use for mass-produced putters. He makes "GSS" putters only for tour pros like McIlroy, Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson.

RoryMcIlroyPutter-2 While he has experimented with several different putters over the past few seasons, McIlroy's go-to putter has been a Scotty Cameron Newport Fastback. However, according to the Team Titleist blog, "After a recent session with his putting instructor, Rory decided that the toe flow of the Newport GSS style was working better with his putting stroke."

Also from the blog: "The Scotty Cameron team built Rory the Newport GSS Prototype last season at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He's put it into play in a few times over the last year and has always kept it in his travel bag."

After his record-setting performance at Congressional, it's hard to imagine McIlroy benching this putter any time soon.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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June 19, 2011

My Bag: Jason Day at the 2011 U.S. Open

Posted at 11:50 PM by David Dusek

  JasonDay-TaylorMade-USOpen_600x450

DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (10.5°) with a Matrix OZIK TP7HD shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade R11 (17°) with a Matrix OZIK TP7HD shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue (21°) with a True Temper Project X Rifle Hybrid shaft
IRONS: TaylorMade Tour Preferred (4-5), R9 TP (6-PW) with True Temper Project X shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade TP xFT (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Project X shafts
PUTTER: TaylorMade Ghost Spider
BALL: TaylorMade Penta TP

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

My Bag: Lee Westwood at the 2011 U.S. Open

Posted at 6:32 PM by David Dusek

  LeeWestwood-Ping-USOpen_600x450

DRIVER: Ping G10 (9.0°) with a Aldila PGA Tour Only Prototype XNV6 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD:
Ping i15 (14°) with a UST Mamaya V2 76X shaft, Rapture V2 (19°) with Aldila NV75 X shaft
IRONS:
Ping i10 (3-PW) with Ping JZ stiff shafts
WEDGES:
Ping Tour-W (54°, 58°) with Ping JZ stiff shafts
PUTTER:
Ping Anser 0
BALL:
Titleist Pro V1x

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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My Bag: Y.E. Yang at the 2011 U.S. Open

Posted at 5:56 PM by David Dusek

YEYang-TaylorMade-USOpen_600x450

DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (8.5°) with an Aldila RIP 70 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner TP (13°) with an Aldila NV 85 shaft
HYBRIDS: TaylorMade Rescue TP (17°, 19°, 21°, 23°) with Aldila NV Hybrid shafts
IRONS: TaylorMade Forged MC (6-PW) with Rifle prototype shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade RAC (50°) Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball
BALL: TaylorMade Penta TP

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey, TaylorMade, Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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Robert Garrigus making big noise with a small putter

Posted at 4:29 PM by David Dusek

RobertGarrigus-Putter-USOpen_450x600 BETHESDA, Md. — Because he averages more than 308 yards per tee shot, Robert Garrigus draws a lot of attention when he hits his driver. But this week at the U.S. Open, fans, Internet equipment junkies and tour pros alike have done a double-take while watching Garrigus, who tied for third, pull his 28-and-a-half-inch putter from his bag.

In a press conference at Kapalua in January, before the start of the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Garrigus won the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic), the Phoenix resident recalled the time Tiger Woods asked him about his putter in Charlotte.

"He was making fun of me on the putting green," Garrigus said. "He was like, 'You putt with that?' I was like, 'Yeah, I'm sponsored by U.S. Kids Golf [a children's club maker], you didn't know that? It's all about the kids. I'll give you one for Sam.'"

Following through with the joke, Garrigus left a tiny putter in Woods's locker that week.

Garrigus started using the short stick when he was 19 after seeing a custom fitter. Garrigus was using a 34-inch putter at the time but was struggling with short putts.

"[The fitter] gave me this little tiny thing and he's like, 'Here. Get your hands down, shoulders down, and eyes over the ball, and tell me what feels good.' It was 28 inches when I did that," Garrigus said.

"As soon as I got to Q-School, I wasn't missing those short 3- and 4-footers anymore," he said. "I was rolling them all in. And I went through the first stage, then the second and got to third when I was like 20 years old. And I just felt like that was a fit for me."

Although he has used several different putters over the years, the model he is using at the 2011 U.S. Open is a Scotty Cameron for Titleist Studio Design Squareback 2.

(Photo by Jeff Haynes/Reuters Photos)

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist/Scotty Cameron clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

More US Open coverage: Leaderboard | Photos | Video | Download Front9 app

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June 17, 2011

Barack Obama presented with Scotty Cameron putter, Ping driver and Callaway wedges

Posted at 7:08 PM by David Dusek

President Barack Obama met earlier this week with United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson. In addition to inviting the commander in chief to attend the Ryder Cup next year at Medinah, Love gave the President a uniquely stamped Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2 putter.

2011NP2obama_1_600x450


2011NP2Obama_2_600x600

Mickelson gave President Obama, who is a fellow left-hander, three Callaway X Forged wedges and a 9.5° Callaway Diablo Octane driver. Each of the wedges (a 56°, 60° and 64°) was made by Roger Cleveland personally and was stamped PREZ "44" on the back. Cleveland jokingly said, "I weighted them so they wouldn't go any further left."

DSC00424_600

Watson presented President Obama with an exact replica of his driver, a Ping G15 (7.5°) with a Grafalloy Bi-Matrix shaft. Maybe Obama will use the clubs when he plays Saturday with Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway, Ping and Titleist/Scotty Cameron clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

More US Open coverage: Leaderboard | Photos | Video | Download Front9 app

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

June 16, 2011

Winner's Bag: Rory McIlroy at the 2011 U.S. Open

Posted at 10:34 PM by David Dusek

RoryMcIlroy-Titleist-USOpen_600x450

DRIVER:
Titleist 910D2 (8.5°) with a Fujikura Rombax 7V05 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 906F2 (13.5°) with True Temper Project X X7A3 shaft; (18°) with a Fujikura ZCom Pro 95 shaft
IRONS: Titleist MB (3-9) with Project X 6.5 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design (48°, 54°, 60°) with Project X 6.5 shafts
PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

Scotty Cameron's 2011 U.S. Open putter cover

Posted at 9:05 AM by David Dusek

Here is a look at the commemorative U.S. Open putterhead cover, designed by Scotty Cameron, that you'll see many players use at Congressional.

ScottyCameron-Cover1-USOpen_600x450
ScottyCameron-Cover2-USOpen_600x450

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist/Scotty Cameron clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook



 

June 14, 2011

Adidas, Nike and Puma 2011 U.S. Open commemorative footwear

Posted at 10:47 PM by David Dusek

Golf manufacturers make all kinds of products commemorating major tournaments, including unique shoes.

AdidasUSOpen-POWERBAND  

1. Adidas Golf’s U.S. Open shoe is a special edition of its Powerband 3.0 golf shoe ($140) in patriotic red, white and blue. Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry are all slated to wear this footwear at Congressional this week.

  NikeLunarControl-USOpen_600x4502. Nike’s limited edition U.S. Open shoe is a version of its new Lunar Control footwear, an extremely lightweight shoe with a “flywire” saddle -- high-tensile fibers embedded in the saddle to stabilize the midfoot ($190). They come with an American-flag embroidered shoe bag. Among those planning to wear them this week: Paul Casey, Lucas Glover, and Charl Schwartzel. (Click here is see a video shot inside Nike's Tour van at the U.S. Open.)

RickieFowlerPumaCongressional

3. Puma Golf will dress Rickie Fowler on Sunday in a limited edition of his trademark orange Cell Fusion golf shoes, with multi-directional spikes or “smart quills” for added grip. Only 500 pairs are to be sold worldwide (200 in the U.S.). Cell Fusion golf shoes typically go for $180. Go to Facebook.com/PUMAGolf or twitter.com/Pumagolf for information on shoes and giveaways.

By Woody Hochswender, Contributing Writer, GOLF.com




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