You have to hand it to Callaway Golf for being different, a non-traditional company in what can be a traditional industry.
It was eyebrow-raising when Callaway put its products into the hands of non-traditional types such as Alice Cooper and Justin Timberlake, even though both are avid golfers.
So, when it was announced recently that Callaway had joined forces with famed automobile maker Lamborghini, it continued its tradition of being non-traditional.
As unlikely as this Callaway/Lamborghini pairing seems, it’s based on another company tradition, according to Scott Reid, managing director of Callaway Golf Canada.
“Our company’s always been known for innovation. We need to move forward and look for new products, new materials and this particular material is just something that’s brand new,” he said of Forged Composite, which you can read about by clicking here and here.
Forged Composite will be the technology story when Callaway unveils its Octane driver this week to follow in the tradition of renowned products such as the Big Bertha driver of the 1990s and its successors and all the technologies that went along with them.
“We came out with the Big Bertha irons in 1994 and everyone said it looks like a shovel, it’s wide, it’s thick on top, it’s got a big, wide sole, it’s got this big cavity,” said Reid, adding that many of those features became industry standards.
It remains to be seen if Forged Composite products such as the Octane trigger the same buzz around the industry and among consumers, but Reid sees the lightweight, strong properties of Forged Composite that allow weight to be distributed with precision causing a stir.
“It’s been endorsed by Lamborghini. Obviously, Lamborghini’s put it in their new concept car,” he said. “I think it’s something very exciting for the (golf) industry. The industry hasn’t seen something new and progressive like this in a few years.”
However, with more product choices on the market in terms of quality and price, times have changed since the ‘90s when Big Bertha first appeared.
The golf industry will get a closer look at Octane in the next few weeks and Reid says Callaway will be putting a push on to get it and other Forged Composite products into consumers’ hands through demo days, company Tour Vans and Performance Centres across the country.
“I think people have to get out and try the product when it hits the marketplace and let them judge for themselves,” he said.
“We’ve always been risk-takers to some degree with products that we hope are going to help people enjoy the game more. I certainly would think that when some people try it, including tour pros and amateurs alike, that they’ll see the benefit of it,” said Reid.
“You can’t have the attitude now that if we build it, they’ll buy it. You’ve got to get it in people’s hands.”