<
>

7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DESIGNING GOLF EQUIPMENT

Jenny Lang

1. ALL WORK MEANS NO PLAY. "Each year, we spend more than $30 million on research and development and make 30 to 40 new products. We try them out at our test facility, hitting shots indoors and out on different course types. My game has improved since I came to Callaway—even though I actually play less. Don't take a job at a golf-club company because you think you'll get a chance to play more golf."

2. WE'RE ALWAYS WATCHING. "Not only do we keep an eye on other sports, but we also study the automotive industry and architecture. In 1996, we replaced the metal head on a stainless steel fairway wood with lightweight carbon because we saw how BMW boosted the performance of its high-end coupes by replacing aluminum and steel roofs with a composite. We translate advances in different industries to our clubs."

3. THERE'S NOTHING CUTE ABOUT DIMPLES. "It's tough to make a better golf ball. They're all basically the same: 1.68 inches, about 45 grams, white, round. But we have a couple of aerospace refugees—guys who used to develop airplanes—researching new core materials and dimple patterns."

4. PROS GRADE ON THEIR CURVE. "Using Tour golfers as testers is key. Most of our clubs aren't for elite players, but pros can tell us if a design is doing what we want it to. It's like race car drivers working for an automaker: You know they don't drive Corollas, but you trust them to know if one meets requirements."

5. THEY NEED CLUBS ON VENUS AND MARS. "PGA players have distance; they need trajectory and control. For them, we focus on irons and wedges. For many LPGA pros, it's about getting yardage. So we design clubs that emphasize distance and make up for slower head speeds."

6. LEFTY TINKERS. "Phil Mickelson often stops by to fine-tune his gear.
We might reset the head of his driver, depending on if he is playing Augusta or a tighter course, like at the U.S. Open."

7. IT'S A MATCHING GAME. "Club fitting based on swing analysis is an area ripe
for development. Giving a club with the optimum loft to a guy can greatly improve his distance. The sad fact is, most golfers don't use the right equipment for them."