Posted February 4, 2016 in Podcasts by Tom Brassell
It’s always great to catch up with Chip Brewer.
Chip was kind enough to spend some time with us at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
He fills us in on:
Tom Brassell: 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. Joining us here at Callaway, CEO Chip Brewer. Chip, great to have you.
Chip Brewer: Thanks, Tom. Great to be here.
Tom Brassell: It’s been a couple years since we did this. Like you said, things are almost on plan. It’s going just the way you planned it. Talk about what’s going on right now at Callaway.
Chip Brewer: Right on plan. I just don’t always know the plan in advance, Tom. Callaway‘s had a great last few years. Grown, yeah. Share … significantly. We’re up 50% market share over the last three years. The brand has a lot of momentum. Back to being a leader in the industry in many categories. Fastest growing golf ball. Number One fairways. Number One hybrids. Number One total clubs. Number One putters, irons. It’s been really rewarding, and we’re really excited about the product line for 2016.
Tom Brassell: How do you answer this one? The consumer that’s at home, and he bought his clubs five or six years ago, and he said, “Technology’s maxed out. I can’t get anything any better.” We hear that over and over again, but it’s just a myth.
Chip Brewer: Yeah. That’s just flat-out not true. If you bought your clubs five to six years ago and you’re a golfer that can benefit from more forgiveness and more distance, then you’re playing, yeah … Outdated technology. We spend $31 million a year on R&D, and the steady drumbeat of progress marches on. It does get harder. It gets more complicated. We’ve had to bring in some friends from the outside to help us. We’ve got a partnership with Boeing on our 2016 driver because moving the needle from a real high standard is a little harder. That’s also what we’re paid to do, and XR16 designed with Boeing is faster. It’s more forgiving. It’s going to give you a better game of golf and let you hit a shorter shot into the hole than anything we’ve had before.
Tom Brassell: It’s not just the club, either. The ball, too.
Chip Brewer: The ball with soft, fast scores. Again, innovation that really is differentiated. We track consumer reaction to product, of course. One of the thing we track’s called “The Net Promoter Score.” The Net Promoter Score on the chrome soft ball is the highest we’ve ever measured. It’s just a fantastic product. Consumers love it. It feels better. It goes further. It’s durable. There’s really no trade off. It’s a tour ball that is going to benefit every day players.
Tom Brassell: Chip, as you walk around here, state of the game right now. It looks pretty good, doesn’t it? The feel is just good.
Chip Brewer: Tom, it’s so nice to be here. A few years ago, we were all here, and everybody was wringing their hands about the direction of golf and the industry. Really, it got unnecessarily negative, although there’s always things we can do to improve. Every barometer you look at, every indicator in the golf industry and the sport of golf is now headed in the right direction. Yeah. You always can look for better or faster or more, but the young guns around the game now and their appeal. Ratings on tour are up 20%. The rounds played are up. The industry sales are up. You’ve got things like Topgolf coming to create new consumers and interest around millennials. It’s a great time to be here at the show.
Tom Brassell: Can’t let you go without our five questions. Fifty seconds for Chip Brewer. Just going to put you on the clock. Are you ready to go? All right. Question Number One. What putter is in your bag right now?
Chip Brewer: Putter in the bag right now is a prototype from Japan. I’m a little bit of a putter … I’m not overly loyal to my putter, so that one doesn’t have a long life span. It’s a prototype that we may bring out in about six months here.
Tom Brassell: Question Number Two. Who wins the first major this year?
Chip Brewer: First major of the year. Augusta National. We’re going to with Phil Mickelson for a little throwback. He’s got a new swing, got some new toys in the bag, and he’s excited for the season.
Tom Brassell: Question Number Three. You’ve got one round of golf to play in your life. What course do you play, and who do you play it with?
Chip Brewer: One round to play in my life. It will be at Pine Valley with my dad, my son … All of my sons and my dad.
Tom Brassell: All right. For breakfast, pancakes or waffles?
Chip Brewer: Ooh. Toughy. Waffles.
Tom Brassell: Question Number Five. What player on your staff … Maybe that the fans don’t really know about that much. Who’s going to have a break-out year this year?
Chip Brewer: The one that people don’t know about that we’re really excited about is a young man named Ollie Schniederjans. He just qualified for the Webb. He was the number one amateur in the world. Great kid. Incredible talent, and you may not know of him now, but you’re going to know about him in the future.
Tom Brassell: Chip Brewer, thanks so much. Gentlemen in the game. It’s always great to spend time with you. Glad we got to catch up in person.
Chip Brewer: Thanks, Tom. Good to be with you.