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It’s always a treat to talk with Chip Brewer, President and CEO of Callaway Golf. It’s even better when we get to do so in person, this time at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.
Tom Brassell: 2017 PGA merchandise show takes us inside the halls here at Callaway Golf. Chip Brewer, our favorite. Great having you today.
Chip Brewer: Great to be here. Thanks for joining us.
Tom Brassell: It’s a great show. The big story, you’re holding it right there. The Callaway Epic.
Chip Brewer: The Callaway new Epic driver, baby. It’s our latest and greatest with new breakthrough technology.
Tom Brassell: Tell us a little bit about it from a high level perspective. The reviews on this thing during the pre-sale period has been off the charts.
Chip Brewer: It has been. This has been the most exciting driver launch I’ve ever been part of. It’s the most breakthrough from a technology perspective, as well. It’s a new technology called Jail Break. Jail Break is actually two titanium rods that are attached, the crown and the sole. What they do is help the energy transfer more efficiently. When the face flexes, it will try to put pressure on the crown and the sole to separate. By tethering those together, by stiffening that structure, you put all of the energy back into the face and it creates more ball speed. It’s breakthrough. It’s only available at Callaway, with the Epic driver. The results, so far, have been outstanding.
Tom Brassell: It’s been really, really off the charts. Other things going on, you’ve got the new wedges coming, right?
Chip Brewer: Yes, we sure do. We got the Mack Daddy forged wedges that are just coming out. Straight leading edge forge wedges are the latest creation of Roger Cleveland. Really proud of those. Those are gonna be shipping here shortly.
Tom Brassell: When you thought chrome soft couldn’t get any better, it gets better, as well. Chrome Soft coming out in February.
Chip Brewer: Chrome Soft X. We’re adding to the chrome soft family. We’ve had chrome soft, which is the fastest growing premium golf ball in the world. We’ve moved to number two in the category. We’re growing at a double digit pace because consumers love it. The X is a little firmer version of that. It’s a choice for those that might want something a little firmer, a little more penetrating ball flight. We’re really building out what is a wonderful franchise in the ball category.
Tom Brassell: Chip, with all the technology out there with Callaway, Big Great, GBB, Epic and everything else, share with us the importance of getting custom fit for that. If you just take one off the rack, you might want to get that extra 10 or 20, but it’s not guaranteed.
Chip Brewer: Absolutely not. The technology today is really optimized. It’s made to be custom fit. From shaft to lie angle to grip to loft, you really need to visit a fitter to unlock the potential. We’ve done so many great things in golf clubs over the last several years. We’re investing 33 million dollars a year to make them better and better. You can’t take advantage of that without visiting your local fitter and getting properly custom fit for the golf club.
Tom Brassell: Well, it’s that time we go five questions, 50 seconds. You did so well last year. We’re gonna bring five more at you. We’ll ask you those irrelevant questions. You give us those off the cuff answers. You ready to go?
Chip Brewer: Sure, let’s do it.
Chip Brewer: Daniel Berger. Daniel’s not a secret. That kid is scrappy. He doesn’t like to lose. He’s gonna have a wonderful year.
Tom Brassell: Question number two for Chip Brewer. The newest club, the newest addition to your bag?
Chip Brewer: The newest addition is the Epic. I just got that Epic in the bag. I have a chance to keep it up with my son until he gets one.
Tom Brassell: Question number three. The number one non golf related item on your bucket list?
Chip Brewer: Number one non golf related … I’m an Eagles fan. I’d love to get to a Super Bowl someday, baby. It’s been a long, cold run. I don’t know if it’s soon, but we are getting better.
Tom Brassell: Which leads us to question number four. Number four, is Carson Wentz the answer for the Philadelphia Eagles?
Chip Brewer: You’re darn right. I believe, but then again, this is not the first time I’ve believed. I choose to go. He is really an athlete. Great first year. I think we’re on a good trend.
Tom Brassell: Question number five for Chip Brewer. Last year you had two Callaway staffers win two majors total. What’s the number this year and who might they be?
Chip Brewer: I think we could see two again. It really helped to have Lydia Ko in that mix last year. Phil is really hungry. He’s opened the year really well. Last year, he was very close, as you remember in that British Open. We’re gonna put Phil in there. Then, I’m gonna go with Patrick Reed. After that Rider Cup performance, I think Patrick’s due. I think you’re gonna see him and that energy and that tenacity come through in a major.
Tom Brassell: That’s awesome. Five questions, 50 seconds. You nailed it again. Thank you, my friend. Thanks for spending time with us. Thanks for all you do for us and for the game, our customers and golf in general.
Chip Brewer: My pleasure.