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Chip Brewer Podcast #326 – Callaway EPIC Speed

Worldwide Golf Shops INSIDER PODCAST #326! On this installment, we talk with President/CEO of Callaway Golf Co, Chip Brewer. Chip talks EPIC SPEED, Callaway’s new line of Metalwoods and irons. Please listen to this very informative INSIDER Podcast to learn about Callaway Golf’s EPIC Speed!

Check Out EPIC SPEED at www.worldwidegolfshops.com!

Podcast Transcript:

Tom Brassell: 

Welcome to the worldwide golf Shops Insider Podcast episode 326.  Hello everyone Tom Brassell here.  Thanks so much for joining us. So glad that you did this your first time, or you’re a long time subscriber. Either way, we’re just we’re glad that you joined us today and today is really, really special for us. It’s that time of year we get to catch up with our good friend Chip Brewer out of Callaway Golf.  Chip, great to talk with you. I wish we could do it in person like we normally do every year, but not now. I don’t know when it’ll be but hopefully will turn the corner soon. 

Chip Brewer:  

Tom is great to have the opportunity to talk to you, virtual as it might be and. Get a year kicked off, talking about golf and equipment and some good news stories. 

Tom Brassell: 

Let’s hit that Arrow back button and we used to call it rewind on VCRs, but people don’t know what the rewind button is anymore, but let’s arrow back to, you know. Last March when everything kind of went sideways, I think the Big East Basketball tournament stopped at halftime and The Players Championship got around then. Where were you when all that was going on and just kind of take us through what was going on with you and with Callaway back then. 

Chip Brewer: 

Holy smokes, you know I can remember it was. To like it was yesterday, Tom and it was like a, you know from where I was sitting. It was like a little bit of a slow motion trainwreck. You know we are global company and we had something going on in China and then China was shutting down a little bit and. You know that was inconvenient and we were feeling bad for them. But you know, no big deal and then it spread to Europe and you know I was hearing from our businesses over there and. Uh, before you know it. Shutdowns here and they cancel the the second round of The Players Championship.  The global lockdown and what just happened is what we were thinking about. 

And analysts are calling me at that point and they’re like well. How long can you last with zero revenues and? Right O revenues. How the hell do I know how? How Long I can last with zero revenues. I never Never thought about that.  You know we went into survival mode, be honest with you. We just didn’t know where the bottom was when we’re coming out of this, what it was, what it meant for our business, the world in general. Yeah, you know, Fast forward a few months and you know I’m proud of what the team did in terms of how we rallied around our business and our teams and various things we did to make sure Callaway survived and not only survive but thrive. And obviously, we’re fortunate enough to be able to. Say we did that, you know. 

Towards the mid and late part of the year and. Likely getting a little bit of a CoVid dividend from it, and as we’ve got new entrants and everything else so holy smokes what a what? A turn around and come back for the game of golf and the industry. It’s likely to be positive for you know, a long period of time and we’re seeing. Interesting growth like we’ve never seen before, so. If somebody could have told me that in March or April 1st, I wouldn’t believe them so it wouldn’t have done any good at all, but. It might, it might have saved me some Gray hairs or or so. 

Tom Brassell: 

Chip, what did you learn or what did you find out about your team or yourself or your company during this crazy time that you may not have known or maybe what did it confirm that you knew about your company? 

Chip Brewer: 

Well, you know it to me it confirmed how strong our team is and how strong the. Culture and brand is, you know, we really came together. I was so proud of how everybody came together and worked. He really, you know is a crisis hit too? You know, jointly make sure that we all came through this together and. You know, I was fortunate even across the industry. We had calls with Al at Roger Dunn, Edwin Watts, right? Who’s a good friend of mine? And how do we get through this? And we’re partners in this, etc. You really see the quality of people and organizations and what you’ve put in place in a crisis. So obviously that was reassuring in retrospect, ’cause the hard work and the relationships you’ve built and the team you put in place. It’s tested then unlike any other time. Yeah, you’re finding you know new ways to do business, new ways to meet new, ways to carry on. 

Tom Brassell: 

I mean you guys out in Southern California.From what I understand, still not in the office is, you know you’re still kind of working around all that. We looking forward in 2021. I know we’re all we’re all looking forward to the vaccine and getting back to normal. I don’t think it’s going to be that quick, but what do you see going on in 2021? Obviously some big news as far as your tour staff that just just. 

Chip Brewer: 

Yeah, you know the the the great thing on 2021 is that the like you know we can see the light at the end of the tunnel right as it relates to pandemic vaccines. You know some level of new normal because we’re all tired of the pandemic and frustrated and you know, we’re emotionally. He said ’cause we feel for each other and those that are directly impacted. We’re very fortunate we’re having, you know, a lot of demand and newfound interest in the game. You know, our business is strong. We’ve reinvested back into it. You know the crisis has given us an opportunity to reassess and. Put money back into the business into RND an into new ambassadors such as John Rahm and we’ve got a really strong product line. So you know we’re very optimistic as well about what is likely to be a very strong year for the for the golf business. And, you know, build an even stronger business going forward. 

Tom Brassell: 

You mentioned Jon Rahm.  That’s obviously the big, often offseason news. Talk about that. That’s fantastic. You guys getting him in your stable of tour players. 

Chip Brewer: 

Yeah, it was a great move and a big move for both of us. Be honest. We’ve known John for a long time. John played at. Arizona State used some of our products at that time, including driver a. Intermittently and so we were in conversations to sign him coming out of school. Those didn’t work out, kept in touch. Obviously, Phil Mickelson is very close to him and so. You know, Jon was number one in the world when he was in college. Came out with great success. And. Now he’s certainly proved himself right. He’s touched number one in the world. He is number 2 in the world and I believe, and he believes that he has the potential to be a dominant player over the next several decades. And so he’s really evaluating. Who he wants to build his brand worth and how does he most likely achieve his objectives? You know, over the next several decades and you know we’re fortunate enough to be. You know, we’re not only a major player in the golf equipment space but on a market share basis. The leader in it on a global basis is just math, or, you know we have a higher market share from everybody’s third-party data than others and invest more in R&D and so. Had conversations with Jon, you know, and his agent and his team and we both decided that this is a great fit. He really strengthens our team. As you can imagine, we’ve got some great young talent, Xander, a bunch of other young players who are great players in developing. We’ve got Phil Mickelson, who’s you know Iconic but he’s 50 now and he’s winning on the Champions Tour. And he’s also still competitive on the PGA Tour, but Jon certainly fits in as our number one player right now, gets a lot of attention from the US focal point of NRG and you know, we both believe we can help him develop into the dominant player over the next several decades so excited about a new venture together. 

Tom Brassell: 

Yeah, being good friends with Phil too, what better person to turn to when you’re talking about you know who do I want to align with for the next couple decades? Who do I want to, you know, make make my brand apart.  And what I understand chip he’s all in right? I mean, he’s clubs, apparel, everything right? 

Chip Brewer: 

Yeah, that all unfolded little bit by bit, but so we started in conversations just on the club side and. You know, headwear included. He came in, he tested it. We met numerous times.  we talked about. You know our visions together. Then he went back and he, you know he got fit through the clubs and tried him. And you know Tom first round out with 14 clubs in a bag he shot 59 and set a new course record at his home course. So that was a pretty good start and I think he was starting to believe the product might be it OK fit. But then you know, as conversations evolved, you know Travis Matthew came into the fray and I think he looks great in it. He really stands out and it’s gonna be, you know, big for him and for the Travis Matthew brand as well. 

Tom Brassell: 

Before we let you go, Chip, just give us a little high level on what you’ve got coming out this year because there’s some great stuff coming out from Callaway.  

Chip Brewer: 

You know, I say this every year time, but it’s our best product ever. Yeah, it’s our most premium brands this year too. We’ve got the apex irons, which are the ultimate iron from Callaway Golf. You know, forged perfection. I mean just a beautiful piece of precision and performance infused with AI technology. Three sets now, so there’s a pro standard and what we call a DCB or a deep cavity back which is a larger more forgiving version. So three different versions to look at. Uh, and then a new epic, which obviously epic it features jailbreak. It features artificial intelligence. And a new approach on the jailbreak technology called speed frame and then I’ll let Doc explain to you but. It changes the way the jailbreak works, it increases the torsional resistance of that feature. 

For even more ball speed and greater forgiveness across the face. A major difference in performance so. Big stuff coming from Callaway Golf this year and looking for an amazing year together. 

Tom Brassaell:  

Chip always appreciate the time man. You’re a busy man but you always carve some out for us. How about some final words for our listeners out there? The Worldwide golf shop listeners here on the podcast. 

Chip Brewer:  

Well, I want you everybody. Be safe. 

Enjoy golf social distance outside of it and looking forward to a wonderful year together when you get a chance. Come on into a Worldwide Golf Shops location. Get fit. You won’t regret it. 

Tom Brassell: 

Thanks. so much Chip stay safe my friend. Let’s do it again. 

Chip Brewer: 

Thank you buddy. 

Tom Brassell: 

Chip Brewer, President and CEO of Callaway Golf, giving us a little look behind the curtain of how how everything unfolded in the crazy 2020, and I’ll look ahead to 2021 and some great products that will be diving into a little bit later. Special thanks to Chip for joining us and thanks to you, our listeners. We say it every time so glad you joined us and we’ll do it again next. 

We have another episode of the worldwide golf Shops Insider podcast here at worldwidegolfshops.com. So long everyone.