Tag Archives: Callaway Golf

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Southland Golf: A Look At The Success And Future Of The Links At Petco

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When it debuted a year ago, The Links at Petco Park nine-hole golf experience did so with a snap San Diego popularity akin to craft beer and fish tacos.

Three days of tee times to play Petco as a par-3 course in 2015 sold out in a matter of hours. Callaway Golf and the San Diego Padres added two more days and extended the hours each day and it sold out again.

A sixth extra day was added this year and tickets for the encore moved nearly as swiftly – save for a block of premium night-time tee times priced at $450 for a twosome and $900 for a foursome that eventually sold – and allowed 2,700 golfers to experience the event as opposed to 1,600 in 2015.

Callaway Golf Marketing Manager Nathan Adelman said the expanded tee time availability and upgraded course all proved to be big hits in the 2016 edition of The Links.

“The enthusiasm for (The Links at Petco) was just as much as a year ago, if not more,” he said. “We had a lot of come back, many of whom said they had an even better time this year, and we also had a lot of people participate who didn’t get to play last year.

“There was more energy in the stadium this year because we spaced the tee times closer so there more people in the park at once.”

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Among the course upgrades included tee boxes being staged at four levels of the stadium as opposed to three a year ago, but the awesome opening tee shot, hit toward center field and the San Diego skyline, remained at home plate.

From the tee boxes, golfers get two shots at an outlined green with a colored pin flag. A circle drawn around the flag serves as a birdie target. A ball hitting outside the circle but on the green is a par. Any shot landing outside is a bogey. The best-ball score is recorded for each hole.

Unlike last year, when the layout used several shared greens, this year, each hole had its own green, including an island green on No. 9. Course architect Geoff Shackelford, who worked on the Olympic course in Rio, consulted in this year’s layout to help evolve the course experience.

“He helped shape greens, bunkers and hazards to be true to where actually golf shots would be coming from,” Adelman said. “One of the reasons this event appeals to people is that despite being in a baseball stadium it’s an authentic golf experience. It’s a legitimate golf course.”

Shackelford also helped Callaway stretch the course a bit, extending the length of the longest shot to 165 yards. The shortest was 68 yards.

Two other changes this year included the incorporation of live scoring and also a non-profit partnership with Pro Kids and The First Tee of San Diego. Pro Kids sold mulligans and generated over $23,000 in donations, Adelman said.

“That’s really rewarding for us to see,” he said.

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After last year’s event, Adelman said the Callaway team spent the year brainstorming upgrades to the experience and entertained conversations from 15 organizations about holding a similar event for them.

Ultimately, Adelman said, Carlsbad-based Callaway chose to focus on its core business and improving the event in “our backyard.”

“We need to focus on selling golf equipment,” he said. “It’s a lot of energy and resources to pull off an event like this. We want to continue to focus on doing it here and doing it the best.”

Adelman noted imitators of The Links experience are coming out of the woodwork. For one, the Atlanta Braves hosted a similar event that didn’t involve Callaway or another equipment partner.

Adelman said The Links is an ideal environment to introduce people to Callaway equipment. Golfers not only hit Callaway clubs on each hole, each hole is manned by a Callaway staffer.

“That means we’re getting a touch point with them on every hole,” he said.

Adelman credited the partnership with the Padres as being critical to the event’s continuing success.

“It really is a collaboration,” he said. “We could not do this without their event team and their staff making sure everything runs smoothly. But they also couldn’t do it without us because there are a lot of golf nuances built into this event.”

As for the future of The Links, Adelman said Callaway and the Padres now have a two-year track record of proven success that he’s confident will continue.

“I have an inclination we’ll be back.”

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Video Post: New Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver

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From our friends at Callaway Golf (videos to follow):

Today Callaway Golf Company officially announced the new Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver, a club that establishes a new driver category. The new driver gives golfers the benefit of maximum distance from low spin and forgiveness. While low driver spin has previously come at the expense of forgiveness, Alpha 815 has changed that pattern by giving players both characteristics in one club.

Callaway also announced today the Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver, designed for better players to maximize distance through extreme low spin.

Both drivers will be available at golf retailers nationwide and on www.callawaygolf.com on Nov. 13, 2014. The Alpha 815 will be available for a new product introduction price of $449.99, and the Alpha 815 DD will be available for a new product introduction price of $499.99

Below, we give you the video lowdown on the Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver

-Introduction video: http://youtu.be/ZtYRSWqKH8A

-Callaway Talks: http://youtu.be/6nRqA9UlEhk

Photo Post: Day One of the 2014 West Coast PGA Show

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Free Shipping On the SLDR Driver for a Limited Time at TaylorMadeGolf.com!

So the blog is still out in the desert doing bloggy stuff, but we’ve now reached our ultimate destination: the 2014 West Coast PGA Show in Las Vegas.

As you’re probably aware, the big industry show is in Orlando each year. The Vegas show, I’m told, is about one-quarter of the size and has more of a fashion focus, though the equipment companies and other elements of the industry (training aids, course services, etc.) are still present. And then you get your new business, which, for me, is the most entertaining part of the show. We’ll get to some of that in a second.

Anyway, this is just a few highlights about who’s here and what’s new that is in no way meant to be comprehensive. We’re here networking and gathering future blog material, but here’s a sample of the experience.

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This was my walk to work. I have to admit, I’ve had worse days at the office.

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We’ll start with a few local shout-outs. This is the Cobra Puma crew, smiling ear to ear after the year Rickie Fowler had in majors, particularly the PGA.

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And this is the crew from SKLZ, a friend of the blog. You will be reading much more about this seriously innovative and creative Carlsbad company down the road, but know that I learn something new every time I talk to them. You will enjoy being educated by them – & potentially trained.

Click here for $10 OFF orders of $50 or more at SKLZ.com!

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And here are our friends at Callaway Golf. You may recall that Callaway exhibited a military tank to promote its Tank putter at the Orlando show. Apparently that logistically didn’t work with the Venetian, so an over-sized driver had to do. Worked for me.

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This is Foresight, one of the launch monitor companies on the market and in use at some of the fitting studios, such as Fujikura. I’m a big believer in this stuff and am excited about the personalization trend to make this technology more affordable and accessible.

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Foresight’s new wrinkle is this kiosk, which gives your swing data instead of displaying on screen or viewing it on a laptop. The kiosk also helps you play more than 80 simulated courses. I really need to get around to writing that post about launch monitors and understanding the terminology and data. It’s worth knowing. If you haven’t heard the term “smash factor,” you’re my audience for that post.

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These are cooling visors made by a company called RealXGear based in Anna, Texas, which I now know is north of Dallas. You dip the visors in water and they keep you cool.

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They also make a personal mister that comes in a rechargeable can.

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OK, we’re all friends on the blog, right? We’ve known each other, what, 10 months now? We can talk have these conversations, right? OK …

No kidding this a men’s golf undergarment meant to keep your, well, “stuff” cool. It’s made by a “cool” company in Canada called 2 Under, utilizing a “cool” technology created in Canada and to keep us golfers cool here in the states. The technology actually utilizes sweat to create cool comfort below the beltline, or as it was explained to me, “it’s like air conditioning in your pants.” And there are puns galore where that came from, but I’ll just let a photo speak for all of them …

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In case that’s heard to read on your device, it says, “Joey Pouch.” I’ve got a pair now, so just call me Captain Kangaroo when you see me on the course.

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This is Golfboard, an electric board that replicates the feel of a skateboard/surfboard and can carry your golf clubs. You will definitely be hearing more about this, so I’ll keep it brief. You can think of this thing as a golf Segway of sorts. By the way, did you know the inventor of the Segway died riding a Segway? I think that merits Alanis releasing an updated version of “Ironic.”

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This is an app called Scan4Beer that allows you to order beer and other concession items from your cart on the golf course. I had a similar idea once, but there’s is better. Check it out.

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When people tell me I have a cool job, I don’t exactly object, but it’s sign like this that remind me their are levels beyond mine in the cool job hierarchy. Many of them are here.

No kidding, this is the show you pass to get to the PGA Show. The blog nearly stopped off and changed topics, but then we remembered our loyal readers and duty called. Hopefully none of you are holding that decision against me, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did.

That reminds me, I’ve got a “show” to catch.

July 2014 Southland Golf

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www.southlandgolfmagazine.com

Eagle Crest course review, Page 16

Front Nine Golf Leaders Profiles

Harry Arnett cover story and profile, Page 28

Mike Flanagan profile, Page 31

Susan Roll profile, Page 35

A Little Piece of Personal Publishing History

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This is the latest cover of Southland Golf, which scored me my first cover story out here, a feature on Callaway Golf Marketing VP Harry Arnett. I’ll get the articles and links posted at the end of the week when the digital issue will hopefully be available.

I started writing for Southland Golf a year ago and this was favorite issue yet for several reasons. I got to work with two of my former mentors at the Golf Academy (Senior Instructor Mike Flanagan and Mark Hayden, now the GM at Eagle Crest) and make two new connections (Harry and Susan Roll of the Carlsbad Golf Center) I’d been wanting to make for a while. 

Hope you enjoy the issue.