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COMPANY PROFILE: ELY CALLAWAY FEATURED IN GOLF DIGEST
Published October 11, 1995
Ely Callaway, the "demigod of golf club production who blasted a $400,000 initial investment into a $1.1B company in less than a decade and made his officers and investors as rich as sheiks in the process," is profiled in the latest GOLF DIGEST by Mark Seal. Seal examines how Callaway "revolutionized golf club manufacturing, a once somnolent industry now charged with the bluster of a bull market." THE NUMBER: Callaway's '94 sales figure hit $448.7M, the largest in golf club manufacturing history, and a change from 20- years ago, when manufacturing was run by "conglomerates, not entrepreneurs." Spalding, Wilson, and MacGregor "manufactured and marketed their clubs much as the auto industry did cars, with annual improvements, new models, and steady, if not spectacular, sales." But all that changed in '69 when Ping's Karsten Solheim "created an entirely different clubhead ... launching the race for innovation." Callaway's Richard Parente, on the early success of the company: "You trickle down from the top. You get your product into the hands of the country's most powerful and visual people. Ely would throw excessive money at point-of- purchase (displays). Ely is image driven." THE FUTURE: Callway dismisses talk of a possible takeover saying, "We have not heard anything about any interest in buying our stock" (GOLF DIGEST, 11/95 issue).