COMPANY PROFILE: ELY CALLAWAY FEATURED IN GOLF DIGEST
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).