Callaway Golf Ball R&D Visits PGCCIf golf equipment manufacturers did not have Research and Development departments, it’s very likely that after all the time that has passed since 15th century Scotland introduced us to golf, we would still be playing with hickory-shafted clubs and balls stuffed with feathers. Lucky for us, just as times change, so does technology. To that end, the Callaway Golf Company has been a pioneer in new technology and innovative design since its inception; and through endorsement deals with Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstan, among others, they have steadily kept golf a high-profile sport.
Dave Ruth and Paul Guy, two members of Callaway’s 18-person Golf Ball R&D team, swung by PGCC Temecula to show our students a little bit of what they’re working on, and to demonstrate that a thriving career in golf is more than just a dream, it is a reality. The duo, equipped with a PowerPoint presentation and display materials, gave a bit of background on Callaway’s 18-person R&D teams, namely, there’s four of them: Materials, Engineering, Testing and Aerodynamics. Many of us take it for granted but the next time you tear open that sleeve of Callaway golf balls, take a moment to consider that at the very minimum, 18 people slaved for countless hours to ensure that you are going to get the best-possible-performance from out of that little orb.
Ruth joined Callaway equipped with a vast arsenal of knowledge from his years working with plastics and manufacturing, shared “The most important part of my job is always moving Callaway forward,” he continued, “We are never good enough, in the sense that we are always pushing to the next level, trying to develop the next golf ball that has the ‘WOW’ factor, not something that’s just a little bit better.” So what is R&D’s bottom line? Ruth states simply, “We want to make something that nobody has ever seen, the absolute greatest golf ball we can produce.” Ruth feels strongly that this drive is what keeps Callaway ahead of the game. Ruth continued, “In terms of golf balls, what sets us apart is our team. 18 people doesn't sound like a lot but we are a team through-and-through. We work as a unit, and develop as a unit.”
Having industry professionals share their knowledge and passion is a critical part of educating the future leaders in the world of golf, because without it, students may never realize just how close they are to having the career of their dreams. Ruth says, “The best part of my job is that I get to work in the golf industry, which is very cool. I absolutely love playing golf so that’s a big drive for me.” A love of golf seems a rather crucial element to success in this industry, but then again, so is the right education.Speaking to the importance of experience, education and a strong network Ruth concluded that, “Having the foothold with the golf college is going to help you get in the door. To get into my field you would want this degree and an engineering degree, and I think to find someone who has a golf college degree would be high on Callaway’s list of potential hires. This is important, it’s what golf companies look for, and it would benefit you very much.”