Why golf membership maker Callaway is transferring away from the green
With a record number of new golfers teeing off in 2020, Callaway, the maker of golf balls, clubs, bags and apparel, is thriving.
Callaway announced net sales of $ 652 million for the first quarter in May, up 47% year over year.
“Callaway was number one in clubs even before Covid, I’ll call it putters, drivers and irons,” said Jefferies analyst Randy Konik. “They outperformed the industry and were number two behind Titleist.”
Callaway has also moved off the fairway. In March, the company completed its merger with the golf entertainment company Topgolf, which combines virtual driving ranges with food and cocktails.
“This is a transformative merger. It creates an entity that doesn’t really mimic anything that exists today, merging the leading provider of golf equipment with the leading provider of golf entertainment,” said Chip Brewer, CEO of Callaway.
In the past year, nearly 37 million players tee off on a golf course or participated in an off-course activity such as a driving range. Almost a third of the US population saw, read, or played golf in 2020.
But with the expected recovery from movie theaters, travel and concerts, will golf club makers like Callaway and its rival Acushnet be able to maintain their momentum?