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Home Callaway Golf makes some adjustments

Many people believe that life and golf have many similarities. It’s considered to be a reason many recreational players are attracted to the game. Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY) made its name and reputation in the metal wood category. Titanium helped to make the company what it is today. Over time it has morphed to composite materials as its platform of choice for its metal woods franchise. The category is extremely competitive both in terms of designs as well as vendors vying for consumer dollars. In recent years product cycles have also shortened, which adds to the challenges for engineers to find performance improvements sooner rather than later.

razrfitIn the age of adjustable drivers, Callaway by its own admission has been holding out. But it doesn’t want that message to be confused with holding back. The company will introduce to consumers worldwide on February 17, 2012, the RAZR Fit Driver and Fairway Woods. “With RAZR Fit we created the first adjustable driver without any performance compromises,” stated Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway Golf’s Sr. Vice President of Research & Development. “Callaway is not just entering the adjustability race with the introduction of RAZR Fit, we are taking the pole position. The adjustable features, combined with our proprietary technologies, allow golfers to play a more meaningful role than ever before in their journey to optimized performance.”

According to the company, the RAZR Fit line of woods represents it’s most advanced products in 29 years of building clubs. The driver incorporates performance benefits gained from several proprietary technologies with an easy-to-understand, adjustable hosel plus moveable weights to promote draw or neutral ball flight. Dan Stevens, Manager Industrial Design, said, “With the RAZR Fit driver, your able to adjust the hosel to change the face angle. It also offers two different weights in the heel and toe that you can move to adjust the center of gravity position.” Luke Williams, Senior Director for Global Woods and Irons, said, “We can change the club to affect your ball flight and you don’t have to change your swing. Adjustability that matters and we didn’t compromise the performance in any way.”

Callaway has incorporated some of its best engineering traits in the past with some new proprietary enhancements in the RAZR Fit line of drivers and fairway woods. Fans of the company’s previous work will remember Callaway’s OptiFit adjustability system that allows golfers to adjust the club’s face angle to three address positions: Open, Square and Closed. This adjustment enables players to choose a preferred look at address while also minimizing a slice or hook generated by the club’s delivery to the ball. In the driver head, OptiFit weights (one weighing 12 grams and the other 2 grams) are featured in the sole's toe and heal positions. These are movable and can be exchanged to influence even more the club's center of gravity razrfit2and a perceivable draw or neutral ball flight.

The crown of the RAZR Fit Driver is comprised of Forged Composite, an advanced carbon composite material that Callaway developed over several years in partnership with Automobili Lamborghini. It allowed Callaway engineers to save weight and precisely control the thickness of the crown through the use of Forged Composite materials. It contributes to generating a lower center of gravity, Callaway said and more forgiveness on off-center hits.

The RAZR Fit Driver is the first Callaway product to incorporate a proprietary aerodynamic shaping called Streamlined Surface Technology. According to the company, it addresses the complex variations in aerodynamic flow during a driver’s entire downswing from transition through impact. More than four years in the making, according to the company, Streamlined Surface Technology has reduced RAZR Fit’s energy loss due to drag by 14% (relative to its predecessor, the RAZR Hawk Driver), despite the addition of an adjustable hosel. This contributes to increased ball speed at impact, a critical element of driving distance. This aerodynamics technology is accompanied by the debut of the Company’s new Speed Frame Face Technology, which combines hyperbolic shaping of the clubface with precision thickness control to achieve a larger sweet spot. This new technology, Callaway said, optimizes stress distribution and increases ball speeds across the face. Callaway engineers were also able to save weight by implementing this new face technology.

The RAZR Fit Driver is equipped with a 45.5” Aldila RIP’d NV shaft and a premium Golf Pride New Decade Multi Compound grip. The club is already in the bags of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Alvaro Quiros and other tour professionals around the world, Callaway said. The RAZR Fit Driver will debut at the introduction retail price of $399. “I think we nailed it,” Hocknell added.

Like the RAZR Fit Driver, the RAZR Fit Fairway Woods feature three address positions—Open, Square and Closed. They will be available in a 3-Wood (15°) and a 5-Wood (18°), and allow players to make adjustments based on their preferred look at address and to minimize tendencies to hook or slice the ball. Callaway’s staff of Tour players helped inspire the club design, the company said, which features a traditional shape in a compact head size, as well as a shallow face with a low leading edge.

Callaway’s engineers have also applied Variable Face Thickness Technology to precisely shape the face thickness in each fairway wood, the company said, increasing the sweet spot and promoting consistent trajectories and hotter ball speeds. RAZR Fit Fairway Woods will be available at an introduction retail price of $249. “The RAZR Fit Fairway Wood was designed for players seeking the ultimate in performance and optimization,” said Hocknell. “Whether a golfer is advancing the ball in a fairway or getting out of trouble, RAZR Fit Fairway Woods will inspire the confidence to hit great shots.”