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Callaway Golf Debuts Custom Clubfitting Program Powered By IBM ThinkPad Notebook Computers


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CARLSBAD, CA. - 25 Jun 2001: Callaway Golf and IBM today announced they are teaming up to offer an innovative technology solution designed to provide golfers everywhere with Callaway Golf clubs made to each golfer's exact specifications. Callaway Golf has designed the new custom clubfitting initiative to combine Callaway Golf's cutting-edge technology, IBM's award-winning ThinkPad* notebook computers and the hands-on expertise of golf professionals around the world.

A key technological component of the Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution™ program is a Callaway proprietary solution powered by IBM ThinkPad T21 Series notebooks that will allow golf professionals to record swing data such as ball speed, clubhead speed and projected distance during a fitting session. The computer program, using expert feedback from the golf professional, then calculates which specifications would best fit each individual golfer.

The Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution system features a unique, mobile club-storage cart that can be pushed by hand or pulled behind a golf cart. The three-wheeled scooter contains 50 golf clubs with varying specifications from across Callaway Golf's product lines, including Big Bertha® ERC® II Forged Titanium Drivers, Big Bertha Hawk Eye® VFT™ Titanium Woods, Steelhead Plus™ Stainless Steel Woods, Hawk Eye Tungsten Injected™ Titanium Irons, Steelhead™ X-14® Irons and Callaway Golf women's line of clubs, the Ladies' Gems.

"We've built this fitting system to be the best of both worlds - trusted advice from an experienced golf professional and technological data that will help us make the best set of clubs for a particular golfer," said Richard C. Helmstetter, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief of New Products for Callaway Golf. "The computer system we have incorporated into the Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution program is an entirely new system that encompasses what we have learned about golf club technology with what we know about the benefits of properly fitted golf clubs. We have learned a lot about building custom clubs for tour professionals at our test center in Carlsbad. This new system enables us to bring that exciting experience to golfers around the world."

The Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution also includes the ASTAR video swing analysis capability. Golf professionals can plug a video camera into the system and tape a golfer's swing, then use the onboard computer to provide analysis and instruction with features such as split-screen viewing and a telestrator to track movement. By simply adding a video camera, golf professional can transform the Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution into a full-fledged ASTAR system teaching tool.

The IBM ThinkPad and launch monitor will be included with the Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution system, and golf professionals will be trained to perform a fitting with this proprietary equipment. After a fitting session, the golf professional will be able to quickly and easily place a custom order for the consumer that will be built and shipped in a matter of days by Callaway Golf's new custom department. The Callaway Custom Fitting Solution program is scheduled to roll out to select retail accounts this summer.

"We are excited about working with IBM on the Callaway Golf Custom Fitting Solution," said Mick McCormick, Executive Vice President of Global Sales for Callaway Golf. "IBM presented the best technological solution for what we consider to be the most advanced fitting system in the golf industry. We also look forward to continued research and development work with IBM on possible fitting technology for future use."

"Much like IBM in the computer industry, Callaway Golf has built a considerable reputation as a technology leader in the golf business," said Rick McGee, Vice President of Marketing, IBM Personal Device Brands. "ThinkPads are noted for durability, reliability and ease of use, characteristics that help make this solution a winner to the benefit of golfers everywhere."

Callaway Golf Company makes and sells Big Bertha® Metal Woods and Irons, including Big Bertha ERC® II Forged Titanium Drivers, Big Bertha Hawk Eye® VFT™ and Big Bertha Hawk Eye VFT Pro Series Titanium Drivers and Fairway Woods, Big Bertha Steelhead Plus™ Stainless Steel Drivers and Fairway Woods, Hawk Eye Tungsten Injected™ Titanium Irons, Steelhead™ X-14® and Steelhead X-14 Pro Series Stainless Steel Irons. Callaway Golf Company also makes and sells Odyssey® Putters, including White Hot®, TriHot™, and Dual Force® Putters. Callaway Golf Company makes and sells the Callaway Golf® Rule 35® Firmfeel™ and Softfeel™ golf balls, and the CB1™ Red and CB1 Blue golf balls. For more information about Callaway Golf Company, please visit our Web sites at www.callawaygolf.com and www.odysseygolf.com.

IBM ThinkPad continues to help lead the way in delivering enhancements, innovations and solutions that have shaped and defined the mobile computing industry. To date, more than 13 million ThinkPad notebooks have been shipped. Since the launch of the ThinkPad 700C in 1992, these acclaimed notebook computers have been lauded as design and engineering models, winning nearly 750 industry awards. ThinkPad notebooks have been trusted for use in some of the world's most extreme settings, including space shuttle launches, altitudes more than 17,000 feet above sea level and on the open seas. For more information about IBM ThinkPad notebooks, please visit www.ibm.com or www.ibm.com/thinkpad.

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* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

Contact(s) information

Rick Bause
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-3990
rbause@us.ibm.com

Ray Barger
ASTAR
(858) 755-3425, ext. 122

Larry Dorman
Callaway Golf
(760) 931-1771