Why golf membership producer Callaway is shifting away from the golf 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 also number two behind Titleist.”

Callaway has also moved off the fairway. In March, the company completed the 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 golf equipment leader with the golf entertainment leader,” said Chip Brewer, Callaway CEO.

Last year, nearly 37 million players tied off 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?

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