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The New Callaway Tour Van


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The New Callaway Tour Van

A Spy Gets the Inside Scoop

 

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A Little Pebble Beach Recon

So today is moving day at the AT&T tournament at Pebble Beach. I can't wait to see if Phil or Tiger goes low, or if Charlie Wi can keep the lead with his spectacular putting (thanks AimPoint). No matter how the tournament finishes though, the coolest thing that I saw at the tournament actually happened before it even started. Earlier in the week, this golfspy had the chance to go inside the ropes and check out the new high-tech Callaway Golf Tour Van.

 

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So Who Builds Your Clubs?

Hopefully you have found a club builder in your area whose work allows you to take the best equipment you can to the course. Perhaps you are even that club builder, with a nice little golf workshop set up in your garage. But what if you are a tour player? Would you expect Ernie Els to head to the local golf shop in the mall to get his irons re-gripped and his wedges ground and bent? Probably not. So where do the pros turn for club construction and repair? The tour van, of course.

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A Tour Of The Tour Van

Manufacturer tour vans roll into the tournament venues each week prior to the start of the tournament. In general, these vans provide the players the equipment that they need to have the best chance of competing, and hopefully winning that week's event. The tour van corral at Pebble Beach was populated with vans from all of the large manufacturers, but I was able to get an inside peek at the Callaway van, the newest, and maybe coolest, van in the pack.

 

This van is massive. As you can see from the photos, the Callaway tour van features significant pop-out sections. Think a high-end motor home and then double or triple that. This beast expands to 42' x 15' and weighs in at a petite 64,000 pounds. That beefiness aside, the real amazing thing to see is the interior workshop that is created when it expands. Inside the van, you have the ability to take care of any club need that a Callaway pro could need in preparing for a tournament. A list of the current Callaway pros can be found HERE. http://www.callawaygolf.com/global/en-us/tour/staff-pros.html

 

Looking around the van, you can see all of the machinery necessary for club construction and alteration. There are drawers full of shafts, heads, grips, and other raw materials. The real magic though is that there are expert club makers also on the van who can bend, tweak, and grind to a pro's individual characteristics. This allows for the club fine-tuning that, again, gives the pro the best chance to compete.

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So What Makes The Callaway Tour Van Special?

I'll admit that the role of the tour van that I described in the previous section is likely common to all manufacturers. Once inside you can see that something special happens here. At the risk of getting too ethereal, the Callaway tour van interior has a very positive feel to it. Woo woo aside, it is plain to see as one looks around the Callaway van that the new design came about through careful considerations about what would make the van optimally functional for the club makers inside. One cool feature is the large window in the side that looks out over the range where the pros are working on their games. This allows the club maker a visual connection between the club they made and the pro using it on the range.

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Callaway And CDW Have Taken Player Data To A Whole New Level.

OK so a big window is nice, but not really innovative as other vans have them as well. That brings us to the coolest thing about the Callaway set-up. Connectivity. You may have noticed the large CDW badge on the outside of the Callaway van. That sign speaks to a new data connectivity system that CDW and Callaway have developed. Callaway and CDW have developed a system where swing data can be collected from the player on the range and transmitted not only back to the tour van, but also to the club engineers at Callaway R&D. My understanding of the system is that this allows the technicians on the van and the engineers back at Carlsbad to view the data in real time together, and then make adjustments to the equipment both for play that week and also to the future club designs. This system allows a broader collaborative approach toward optimizing the gear of their pros, but also a deep data set that could/should improve the clubs that come to market for the general public. I would love to see Callaway figure out a way that anyone could log in and see the swing data as well. How cool would it be to be able to watch Phil's swing on the range as he is tuning his game? I know that is not likely to happen but one can dream. Regardless, this coupling of golf and technology definitely tells me that Callaway is actively seeking a competitive edge for its pros.

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Some Other Random Cool Things From The Callaway Van…

Here are some of the other things that I noticed while poking around the van:

 

Soft Goods Rack

I thought this rack was super cool. You can see that each pro has a specific cubbyhole where the balls, gloves, hats, and other soft goods that the pros need each week are stored. I thought that it was interesting to see hats that were not even Callaway branded (Ernie's and Phil's). Ernie wears a XXL cadet glove by the way.

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Putter Station

While the majority of the van seems to be focused on the other thirteen clubs, there is a nice area devoted to Odyssey as well. The majority of the Odyssey gear for the van was moved down to the practice green, but there were some player-specific flatsticks in the van as well. Here is a bit of custom paintwork being done on a new Metal X #7 and a putter that I assume must belong to Mr. Els.

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Hanging Around the Van

Perhaps the coolest thing for me was just hanging around the van and watching the people who came by. I missed Phil by about 45 minutes. I was a bit bummed as I had brought a new ASU hat for him to sign (Go Devils!). That disappointment was quickly forgotten as I watched JB Holmes and his caddy pick up some raingear and Callaway beanies. I was a bit star-struck as I stood and watched, but nothing prepared me for what happened next.

 

While I was hanging outside of the van, a man walked up toward the van with a fist full of clubs. He walked right over to where we were standing, extended a hand, and said, “Hi, my name is Reggie”. As I introduced myself and shook his hand, I was stunned. You see Reggie didn't say his last name, but anyone who watched baseball between 1967 and 1987 would know who he was. Unofficially, you could refer to him as Mr. October, but his real last name is Jackson. Reggie was not playing in the tournament, but was there because he has had a home in Carmel for thirty years. He had come over to the van to see about finding a new putter. As he said goodbye and headed into the van, I am certain that the Callaway tour guys were able to take care of him. Wow…

 

Anyway, thanks a bunch to Callaway for not only allowing me to come and check out the awesome van, but also for giving me the chance to meet one of my childhood heroes. What a great day.

 

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Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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Would love to be able to wonder around in all the OEM's Tour Vans. I would loose my mind with all their equipment and i'm not just talking golf clubs..... i'm talking all the custom machines these OEMs have like one that cures the Tip sleeves in minutes. All the Mitchell machines and Scotty Cameron Putter adjustment machine... I'd be like a kid in the candy shop. God knows i love my repair tools. :rolleyes:

The Bag:

Right handed

Cobra King FLYZ+ 10.5* w/ Aldila Rogue 125 R 44.5"

Tour Issued TM M2 10.5 w/ Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue 60S

Tour Issued TM M2 15* w/ GD Tour AD 7S 43"

TM R7 17.5 HFS w/ Tour AD 7S Stiff 42"

Cobra S3 Pro's 4-pw w/ Aldila RIP Tours SLT 115 Reg. 5i 38.5"

Titleist Vokey Proto's

52*,54*,58* all TTDG S-400

TM TP5 X

Scotty Cameron SSS Tiffany 009 350 34.5" or Bettinardi BB1 DASS Proto

GHIN # 5144472

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Very neat Dave!

 

I love that the van is clean, but cluttered as everything under the sun is being done to help their players. There's a couple of Fubuki K's sticking out of the bin ready to go. For Phil probably?

 

A bone though: CDW? Seriously Callaway? I hope those nutters paid you a bundle to money to stick there name on your van. A company that "gets it" less I cannot imagine. Diabolical really.

I laught at your claims to fight a zombie apocalypse when most of you can't stand up to a Spider

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I was with golf spy dave and it was an awesome day. The guys on the van answered any question we asked with lots of detail. Reggie was fantastic, what a bonus. We couldn't have had better access to the range, Vans, Players and golf course. Thanks again Callaway and golf spy Dave for allowing me to attend.

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  • 10 months later...

Awesome.

 

AJ

WITB

Driver: Ping G25

FW: TM RBZ

Irons: Miura 57 Series w/KBS C-Taper

Wedges: Vokey SM4 52-08,56-12,60-04

Putter: Watch This Space

Ball: SRixon Z Star

Other: Tourstriker 7i

 

"Go Hard or Go Home"

 

"Do or Do Not. There is NO "TRY"

 

"Be normal, and the crowd will accept you. Be deranged, and they will make you their leader"

 

"I don't fail. I succeed at finding what doesn't work"

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I'm embarassed to admit this, however this is the first time through this thread. This is easily the coolest tour related threads and one of my top three overall, lol.

 

Dude, GREAT thread, GREAT pics and GREAT commentary!

 

Damn, I can't believe I missed this, HaHa.

 

Man, gettin old sux! B)

 

Thanx again for a special thread!

 

 

Fairways & Greens 4ever

:mizuno-small:

:lol: My thoughts exactly!!

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