Golf clubs went through a lot of changes before becoming what they are right now. When it was first introduced in Scotland, it was a casual game using casual equipments carved from wood. Eventually as the game became competitive, Callaway golf clubs are left in the hands of professional and skilled craftsmen. The first set of special Callaway golf clubs was owned by James IV of Scotland in 1502 who commissioned a bow maker in Perth to make his set. During those times, a golf club set consists of the following:
- Long noses called play clubs used for driving balls around (looks similar to ice hockey stick of modern times)
- Grassed drivers called fairway clubs for medium range distances
- Spoons for short ranges
- Niblicks (or wedges)
- Putting cleek
During those times Callaway golf club heads were made from tough woods such as pear, holly, apple and the most common hardwood, beech. The shaft was made of hazel or ash wood. The head are attached to the shaft using a splint and is tightly bound by a leather strap. The creation of an old school golf club was a bit complicated, it takes longer to make, and thus it was also expensive. Most golf clubs were fragile as well, therefore it was not unusual for a golfer to break a club or two per game. Such reasons made golf a game of the elite during the old times. Only those who can afford it can play golf.
It was around 1750 when crafters started adding metal and bone fragments into the wooden club to prevent shattering. Other manufactures add leather and other materials to increase the compression of the club. The more compressed a club is, the farther the distance it can push the ball to. Such additions paved the way for the second generation golf club which officially emerged in 1826.
When gutty ball was introduced by Dr. Paterson in 1848, long noses became obsolete. Instead bulgers (odd shaped club heads) made of hickory were slowly taking over the golfing arena. However, some manufacturers still resort to using the other wood – perhaps to minimize cost of production. Club heads made of hickory are similar to the club heads as known today. These bulgers are able to withstand the pressure caused by gutty balls. By 1900 persimmon was the main material used for club heads. Alternatively aluminum alloys were also used to create club heads since traditionally; metal forging by hand was the way to create golf clubs. In 1902, E. Burr created the first grooved-faced iron club believed to increase the backspin of a golf ball. Metal shafts were first introduced in 1890 by Thomas Horsburgh although was not immediately accepted by the golfing public. It was only legalized when in 1929, the Prince of Whales himself made use of a golf club with a steel shaft.
The modern Callaway golf clubs were made using a mix of traditional and modern materials available for manufacturing. The first batch of modern golf clubs was first used in 1930. In 1939, R&A finalized and made into a standard the 14 club rule. This rule states that golfers, should have no more than 14 clubs in his/her bag on any given competition day. This is to assess the golfer’s capability and create a standard for clubs. Instead of naming clubs, manufacturers identify golf clubs by their numbers. The numbers determine the golf clubs loft, heaviness, lightness and how each club can affect the distance conquered by any golf ball.
The first affordable set of golf clubs was out in the market in 1963. This was made possible with the casting method of creating clubs, a much quicker and less expensive way of producing golf clubs compared to hand forging them just like the old times. Graphite shafts were first introduced in 1973, to replace the heavier hardwood or aluminum shafts. Currently, golf clubs made of graphite shafts and titanium club head is the in thing among golfers, a far outcry from the original wooded clubs of 1502.