In this newest installment of our LinkedIn to Callaway series we talk to our Sr. Manager, R&D – Woods, Evan Gibbs. He tells us about his team and what went into building the new Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver.
Evan, why does your team in R&D work so well together?
The woods team mostly has engineering and mechanical backgrounds as well as a passion for golf. So I think the combination of the technical background and the love for the game makes us excited to come to work every day.
It’s a pretty small but dynamic group that works very well together. And one of the cool things about this job is you get the opportunity to work in small teams and work with others but also get some independence to explore new ideas and concepts on your own. Maintaining that balance has been critical to our success as a team.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
There are a lot of different facets to the job and a lot of collaboration with groups outside of R&D. We’re constantly interacting with media, sales reps, marketing, and we have an excellent relationship with our Tour reps.
We do a lot of testing on Tour as well as at our performance center and I think the most interesting/fun part of the job has to be seeing a new prototype hit for the first time.
For a product like the Big Bertha Alpha 815, how does it evolve from start to finish?
Last year, the original Big Bertha Alpha Driver was really a breakthrough in innovation for us, it was the first time we used a Gravity Core and the first time a manufacturer has been able to move the Center of Gravity independently up and down. It became really the pinnacle of adjustability and it became the most comprehensive fitting platform that we had.
Having all the feedback that we got from Big Bertha Alpha, we then tried to take that technology and make it more accessible to a broader range of golfers, take what we learned and make it better. So that was the goal of 815, take this concept of adjustability and make it more accessible for a broader range of golfers, and let more golfers see the benefits of this technology.
When did you realize you had a really good driver on your hands?
We went out on Tour with a prototype to see if conceptually this was something that players would be interested in. And to be able to see the players’ reactions when we were able to change their trajectory in a matter of seconds we knew we were on to something pretty cool. And then we just had to go figure out how to actually put it into a product and make it work.
Did you have a golf background when you came to Callaway?
I played pretty much every sport growing up except golf. I played football at Wake Forest, which is pretty well known for its golf team, ironically. When I came to Callaway that changed pretty quickly. I’ve been here 14 years now and I can’t get enough of it.
For more on all our new drivers, take a look at our pathways to distance page.
Past LinkedIn to Callaway Features: