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Brent Kelley

Callaway Sells Off Top-Flite

By April 4, 2012

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Back in 2003, Top-Flite produced more golf balls than any other company in the world. It also owned the Strata and Ben Hogan brands. And it also went bankrupt.

But Callaway swooped in to scoop Top-Flite out of bankruptcy on the cheap: a mere $125 million. Today, Callaway sold off Top-Flite even cheaper to retailer Dick's Sporting Goods. The price, according to Golf Digest, was only $20 million.

Callaway has kept selling Top-Flite products during its ownership of the brand, but Top-Flite's visibility has dropped dramatically during its time under Callaway. Still, its fate is better than that of the Ben Hogan brand. Callaway stopped making Ben Hogan clubs years ago, and earlier this year, in a move barely noticed, sold the Ben Hogan brand to clothing, accessories and perfume maker Perry Ellis.

Top-Flite is at least going to a company that will keep the brand alive and, likely, revitalize it. For Dick's Sporting Goods - which also owns the Golf Galaxy chain - it's another move for a recognizable brand. Dick's previously purchased Maxfli from TaylorMade and acquired the Nickent brand after Nickent's bankruptcy several years ago. Dick's also owns the Walter Hagen brand.

That's a lot of brands changing hands for just one blog post. Just for extra credit: Callaway's sale of Top-Flite was announced by CEO Chip Brewer, who left Adams Golf earlier this year to join Callaway. Adams Golf, a couple weeks ago, was bought by TaylorMade.

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