Callaway reports flawed Tour i balls
Thursday, May 21, 2009
CARLSBAD, Calif. – Callaway Golf announced May 21 that “less than 1 percent” of its Tour i golf balls have exceeded the 1.620-ounce weight limitation that is imposed on all golf balls. A heavier ball has the potential to fly and roll farther.
As a result, the sidestamp on the Tour i ball has been changed, and the original Tour i sidestamp will be dropped from the conforming golf ball list, effective June 3. The conforming ball list is published each month by the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A.
Both Tour i balls – with the old and new side stamps – will remain on the conforming list until June 3.
The new sidestamp features two dots on either side of the “Tour i” moniker (••Tour i••). The original sidestamp had just one dot (•Tour i•) before and after the ball’s name, and it will disappear as inventories are exhausted.
Callaway, which voluntarily has undertaken this action, said the overweight balls resulted from a manufacturing problem that occurred during two days in late 2008 (the Tour i was introduced in early 2008). The excess weight, according to Callaway, is “less than the weight of a U.S. dollar bill.”
Callaway’s Tour ix ball is unaffected. Phil Mickelson has used both balls on the PGA Tour. Most touring pros say the Tour ix goes slightly farther on tee shots, although the Tour i has a somewhat higher trajectory on iron shots and thus might provide a softer landing.
This is the second voluntary notification from a major golf ball manufacturer to the USGA in 2009.
On March 2, TaylorMade’s original LDP Red golf ball was removed from the USGA conforming ball list, replaced by a new LDP Red ball with a different sidestamp.
The problem with the TaylorMade ball was excess initial velocity. According to TaylorMade, this was caused by a manufacturing error in which the wrong core was inserted in a small number of the LDP Red balls.
The original Tour i cannot be used in professional tournaments and select amateur events that use the most current conforming ball list as a condition of competition. However, it can be used for all other events and to post scores.
Callaway has announced an exchange program for golfers who play in tournaments requiring adherence to the conforming ball list. Players are asked to contact Callaway customer service for details.