The meteoric rise of golf's popularity in the mid-1990s coincided with the rise of the stardom of legendary golfer Tiger Woods.
Woods left Stanford University and turned professional in August 1996, was named the Professional Golfers' Association's outstanding rookie and finished the year in December 1996 being named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Woods won the Masters Tournament in April 1997 and was ranked No. 1 in the world in June 1997.
Woods in 2000 would add U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship victories to his resume to become the youngest player ever to win all four major golf titles and second to win three majors titles in a year at only age 24. Woods' success would continue and he would win his fourth Masters title in 2005.
Woods' success and stardom has been credited with the rise of golf's popularity while the superstar continued winning. The estimated amount of people playing golf in the U.S. rose from 24.4 million players in 1996 to 29.8 million in 2006, before dropping back down to 24.1 million in 2015, according to Golf Digest, as Wood's success and popularity faded. But Woods would win another Masters in 2019, before sustaining severe leg injuries in 2021 from a tragic single-car accident that threatened to end his career.
About 25.1 million people played golf on U.S. courses in 2021, according to the National Golf Foundation.
Callaway Develops New Line of Clubs
Golfers returning to golf courses to seek a hole-in-one, can turn to the top golf equipment companies, such as Acushnet's (GOLF) - Get Free Report Titleist and Topgolf Callaway Brands' (MODG) Callaway Golf, that continue to develop new high-tech golf clubs and other equipment to hopefully make their customers better players.
Titleist's most recent launch of new golf clubs was its Sept. 23 release of its TSR Metalwoods.
“The new TSR fairway metals exemplify the newest advancements in Metalwood technology and offer options for all golfers looking to gain an advantage off the tee and off the deck,” Stephanie Luttrell, director of Metalwood Development, said in a statement. “Combined with its tour-inspired shaping and powerful sound and feel, the optimized performance of TSR fairways sets a new standard for the Titleist Speed Project.”
Callaway Golf was not to be outdone by Titleist. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based golf equipment company on Jan. 13 will begin pre-sales of its new Paradym Family of Woods and Irons and will begin sales at retailers on Feb. 24, according to a statement. The company said Paradym golf clubs are designed for a complete shift in performance from unparalleled distance, forgiveness and all-new product constructions.
Clubs Designed for Distance and Speed
Callaway's Paradym Drivers eliminate titanium from the club's body to promote unprecedented weight distribution for maximized distance with its 360 Carbon Chassis, which features its Triaxial Carbon crown and Forged Carbon sole that are 44% lighter than a titanium chassis.
The Paradym Fairway Woods new construction repositions weight from the body to promote higher ball speed and moments of inertia. The Paradym Hybrids are the first to feature Callaway's artificial intelligence-designed Jailbreak with Batwing Technology for high ball speeds. The Paradym Irons shift construction is designed to amplify speed and feel.
Pricing for the Paradym clubs consist of $599.99 for the Driver, $349.99 for the Paradym Fairway Wood, $299.99 for a Hybrid and Irons are priced $1,400 for a seven-piece set or $200 per Iron.