NGF 2001 Graffis Award Given to Ely CallawayEly Callaway, who built Callaway Golf into the largest golf club manufacturer in the world, has been posthumously awarded the National Golf Foundation's Graffis Award for 2001.
The announcement was made by NGF Board Chairman Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., who also is Sr. Vice President - National Director of The First Tee program.
The award recognizes outstanding, lifelong contributions to the game and business of golf in the tradition of Herb and Joe Graffis, two brothers who co-founded the NGF in 1936 and worked diligently to promote the ideals and the growth of the game.
Previous recipients include Karsten Solheim, Judy Bell, Gene Sarazen, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Patty Berg, Tom Watson, Kerry Graham, Deane Beman, Peggy Kirk Bell, Paul Runyan, Charles Mechem and Dennis Walters. (See complete listing below.)
"Few have altered the golf landscape as Ely Callaway has," said Barrow. "And the NGF is proud and pleased to recognize everything he did for the game and business of golf."
Mr. Callaway followed successes in the textile and wine businesses by starting a small golf company in 1982 that made a line of wedges with steel core wooden shafts. For more than a decade now, his company's innovative designs and application of research and advanced technology have created new excitement in the game for millions of golfers around the world. The "Big Bertha" Driver, which in 1991 became the defining golf club product for this generation of golfers, marked a break-through in golf club technology that has continued to this day. Under his leadership, Callaway Golf Company became the largest golf club manufacturer and one of the most recognized golf equipment companies in the world today.
In May of this year, Mr. Callaway retired as President and CEO, and passed away on July 5 at the age of 82.