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Callaway Focusing on Core Golf Brands: CEO

Thursday, 5 Apr 2012 | 2:20 PM ET

Callaway Golf CEO Chip Brewer told CNBC Thursday the maker of golf clubs and clothing shed its Top-Flite golf ball business to focus on its two core brands, Callaway and Odyssey.

The Top-Flite business was sold to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Brewer called Top-Flite “a great brand, and it’s been with the company for several years. But if you look at where the company is now, we think the best strategy is to focus on our core brands...We’ve got a lot of runway there, a tremendous amount of opportunity, and it made sense to part company with Top-Flite. Dick’s has been a great partner and they’ll do very well with it.

Callaway's Comeback Story
The 2012 masters golf tournament is underway and one of golf's most iconic names, Callaway, announced it is selling its brand to Dick's Sporting Goods. Chip Brewer, Callaway Golf CEO, weighs in.

Speaking from the Masters Tournamentat Georgia’s Augusta National, which began Thursday, Brewer said more people are playing more rounds of golf on American courses thanks to this winter’s milder weather, and that means a lot more opportunity to sell them equipment such as Calloway’s Razr Fit driver, introduced this season.

Having a notable player such as Phil Mickelson endorsing Calloway “helps” the business, but “it’s not one of those things when you see an immediate surge in sales” if the golfer wins the tournament, Brewer said.

What is surging is the company’s Asian business, where the Callaway brand there is “iconic, even stronger than the U.S. at the moment,” he said. “A lot of the growth is coming out of Asia over the next few years. It will be a big part of our strategy and one of the positives as we look forward in our business and the golf industry in general.”

There’ll also be competition, including at Augusta National where Tiger Woods, wearing his Nike gear, will be facing Mickelson, in Calloway’s.

“For a gentlemen’s game, it’s an intense business,” said Brewer. “I enjoy that competition.”

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Trader disclosure: On April 5, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Anthony Scaramucci is long AAPL; Anthony Scaramucci is long BAC; Anthony Scaramucci is long C; Anthony Scaramucci is long GS; Anthony Scaramucci is long IBM; Stephen Weiss is long JPM; Stephen Weiss is long LCC; Stephen Weiss is long UAL; Stephen Weiss is long LUV; Stephen Weiss is long M; Stephen Weiss is long QCOM; Stephen Weiss is long BRCM; Stephen Weiss is long HK; Stephen Weiss is long EUO; Stephen Weiss is short FXA; Stephen Weiss is short ANR; Stephen Weiss is short MT; Stephen Weiss is short AAPL PUTS; Stephen Weiss is short ERIC; Stephen Weiss is short JNPR.

CNBC.com with wires.

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