Given the amount of choice on offer for amateur golfers when it comes to their golf equipment, a long-standing loyalty to one brand is rather unique.
But for Kings of Distance attendee Neal Gladwin, just about all he has ever known is Callaway. The 39-year-old bought his first proper set of irons in 1995 – original Big Berthas – with his first pay-packet as an apprentice electrician and, aside from ‘one blip’ as he calls it, has remained loyal to the manufacturer ever since.
In fact, his long-running love affair with Callaway, at times, has bordered on obsession. Every year, Neal found himself tinkering with clubs in his bag and made wholesale bag changes every couple of years as the new cycle of irons and metalwoods were released.
“It’s probably easier to go through the Callaway gear I haven’t had down the years,” he says. “One of my favourite drivers was actually the FTi, with the square head. It went incredibly straight and the workability was fantastic and, when I was using that, it was probably one of my best spells of driving the ball.
“I love the original Big Bertha range, too, just for the nostalgia and the fact it was my first proper set of clubs.”
Despite being out in shops for three months, Kings of Distance was the first time Neal got his hands on the Rogue range and, as a man who has tested his fair share of Callaway gear over the years, he was mightily impressed.
“In the time that I used it, it felt fantastic,” he says. “With the driver, the dispersion was a lot tighter, I was longer, it felt great off the face and I got a nice, controlled ball flight. No matter where I hit it from on the clubface, it was still going a similar distance. It felt like I could stand on the tee with it and have an idea of exactly where it would go.
“I’ll definitely be getting a Rogue driver – don’t tell the wife – and I tried the Rogue X irons on the day and the distance I was getting with those was unbelievable. It was a really noticeable distance gain.”
Alvaro Quiros putting clinic
Want to improve with the flat stick? Watch this clinic with seven-time European Tour winner Alvaro Quiros, filmed at Callaway Kings of Distance 2018.