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Golf Club Innovator Ely Callaway Dies

July 08, 2001|James F. Peltz

Ely Callaway, a feisty, daring former textile executive and vintner who revolutionized golf for pros and duffers alike with oversized metal clubs and in the process built an $840-million company while in his 70s, died Thursday of pancreatic cancer. He was 82.

Callaway, whose Big Bertha driver quickly became a staple in golfers' bags after its debut a decade ago, had retired as Callaway Golf Co.'s chief executive after the cancer was found in April but had remained chairman of the board.

By setting up his company's headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., Callaway turned that coastal town into what's now known as Titanium Valley, because many of Callaway's rivals have moved there.

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