It is with a heavy heart that I announce I have declined the option to renew my multi-month contract with Strata and its parent company Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY).
Those of us lucky enough to be in this profession are judged by one thing: Performance on the course. Despite Strata's legendary reputation for being a 'players' club, I found myself struggling to 'shape' the ball with their premium cavity backed irons. Workability (or a lack thereof) has played a key role in my failure to get at tucked pins throughout this season. I felt like the 11 piece box set that I was contractually required to play didn't give me the full range of options I needed to perform at the elite level that I was accustomed to.
In addition to playability and shot shaping issues, there were some very minor cracks that were beginning to form in my relationship with the Strata/Callaway management team. Not surprisingly, Callaway stock is up 30% YTD due in large part to my signing, yet when I would ask corporate for very small favors, like personal financial loans or Amanda Balionis's cell phone number, I would get a text back that simply said "LOL".....or worse yet, no response at all! I just thought it might be time to move on.
Although I'm disappointed, I hold no personal ill will towards Callaway VP Harry Arnett, Jason Finley or 'Hashtag' Chad Coleman. The inordinate amount of time they spent visiting Tawny at her work each time they were in town is something she will always remember and cherish. Sadly, my biggest regret might be the feeling that I somehow let my fellow staffers down.... most notably Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson. Being in the same "stable" with them for the last 113 days has meant the world to me. I love you guys!
As for the immediate future, I will join my contemporaries like Brooks Koepka and others who are unencumbered by equipment contracts. Once the dust settles, I look forward to once again partnering with a brand who shares the same unrelenting passion for quality and reliability as I do...If not, I'll settle for a company that simply makes me an offer.
I wish Strata nothing but the best going forward and thank them for the opportunity to help grow their brand. In the meantime, please respect my privacy as I embark on this new chapter.