CARLSBAD, Calif., April 25, 2012 — Callaway Golf Company today announced the signing of U.S. Amateur Champion Kelly Kraft to a multi-year contract to play and endorse Callaway Golf® equipment. Terms of the contract will not be disclosed, but Kraft will endorse Callaway Golf woods, irons, wedges, and golf balls and also use an Odyssey putter. He will also wear Callaway footwear, carry a Callaway Golf logoed bag and wear the Company’s logo on his hat. After winning the 2011 U.S. Amateur, Kraft earned a spot in this year’s Masters Tournament, where he made the cut using Callaway equipment. Fresh off that impressive effort at Augusta National, he made his professional debut this week at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
“When I was planning out the end of my amateur career, I thought that deciding which equipment company to join forces with was going to be a long, arduous process,” said Kraft. “After meeting with the Callaway folks, seeing their technology firsthand and feeling how good it performed, the decision was a no brainer. They have also been great people to work with. I am a proud new member of the Callaway staff and hope to add to their winning legacy.”
A native of Denton, Texas, Kraft graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was named to the All-Conference USA Team four times. During his junior season in 2009-2010, Kraft was named the Conference USA Men’s Golfer of the Year. He was also named honorable mention on the PING All-American Team after his senior season (2010-2011). Kraft was also a member of the 2011 Walker Cup Team.
“Kelly has already accomplished a great deal in his impressive amateur career and we are thrilled to have him join our team of Callaway Golf staff professionals,” said Nick Raffaele, Vice President, Global Sports Marketing, Callaway Golf. “As Callaway gains momentum with a younger generation of golfers, Kelly is a perfect fit for our brand. We’re confident that his talent and maturity will allow him to transition nicely into the professional game and we are excited that he’ll be accomplishing his goals with Callaway equipment.”
Adding Kraft to the Callaway stable of talent gives the Company a growing youth presence on the PGA, Nationwide and European tours. In recent years, the Callaway PGA Tour staff has been buoyed by the additions of impressive 25-year-old rookie Sang-Moon Bae from Korea, 2008 U.S. Amateur Champion Danny Lee, 2011 Nationwide Tour Money List winner J.J. Killeen, and 2007 U.S. Amateur Champion Colt Knost. The Company has also inked up-and-coming Nationwide Tour players Adam Hadwin and Sam Saunders.
In Europe, 23-year-old Callaway staff pro Branden Grace picked up his third win of the 2012 season on Sunday at the Volvo China Open, becoming just the second player to win three times in a season after graduating through Qualifying School. The South African is joined on Callaway’s European Tour staff by 20-year-old Argentine Emiliano Grillo, the second-youngest player on the European Tour, and 22-year-old Italian Andrea Pavan, a former Texas A&M standout. Those three have lent a youth movement to a European Tour staff that already includes established 20-somethings Alvaro Quiros, Alexander Noren and Danny Willett.