CT creep…is that…wait, there are no good, clean, family website jokes with that one.
I asked for a statement from Callaway last week to help clear up what was likely a slight change in Xander Schauffele’s non-conforming driver tested at The Open. Despite that, I was not one of the lucky ones to get CEO Chip Brewer’s lengthy statement, but my Golfweek colleague David Dusek did and prints it all.
As expected, it was a very minor issue turned into a drama by Schauffele who (A) blabbed publicly about a failed test that was otherwise unknown to press, and (B) should be traveling with a good back-up in case his gamer contracted, uh, CT creep.
The key excerpt from Brewer’s statement:
If anybody deserves blame or criticism for the driver test failure at the Open Championship, it’s us. We provide Xander his equipment. But in all fairness, I’m not sure we did anything wrong. We do everything in our power to design equipment that performs at the limit of USGA / R&A rules but does not exceed it. As long as I am in charge, we will never knowingly produce non-conforming equipment or condone its use, especially in tournament play.
“We test our drivers hundreds of times throughout the manufacturing process to make sure they are conforming. For tour product, we have a tour certification process that tests 100 percent of these products again at our facility prior to sending anything out to a player. We have also installed CT testing equipment on our primary tour trailers so we are now able to test in the field on both new and ‘played in’ parts, where high swing speed players could experience what we term CT ‘creep,’ and a driver that originally conformed could become, through play, non-conforming or deemed damaged into a non-conforming state. We are also doing fundamental research on managing or preventing ‘creep’ but more on that later.
“We know Xander’s driver was conforming when he received it. Probably in the range of 245 – 250 CT. At the Open we tested it at 255 CT, still conforming but close to the limit. The R&A tested it at 258, one over the limit. This sort of testing variation is going to happen. Because the R&A tested it over the limit, the driver was taken out of play and we replaced it with one that tested well within the limits. All before the event began and conforming with the rules of golf and intent of all the testing (both ours and the R&A’s).