All brands have a story to tell, a history of ideas and events that stay with you forever.

We can remember the exact time and moment we thought of the original black golf ball. How scared we were when we first appeared holding our black balls on Channel 4’s Big Breakfast, dry mouthed and tongue-tied with presenters Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen.

How excited we were to film a video with MTV using skateboarders trying to hit golf balls from roof tops and through the hazardous streets of London, all playing to a Smashing Pumpkin’s soundtrack.

You bring many people with you on your journey and we’d like to thank all of them who helped our ideas along there way.

How grateful we were when the mainstream golf media ridiculed the idea of a black golf ball and how it was loved by the design and style media. The backing we received from publishers Conde Nast who featured the black ball in many of their printed magazines and on-line web sites such as ‘style.com’.

Our ideas have been featured in some of our favourite reads, from Sleaze Nation, Tank magazine, and the likes of GQ and Vogue.

But when other brands take your idea, they also take a piece of your history.

Only Nike can explain why they copied the original black ball. Only they can explain why they felt the need to do it.

There are usually witnesses to your unforgettable events, and the main purpose of this piece is to ask for two of the biggest names in golf to recall their meeting with us.

I hereby call upon putter guru Scotty Cameron and the CEO of Titleist Wally Uihlein.

It was the Open at St Andrews, the one where John Daly won and spat on the hallowed ground as he lifted the claret jug.

I had spent the last nine months on placement with a Formula one racing car team as part of my Industrial Design degree.

Whilst waking through one of the exhibition tents with my carbon fibre prototype golf club head featuring an aerofoil hosel I was stopped by a fresh faced American called Scotty, who asked me if he could take a look at my club. He immediately expressed his admiration for the design and arranged a meeting with one of his colleagues, Wally.

The meeting took place in the motor home of Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein. The design was protected and offered to Titleist but unfortunately they turned it down.

So I ask Scotty and Wally to contact and forward their accounts of our meeting to the new President and CEO of Callaway Golf, Chip Brewer. As they both witnessed our design of a composite golf club featuring an aerofoil hosel.

Later my composite golf club won a prestigious award from The Audi Design Foundation, who exhibited my prototype club and funded additional aerodynamic wind tunnel testing at Cranfield University, UK.

Dr Alan Hocknell, Vice President of Innovation and Advanced Design at Callaway Golf, agreed to supply a wind tunnel model of one of their ‘standard’ golf club heads for comparison testing. At the same time expressing his doubts that there were any performance benefit to be gained from such a single design feature.

Only Callaway can explain their change of mind; Why they are now claiming the idea of an aerofoil hosel for improved characteristics of a golf club head as their own idea.

Shame on Callaway Golf, but you can’t spend all of your time moaning about the actions of others.

So what is the future for Golf Refugees?

We are a company which prides itself on our innovative ideas. Our next product will be a successor to the original black ball. We believe it will be the most dynamically visible ball in golf.


  1. Callaway Golf see a young product designer's idea for an aerodynamic golf club hosel which they like the look of.

    Do they:

    A. Congratulate the designer on his excellent work and offer him a licensing deal.

    B. Buy the idea from the designer with a one-off payment.

    C. Give the designer a job developing his idea exclusively for Callaway.


    D. Behave like a huge corporate bully and just steal the designer's idea without any thought of the designer's wellbeing.

    Yep, you guessed it. The answer is 'D'.

  2. Like our banker friends, these guys operate in a moral vacuum